I love sweet things. Candy, cookies, brownies, KEY LIME PIE, you name it. If it has sugar in it, I probably love it. Don’t leave out those other wonderful carbohydraty dishes like pasta, pizza, crackers, pretzels…yup…I love them all. I’m one of those girls that would rather go ahead and eat that gorgeous piece of peanut butter pie and just run extra miles later that night. It all balances out, right?
So…two Mondays ago, I was having a piece of cold pizza and I was enjoying every bite of it when the phone rang. I answered it and found out from my doctor’s office that my blood-work proves I have a “sugar problem”. I need to go on a diabetic diet. As I hung up the phone in disbelief, Jillian walked up and asks if she can have a bite of my half-eaten piece of pizza. “You can have the whole thing, hunny.”
I have never been a carb counter. Calories, yes. Carbs…never. Well, actually that’s not true. In my early twenties I tried Atkins. I started on a Saturday morning. I passed out in church on Sunday morning. No, I wasn’t pregnant (which is what every church lady and nun assumed). It was nothing some orange juice couldn’t cure, but that was the end of a carb-based diet for me. I really had no desire to cut carbs out anyway. Give me a bag of pretzels and I’ll be a happy girl.
So how the heck was I going to survive a diet that someone else was making me do that limited carbs? Grrrrr. It is one thing to diet for myself, but to have someone else tell me that I had to do it?!? No, thank you. My first phase was anger. Why does my pancreas not work like everyone else’s? Why do I have to make dinner for my family…and make something else for myself? Why can’t I have that piece of cake that everyone else is having? Certainly, there are worse things than adhering to a diet that is healthy for my body. If it can’t regulate sugar, than I need to do it for myself. But as that sugar crash occurred, anger and frustration came with it.
The first few days were hungry ones. I hadn’t fully figured out what I could eat and I was attempting to get a grasp on it all. I was crabby. Short-tempered. Grouchy. Overall, probably pretty unpleasant. I actually felt weak. I didn’t feel I could complete all of my scheduled runs for the week. I was in a slump. To give an example, one night Ben said, “Could you go grab a handful of candy and eat it…or just go to bed.” I was a mess. An emotional mess. How about tearing up at the thought that I couldn’t have a piece of Jillian’s birthday cake? The mom has to have a piece, right? Well, then. I needed to get a grip…and some food that I can eat.
By the first weekend, I felt like I had “recovered” from the sugar crash. I was actually feeling better and I wasn’t craving the foods that everyone around me was eating. I had found some go-to meals that are well within the dietary restrictions. I was doing it. I had lost a few pounds, so that was at least a benefit to adhering to the doctor’s orders.
I am coming up on the completion of the second week of my new dietary life. I am still in denial, despite my doctor calling it a “permanent lifestyle change” this week. “Are you telling me I can never have a piece of pizza again?” She replied, “Well…it better be a whole grain crust.” I didn’t dare ask about cake, cookies, or our family’s beloved scotcheroos. As time goes on I still have hopes that I can moderate sugar, but not live in this world of constant monitoring. We’ll see. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I raise my slimwich sandwich to myself. I made it through the initial sugar crash…and avoided that peanut butter pie at work on Friday. Hooray for miracles.