In Which We Take a Hard Look at Diets
Realizing when what I'm doing for my health is unhealthy.
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!
April 2010 — Ever notice how some of the crazy things we do for our health actually seem a bit unhealthy? Usually you do all of the crazy stuff when you are young and then wise up by the time you hit your 30's. This seems to be the opposite for me. Maybe it's because when I was younger I took my health for granted and never had any reason to try the latest and greatest diet. I find that the older I get, the more willing I am to engage in wacky diets. The latest was the HCG protocol. Yes, HCG is the hormone secreted by pregnant women, and yes, someone has figured out a way to turn urine from pregnant women into a weight loss tool.
I don't advocate doing this diet for several reasons, the 500 a day calorie limit being the biggest reason of all; however, I can say that in the 18 days that I lasted on the diet, my blood sugar was amazing. It was so thrilling to have a pricking war with my husband and for the first time EVER have a lower number than he did. HCG is known to reduce blood sugar, and I remember when I was pregnant, the first few months I had normal readings. It was like being a non-diabetic again! Sadly, the diet was not sustainable for me. Turns out I need more food than the meager 500 calories provided.
As I re-read this, I am shocked at how ridiculous it sounds. How I convinced myself that it is possible to lose 30 pounds in 30 days in a healthy and sustainable way. At the time it made perfect sense, but I'm pretty certain the only way to lose a lot of weight in a 30 day period involves something illegal or dabbling in black magic. No thank you. Clearly it seems that the older I get, the dumber I become, at least in regards to dieting and adopting new lifestyles.
I am at that point, (and if you have read my last 4 or 5 columns, I have been ‘at that point' for quite some time), where I am really desperate to heal my diabetes. It's an unknown for me. I don't know if it's even possible to heal myself, because I've always lacked the discipline to follow through on any given plan that would get me to a place of seeing if I could. I think most of us Type 2 diabetics have been told that we might be cured if we would lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, just fill in the blank. The problem with this, at least with me, is that I only eat healthier and exercise more for a few weeks, lose about 10 pounds and then I promptly get lazy. If you follow this column, you know this is a pattern with me. It is one of my greatest sources of frustration, my inability to follow through with any kind of lifestyle overhaul.
Grilled Swordfish Kabobs Artichoke Pasta Salad Kidney Bean Salad Fruit with Mocha Chocolate Syrup Green Bean and Artichoke Casserole Garlic Toast Pasta Egg Salad Spicy Grilled Flounder With Lime Drumsticks Cacciatore-style Beef Tips and Vegetables over Noodles
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...