live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Diabetics and Eating Habits

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Since for a diabetic a great deal of time is dedicated to thinking about food and what it is composed of, is it any surprise that most diabetics have some form of eating disorder?  I was not surprised in the least.  This is particularly true for Type 1 Diabetics who abuse insulin to lose weight.

I grew up with a compulsive dieter.  My mother was on a diet her entire life and never happy in her own skin.  I'm not blaming her for my bad relationship with food, but it does have an effect on a child when you see your mother loathing herself in a full-length mirror. 

In the 21 years that I've been a Type 2 Diabetic, I have come full circle with my relationship with food.  Actually, back in high school and college I restricted my caloric intake to around 600 calories a day.  Back then I walked from one end of campus to the other for classes, so I was in pretty good shape.  There's a price to pay for restricting your caloric intake so severely.  Eventually when you do begin eating a little more, your body says:

"Wow - we'd better store all this in fat cells, 'cuz who knows when she's gonna eat again?  We might need to use this later when she decides to cut her caloric intake crazy low again!" 

Well, I'm paraphrasing - but you get the idea!

Then when you gain weight - you not only gain weight, but fat! 

Oh - and cutting your caloric intake and eating unhealthy foods - that doesn't work worth a rip either.  I have done that.  It leaves you feeling very lethargic and hungry for some real nutrition.  Back then, nobody really talked about healthy eating - everything was all about low calories and food that tastes good (a.k.a. processed).  The processed foods (lunch meats, etc.) did not offer anything of real nutritional value.  Thankfully, the focus these days has turned to real unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes with organic lean protein. 

My old diet was pretty pathetic really.  "Diet" everything - I ate an apple and a yogurt for my lunch - that was about as healthy as it got.  This was before my diagnosis, so I wasn't overly concerned about sugar content back then either.  Yogurt back in the day was not exactly low in sugar.  Add an apple and wow - I was probably getting more than the recommended amount of sugar!  Isn't hindsight great?  The good news is, I did not drink soda with it - I did actually drink water which is good.  I can't say my motive was health - I just didn't want to spend extra money on a soft drink! 

Once I got out into the real world and began working, I discovered a new eating disorder called emotional eating.  In school I never felt a lot of pressure, but once I left there and started a job - there's where the real pressure began! 

It was not the right thing to do, but I turned to food because food was always there.  In an office - trust me - food is always there!  Someone is always having a birthday or you know there's always that one person who thinks they have to bring cinnamon rolls to the office to suck up - (well, usually that's what the reason is).  Temptation is always just around the corner in an office!

If I got chewed out by the boss or a co-worker, off to the little kitchenette I would march - fighting back tears and grabbing whatever cake or cookie or pie or cinnamon roll was available.  I was an equal opportunity junk food junkie - it didn't matter what form it came in.  Still fighting back tears, I got a cup of coffee and whatever crap food was setting around and went back to my cubical and stuffed my face and licked my wounds.  I did that for ten years.  Ten very self-destructive years!  I gained 80 pounds and dove right into Type 2 Diabetes.  Self-destructive behavior cost me my health!

You know, everyone says, "Don't take it so personally - it's just business."  I've been wanting to say this for the longest time - and since this is my blog and I should feel free to express my personal opinion - I'm going to.  When someone dogs my hard work and then tells me not to take it personally, that is the most confusing concept to me.  Why would I NOT take that personally?  When I do the very best job I can for someone - pour my heart and soul into a project - and then have my boss or a co-worker or the janitor or whoever, walk up to me and let me know that all my hard work was in vain and a waste of my time, the company's time and that I'm probably not smart enough to have been hired for the position in the first place, I'm sorry - but I tend to take that personally!  

Maybe it's my fault for trying too hard, I don't know.  I did work with some people who did not put a lot of effort into their work and they seemed to sail through just fine.  I was raised with something called a work ethic.  You do your very best and you are rewarded for it.  The problem with that is, sometimes you do your very best and you hear that it's not even almost good enough.  That's when it stings.  Anyone who tells you that it doesn't - they are either very thick skinned or they are lying. 

Yes, thank you, I do feel much better now!  I didn't even eat a cupcake and my heart feels much lighter right now.  I've really needed to vent that opinion for a long time.

My favorite woman in history is Eleanor Roosevelt.  My favorite quote is:

Today - I am blessed to be my own boss.  I  have a much better relationship with food and no longer use it to make myself feel better.  Today I have learned to stand up for myself instead of hunkering down in a cubicle and eating myself to death.  I have a new attitude and it puts me and my health at the top of the list.  Everything else can go by the wayside. 

There is not a boss, a co-worker, a job, a man, a situation, a friend, a relative, anyone or anything that is worth me losing my health ever again! 

It's not going to happen because I am worth taking care of and I am worth saving!  No matter what anyone wants to throw at me these days, I will not use food to comfort myself.  I will yell, scream, work off the stress with exercise - but I will not stuff my face with food.

Food and I have had a very unstable relationship in the past.  Since I have adopted an alkaline lifestyle, the relationship is much better because I no longer live to eat, but eat to live.  I look at food in a different way now.  Food is fuel.  It's either good fuel or it's bad fuel.  It's no longer about comfort but it's about health.  The question I ask all food is:

"What can you do to make my health better?  How will you help me function better today?" 

Yes, I talk to my food.  No, it has never talked back.  I had you worried, didn't I?  Oh well...  I've had you worried before - I am sure I'll have you worried again. 

This is such a sad trend:  Diabulimia in Type 1 Diabetics:  Cutting back on insulin to lose weight. 


Hey!!!  Today is WORLD PISTACHIO DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  I can definitely get behind this holiday - pistachios are one of the healthiest nuts.  I'm going to enjoy a handful of pistachios today and I hope you do too!!!!

Newspaper headline:

Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms

So, I guess there is no lung cancer in men mushrooms, right?


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