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
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

Sweatin’ to the oldies 03/05/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized,Working out — Diabetic Diva @ 11:15 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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

 

Goals for March 03/01/2012

Filed under: Goals — Diabetic Diva @ 8:09 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

Faster, stronger 02/28/2012

Filed under: Working out — Diabetic Diva @ 9:37 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Last week, I decided that I need to stop moaning about how I never go to the gym and instead … go to the gym. I know, I know. It’s a novel approach to health and weight loss.

I don’t know why I’ve had such a hard time strapping on my running shoes and spending some time on the elliptical. Once I’m actually at the gym, I’m fine. I do my workout with a minimum of internal debate. I revel in feeling sweaty and strong. I look forward to getting fitter so I can lift more, walk longer, go faster.

But getting to the gym is an entirely different matter. It makes the most sense to go to the gym in the morning, since I’m not expected at work until mid-morning or early afternoon. Then I can come home, shower and change and head in to work.

The problem is I’m not a morning person. I like to wake up slowly, spend a little time reading before I hit the shower. I am the kind of person for whom the concept of “breakfast in bed” is made. And with winter upon us, my bedroom is so cozy and warm.

So. I haven’t been going to the gym in the morning. No matter. My gym is open 24 hours. So I can go no matter how late I get done with work. By the time I’m done, though, I have all these excuses not to go. It’s late. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’ll go in the morning, and I don’t want to go twice so close together (this is my FAVORITE! Because, um, yeah. It has already been established that I’m not going in the morning.)

Last week, I decided I needed to change my outlook on this whole getting healthy thing. Part of that was committing to going to go to the gym every night after work. I looked at it as a way to clear my head after a day at the office. A way to tune out, where it’s just me and some good music on the headphones.

Because about 10 minutes into a workout in an almost-empty gym late at night, I get into a meditative state. All my thoughts about how my day went and what I need to accomplish tomorrow just fade into the background. I start thinking about my breathing. I start focusing on my pace, on the way my muscles feel. Everything gets quiet (except for my workout mix. That I like pretty loud.

I’ve decided to think of my time at the gym as a little mini-vacation from the stresses of the day, instead of thinking about working out as some horrible chore hanging over my head all day long. And maybe soon, getting a workout in will be as habitual as breathing.

 

Coming to terms 02/27/2012


I took a little break from blogging last week because I was struggling so much with staying on track. I didn’t feel like I could sit here and write about what I was doing if I wasn’t actually doing it. Besides, I felt horrible about myself for being weak enough to stop focusing on what I was eating and skipping the gym at the slightest provocation.

Most frustrating for me is that I continued to break promises I’ve made to myself. I wasn’t spending 210 minutes a week at the gym. I wasn’t writing down what I was eating. I wasn’t taking time out to enjoy my meals. I was making my regular rounds of the region’s fast food establishments. Basically, I was right back to where I had started — unhappy and unhealthy and at the end of my rope.

I am the kind of person who goes out of her way to keep promises to others. I hate breaking my word. I have kept plans with friends even when I can’t exactly afford to do so. I have stayed late at work to complete work I promised to my boss.

When it comes to keeping my word to myself, I can rationalize any bad decision. I’ll go to the gym tomorrow. I’ll eat better next week. This is the last time I will eat a triple cheeseburger from Wendy’s.

Here’s the thing: It’s never the last time. Tomorrow will never come. And I have to come to terms with the fact that I am an addict.

I’m not trying to be all dramatic here. And I don’t mean to belittle alcoholics and drug addicts. But I’m addicted to food. I’m addicted to being unhealthy.

It’s killing me, and I don’t care.

But unlike an addiction to alcohol or drugs, how do you avoid food? Even if I can walk right on past the candy aisle at the grocery store, the vending machine at work is calling to me. I buy a bag of almond M&Ms and think … I’ll just eat a couple. I can handle this.

Clearly, I cannot handle it. Even the spectre of kidney dialysis and a possible heart attack hasn’t slowed me down. It’s given me pause. It’s inspired me to eat a little better for a week or two, to make a show of hitting the gym. And then I’m right back to giving in to my addiction.

Apparently, I don’t value myself or my health enough to get serious about getting better. The worst part is that I feel lost and fat and ugly for not doing what seems to come so easily to everyone else. I feel out of control when I have a cabinet full of junk food.

So Tuesday, after another disappointing morning on the Weight Watchers scale, I decided that I need to get serious. I am stronger than food. I value myself enough to want to make the changes I need to make.

I have committed to writing everything I eat down, to sticking to my eating plans and burning some calories at the gym every day. I have committed to focusing on the promised I made myself in January and earlier this month.

It’s too soon to tell whether my work over the past week has paid off. And I can’t guarantee that I won’t head back to all the bad decisions that have gotten me here.

However, I’m trying hard to remember that I need to value myself as much as I value my work and my friends. Otherwise, I won’t be around to keep any promises to anyone.

 

Dance your a$$ off 02/03/2012

Filed under: Working out — Diabetic Diva @ 7:11 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Last fall, as I flirted with getting healthy, I gathered a group of friends and formed a walking club. Every Saturday for about two months, we got together and walked on a trail or a track somewhere in our neighborhoods.

The group more or less went on hiatus as it got colder. But a few weeks ago, I floated the idea of trying a Zumba class. Four of the ladies were really enthusiastic so I found myself in a small studio on Sunday at an unbelieveably early hour (10 a.m.! Dear God!), wholly unprepared for what I was about to encounter.

Zumba is an aerobics class that combines dance moves with hip-hop infused Latin music. It’s all the rage right now across the East Coast, with a lot of people saying it feels more like dancing than working out.

One of my friends, who I will refer to as Zumba Veteran hereafter, talked us into the Sunday morning class because the instructor was a little less of a drill sergeant than the other two instructors. Zumba Veteran also told us to bring water but neglected to mention packing a towel, which would have been helpful since I basically had to wring out my shirt afterward. The moisture was a mix of sweat and tears, I think.

I’m kidding! I will say, though, that the class drove home the fact that I am about as coordinated as an elephant with three legs. I will immediately cease and desist any attempt to dance at bars. I had NO IDEA how silly I look.

I didn’t do quite as many jumping jacks as the instructor did, and I often found myself cha-cha-ing while the rest of the class was shimmying. But I enjoyed trying to follow the routine. It was a nice change from the grind of the elliptical machine and my competitive streak forced me to remain moving until class was over. I was standing pretty far from the door, so I couldn’t duck out.

And even though I wasn’t quite as energetic as the instructor (or most of the class) and got tripped up on steps pretty often, the muscles in my thighs and upper arms were sore starting later the same day — a sure sign that I burned some calories and built some muscle.

After the class, I joked with my friends about maybe going again sometime NEXT year. But I’m actually already planning another trip to Zumba class, maybe sometime this month.

Your turn: What’s your favorite workout? What do you do when you get stuck in an exercise rut?