Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 78 | What Is Your Relationship Status With Food?

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 78 | What Is Your Relationship Status With Food?

I have written before about emotional eating. I do it, and I am trying to change my relationship with food. It is not easy to change, but I am working on it, and I am making progress. Little by little, I am making changes and seeing results. Not too long ago, I wasn’t aware of how much I let food rule my world.

Living with type 2 diabetes; food is something that I can obsess about. It is easy to go for a quick and easy meal or snack when I tell myself I am stopping my blood sugars from dropping. Without testing, it is very hard to know whether the blood sugars are high or low. I know what to watch for, but it doesn’t mean that I can always tell.

I am working on taking my health more seriously this year. Since I have been testing my blood sugars more frequently, they are finally getting back to normal ranges. I am paying more attention, and my efforts are paying off. If I am going to do this, I need to remember to take my medications. It is good to be able to write that I am back on track with this.

On Being Kind To Myself

Choosing to prioritize my own health care IS being kind to myself. Making poor choices or slacking off is not. I saw the result of that over the holidays, and it was not pretty. Implementing changes like keeping track of taking my medicine or checking my sugars is a huge accomplishment.

In the fall, I bought myself some new clothes. Two new dresses, one casual and one for a special occasion. As I was in need of new dressier boots, I found a new pair and a new pair of casual shoes too. I don’t go shopping for clothes frequently, and there are times I go out and come home with nothing. When I find good sales on clothes or footwear, I usually get what I can; when the odds are in my favour.

Making a pointed effort to not go out and buy clothing regularly is telling myself that I am not worth the effort of going to shop for myself. While I can’t afford to buy new clothes every month, I should make an effort when I am in need.

How About My Dance More Goal?

I did Zumba at home 2 times last week. I have fallen behind on cleaning at home. Sometimes I switch it in when I need to get some cleaning done in place of the dancing. Recently I worked on switching the makeup area in my master suite by moving two storage shelving options around.

Dancing is the goal, but I needed to adapt it a bit to allow for any movement that is being done on purpose. Running errands, window shopping, even doing laundry and putting it away (not my favourite thing to do) is moving on purpose. Any activity is an extra activity for me now.

Being aware of the need to be more active means nothing if I am not actually making changes. It is not easy. Neither is shoveling snow, but it is necessary for the winter where I live. I also count it as an activity.

How Do I Stay Motivated?

One thing I learned a while ago when I was feeling bad about the state of my house is that if I watched the shows on TLC about Hoarders, it can inspire me to do more cleaning in my home. I am a packrat, not a hoarder. I can purge and throw things out or donate them. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done. I do need to be in the mood to tackle cleaning my home, and watching this show helps. It shows how bad things can get if you do not clean your home and consequently, it does make me feel like cleaning around here more frequently.

Some other shows I have been watching lately are My 600 Pound Life, and another one called The 1000 Pound Sisters. I am watching to learn how to help myself, with the same thought process behind it. I don’t want my weight to ever be that high. Watching the show is how I can learn about what not to do. The doctors on these shows have to be tough, and the people who are looking for the surgery have to commit to their health before they will get approved. I see their struggles, and I recognize some of the traits I have in common with the people on the show.

Emotional eating is a problem I admit to having.

Not in the same way the people on the show do, though. I have seen some really bad habits. Eating take out and going to more than one restaurant in a row, just ordering food, eating in the car, and going to the next drive-thru is something I have never done. Not for full meals. If I want things from different places to make up a meal, maybe, but this is a rarity for me.

One thing which really stood out to me is that more than one person relates their food to be their only friend. Not only does it make me sad to think that there are people out there who genuinely feel this way,l but it is something I have never had to deal with. I eat my feelings, but I do not rely on food to comfort me the way a friend would. It is not the same for me.

The good news is that some of those people succeed. It gives me hope that when I get serious with myself, I can make the changes needed to be healthier.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

When I first found out that I was a type 2 diabetic, I had experienced being at “goal weight” about 7 years before the diagnosis.  I successfully lost enough weight on the Weight Watchers program when I did it with my mom back in high school.  After that, I got sick and put on more weight than I had ever dealt with, and since then, I peaked at almost 320lbs.

I am hovering at the edge of “twoville” again, and really hoping that this is the year for me to find my way back to “onederland”.  Twoville is in the 200 lb range, and it starts at 299.99lbs.  Onederland is in the 100 lb range and starts at 199.99 lbs.  That would be an amazing accomplishment.  I can only imagine how that will feel, as it has been longer than a decade since I have weighed in at under 200 lbs.  I think it is a reasonable goal, for one year, and if I make it, fantastic, if not, I will keep fighting the good fight.  Because I believe I am worthy of living a healthier lifestyle, and I can do it if I just put in the effort.  A goal needs to be realistic, and if I put too much pressure on myself, I will fail and be crushed under the weight of that failure.

So I keep going to Zumba, twice a week.  I am preparing to start walking in my neighbourhood in the evenings.  That is also preparing for adopting a dog.  Part of the reason that I want to bring a dog home to live with me is that I know I will HAVE to go for walks more than once a day, EVERY day.  The dog will benefit from living in a loving home, and my health will have to benefit from all the walking.  It is a good plan, and I will have until next winter to prepare myself for walking in the snow and ice.  By then I will be in the habit of the daily walks, and I will be ready to tackle the bad weather walking as a healthier version of myself.

I am so looking forward to having a dog in my life again.  I have friends with dogs, and friends with cats.  I visit them when I can, but it’s not the same as having my own pet here all the time.  My house has been very quiet this winter, with no pitter patter of furry friends to come home to.  I needed time to mourn for my cats, and decided it was time to get a dog, in the spring.  We will be getting ready for that in the next couple of months, and when the right dog crosses our path, we will give it a furever home.

When I first found out I was pre-diabetic (there is no such thing, it is a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes; the doctors just break it to you gently by saying not yet, but really you are a type 2 diabetic).  I was told that I would have a chance of not needing medication for it if I removed sugar from my diet, and ate according to Canada’s Food Guide.  I tried.  I failed.  I was so tired all of the time.  I was drinking up to 2 litres of cola a day for the caffeine because I was so tired all the time.  The sugar was making me tired, so the caffeine was not keeping me awake.  I began drinking more cola for more caffeine, and it never worked for very long.  I know now what I was doing wrong.  Then I switched to diet pop.  Aspartame is something I have removed from my life since then.  I now choose stevia and erythritol for my sweeteners and drink very little pop.  I have one can a day, and not every single day.  I choose pop sweetened with stevia, and it took a bit to learn to like it.

I now drink my coffee black.  It is healthier this way, and now that I am used to it, I like it like this.  Less fuss to prepare it in the morning, and no worries about not wanting to drink it because there is nothing in it.  I sometimes drink green tea.  I sometimes drink oolong tea in one of my THM drinks.  I do not use cola as my main source of caffeine anymore.

I did not tell everyone about being a diabetic for a long time.  I feared the food police.  I learned this term from a diabetes educator.   They are those people who immediately point out what is wrong with everything you eat.  You are the person with diabetes, and everyone else thinks they are the expert.  It is embarrassing to be an adult and have someone tell you that you shouldn’t eat that because you are a diabetic.  Out loud.  In front of a room full of people.  Or to say that isn’t good for you, because it has sugar in it.  People don’t mean any harm, I know it is being said because, on some level, they care about me as a person, and want me to be healthy.  However,  I am an adult, and this type of criticism is not positive, and can have very negative effects on my self-esteem.

I am a lot tougher than I look.  Even if you find me bawling in a quiet place, it is not always because I am sad, it might be because I am SO ANGRY that I sprung a leak.  It is a self-defense mechanism that I have had for most of my life, and I hate it.  It is the quiet, private way to vent.

Other times I would eat my feelings.  I would go buy junk food and regular cola and binge eat.  How dare someone point at what I am eating when they are eating something just as unhealthy, or worse than what I am eating.  They eat whatever they want, well so will I.  The problem with that, other than me gaining weight, is that really I am only hurting myself.  That other person doesn’t even know that they did something wrong.  THEY THINK THEY ARE HELPING ME.  They mean well, but if I am having a sugar low, I might actually NEED that candy I am crunching as fast as I can because my sugars are dropping.  It can happen quite suddenly, and I now have juice boxes and suckers with me all of the time.  I don’t use them unless I need them.

Maybe I have made plans to take extra insulin because I wanted a treat.  I want to be normal, and eat like other people do.  I am not, and that is why I am trying SO HARD to change. I have learned that if I give in a little when I have a craving, I won’t be as likely to binge eat as I would if I suppress it.  So I do have things that are not on the diabetic diet.   I am human.  It is more convenient to grab something quick sometimes.  I am working on that, just like I am working on me.  Most of the time I make healthy choices.  So when you see me eating something that isn’t one of those choices, let me be.  I know the consequences of my actions, and I will recover to my sensibilities when I am ready.

Just like no person is the same as any other person, no person with diabetes is the same as every other person with diabetes, and no person has the exact same issues with weight that every other person has.  That is why it is important for me to write about how I feel, and to share the stories of other people and their issues with weight.  We all are experiencing life as a journey, but we still forge our own paths as individuals.

#TrustYourGut

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