I just turned 58 years old. In all of my years, I’ve only had one good general practitioner MD. ONE. I’d still be with her if I hadn’t moved out of state. She’s the only one I’ve ever trusted or respected at all. She’s the only one who’s ever truly listened to me – and respected my own choices about my own body.
Here’s my problem: the joyful abandon with which I ate all of those “healthy” foods has come to a crashing halt due to diabetes. I can’t eat almost any of those foods anymore. Bananas, rice, potatoes (sweet or white), cereal, oats, etc. – all of them are bad for my blood sugar. Even legumes! My body doesn’t process them well anymore, which is really sad for me. I’m not wishing I could eat a donut. I’m wishing I could eat a sweet potato or a banana!
I’m going to keep paying attention to what are the best choices for me in my daily life to stay well – physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically – even spiritually. To me, it’s all tied together. Freaking out throws me off balance. Strict dietary programs and over-emphasis on activity throw me off balance. I’m riding the waves of recovery from decades of weight loss dieting traumas, negotiating new pathways in my relationship to food and health/well-being. I’m also learning on a deeper level what would have been very helpful for me to know when I was first diagnosed: I don’t have to go to extremes or get this under perfect control immediately – it is okay to take my time and find my way into balance.
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.
My point of this post is to say that life happens – and that we don’t always have favorable conditions to manage our diabetes perfectly. In that case, we just do the best we can – and allow that to be good enough. I’ve tended in my life to be a perfectionist – but that isn’t sustainable – or practical or even ideal in a human life.
Have you read about the side effects of metformin or of statins? Or really, any pharmaceutical drugs? They are terrifying to me. Drug commercials on TV are absolutely absurd with their litany of potential deadly side effects to “cure” a condition that is nowhere near as serious as the side effects of the advertised drugs! Why would I trade in a relatively healthy, feeling well, strong and happy body for the plethora of pain and dysfunction promised by any of those drugs? Seriously?
Well, as busy as I am, the challenge of controlling my blood sugar is ever-present – and the busier I am, the more important it is that I plan ahead and that I have on hand things that are easy to make. I thought today I’d share one of my easy go-to recipes that I try to always have on hand.
My new goal is “enough.” I want to eat enough food – not too little or too much. I want to be mindful enough regarding what I eat without being too strict or too careless about my food choices. I want to get enough activity and enjoy moving my body without going overboard or getting obsessive as I have in the past. There is a nice balance in all things that I am looking to find – and that includes finding a balance in the balance because being overly committed to balance can also cause imbalance (that will make sense to anyone who struggles as I do – and will perhaps sound like nonsense to those who don’t). Being in the state of “enough-ness” is going to take some getting used to, but I’m here for it!
On this blog, I am attempting to be very aware of the words I use to describe how I am managing my own diabetes and the struggles I’m having as I go. I catch myself using words that are potentially triggering and I work to switch those out with words that make my point understandable, without adding the unwanted aspects of criticism, judgment, or moralism. It’s not an easy task. I think I’ve referred to the “program” I’m following multiple times in this blog already. I’m going to be thinking about better words to use. It’s an evolving process for me.
Am I ever glad I kept a journal (pictured above) the first time I went down this path! I recorded everything: my morning sugar reading, my readings after various meals, everything I ate, supplements I took, my amount of exercise, many comments along the way of how I was feeling, both physically and emotionally. Perhaps the most helpful thing for me to be able to review this morning is the string of profanities laced throughout my notebook. See, even when I was staying on point, the journey wasn’t always smooth sailing. My sugar regularly spiked a little (sometimes a lot!) for no discernible reason. But I stayed the course … and over time, it kept trending in the right direction until it stayed in the good range almost all of the time. Until recently, when I had veered off course over many months during the pandemic.