Diabetics commonly complain about being overweight, I have the opposite problem. For as long back as I can remember, I belong to LOW BMI CATEGORY (<19). In 2013 have TWO STENTS inserted in my heart arteries and have been a DIABETIC for 35+ YEARS.

Unlike obese diabetics, people with low BMI can’t simply lose weight to drop their sugar counts; but, with Dr. Tripathi, and FFD’s help, I’ve managed it very well.

I am Avinash Kanitkar and this is my freedom story…

When I first walked into Freedom from Diabetes’s centre, I was on 25 units of insulin and medications. I was having a very low BMI of 18.9. Hoping against hope, I joined the Intensive Reversal Program "BATCH 22" in September 2014—6 years ago, almost to the date! It was the best decision I ever took.

Within 15 days insulin was stopped and till date it hasn’t come back. It is six years now! Tablets continued and I did go through my share of emotional ups and downs hoping that they will stop too while seeing other participants becoming free. I ate less and my BMI dropped to 16.7, which was the lowest. I realized that stopping medications at the cost of overall health wasn’t worth it. With proper guidance from the FFD team I managed to bring it up to 18.4 and this journey has been full of experimentation and learning at physical, emotional and intellectual levels.

Beyond putting me on the road to diabetes reversal, and stabilizing my BMI, what I am really happy about is that I have found my purpose in life—my IKIGAI. Finding purpose helped me focus on other important aspects of life, not just the numbers on the weighing scale or glucometer or medications.

I urge all FFDians, especially those my age, to find purpose in life. Without purpose, humans wither. I have seen too many of my friends in their 70s who, unable to find purpose leading mediocre passionless lives. They neither eat nor exercise well. They don’t enjoy active social interactions and have no immersive hobbies.

Fortunately, I have always enjoyed being active—in personal and professional life. I’ve had a long career as an electronics engineering consultant and still enjoy contributing professionally to small-scale industry. In daily life too, I like to stay active with society work which I truly enjoy. I take a disciplined approach, following a regular schedule that incorporates physical and mental stimulation as well as stress-busting routines.

As a senior who has lived a long and eventful life, I feel qualified to offer this little advice: focus on things that are under your control: Adopt and follow a good diet. Exercise regularly. Find your purpose and follow it with passion. Keep doing regular tests, take consultations, and course-correct your actions. Ensure if you are a low BMI person with very long-standing diabetes, you emotionally disconnect your focus from your biomarkers, sugar numbers and stoppage of medications. They are not the only thing to chase.

This has been my lifestyle mantra and road to true happiness. I believe it can also lead you to yours.

For the benefit of my fellow FFDians, and all who suffer from problems like mine, here is the routine that has helped me regain my weight, stabilize my BMI and kept my diabetes reversal on track

Avinash Kanitkar’s Schedule

5:45 am:
Wake up. Have 200 ml green fortified smoothie

6:30 am:
Start exercise -This includes warm up/Nitric Oxide Dump-3 rounds/Santulasan-3 x30 seconds/wall push-ups -20x3/ Theraband Exercises on alternate days. Suryanamaskar:- presently 6/Yoga on alternate day. Shavasan-10 minutes. Breathing Exercises: - Anulom/Vilom-10 rounds, Kapalbhati- each nostril- 50 rounds, Agnisar-30 times, Brahmari:- 5 rounds, Omkar chanting
After exercise- Nutrilite Protein powder -1 scoop (10 gm), Tablets (Cal Mag D, Natural B) and Seeds 2 tsp.

9 am:
Breakfast - Typically Dal based and black tea

11 am:
Sattu atta 1 tsp with warm water + ½ scoop (5 gm) Nutrilite protein powder

1 pm:
Lunch; one Khapali Gehu chapati/one katori Dal/one katori subji/one katori green salad+ coconut oil – 1 tsp. Tablets (Milk Thistle + Madhunashini + Nutrilite Daily) after lunch
4 p.m:
Nutrilite Protein powder-1/2 scoop(5 gm) + 10 half walnuts + 5 cashew nuts + 2 tsp seeds+ Natural B tablet and Black tea

Khakra, chana, etc.

8:00-8:30 p.m:
Dinner same as lunch or brown rice khichdi with vegetables/Barley khichdi with vegetables/Cal Mag D before dinner. Tablets (Milk Thistle + Madhunashini + Salmon Omega 3 Daily) after dinner.

10:00-10:30 pm:
Before bed -Peanut butter -2 tsp

Must say, I have an extremely supportive and involved wife and we take great pleasure in small details regarding food, supplements, exercise, watching FFD YouTube videos, going out, etc

Even though I am not free of medications, I am super happy and feel super healthy.

MY FINAL MESSAGE - Prioritize health ... That itself is freedom!