A Farewell to Carbs

A 30-something navigating the world of Type 2 Diabetes while remaining fun, fashionable and fabulous.

Reliable Internet connection and an evergrowing waistline 06/24/2013

Filed under: Failing,Introduction,Starting over — Diabetic Diva @ 10:40 pm

It’s been a busy … uh … year since I last posted. I bought a house, moved into the house, established a reliable Internet connection for the first time since 2005 (I know!). And, believe it or not, I’ve been doing Weight Watchers and working out and trying, trying, trying to lose some weight and get my diabetes under control. I’ve been “serious” about it for about two months now (again, I know!).

So up the upshot is … I’m back. Not much has changed about my health situation. Still on a ton of meds (4 for diabetes and 1 for high cholesterol). Still avoiding my doc and regular blood tests. Still not testing regularly. But there’s a lot I want to talk about, a lot to get down so maybe I can actually change my habits.

I’ve been hitting the gym a lot in the last few weeks, though I’m still not being very consistent with that. Here’s the thing, though, I skipped today because I had to get two cavities filled, took a nap, I hung out with a friend and all of a sudden it was too late to get to the gym. And I realized I miss it. I wish I’d gotten a little sweaty on the treadmill. I wish I’d spent some time swimming laps. I’m looking forward to going in the morning before work.

During and after a session at the gym, I feel different. I feel strong, capable, graceful and optimistic. My arms are strong enough to glide through the water of the pool. My legs are strong enough to carry me more than 2 miles on a treadmill.

It’s getting to the gym that’s the problem. I’ll wake up later than I thought I would, or I feel tired, and the gym is off the table. That’s one of the things I’m hoping to fix in the next few weeks. I want to get to the point where going to the gym is just another thing to accomplish on my daily to-do list. Any suggestions on how to get there?

 

The closet is bare 03/07/2012

Filed under: fashion — Diabetic Diva @ 9:56 am
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I have gotten stuck in a rut. I end up wearing the same four pairs of pants, the same six or so shirts, the same two pairs of shoes. I even have two favorite bras.

I have a gift card to Lane Bryant that I got for Christmas. I haven’t used it because I’m saving it for a “reward” for losing 20 pounds. Meanwhile, I have been working on my first five pounds for more than two months.

Full disclosure: I have an entire closet full of clothes. Two closets if you count the stuff that’s way too big and way too small. I have stuff that fits perfectly, but that I don’t like. Stuff that I like but need some small repairs. Shoes that don’t match anything I currently own. And lots and lots of stuff that feels just a little tight around the waist.

At the same time. I hate shopping for new stuff. I feel like a troll in those dressing room mirrors. Nothing looks the same on me as it does on those “plus size” models. (Fuck those size 12 models meant to be plus-size. Really.)

I often say that I’m comfortable in my own skin. And that’s not exactly a lie. I accept myself for who I am and I dream about the day that I can find a man to do the same. But loving my personality and my talent isn’t the same as loving myself in an A-line knee length skirt and a clingy twin-set.

It’s unfair that I know exactly how I’d dress if I had “the body for it.” And  it’s hard to think about losing another 5 pounds when I think about how much I need to lose to fit into the largest Gap clothing.

I don’t exactly know where I’m going with this post. There’s plenty of bloggers who write about being plus-size and fashionable. Maybe one day, I’ll be one of them.

But for today, I’m dreaming about fitting into this.

 

Plan to succeed … 03/06/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Diabetic Diva @ 7:32 am

After the incredible success I had on the scale last Tuesday, I had a hard time keeping it going.

I had healthy food in the fridge, but no time to eat it. Work interfered with my plans for the gym. I felt like all I was doing was responding to the next challenge and ducking the next punch.

I didn’t go to the gym as often as I wanted. Instead of packing the healthy food in my fridge, I grabbed $5 and vowed to “figure it out” when I got to the office. Yeah. That worked well … I ended up with a club sandwich and potato salad. And some chips. And a cupcake.

Then, I got home at 10 p.m. and realized I hadn’t eaten anything since 5 p.m. and my blood sugar was an alarming 82. So I *had* to eat something, which led to other somethings, until all those somethings were no longer on the shelf but in my tummy.

It’s frustrating because the week before was so awesome. I kicked ass, even had a couple of cheats and still ended up with a big win on the scale.

During a long drive Saturday night into Sunday morning, I started thinking about all the times that I’ve fallen off the wagon and all the times I haven’t acted the way I should act if I want to lose weight and get healthy.

In almost all cases, it’s a lack of planning that has derailed my movement forward. There’s that cliched saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s absolutely right.

For me, thinking that exercise time is non-negotiable is hard. I will and do take any excuse to skip the gym. I’d always rather have a bacon cheeseburger and fries than the salad I planned for dinner. And at least once a week, I get home and open the fridge and think to myself — there is nothing in here I want to make for dinner.

Planning is key for me, in all aspects of my life. I have two calendars that help me keep track of meetings, social events, work schedules and my extracurricular commitments. I make to-do lists on the weekend to make sure I’m using my time wisely.

But scheduling a workout or sketching out a week of meals and snacks? No thanks. I don’t like to be tied down, you know? Yes, it makes no sense. Yes, most things in my life are this way.

So I’m trying a different approach. Now my workout times are going to be right there in my dayplanner, along with my doctor’s appointments and the work meetings I need to attend. And the whiteboard hanging next to the fridge is going to be full of meal and snack ideas so I don’t decide to chuck it all and hit the drive-thru instead.

Your turn: Do you struggle with planning? What’s your biggest challenge and what strategies to cope with that?

 

Sweatin’ to the oldies 03/05/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized,Working out — Diabetic Diva @ 11:15 am
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Back in college, I took an advertising class where the teacher said that to market something to a particular age-group, use music they listened to in high school.

For me, that would be 90s alternative and rap. There’s just something about Coolio’s “Rollin’ With My Homies” that takes me right back to the parking lot of my high school, cranking the volume on that cute senior boy’s family Dodge before heading to a diner to eat french fries and smoke clove cigarettes. Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Everclear evoke memories of the all-day music festival I went to with a boy the summer before my junior year (and him rescuing me from a mosh pit that formed around me spontaneously).

Remember these? Neither do I ....

So when I read a story online last week about the ultimate 90s workout mix, I thought it was high time to make a new mix. Here’s what’s on my list:

1. Prodigy — Firestarter

2. Everclear — Santa Monica

3. Blind Melon — No Rain

4. Spin Doctors — Jimmy Olsen Blues

5. Garbage — Only Happy When it Rains

6. Coolio — Rollin’ With My Homies

7. Lit — My Own Worst Enemy

8. Harvey Danger — Flagpole Sitta

9. Toadies — Possum Kingdom

10. Reel Big Fish — Sell Out

11. No Doubt — Just a Girl

12. Nate Dogg — Regulate

 

What’s cooking: Skinnytaste shout out 03/04/2012

Filed under: cooking — Diabetic Diva @ 2:46 pm
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My schedule, both personal and professional, has never fit into what most people would consider normal. I wake up later than most people, and I often am at work for a period that spans two meal times.

Stuffed pepper soup, thanks to Skinnytaste.com

This is why I’ve had such trouble binge eating at night — I often don’t eat enough during the day and then overdo it when I finally get home and don’t have anything more to check off on my to-do list.

Since my goal for March is to stop eating after 9 p.m., it means rethinking how I approach mealtimes. As a diabetic, I need to eat small meals regularly to keep my blood sugar levels from sitting in the front seat of Coney Island’s Cyclone.

So this past week, I thought I’d make it a point to plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks — and aim to eat them between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

I’ve also been feeling a little uninspired by my recipe collection. So I turned to a site that a friend raves about: Skinnytaste.

Put simply, Skinnytaste’s site is amazing. Ah-may-zing. I decided that I wanted to do a soup packed with veggies for lunch and I really, really wanted pasta for dinner. So after surfing around a little, I found Stuffed Pepper Soup and a Cajun Chicken Pasta. Both were relatively easy to make and absolutely delicious.

A few notes: The chicken pasta dishe is a smidge hgh in carbs for my eating plan, so I cut back the amount of pasta by about 2 uncooked ounces. I also premeasured the pasta and then poured the chicken-veggie-sauce mixture over top.

My version of Skinnytaste's cajun chicken pasta

The soup was out of this world after I added a little cumin and some paprika. Skinnytaste has you add the rice separately, which is nice because you know how much you’re getting. Instead of portioning that out into separate containers, I kept the soup in a large plastic container and the rice separately and then measured out a serving for each lunch.

Skinnytaste provides both the nutrition content and the Points Plus value on every recipe. Both recipes were Points bargains and the pasta was so good, I actually entered all the ingredients into a recipe calculator and made sure the nutrition information was accurate. It was, of course.

I am really looking forward to trying more of her recipes out.

 

Goals for March 03/01/2012

Filed under: Goals — Diabetic Diva @ 8:09 am
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It’s a new month, which means new goals.

For new readers, I decided in late December that instead of making a big blanket New Year’s resolution that I’d never, ever follow through on, I’d make one or two easily-reachable goals each month. Each goal remains in place, though, so I add to my new healthy habits each month.

The reality is …. well, it hasn’t worked out as planned. My January goals were to exercise for 210 minutes each week. That hasn’t exactly happened consistently. I also resolved to stop eating fast food and, even though I’ve realized it tastes gross, I still hit the drive-thru once a week or so as a “reward” for a tough day.

February goals were a mixed bag. I have not been very good about taking time out to eat meals and really enjoy them. But I have followed my goal of exercising once a week outside of the gym, mostly thanks to a great group of friends who will get together with me for a walk or an exercise class once a week.

So, in addition to focusing on meeting these four goals each day, I’m adding one more. The first is one I’m excited about — I’ve decided to stop eating after 9 p.m.

This is a relatively arbitrary time of day, and it’s intended to solve a problem I’ve been struggling with for years.

I make good food choices in the morning and afternoons. I can fend off early hunger pangs at work by focusing on another task. I am rarely tempted to go off the beaten path when it comes to my meal plans for breakfast, lunch and a snack.

It's almost 9 p.m.Do you know where your snacks are?

But once I get home from work, a switch flips in my brain. I put my stuff down and do the dishes from lunch. Then I open the fridge and unhinge my jaw. Every commercial break, I’ll get up and find something else to snack on. And even after I’m full, I keep eating. I completely blow my daily calorie limit in the space of three or four hours. And, as embarassing as it is to admit, if I don’t have tantalizing snacks in the house, I’ll go out and buy some.

I have a problem. I know this. And yet I can’t stop. I know I’m screwing up. I’ve tried curbing it by putting the mindful eating goal last month. It didn’t work.

I’m hoping that by instituting an eating ban after 9 p.m., I can rewire my brain to not expect a calorie explosion late at night.

I have a few strategies to help me accomplish this goal. I’ve started exercising at the gym at night after work, which means there’s a 45 minute period where I can’t eat. (Well, I could but I’d hate to think of the judgement I’d get if I ate a pan of brownies while walking on a treadmill.)

When I get home from the gym, I am hungry. But it’s more habit than actual hunger, and I’ve just spent 45 minutes sweating and panting (and not in a good way). So why would I want to then ruin all that by stuffing my face?

I’d like to eventually lift this ban in favor of a more sane approach to snacking, so I can have a small treat or an extra serving of veggies before bed. For now, though, going cold-turkey seems like the only way to really stop the sabotage.

 

Fueling the machine 02/29/2012


Going along with yesterday’s post about changing my outlook on working out, I wanted to talk about what happens AFTER the work out.

After a workout I am ravenous. I don’t think I’m alone in this. And most of that hunger is in my head. I didn’t run a long-distance marathon. I didn’t climb a mountain. I just completed 45 minutes at the gym. I should not feel like I want to butcher and eat an entire cow.

This problem is made worse by the voice inside my head that rationalizes the fact that I am considering eating an entire half-gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with a soup spoon. I worked out, right? I can totally afford 14 200-calorie servings of ice cream (that’s a total of 2,800 calories, for those playing along at home).

I'm glad they don't sell this in half-gallons.

Doing this is, of course, counterproductive. I do not need to replenish the 300-odd calories I burned on the Bitch (what I call the elliptical machine for new readers out there). In fact, burning those 300 calories is THE WHOLE FREAKING POINT.

I found this article from SparkPeople.com in my in-box recently and thought it was a fairly rational approach to refueling after a workout. I already subscribe to the carb-and-protein together philosophy of snacking. So I might try to follow the article’s advice and reserve 150 or so calories for a healthy, rational snack after my work out.