When I originally started this post a couple of weeks ago it took a completely odd turn into a host of other food related information and musings about society and food and guilt. Perhaps I'll rework that and post it later. What I really intended was a more personal blog about me (I'm a Leo - deal with it), so I'm starting over.
I love food. OK, I know, most people do, so this is no big shocker. This isn't the real problem, however. There are lots of people about who love food, eat lots of food and still manage to stay healthy and fit. No, my problem is that food doesn't love me quite as much. It's like a bad relationship that I can't seem to leave. We're frienemies. It'll act like my BFF (comfort food anyone?), but in the end it always turns on me.
I have Type 2 Diabetes. This is different than Type 1 Diabetes that requires insulin shots on a regular basis, no matter what you eat. On the other hand, Type 2 Diabetes and how well you manage it has a direct connection with food and specifically with what types of food you actually eat. I know, there's a lot of propaganda, er, um, I mean information out there on Diabetes and eating healthy and choosing whole grains and healthy carbohydrates according to the Food Pyramid, blah, blah. You know what my body says to that? It says FUCK YOU Food Pyramid, FUCK YOU Glycemic Index, FUCK YOU American Diabetes Association healthy eating guidelines. My body says "a carb is a carb and I'm going to treat it equally across the board. Sucks to be you." I can't eat a sandwich at lunch and have my blood sugar levels stay within normal ranges no matter how healthy the bread I choose. And don't even get me started on breakfast. Anybody on a low carb diet will tell you what a pain in the ass breakfast can be. I've gotten breakfast down to a protein shake with instant coffee inside. It's breakfast and a latte all in one. Works for me.
Bread is one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world. If you told me that I would have to spend a week eating only bread and butter I would be fine with that. I'd say "Bring it on!" I might be in a diabetic coma by the end of the week, but just before that I'd be happy. I can't eat bread. Also, those little bitty powdered donuts? Love 'em. There's a lot of candy I can do without, but just about every candy bar on the product list of Annabelle Candy is at the top of my list of things I love. For the most part I can resist the urge to eat the cake and ice cream and pie in the fridge on the rare occasions when we have it, but put an Abba Zabba in front of my face and it'll be gone in no time flat. Crap. Now I want an Abba Zabba. SIGH.
Obviously, donuts and candy are unhealthy food choices, but your body doesn't care if it's bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta or a donut. Carbs are carbs, don't let anyone else tell you differently, and once your body converts them to glucose, it's all the same in the end. Some Diabetics can eat a good portion of carbs every day and still be OK. But many can't and unless they learn to say no to these foods completely, their blood sugars will be out of control. Out of control blood sugar can lead to a whole host of problems, including loss of vision, loss of limbs and even death. Well, hell, that's not good. I kinda like living and I'd prefer to keep my sight, as limited as it is, and my arms, legs, hands and feet, thank you very much. You'd think this would be enough motivation, but for some, like myself, apparently it's not.
Fortunately, my Diabetes has been, for the most part, well controlled, until about a year and a half ago where it went totally off the rails. I now take medication to help keep it under control and at the last test it was back in the low numbers of manageability where it has been for about 12 years. Which is good. Problem is that I feel myself slipping back into those bad patterns once again. Not getting enough exercise, eating late at night, eating too much at meals, eating when I'm not hungry, etc. My worst problem isn't so much what I eat as when I eat it. I can't seem to get my late night snacking under control. Now if I would do my late night snacking while exercising . . . hmmmm. Oh who am I kidding. Who wants to do yoga at 11 p.m.?
I've been coming across a lot of information lately about binge eating and compulsive overeating. When I think of these terms I envision someone sitting there and just pigging out on mounds of food, hiding food and sneaking it when no one is looking, ordering two meals at the drive-thru and eating both of them. I don't do these things. Must not be my problem, right?
My deal? I'm an emotional eater. What does that mean? It means I'll eat when I'm happy, sad or depressed, when I'm anxious or stressed out, when I'm angry, and when I'm upset. I also eat when I'm bored, when I'm feeling lazy, when I want to treat myself to something special, when I watch TV, when I watch movies, when I play on the computer, when I drive in the car, etc., etc., etc. You get the idea, I like to graze. The problem with grazing is that you eat a shitload of carbs and calories before you even know it. Because, let's face it, when you get a craving for a snack, most people don't say "Ooooh, you know what sounds really good right now? CARROTS! Oooh, and CELERY!" Yeah, not so much. Let's talk bread, cheese and crackers, muffins and scones, little bitty mini powdered donuts (on the rare occasion I do buy them). They can't be bad for you! They're so small! Ha!
I am pretty much fine during the day and can control what I eat much better at work. But once I get home, it's a whole different story. I don't know. That's not compulsive, right? Sigh.
I realize that I can't continue to ignore my need to eat everything in the house once I get home. I need to do something serious about my eating habits. And soon. So this morning I downloaded Mcayla Sarno's audio series on binge eating. http://mcaylasarno.com/AudioCDSeries.en.html I've been thinking about doing it for weeks now, so I guess it's a big step that I finally did. One step at a time, right?
Now to actually listen to it. That's my next hurdle. And so begins my journey to say fuck you food, I don't want to be your frienemy anymore. Wish me luck.