The Art of Distraction

We’ve been talking about wants and needs, eating to our meters and how exercise really doesn’t have to be a bad thing. All of a sudden that candy bar commercial comes on and tells me how I need that candy bar so that I’m no longer a diva, I’m torn. What to do, what to do? Do I cave, eat the candy bar and magically turn back into myself, do I just say no and continue to torture my friends with my divaesque ways while suffering through the hardship that is not eating a candy bar?

If you ask me (and I know you didn’t, but you know I’m tellin’ you anyways) I would say Don’t eat that candy bar, it’s a commercial, you’re always a diva, candy bar or not. (of course I’d be laughing with you for the last eight words)

There are some really important things I’ve learned in my journey that I would like to share with you. Today I would like to share “The Art of Distraction”. No, it’s not a book or a self help cd, it’s just a little something that has helped me get past the cravings, the candy aisle, or check our lanes without so much as a second glance.

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This is what we go up against each time we go to a store. It used to be tempting, but there are ways to keep temptation at bay.

You might be thinking “hey, distraction is not such a good thing, I get distracted, things go to pot, are you really crazy?” You would be correct, if one happens to be at work, deep in conversation with a loved one, or speaking your wedding vows, then yes, distraction is probably not the best idea. You must remember though, there is a time and place for nearly everything, and there is a time and place for distraction.

Distraction came in really handy for me when that mythical beast that is known as willpower eluded me. I was on that SEEfood diet, eating more hearthealthywholegrains and absolutely no added fat and it didn’t work because I was lazy and lacked willpower. (that was a vicious lie though, I found it out by losing my fear for fat and eating minimally processed foods shazam!)

Since my husband is not, was not, and hopefully never will have Type 2 Diabetes and be morbidly obese like I was (I’d still love him, but I do buy the groceries and there’s only so much damage he can do at lunch time), there are things in our home that I don’t need. He has his chips, pretzels, and occasional sugary treats right out in the open. It’s not like they are under lock and key, but it hasn’t always been easy to just walk past it without hearing my name.

The art of distraction began one day when he had my all time favorite chips. They called to me loudly but lovingly, and I grabbed the bag. While chewing I cried because once again willpower had eluded me. I had lost some weight, sure, but that didn’t matter anymore, I was a complete and utter failure. (hind sight says not really, you were just human) I think that was probably the lowest part of my journey. I really don’t give a chicken feather about what anyone thinks of me, but me thinking of me as a failure really hurt.

I realized that even if I never found the willpower to just say no to what ever, that there were things I could do so that I would not be set up for failing again. At the time, I didn’t really think of it as distraction, I just thought of it as “things to do when you want to eat this but don’t need to eat this and you don’t want to have to hurt your own feelings again”, but dang that is a lot of stuff to say, huh?

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Why yes, yes, this would definitely keep me from eating them chips 🙂

Mastering the art of distraction doesn’t require any special skills, just things to do. They can be as simple as just going outside and taking a nice long look at nature if the item of your longing is in your own home. Go for a walk, a drive, look at the clouds. Think about yourself, that you are worth the pain of deprivation of candy and daggumit, you’re not going to be sick and tired forever.

If just going outside is not far enough away to silence the calling of one’s name, go shopping, window shopping, walking, anywhere but there. In the event that you really can’t go anywhere and it’s getting really really drastic, maybe you found yourself in the parking lot of the doughnut shop, I only have one thing for that and it’s pretty harsh. I don’t know if you the reader are ready. I know I wasn’t ready when I had to do the thing that I did, some things you can’t undo, some things you can’t un-see.

Someone once asked me “what would you want to hear?” in regards to talking to someone newly diagnosed with diabetes, after discussing my own introduction to diabetes. I told them if I had a do-over, I would want the truth. I wouldn’t want a cookbook, a prescription, and a lecture about being fat and lazy and how I needed to lose some weight. I wish my doctor would have told me to avoid sugar at all costs. I wish he would have told me to test my blood sugar, not just test, but when and why. I wish he would have had me keep a food log so that maybe I would not have had to be sick and tired for so freaking long, and just not eat the crap that spikes me. I also wish my doc would have shown me the thing that hopefully I have prevented, that thing I did instead of eating what ever I wanted, that thing that I can not un-see, I wish he would have shocked me.

The biggest form of distraction for me, the thing that put my name on the “do not call” list at candy aisle and check our lanes everywhere was the day I googled complications of diabetes, diabetic feet. It wasn’t so bad at first and then I clicked images. Those pictures are what finally put it through my head that there was no food on this earth worth that.

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5 thoughts on “The Art of Distraction

  1. I am a doctor who has chosen to stay home and homeschool my kids this past year. I have undergone HUGE nutritional changes, in both my family and me. Anyhow, the line about “I wish the doctor would have shocked me…told me NO sugar…” Makes me so upset at my profession and me. We KNOW how to control blood sugars! Why do we cop out and say our patients don’t have the willpower to do it? If we present empty carbohydrates (sugars, grains, potato) as totally absolute not an option…perhaps we’d get closer to success. But to continue to allow, even encourage diabetics, to include these kinds of carbohydrates is, in my mind, a lie and doing harm. Carrots, nuts, squash, fruit—those are diabetic carbohydrate nutrient dense options. Doctors just are not trained in nutrition even though we have the physiology and biochemistry knowledge to succeed here. Sorry for the rant!

    • No problem, rant on!! Nine out of ten people who have seen my changes ask me how I did it only to tell me that they can’t live without (pasta, bagels, candy, pizza), so I completely understand. Most of us patients would rather up the dosage, but a scrapbook of complications might persuade the ones on the fence. Pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers, and insurance companies no doubt make y’all’s careers more difficult when it comes to patients and lifestyle changes.

      • All true. But it makes me sad; especially watching my immediate family (mom, dad, sisters) succumb. I ate the same way until I had time to stay home and actually read and start looking into my own health issues. So I know how hard it is, but I don’t want to go back to that place. I wish you the best! Good luck!

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