I can’t put into words how thankful I am that my journey did not begin as a means to an end to my problem with morbid obesity. While type 2 diabetes is not really lucky, I felt pretty lucky that my focus was to keep my glucose meter going down instead of that fickle old hag that is the scale.
With type 2 diabetes, cheat meals, days, weekends, are not an option. One cheat can potentially be rewarded with a ticket to re-board the blood sugar roller coaster. This does not mean there will never ever be another sweet potato or bit of sushi in our future, it only means that until we learn the effects of certain foods on our blood sugar that maybe we should just not eat everything we may long for.
Call me jaded, but I just don’t have it in me to tell those who have fallen off the wagon “It’s ok, it was a one time thing, dust off and get back up there”. The truth is to me, it’s not ok. It’s also not always just a matter of dusting off and grabbing those reins again. Oft times one slip is the beginning of the slide down the slippery slope that leaves one unable to climb back up. It can result in depression, binge eating because well, “I’ve already eaten the pizza, I screwed up, might as well get the double scoop in the waffle cone.”
Sometimes I think people fall off the wagon because they weren’t on the right wagon to begin with. Maybe someone is on a wagon where they can only consume 800 calories, they have to be hungry because I know I have consumed 800 calories to break an 18 hour fast more than once. (coffee, hwc, davinci, 6 nice thick slices of bacon, 2 eggs, and 2 slices of cheddar equals 829 calories) Had I been on the under 800 calorie/day wagon, I would have definitely been a failure more than once.
If you are struggling with your weight loss wagon, take some time to think “is this really working for me?” Are you getting on and off the wagon on a weekly or even daily basis? if the answer is “yes”, maybe it’s time to find a new wagon?
Weight loss for the sake of weight loss is tough. It’s tough because the worst thing that can happen if one slips is that the scale might bump up. When that is the worst that can happen, it makes it less bad to slip. No one else sees the scale, the scale going up doesn’t really have the potential to cause blindness, neuropathy, or the loss of a few toes. It’s easy to see how some folk can be nonchalant in regards to cheat meals when the scale bounce is really the worst that can happen at the moment.
When speaking one on one to someone who has “fallen off their wagon”, I often get that deer in the headlights look when I say something like “why don’t you beat yourself up each time you even think about eating a banana split?” Once the crazy look goes away they normally tell me “Well, I’m not diabetic like you are”. Times like those, I really enjoy getting the last word in and that word is usually “yet”.
Having type 2 diabetes is not fun. It’s not some kind of luck, though finding a way to control it was pretty lucky. I don’t know what came first, my fat or my diabetes, but I would have preferred to have never been involved with either. I can’t help but think that getting on and off the proverbial wagon might be an ingredient in the recipe for type 2 diabetes.
There are people in my life who call me harsh, think of me as a PITA because when it comes to weight loss/improved blood glucose/complications of “diabesity”, I can be pretty harsh. Nothing personal, I’d be the same with a stranger. It’s like this, I never tell anyone anything I haven’t or wouldn’t tell myself. I beat myself up on a daily basis for the first year.
I remember one time my husband had some chips, not just any chips, but the chips I used to eat. I remember looking around and seeing no one was around. I remember putting a chip in my mouth, chewing, crying, spitting it into the trash, feeling sorry for myself because “I fell off the wagon”. Wiping the tears, I realized that I did not fall, I jumped. I put that chip in my mouth. Spitting it out didn’t make it less bad. I told myself that the chip wouldn’t have done anything except jack up my blood sugar and set me back. While I didn’t physically give myself a busted nose, I tried to mentally. I think that was the day I started the whole daily basis just to prevent myself from even opening a bag of what ever before it happened.
I guess what I’m trying to say today is this… If you are on a wagon and “falling” off that wagon on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, maybe it’s time to change wagons? If you are tired of counting calories, assigning points to your food or exercise, maybe it’s time for a change? I’ve got this idea in my head that maybe, just maybe you could try cutting out processed “heart healthy”, “only such and such calories” products and maybe giving whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, veggies, berries, and a bit of dairy a try.
Like our bodies, all wagons are not created equal. I really enjoy my wagon of just eating real food because I don’t have to count anything anymore. I’ve learned that the “foods” I used to enjoy no longer bring me joy. I’ve learned that I don’t have to eat every couple of hours to keep my blood sugar stable because I am eating nutrient dense foods that keep me from spiking in the first place.