Keeping Myself Accountable
Watching my diabetes life like a hawk — or a buzzard
January 2014 — As I welcome 2014, with a bulging waistline and elevated blood sugar numbers (I blame my pending divorce), I find myself pondering things that are not related to type 2 diabetes. For instance, have you ever noticed that buzzards symbolize undertakers or morticians? I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I had this epiphany one day while observing a group of these large birds gathered around the carcass of a road-side deer. This formal looking dressed group looked so serious and solemn, as if in prayer for the deceased before they feasted, uh, disposed of it. Buzzards look so lean and fit, especially when they fly high in the sky. I bet they have never been concerned about getting diabetes. Did I say I was taking a break from thinking about diabetes? I lied.
A while back I wrote about "food pushers." I received a few e-mails asking me what one can do to resist high carb fare such as cookies, and cakes brought to work or social events. I responded that seeing food as pounds, or fat, to be added to your body might work. I tried it for a while, but it just didn't work for me. However, my epiphany with the buzzards got me to thinking that maybe they could help deter my bad eating habits.
As I have been tempted to stuff my face with oatmeal crème pies, chocolate chip cookies, and more, two buzzards, Jarius and Luke (yes, they have to have names), would assemble and smirk as they watched me as I raised my blood sugar and risked damage to my body. They might even comment as they scrutinize me. "Go a head, Travis — buy that bag of Peanut M&M's. They look awesome," proclaims Jarius. Luke nods his head in agreement. "Look, he can't take his eyes off of them," comments Luke. "Go a head and eat them. Tomorrow is another day, and maybe you will do better then," teases Jarius, who winks at Luke. Can buzzards wink? They do in my imagination. Some people (okay, kids) have imaginary friends, I have imaginary buzzards.
Imaginary they may be, but my buzzard scenario is working! I am actually resisting unhealthy snacking and stress eating. Why? I have no idea other than I get to have fun with my imagination, and I remind myself of the dangers that delicious (and malicious) food can have on my health.
Let's get real. If you have type 2 diabetes, you must face it, even when life is not going your way. Stress eating is not an option. Neither is being bullied into eating stuff brought to you by an inconsiderate relative, friend, or co-worker. The insanity must stop.
As my ten plus readers are aware, I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. However, I do believe in buzzards, and I have promised myself that I will keep trying to lose the twenty plus pounds I have gained this year. This means I will keep looking behind me to see if the buzzards are gathering, looking all reverent and solemn, but possibly even smirking.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
Date Cookies Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon Almond Mushroom Paté Ricotta and Salmon Tortilla Roll Ups Vegetable and Grain Crumble Chili Lynnie-Lynn's Quick Baby Back Ribs Mint-Dusted Asparagus Salmon with Crab and Vegetables Broccoli Cheese Frittata Pickled Beetz
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...