Lately, when I look in the mirror, I find myself dwelling on my body’s faults. I look so much better than I did, but my stomach isn’t flat yet. My thighs are still too big. My arms are showing definition, but they aren’t perfect.
Then this morning, John says to me “You are getting sexier and sexier every day.” Not only did that earn him more good husband points than possibly any other statement he’s ever made, and make me feel very, very good about myself, but it also got me to thinking. Why have I gone from being excited about the positives to being focused on the negatives?
Wow, I can’t quite believe how long it has been since I posted here. A perfect storm of work stuff, family stuff and the holidays combined to take over my life, but now my life is returning to normal.
I’ve come up with a bunch of resolutions for the new year. Actually, I have two lists, because I am a list-making fool, but I’m not going to bore you with both of them. This is my fitness-centered list, although I can see that I need to make an exception to that and put “write in Diet Channel blog more regularly” at the top of the list. So, we’ll make that #1. Here’s the rest of the list:
I got my first non-spam comment on this blog the other day, which was great, because I do wonder sometimes if anyone is reading. The commenter asked how I got started on my do-it-yourself diet plan, and I realized that I haven’t talked about the actual mechanics of my diet all that much.
I had no obvious symptoms of diabetes, although now that I know I have it, it is easy to look back and say “Oh, well that was probably because of the diabetes” for various health issues. I was diagnosed when my doctor ran a fasting blood sugar as part of a fertility workup. When the first test came back with a blood sugar level over 200, my doctor actually thought it was a lab error. But the retest proved it was no mistake.
I haven’t had all that much to say about my dieting lately, most likely because I’ve hit another plateau. Even with all the progress I’ve made, I still find that incredibly frustrating. I’ve lost 34 pounds. I look and so much better than I did before. Rationally, I know that all is well.
The problem is, I’m not skinny yet. I’m almost a size 6, which will be an exciting milestone to reach. At the same time, my body still has a lot of shaping up to do. I know I’m way more fit than I was even two months ago. I can run 5 miles on a regular basis now, and I’m always looking for ways to keep pushing myself harder when it comes to working out. But my thighs are still fat, and I have this stubborn pouch of fat on my stomach that I just want to be gone, already. The rest of me isn’t perfect, but seems to be shaping up faster than my stupid thighs and stomach.
I staged a minor junk food rebellion today. I went to Whole Foods to get something healthy for lunch, took one look at the salad bar, and thought, “Oh, hell no.” So I got vegetable soup. And sour cream and dill potato chips. And a soda. Afterwards, I felt a little sick to my stomach, but I’m not really sorry.
Later, I got stuck at work and couldn’t make it to yoga on time, but made alternate plans to meet my workout pal Becky to run on the treadmill. Unfortunately, I was still stuck at work, so I had to give up on my alternate plan too. I finally left at 8:15, or
I heard a story on the radio today about a doctor in Kansas who has designed a diet that helps her patients with Type 2 diabetes (what I have) get to the point where they no longer need medication to control their blood sugar. This isn’t necessarily new news, although that’s how they presented the story. I had read that if a diabetic loses enough weight, exercises regularly and carefully manages what they eat, they could get to the point where medication is no longer necessary.
This particular diet, however, involves severely restricting carbs, and focusing on eating nuts, cheese and meat. Vegetables are ok, and fruit less so. I already keep my carb intake to 30-45 grams per meal, which is pretty low, although not as low as I think this doctor recommends. I try to include nuts in my diet, and I have no problem eating cheese. Mmmm…cheese. And I eat plenty of vegetables, but I’m sure there is always room for more. As a vegetarian though, the meat portion of this diet is right out for me. I was thinking about it on the drive home, and even if someone could guarantee to me that eating meat, poultry and fish again would help me become not diabetic, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t think that’s true, first of all, and even if it was, my reasons for not eating meat still feel valid to me. I think I am healthier as a vegetarian, even now that I’m a diabetic. And it is better for the planet. And I still don’t want another creature to suffer and die for my dining pleasure. If my choice was to eat meat or starve to death, I’d eat the meat. But as long as I have other options, I will take them.
I did some frantic house cleaning this weekend because of all of the various people who were going to be trooping through as part of the Thanksgiving festivities. And one of the cleaning projects I tackled was going through the large pile of clothes that don’t fit anymore. Every time I tried to get dressed and came across another item of clothing that I couldn’t wear anymore, I’d chuck it in the corner, sometimes with glee, sometimes with frustration. It had gotten so big the dog had taken to sleeping in it, and was threatening to take over a large chunk of my floor space.
I’m pleased to say that I got through all of the eating tied to Thanksgiving without overdoing it, which is a small miracle since I had to go to four (yes, four) separate Thanksgiving meals. I did have stuffing and mashed potatoes and pie, but I kept my portions small and never felt like I had eaten too much. I also managed to keep my blood sugar at good levels.
I got all sorts of positive feedback from people who came home for the holidays and were surprised by how much weight I have lost. One of the guys who works at my favorite Indian restaurant even said something about how much weight I’ve lost. But…
You know what food I miss the most? Pretzels. Out of all the foods that I’ve had to limit, pretzels are the ones I think about eating most often. I think it is because I didn’t eat donuts or cake or potato chips or cheese fries every day, but pretzels were one of my favorite snacks. However, in m attempts to lower my carb consumption (that’s what we diabetics do – count carbs, not sugar) I’ve moved away from pretzels to snacks like whole grain crackers with string cheese or veggies and hummus.
It’s funny though, because if you had asked me back when I first learned that I was diabetic, I wouldn’t have come up with pretzels. They are so simple and ordinary that you don’t think of them as a food you’d ever miss.
I was talking to my mom yesterday about having diabetes, and I realized that in addition to giving me the motivation to lose weight and get in shape, diabetes is helping me stay on the straight and narrow. I have to think about every bite I eat before it goes into my mouth, and I will for the rest of my life. Because it’s not just about worrying about gaining weight back for me if I don’t stick to my diet – it’s my quality of life, and my actual longevity at stake. The better I do at controlling my blood sugar, the more likely I am going to be able to have a normal life.
Last week was a particularly busy and tough one in my office, and so on Friday they brought lunch in for everyone from Chicken Out. My co-workers got to heap mashed potatoes and stuffing and gravy and cookies on their plates, and partake of the free sodas, but I held myself to a couple of spoonfuls of mashed potatoes (they smelled so good!) and my frozen Lean Cuisine pizza for lunch. I really wanted to have a soda and a cookie, but I knew it would throw my blood sugar out of whack, and it just wasn’t worth it.