A Farewell to Carbs

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

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.


A tangled mess 02/15/2012

I am trying to break myself of the horrible habit of snacking mindlessly in front of the TV.

I don’t have any television channels. Instead, I have a Netflix subscription and watch episode after episode of T.V. shows without commercials. Right now, I’m watching the first season of Boardwalk Empire. Before that, I plowed through BBC’s Luther. I’m anxiously awaiting A Game of Thrones to come out. And I’m kind of addicted to Big Bang Theory after watching the first two seasons in the space of a week. (I am not proud of this).

My T.V. habits mean I can spend several hours on the couch (time I should be spending on a treadmill at the gym), polishing off bags of Cool Ranch Doritos and pints of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food with abandon. It’s not a coincidence that my best-laid diet plans usually fall apart around 11 p.m., when I get home from work exhausted and in need of mindless entertainment.

So to keep my hands busy, I’ve embarked on some craft projects. I have been designing greeting cards using stencils and colored pencils. And I bought some embroidery thread and tried a project I saw on Pinterest.( On it? Follow me!)

Pretty cool, huh?

My headphone cord usually ends up in a snarled tangle of wires (are there evil little elves who do this in the middle of the night?). So the Pinterest project I found had you cover the wires with embroidery thread like a friendship bracelet. You can’t really tell from the photo, but my first attempt was not perfect. I ran out of thread about halfway down the first part of cord, so I had to tie more in, which left a big knot in the middle. The second piece of cord (attaching the left ear to the part that plugs in) went much better. I finished the ends with a liberal coating of clear nail polish to prevent fraying. And if I ever actually go to the gym, I’ll bet I get a few comments on them.

So far, my craft projects are working. Not only have I made gifts for friends’ birthdays for the next several months, I am keeping my hands busy. I can’t eat if I’m occupied. I’m hoping I can retrain my brain not to automatically want to reach for the chips and ice cream when I sit down on the couch. Either that, or start an Etsy account to feed my craft habit.

Your turn: Do you snack in front of the television? What are some strategies you use to curb that habit?


Human Guinea Pig: These shoes are made for walking…. 01/25/2012

* An occasional feature wherein Diabetic Diva reviews products that purport to help with a healthy lifestyle. She receives no compensation or sponsorship for these reviews. Curious about a product? Leave comments in the suggestions or e-mail nissley79@gmail.com.

This isn’t quite a typical Human Guinea Pig post — if there can be such a thing as typical when we’re only comparing it to two previous posts.

I haven’t really tried any new products recently. But I did want to write a post about sneakers, specifically the sneakers that have made exercising a pleasure (almost) for me.

For years, I bought whatever exercise sneaker was on sale. I did no research before going to the store and picking out a new pair.

Meanwhile, I noticed that my arches hurt if I walked for a long time (like, more than 20 minutes. That’s a long time for me, OK?). Also, I seemed to sprain an ankle every couple of months, especially the left one. I broke that ankle in 2004 and it never healed quite right.

One day, I was flipping through the newspaper and ran across a column that talked about how to pick out the right kind of shoe for the type of exercise you’re doing and to solve specific foot problems. The article (which of course I can’t find, because it was at least three years ago) mentioned a couple of things that sounded like what I was having trouble with.

I think now is a good time to put in the standard “Please talk to your doctor or a podiatrist if you believe you have either of these problems or any other foot problems. For that matter, talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.”

Based on that article, I began to suspect that I was an overpronator and had flat feet, possibly caused by the fact that I was doing high-impact exercise and needed to lose 75+ pounds. I started researching shoes that were designed for people with these problems. I found running shoes by Saucony called ProGrid Stabil CS, and let me tell you, they felt like heaven.

Aaah ... like running on clouds.

Now, I can’t get into all the fancy specifics of why the shoe feels good on my foot. The description of the shoe talks about “superior motion control” and stuff. Here’s what I can say: I’ve tried a couple of different brands and Saucony doesn’t hurt my arch. I also haven’t twisted or sprained my ankle since I started wearing these shoes.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a clunky looking shoe. It has a lot of sole, and not in the “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” kind of way (see what I did there? Ahahaha). It doesn’t have a defined arch, so it looks kind of like a marshmallow on your foot. But looks are not as important as finishing an hour of medium-intensity cardio or spending the day walking around New York City without wanting to surgically remove my feet. These shoes fit the bill.

I had a hard time finding another pair of ProGrid Stabil CS in my size a few weeks ago, so I bought the ProGrid Stabil CS 2 and hoped for the best. It does not look as much like a big-ass marshmallow on your foot, and I was worried they would hurt my arches. But so far, so good. They’re a little lighter, a little sleeker but it feels just as good.

So the Saucony ProGrid Stabil shoe works well for me. To find a shoe that works for you, think about what kind of foot pain you’re having and talk to a podiatrist or your doctor about what kind of shoe might be better for you.

Rating: 4 stars out of a possible 4

Cost: From $75 to $120

Available online or at running stores. Visit http://www.saucony.com/store/SiteController/saucony/home for more information.


Not your average burlap sack 01/05/2012

Filed under: fashion — Diabetic Diva @ 10:48 am
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One of the chief complaints about being a fat girl is that there’s not a lot of options in terms of fun, fashionable clothing. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stared longingly at the display window of Betsy Johnson or even The Gap, wishing I was a size 10.

Instead, I’m a size 22 (on a good day!) and thus I am sentenced to the world of Lane Bryant. (Disclosure: I used to work at Lane Bryant’s sister store, Catherines, which at one time was called Catherine’s Stout Shop. No lie!) LB has some cute stuff, but there’s also a lot of stuff that’s covered in ugly, bold prints and/or sequins. ::shudder:: Most of the stuff I like really would look good on a size 14, but alas, I have months to go before I’m there. !

That there is a size-ism in the world of fashion has been well-documented. I’m an avid fan of Project Runway, but I get pissed off when the contestants bitch about the inevitable “Plus Size” challenge because the models “don’t have the right proportions.” (Side note: Can we stop using the term “Plus Size,” please? WTF does that even mean?)

So what’s a big girl who wants to look fashionable to do? Well, Nicolette Mason has made a name for herself as a fashion blogger who does not fit (pun totally intended) into the size 2 mold of the fashion world. She also has been writing for Marie Claire. I just discovered her blog (and her Marie Claire column) and wanted to share it with you.

Update (1:31 p.m., Jan. 5): This post by a blogger I follow is extremely relevant to what I’m talking about, and she does a better job than I’ll ever do in distilling some of the issues facing fat girls in the fashion world. A preview: Tim Gunn calls a size 10 “plus sized.” Whoa.