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October 23, 2016
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Counting Consequences

I don't remember worrying about sugar, except at Christmas time when my family would send sugar free candy that tasted horrible. However, I vividly remember the day I officially learned to count carbs. It was an "Insulin Intensive Management" class that focused on insulin to carb ratios, lowering A1c's, and reading labels correctly.


My dad and I both attended with several other kids and their parents. It was in the same office as my regular endo appointments. The nurse was new, different, not so exciting. I don't recall being thrilled to be there.


We started out with some "pretend" foods like pastas, vegetables, and pizza. We put together meals, counting the carbs and calculating our insulin needs. Reading labels was a breeze. Even calculating was easy. Carb counting was for the birds!


It's been quite a few years (let's say...9 years) since I learned all those steps. I have counted carbs every day since that class. I've counted while driving. I've counted in foreign countries. I've counted in the middle of class.


Every day, I encounter new things to count. Sometimes it's potato soup. Sometimes it's the bun on a burger. The possibilities are endless.


Usually, I guess. Usually, quite accurately. But sometimes, I mess up. I over or under estimate how many carbs are actually in my food. It's always a gamble whether or not my estimates will leave me feeling fine, feeling fuzzy, or feeling faint.


Carb counting is so engrained in my daily life that I rarely blink when it comes down to it. I use the carbs that I have memorized (like a cup of 2% milk, a slice of whole wheat bread, or a cup of brown rice) to judge new meals (like dinner rolls at restaurants or dirty rice at a friend's house). I try to eat foods that I'm familiar with and remember how many carbs I've judged before (and whether or not that was a successful number).


I'd say that carb counting is simple for me. I don't feel that it's a major hassle or stress in my life. And I usually say that I'm pretty darn good at it. But then, I took the Dlife quiz.... I got six out of 10 correct.


Question: What happens when you misjudge 40% of your carbs?
Answer: Averages above 150.

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