Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

A holiday season prayer for change.

By Kalimah Johnson

kalimah bioFebruary 2011 — As the holiday season is upon us, I am again challenged with what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and why I am eating in the first place. I have a habit of eating when I am bored, overwhelmed, stressed, or feeling happy. I work hard and sometimes I reward myself by indulging in too many carbohydrates, which actually makes me feel lethargic and sluggish, which also causes me to lie down and go to sleep. So, at times I find myself using food as a sedative for sleeping at night. This is a bad combination.

As we already know, it is our resting or overnight sugar levels that wreak the most havoc on our bodies. Therefore, I have got to break this habit of eating too much before bed and using food for comfort instead of fuel. As of lately, I have begun to workout more (three to four times a week in 30 minute intervals) and that has helped me burn the food I eat in a more efficient manner, and has impacted my blood sugar readings in a positive way. I will continue to find the time to exercise because of this. However, eating late at night has my numbers running higher than usual in the mornings. This is quite frustrating for me, but it's not rocket science. If I want better numbers in the morning, I had better get a grip on all that snacking I do late at night. There has to be a solution to break the habit of eating for comfort before bed.

Today, I have a holiday party/book signing to attend, and I am feeling overwhelmed that I won't be able to control my choices of food. There are always several options to eating healthier at these holiday season events. But when you have the veggie tray next to the slices of spice and rum cake, it's a challenge. My goal will be to watch my portions and eat more fruits and vegetables rather than the junky, sugary, fat-filled, and deep-fried gravy ladled side dishes. I better not eat anything late tonight! Pray for me.

As for the late night eating issue, I think I am going to try to participate in some other sleep inducing activity, like reading (it has to be a boring ass book though), drinking hot tea and listening to smooth jazz, or meditating. I have to think about those things in life that are important to me in order to place my eating habits on the high priority list of what I should have some control over. I have to accomplish and master the urges I have to eat sweets and other foods that destroy my goal of keeping the diabetic blues off of me. I have to recall, remember, revisit, and remind myself of all the complications my mother, aunt, and grandmother had to deal with for not managing their type 2 diabetes. They all died in their early fifties. I am 42 years young and I do not want to struggle like my ancestors did with this disease.

So this holiday season I am going to take a sensible approach to eating. I will commit to having more fruits and vegetables. I will not eat later than 9 p.m. (I know what you are thinking, and hey! This is the best I can do for now). I will attend my Weight Watchers meetings religiously. I will create some other nighttime ritual that does not involve eating or snacking. I will think about the most important things in life like family and friends and future goals, which will inspire me to eat the right things. I will remember that I have a plethora of resources at dLife to keep me motivated. I will call upon the many supportive and loving people in my life to help me through.

In the meantime, I have written a little prayer (adapted from a popular bedtime prayer my mother taught me many years ago) to get me through this holiday season. Enjoy!

Now I lay me down to sleep
Which has been my perfect time to eat
So I pray to God my mind to keep
Lord knows my soul loves sweets
And I won't I try before I wake
To hit the fridge for pies or cakes
For in the morning good readings make
A Diabetic Diva too fly for Heavens' sake…Amen.

Got it Sugar?

Good.

Read more of Kalimah Johnson's columns, Get it Together, Sugar, here.

 

Disclaimer
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.

Last Modified Date: June 10, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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