In my last blog post, I talked about how I was gathering all my knowledge about healthy food and exercise to make my prediabetes diagnosis work. I was shifting gears, substituting carb-y foods like bananas and brown rice for lower sugar fruit like berries, and lower glycemic legumes like lentils. I also added cheese, nuts and other animal products.
Then something happened.
I started reading articles and hearing from friends that the foods I was swapping in for the high carbs also cause inflammation, which in turn negatively affects...you guessed it...sugar! I wasn’t just eating these foods mind you, I was pounding them—delicious cheese, sausages and cashews—in a desperate attempt to eat something, anything, I was allowed so that I could continue to enjoy food.
I’m trying to eat right and exercise as I age— which is challenging enough—but now my insides are turning against me, too. Why fight nature?
Was this my fault because I ate so many SweetTarts and Italian ices as a kid? How about all the butter and fake macaroni and cheese powder sprinkled on white bread?
Does this mean my kids will be predisposed to diabetes as well?
My former self, aka BPDD or “before-prediabetes-diagnosis” me, might have taken this news about having to exchange my favorite foods for less satisfying options as an incentive to rock this new diet. I would have seen it as a challenge, something to prove that I had strong willpower.
But that will power now disappeared. You see, in my BPDD life, I was inspired and driven to succeed because it was all positive. In my own mind, I had everything to look forward to—looking good and feeling good as long as I ate well and exercised. Since I had no serious health problems, avoiding serious illness wasn't even on my radar.
Now the “after-prediabetes-diagnosis” (APDD) me, felt pressured to make the healthy choices because of fear. I thought about things like never being able to enjoy food again, and mostly, being deprived. I detest being deprived. Feeling deprived conjured up images of me circa 1978 when my parents, very lovingly (oh, the misguidedness of the 70s!), told me that for my own good, because I was chunking up, I would not be allowed to go trick-or-treating if I didn’t lose weight. I was weighed every day until Halloween.
The fear! The panic! Imagine not being able to trick-or-treat in 4th grade? All that free candy at your fingertips for weeks on end, kept fresh in the fridge in a tupperware.
Now, just as in 1978, I did the only thing I knew how to do to protect myself from outside sources trying to deprive me. I rebelled. Back then I said HAAAEEEEEEEEL no! to not being able to trick-or-treat so I rigged the scale. As an adult, I felt like my own body was trying to betray me by not dealing well with even healthy carbs or delicious cheese. I was pissed that my food options had suddenly become so restrictive. I rebelled by eating more carbs and fat than I had in the last two years. A bit of a cookie now turned into 3 cookies; swearing off pita chips turned into eating half a bag. I ate all of my four kids' pizza crusts, ice cream and even picked all day at the bag of chocolate morsels in the cabinet.
Yes, I went fully off the carb rails and it was a delcious fall, but also a fail since I felt terrible for losing control.
Tune in to my next post to see what ultimately brought me down to earth to refocus on what was required to maintain my health...