In Which We Get a Little Bit Closer
Halloween triggers success for this professional diabetic.
By Kathryn Foss
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
December 2010 — Hello, my name is Kathryn, and I am an emotional eater.
It's October, the month of tiny snack sized candies, individual sized peanut butter M&M's, and walking into every grocery and drug store and being assailed by the smell of chocolate wafting from the enormous Halloween displays.
Halloween is not a big deal here in Norway, so we don't have the same amount of sugar craziness that happens in America this month. But I do have friends who are under strict instruction to bring me back a bag of either peanut butter or coconut M&M's whenever they go over to the states. I get them and put them in an old canning jar on the counter to ‘dip' into every now and then when the M&M bug bites. I like the canning jar cause I can keep it latched with that airtight seal so I can't hear when the tiny candies start chanting my name, beckoning me with their sweet siren call. Plus, the seal keeps them fresh, so really, it's a win-win for everyone involved.
The old Kathryn would have cleared out said jar within a week, but something crazy has been happening to me over the last few months. Something I didn't think would ever be possible, but it appears as though I am developing a bit of self-control! I know, it's crazy! The last bag of M&M's took over a month—yes, a month—to get eaten. This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but for me to resist a jar of M&M's is fairly epic. At first I wondered if I was seriously ill, but once I ruled that out, I started looking more closely at what I could attribute my newly found self-control to.
I have determined that five years post diagnosis, I consider myself a sort of professional diabetic. I've known for years now that diabetics are encouraged to eat six small meals a day to keep blood sugar levels stable, but I've only adhered to that recommendation occasionally. However, this year, I've become stricter in the whole frequent eating thing, and I have to say, it really has made a difference. I have more will power and tend not to make hunger-based eating decisions. For me, this is huge.
To develop a healthy relationship with food, to see it as nourishment and fuel, rather than comfort, has been a very important part of my transformation. I also have found that the better choices I make, like choosing an apple over a muffin, the easier and more natural it becomes to just grab an apple as my go-to food. And not to just grab it, but to really enjoy it! I feel like it's one of the things that has enabled me to stick with my eating and exercise routine that I've been incorporating into my life.
I'm still no expert, but I'm getting better. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that I've also noticed a decline in my fasting blood sugar numbers. I've gone from the upper 150's to the lower 120's over the span of about three months. This is fabulous news, as my ultimate goal is the reversal of the symptoms of diabetes.
To wake up in the morning and see a number like 70 on my monitor! Ah, a girl can dream. Until then, I will continue what I am doing, making good choices day to day, getting control little by little, and of course, keeping a tight lid on those M&M's.
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.
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