TW/CW: This post contains talk of emotional eating/food issues, suicidal ideation and other mental health challenges.
I haven’t written in quite a while (months!) – and I’ll tell you why: I really haven’t been doing my program or being careful at all. As a result, my blood sugar has risen and been staying fairly high. I haven’t really cared, to be honest. Diabetes management has not only taken a back seat, it’s spent quite a bit of the time in the trunk. I’ve been too focused on other life things, such as moving cross country again, trying to find a place to live (which is way more challenging than I could have imagined), and just trying to hang on financially and emotionally.
For me, part of that hanging on is enjoying food. I may be having lots of stress in my life – sometimes to the point of feeling like giving up, just thinking about letting go (but not actually planning it!) – and the thing is, when I’m in that space (or approaching that space), some pizza or ice cream or other comfort foods can go a long way toward pulling me off the ledge. So, I’ve been self-medicating with food … a lot. Plus, with the state of the world today … I often feel like I might as well enjoy this moment and not worry about the future. Eat the cookies while you can! You know?
Now, to be clear, I don’t sit around all day and eat, nor do I eat abnormal amounts of food. But when it comes to meal time, I’ve been far more likely to go with chicken nachos, for example, than with a salad. In the mornings, I’ve been going with hot chocolate much more frequently than with herbal tea. And when I drink hot chocolate, I’m more likely to want a bagel & cream cheese with my eggs than a half of a sprouted grain English muffin topped with almond butter. Sometimes I make “healthier” choices (in terms of my blood sugar balance) and sometimes I really splurge, but the reality is that overall, I’ve been more off program than on program.
My bike is also stuck in storage across the country (long story involving a fraudulent moving company), so I’m not exercising regularly like I used to do. The end result is that my blood sugar has been averaging in the 140’s-150’s, with occasional forays higher. To be honest, I was kind of okay with that. I’m not having any physical symptoms other than lots of fatigue, which I wasn’t sure if might just be post-Covid reality … or even just accumulated stress. Good (delicious) meals to look forward to give me some motivation to get moving. And, actually, just some motivation in general. Food is one of my most powerful life pleasures. Yes, my blood sugar friendly meals taste good and are enjoyable – but they somehow don’t give me the same emotional satisfaction as my favorite foods that aren’t so blood sugar friendly. There’s food that gives me life, and food that gives me LIFE! – if you know what I mean.
Well, I was happily coasting along, getting more and more reckless, until I woke up the other morning, after having a sweet potato the night before (and other high carb foods that day) – and saw my blood sugar at 200. Wake up call! I can’t keep being mindless about this. I didn’t go into the panic level I had upon my first diagnosis, but I did make some immediate changes to get my blood sugar under control quickly.
A quick aside: when I was first diagnosed and got my blood sugar back to normal levels within months, my doctor told me he was so proud of me – that most people didn’t have that level of self-discipline. My response was that I didn’t have a choice – because that’s how I felt at the time. I was so strict because I was so afraid! As time passed, I became less afraid – and also felt more disconnected from life and from pleasure and from happiness – and, increasingly, from a will to live. So, I decided that I may as well have a slightly elevated blood sugar and be happy. I actually did have a choice! And once I realized that, it became harder and harder for me to stay on program. UGH!
Okay, so I’ve decided to be super strict again until I get my blood sugar back to what I consider a safer range – below 126 is what my doctor had recommended as a good goal. Once I get there, I can start adding back some of my favorite foods/carbs in moderation. Moderation and monitoring being the key. I can’t allow my blood sugar to hang out in the 140’s. AND … it’s okay if I have a day or two once in a while where it goes there – it’s what’s usually happening that matters.
This is how the past few days have gone with my morning blood sugar readings: 200, 178, 172, 151, 148. It’s slowly going down by my being very careful. I was disappointed how slowly the first couple of days – because before the 200, it had been 162. I’d hoped it would just drop back down to that after a day. Didn’t happen.
It will be challenging for me when I get my morning blood sugar below 140 to keep being so strict (hell, it’s already challenging), but I really hope that’s the choice I make until I get down to 120 or so. That way, little bumps up can stay below 126, generally speaking.
Part of that is working on my mental/emotional balance and well-being. It’s truly a dance here between finding life satisfaction/happiness and making food choices that support my health (but then, I think, “which health?” – because my blood sugar numbers are not representative of the entirety of my health and well-being. What about emotional health?). I’m not sure where the path will lead from here. I guess we’ll see!
Finally, if you read my last post about my incompetent and unhelpful doctor, I fired him and found someone else. The person who actually helped me was a chiropractor/acupuncturist. I have not yet contacted my new doctor in my new state. I guess I better do that. I hope I like her! I also have a lead on a new chiropractor/acupuncturist/homeopath near me. On my “to do” list!
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.
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