TW/CW: Some talk of damaging effects of weight-loss dieting, mental/emotional issues, depression.
This blog isn’t just about “success” in managing my blood sugar – it’s about the ups and downs, the struggles, and the ways I pull myself back up when I fall down. Which is where I am right now: down.
The past few weeks, I’ve allowed myself to slide on being careful about blood sugar control. I’ve been taking my morning readings every few days, but not doing anything about the increasingly alarming numbers I was seeing. I had other things on my mind and going on in my life. I am reminded this morning that if I’m not managing my health and blood sugar, everything else in my life is affected. I don’t have energy. I can’t think as clearly as usual. I start not only wanting to take naps, but needing to take them, exhausted from the battles I’m forcing my body to fight continuously by not controlling my blood sugar.
I mean, yes – I have all kinds of excuses of why I haven’t exercised regularly in weeks. Many of them are even valid. I was injured and took it easy until that was healed. I spent a couple of days on the road, driving 13 hours a day. That was exhausting all on its own. I had a few days that were filled with friends and activities – which does not mean that I couldn’t have taken the time to go for a walk each day … I just didn’t do it. The air quality has been bad a lot lately outside, which doesn’t mean I couldn’t jump on my rebounder inside – or dance – I just (mostly) haven’t done it. I haven’t had the energy – which is the paradox – because exercising gives me more energy. I know this. It’s just hard to convince myself of that fact when all I want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep more.
Of course, it also helps if I’m eating in a more conscious way that supports blood sugar balance. My eating lately has not been mindful of my well-being. The friend I stay with some of the time brought home a big box of little bags of Fritos and Cheetos. Another friend brought Oreos to a party we attended. Suddenly, I’m 12 again, feeling like I’ve been set free from adulting. I’m so tired of adulting! (I realize that eating like a child does not, in fact, free me from adult responsibilities – but there is something about it that feels so good anyway). When I was on the road, we ate out quite a bit – something I haven’t done in over a year and a half. Even before the pandemic, when I was being strictly on my program, eating out wasn’t so fun – I always just ordered a chicken breast and vegetables. This time, I ordered whatever sounded delicious, not even considering carb counts, etc. And at home, I’ve been eating more comfort foods than meals that I would consider to be in alignment with blood sugar control.
So, here we are. I feel exhausted. Sad. Depressed. I also feel clear that I need to get this under control now – and I feel motivated to do that. Back to basics. Making agreements with myself about how to support my health and well-being. There’s a big mental/emotional struggle I go through because of the similarities between these health-supporting choices I need to make now and the life-negating choices I made during the decades I was devoted to weight loss dieting. I need to remind myself that I’m not being punished, that there’s nothing about this that is saying that my body is unacceptable or that I’m unlovable. On the contrary, the new messaging is that I am worth taking care of. This is not about weight (even though so many doctors ignorantly and harmfully insist on pushing the falsehood that it is about weight). I don’t need a scale to get my blood sugar under control. I’ve been down this road before. I know how to do this. I’ve got this. Just going back to basics.
Beginning is the hardest part, because I feel crappy. My readings this morning were 154, 138, 161, and 157. I’ve talked before about how my meter varies widely in its readings – but it’s clear that my numbers are way too high. My head is in a fog. I feel nauseous and sluggish. Moving is the last thing I want to do right now, but I’m going to commit to jumping on my rebounder at least 20 minutes every morning first thing. If the air is okay, I can go for a walk outside instead – my goal is an hour a day. If I haven’t walked or done some other activity, I’ll do another 20 minutes on the rebounder in the afternoon – or dance. The goal is to have 45-60 minutes of activity daily.
Making good food choices is going to be relatively easy for the first few days. I feel bad enough that my body is craving just healthy, simple foods. I know how to feed my body to feel better (veggies, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, a little citrus, a little dark chocolate for my sanity – and that’s basically it). The challenge comes when I start feeling good again and thinking that a plate of nachos and a beer would be just the thing I desire. Which isn’t to say that I can never have that – I just need to be more careful how often I have that – and what else I’m having around that (not putting multiple high-carb snacks/meals into the same day). It’s management – and that’s how I have to view it. Management, not punishment. Guidelines, not a condemnation to food restrictions for the rest of my life. There’s a balance I’m searching for. That search is complicated by many triggers I have resulting from decades of self-imposed food deprivations and punishing exercise routines. I need to allow this somehow to feel fun and life-affirming for myself. Part of that is feeling joy in my body.
I love my body. Any size. Any shape. I’ve fought hard for decades for that level of self-love/body-love. I want to feel good in my body. I often do – no matter what size I am. Being fat doesn’t mean I can’t feel good in my body. I’ve had decades of feeling healthy, well, and active as a fat woman. For whatever reason (I blame the antibiotics that wrecked me just before my diagnosis), I now have blood sugar issues that impact how well I feel – and that I need to deal with. So, here I go again. I expect to feel significantly better within a week. I’ll report back and let you know how it’s going. Right now, I need to get on the rebounder and jump!
Disclaimer: Please be advised that I am not a medical professional nor a dietician. This site is not in any way, shape, or form providing any sort of diagnosis, advice, cures, or recommendations for medical or dietary treatments. I am simply sharing my own journey and experiences. Nothing I say is intended to replace proper medical care.