After Twenty-one Years With Type 2 Diabetes, Bonny Damocles Feels Better Than Ever

Bonny Damocles

| Sep 24, 2012

Bonny Damocles, a longtime fan of TV shows like “Wild Kingdom,” looked at his type 2 diabetes diagnosis as his opportunity to take a walk on the wild side. When the Michigan resident learned that he had diabetes more than two decades ago, he immediately began thinking about how lions survive in the wild as inspiration for his own diet plan.

Taking his cue from the animal kingdom, Damocles completely transformed his diet and exercise plan, trading drive-through dinners for fresh foods that are closer to nature. “A lion eats when it gets hungry,” he says, adding that lions have to hunt before eating. “So in the wild, when they’re hunting, they’re already hungry,” he explains. Like his wilderness hero, the lion, he exercises at the first sign of hunger, before he eats. He also practices intermittent fasting, restricting his food intake to three squares as a way to more efficiently burn the fuel he takes in, ensuring that none is stored as fat.

It’s a much different lifestyle than the one Damocles was living before his diagnosis, when he ate when he pleased and rarely thought about exercise. A “sky high” blood sugar reading of 468 changed all that. His doctor immediately recommended that he start taking several different medications, but he balked at the multiple-meds regimen. “I don’t know why, but intuitively, I just refused it,” he says.

Damocles had watched a neighbor struggle with insulin-induced hypoglycemia that caused dizziness and weakness, so he wanted to try exercise first to see if he could bring his levels down on his own. After passing a stress test, he headed home to hit the stairs, which he started running several times a day. Ten days later, after about 20 hours of hard-core exercise, he had brought his blood sugar level down to a healthy 130. “It was proof that all it takes is exercise,” he says.

For the past 21 years, Damocles has been following a similar workout plan, although the stairs have given way to lower-impact workouts like walking. He also eats home-cooked meals, focusing on lean meats, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. “I told my wife, Nemia, that whenever you see an ingredient you can’t recognize or pronounce, we avoid it,” he says.

That’s not to say that Damocles doesn’t eat what he loves. He allows himself carbs–“my favorite,” he laughs–but he makes smarter choices, choosing heart-healthy carbohydrates and adding fresh fruits and veggies to treats like cakes to boost their nutritional value. “My wife prepares what we think is safe for me, but I don’t worry about food,” he says. He just follows his lion-like rules.

Damocles never sees his diet and exercise plan as a hardship.  He drinks only water between meals, but he never misses between-meal snacks. He recalls that during his childhood in the Philippines during World War II, he spent many days entirely without food. “It was probably a lesson that we will not die when we get hungry,” he says.  

“I feel like I’m only half my age,” says the 71-year-old. “I feel younger than 40 and am still living life to the fullest. I keep busy physically and mentally all the time. I am a survivor, living life like I have no diabetes.”

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Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Diabetic, Diet, Food, Hypoglycemia, Type 2 Diabetes

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Posted by Anonymous on 25 September 2012

Wow! very inspiring, great dedication and will to live!

Posted by Anonymous on 26 September 2012

Well done Bonny and why only a 100 Regards to you both. Barry UK

Posted by Anonymous on 26 September 2012

Good to see Bonnie getting his message out. Keep up the hard've got a lot of life ahead! Joe Caudy

Posted by Anonymous on 4 July 2013

Wow and congratulations...when will the medical community accept that as well as a bad combination of life style habits can make one ill...healthy habits can undo/reverse/cure illness in the body. Healthy habits help the body to heal itself. CONVERSELY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY..A lot of "preventative medicines i.e.antibiotics, steroids, statins, blood pressure damage the body to the point of causing/hastening diabetes. Diabetes need not be a lifelong chronic and progressively worsening condition.

I also had an A1C of 16.5, initally I took the methformin and lisinpril (also high pressiure medicine). Previously I had been taking another blood pressure medicine. I asked my doctor whether this was a factor in the dramatic raise in my blood sugar...i got silence. Upon further research I found out that this class of medicine can destroy the beta cells in the pancreas and increase insulin resistence. BINGO: DIABETES !!!

Even previous to the DIABETES diagnosis, I've already had a healthy diet, high in fruit, veggies, whole grain diet, and moderate exercise. BUT under doctor's orders was taking a high blood pressure medication.

What I think brought my blood sugar from 16.5 to 6.3 in four months with metformin and later six months later to 6.2 WITHOUT Metformin was that I kept forgetting to take the Lisinpril (blood pressure medications). In addition, increases ORGANIC veggie/fruit smoothies, whole grains, intermittent fasting (going at least 15 hours between last meal of the day prior to the first meal of the next day). Also taking the herb gymmnenna sylvestre tested by universities to regrow beta cells in the pancreas, fibers help to reverse insulin resistence in the cell level; exercise increases in sulin sensitivity.

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