November 4, 2014 - A gorgeous sunny day
The good and the bad
I am by nature a slug and a night crawler. I was up before daylight this morning because my blood sugars were low. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it indicates that I’m doing a good job monitoring my diabetes. This is a fairly new thing for me - not the diabetes but having it under control.
For years I’ve run around telling people that a diabetic is always hungry and always wants sweets. That was me and I believed it to be true. Worse yet, I tend to binge now and then. On binge days I eat everything sweet I can get my hands on. There is no stopping me. I know I shouldn’t do it, but the child in me says “I want it and I’ll have it.”
Binge days are usually followed by tapering off and feeling bad. As an adult I know this, but it’s harder for me to do than you’d think. If I have a binge day, I might go a week feeling really bad, feeling out of touch, sleepy, wimpy, unfeeling, all those things that I don’t like, but somehow feel helpless to control.
Am I feeling sorry for myself on those days? Not a lot because it kind of dampens my feelings as well. I slug along trying to move, but everything seems to be so hard. I am just existing at this point.
So, how did I get on the good side of this? Can’t tell you. Don’t know for sure.
- Chocolate. I’ve been doing better because I discovered I can eat the really dark chocolate squares of Ghirardelli without impacting my sugar count a lot, particularly if I limit the chocolate well. I love good dark chocolate. When I can’t find Ghirardelli chocolate I sometimes buy Hershey dark. It’s definitely not the same thing. It’s not as chocolaty and and it has so much sugar in it that it almost feels gritty with it. So, I have a named treat. I do well with it if I don’t go nuts.
- Cookies. I love cookies. Sugary, crunch, tasty cookies. I limit myself to 2 or 3 cookies a day. To be honest, the cookies I like the most are the ones that are the sweetest and the most fattening. I like the ones that are really two cookies with a wad of frosting squished between. (Oddly enough, I no longer like Oreos.) Definitely tasty. Definitely not on my diet. I have limited myself to one cookie now and then, eaten in public and not at home. It works.
· Ice Cream. As a kid I didn’t like ice cream. As an adult I suppose it was because my mother, who had a weight problem and loved ice cream, had discovered ice milk. Ice milk has half the calories and more sugar than the “real” stuff, but I don’t like it at all. At home, the only ice cream was Mom’s ice milk. I wouldn’t eat it. (Thinking about it, I’d guess she liked that she didn’t have to share her ice cream with me and the rest of the family.)
However, now and then Mom would begin to skim the cream off the milk (milk used to be unpasteurized and therefore the cream would separate from the milk and be found at the top of the milk bottle.) She’d save the cream and when she had enough to fill a large ice tray, she’d whip it, flavor it, and freeze it in the ice tray. She’d take it out now and then and whip it cold. The end product was basically frozen whip cream, but to us it was ambrosia. An ice tray full of frozen cream divided between the six of us wasn’t very much, but scarcity only heightened the treat. (It wasn’t one of the essential food groups.)
· So, no candy except for a dark chocolate square, no cookies (which make me restlessly pace the house when I want one and there are none), but there is ice cream in the house. I have discovered Breyers, Dryers, Ben & Jerry and all those other manufacturers who make deliciousness that happens to be ice cream. And in order keep this under control, I have two tiny cups, one pink and the other green. Each holds a half cup of ice cream (the measure on the carton). If I want ice cream, I may have one of those cups full, modestly packed and happily devoured. I keep the ice cream in the freezer that’s in the garage. Having to put on my shoes, maybe a coat or sweater, and make the short trek to the garage is often enough to convince myself I didn’t really want it anyway.
· I do have another source of ice cream. It’s called a Lil’ Drum. A drumstick of ice cream in a sugar cone and topped with chocolate and nuts in miniature form and 120 calories. It’s a big treat for me and I make myself earn it. A trip to Curves (a woman’s gym) or doing the laundry in only a few hours or cleaning a corner of the house. Those things must be done in order to allow the possibility of a Lil’ Drum.
· As I’ve managed to cut down on my favorite sweets, I’ve added more protein to my diet, fewer fatty foods, fruit and veggies, etc. We love to make steel cut oatmeal with apples and raisins. We make the full batch and refrigerate enough for another breakfast or two. I eat my cereal without sugar and I limit my choice of cereal to those with a low sugar count. (No sweet peanut butter kid cereal for me.)
Do you wonder how I can eat cereal without added sugar? In severe cases (like plain oatmeal) I sprinkle Stevia on it. So, you can say I’m eating better.
· I’m exercising better. Before I sat down to write this evening, I exercised with my 5 pound weights and my hand hoops (like a hula hoop, but you spin it on your arms). My shoulders feel pleasantly exercised, not tight and tired from hovering over my computer, though they will be sore and tired before I finish today.
That must mean I’m losing weight. I am. Very slowly, but what I lose is staying gone. The additional exercise gives me energy and I’m trimming up. I’ll never want to wear a bikini anyway.
The result of this is that I really feel like doing things again. I’m not strong because I’ve been lazing about but I’m getting there. I’m interested in life again. I feel so good that I want to defend my effort and keep it up.
I have a secret. My everlovin’ took the Halloween candy after I told him I’d eaten one miniature candy bar. I told him to hide it and bring it back when it was time to distribute it. No sooner had the last trick or treater left, then he took the remainder and hid it. I went from the time I bought candy until after Halloween trick or treaters were gone with only one little insy weensy bar. I love him for doing it because I know if I asked for it back, he’d give it to me. He’s my helper not my enforcer.
So it’s working. This evening, after a big lunch, I am having a small bag of peanuts (just salted) and a low-calorie, barely sweetened yogurt, with perhaps a chocolate for dessert. I haven’t decided yet if I need it.