Body & Spirit Saturdays: One Week In The Trenches...
Okay, so to understand this post, you need to have read my post on Fire & Ice the other day. That post was long, this post is also long. Future ones in this category will probably be shorter.
I’m going to be doing weekly updates, more or less, on how I’m doing on the low-carb, take-back-my-life diet, and on variously related issues: thoughts on meditation, spirituality, body care, makeup, etc. because for me, it all goes into the same package—my body, my spirit, the way I present myself on the physical world.
So, the past week has been a complete flip and it’s left me a little dizzy and reeling, but at least I didn’t freeze into inaction or go into denial. I have had a couple near panic attacks thanks to my OCD (Need. To. Fix. Now.) but I’m working to get them under control. I have to keep reminding myself—the diabetes isn’t too bad right now, it’s reversible, it’s controllable. My doctor is nicely stern without being blaming or alarmist: I can get my body back in shape IF I DO THE RIGHT THINGS as outlined by her. We discussed the way we know my body works. Hell, I’ve probably had it for awhile now, and I haven’t keeled over dead yet. I have caught it early enough to keep off meds and not need insulin.
BUT…I need to be vigilant, I need to not falter, and I need to keep on track of things. It’s an OCD control freak’s wet dream, and I am being sucked into the maelstrom of FIX FIX FIX OBSESS OBSESS OBSESS. *rolls eyes* If I can keep the panic attacks at bay, I’ll be fine. I tend to become hyperaware of my body when I think or know there’s an issue and I get anxious about not seeing results fast enough.
The thing is, I am seeing results, after just one week and I need to focus on the positives. During the day my blood sugar is fine. My fasting sugar is high, but not medication-high. But one week on low carb has already helped my joints. When I eat sugar and grains/starches my muscles and joints ache and stiffen and it makes it hurt to stand up, hurt to walk around for long, hurt, hurt, hurt.
A few days off of starch, grains and sugar, and the aching eases up and I become more flexible. In the past, I’d stay somewhat low carb and feel better, then get cocky and go off and before long, my joints were back to being stiff and achy and I was kicking myself for losing track.
This past week, I’ve been lower carb than I ever took it before and I’m noticing a really drastic reduction in the pain and stiffness. I can stand up without bracing for that stiff-kneed locked feeling. I move easier. My heartburn has disappeared. And even though I’ve been on a diuretic and mild high BP med for years, I’m shedding water that apparently I was still retaining. And this is just at the end of week one. In a way, I can hardly wait to see what the end of a month brings.
So how am I coping with this?
Mostly okay. I’m sticking to the diet to the letter. I’m taking the extra supplements without complaint. I’m trying to get more sleep (a big factor for me). I’m continuing to exercise. I am trying not to blame myself. As my doctor said—it’s not my fault. My body is simply one that cannot process the sugar and starches. It’s not about the weight—that’s a symptom of being carb-sensitive too. And I know that. I am trying to make sure I believe it. Not always easy to mirror what I know in my head with what I feel in my heart.
I’m surprised but I’ve only had one major carb craving this week, and I think it’s because I’m going lower carb than I did (not having much in the way of sweetness to trigger the cravings) AND because of the eating every two hours. THAT I get tired of—but hey, it’s working. I’m doing it.
I’m using One Note to keep research notes in and map out my meals every day—every night I prepare all the individual servings for things other than those needing cooked, and tuck them in the fridge so I can just grab and go. I get my protein drink/vitamin powder mix ready to just add almond or coconut milk to and blend. I’m using a timer when I need to in order to remember to eat and tucking sunflower seeds in my purse just in case I’m out and need a meal. It’s vital that I keep my blood sugar stable so I am eating on time.
Each meal—and this will be an individual thing—except for breakfast and dinner—is pretty much either 6 oz. plain goat yogurt with stevia and cinnamon (good for controlling blood sugar), or ¼ cup of sunflower seeds, or 2 tbsp nut butter, or some meat and ½ cup of unsweetened low glycemic fruit (but no more than 3 servings of fruit a day), or a protein drink, or a piece of goat cheese. For a couple meals a day I’m heating up a cup of diced tomatoes and – say a hamburger patty, or I’ll cook a steak and 1 cup of broccoli. And I’m counting the carbs. I HATE counting anything when I eat, but there’s no choice now.
Which brings me to this: I was telling a friend the other day that the way I’m looking at it is: There is no other option. THIS is the only path I’m on now. Monty Hall has done left the building and there aren’t any more doors to choose from. The only option is to reverse this because the alternative isn’t an option I’m willing to entertain.
I mentioned in my other post that I’d decided to focus on makeup and pampering over focusing on food as treats/rewards. And that’s actually starting to work. It means taking a little extra time for myself. It means I have to choose to do that over say…an extra twenty minutes on Twitter or answering email. Well, so be it. Because twenty minutes focused on making myself feel good is helping me control the urge to go off diet.
And actually…to be honest, I think the diagnosis scared me straight, so to speak. I live with a Type 1 diabetic. I KNOW what low blood sugar seizures look like—I’ve had to pull Sam out of them a number of times and it’s fucking scary and hard and all the while thinking “Get him out and aware before he goes into a coma”….not fun. I’ve seen him juggle his insulin and diet time after time, only to have some off hand thing like a bug or a workout that was more exerting or discovering a food that spikes the sugar throw him off. He can’t help it—his diabetes cannot be controlled. Mine can. So: no option. I will reverse it. I will not let it claim me. I will not give in and rely on drugs and cheat on my diet. Too scary.
It also means, peeps, that the diabetes auction that’s starting up May 1st has taken on even a more personal meaning to me. I always participate—always donate wonderful baskets—but this year, it’s not just in honor of my husband and all the other diabetics…but because I’m being touched by this disease too…I was just about to say I wish it wasn’t that way…but you know—regrets trip us up. This is what it is. And I’m not going to let it stay that way.
On a side note: I just bought some Estee Lauder Double Wear Cream Eyeshadow and I love it. I used it for the first time today and it glides on smooth and silky and has stayed put. It doesn’t feel heavy either.
Bright Blessings, Yasmine