“I didn’t think you could be fit—and have diabetes”

“Art Cutting”

When Art Cutting turned 50, he bought an $1,100 bike—“a midlife-crisis purchase triggered by the fact that I looked like an Oompa Loompa,” he says. With that purchase, he soon became an avid cyclist and even completed endurance rides, like the 200-mile Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. So when a blood test revealed that his LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels, which should be under 130, were over 600, he wasn’t overly concerned. But then Cutting, a college instructor based in Federal Way, WA, started to struggle with fatigue. His doctor gave him an A1C blood test, which provides information about average blood glucose levels. Cutting’s was nearly 12%; a healthy A1C is below 7%. The diagnosis: diabetes. “My doctor was shocked. And so was I. I didn’t think you could be fit—and have diabetes,” says Cutting, now 59. At first, Cutting struggled to keep his glucose levels steady. “I was having a lot of ‘low-sugar incidents,’ in which I’d get grumpy and woozy and hot,” he says. “But once I got on the right medication, and switched to a lower-carb diet, everything turned around. I miss things like soda and French fries, but the tradeoff is worth it because my health is so much better.”

Thanks to these changes, Cutting’s weight has dropped from 224 to 189. His blood pressure has
gone from 140 to 110. His A1C is down to 5.1, his cholesterol is in the normal range—and his energy levels are off the charts. “I haven’t actually gotten younger, but this is the next best thing,” Cutting says. “Now I’m fit and healthy.”