A Farewell to Carbs

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

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.

 

What’s cooking: Red curry 02/26/2012

Filed under: cooking — Diabetic Diva @ 2:42 pm
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We’re lucky to have three really good thai restaurants in town. But no matter which we end up at, I never even look at the menu. Hey — when I find something I really like, I stick with it. I’m very loyal that way.

Eggplant, red bell pepper and basil will soon swim in red curry sauce

Red curry is the perfect mix of creamy and spicy. I love the crisp tender vegetables swimming in the sauce, the thin slivers of chicken hiding toward the bottom of the bowl, and the flavorful, earthy leaves of thai basil.

But I don’t know how many calories are in that heaping plate of curry from the thai place down the street, and I always eat way too much rice to soak up that delicious sauce. So I took to my kitchen, armed with a bottle of Trader Joe’s red curry sauce and a dream — to eat delicious thai food all week without shelling out $15 a night.

Hint: The bottled sauce I used is relatively low in calories and carbs, but if I did it all over again, I think I’d pour the quarter-cup serving of sauce warmed in the microwave over each portion of chicken, veggies and rice. That would give me a little more control on exactly how much sauce I was getting.

You’ll need:

Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 ounces, cooked, per serving)

Small eggplant, chopped (I peel mine because I don’t like the skin)

2 small red bell peppers, chopped into large chunks

8 basil leaves

1 bag frozen green beans

1 T olive oil or coconut oil

1 jar red curry sauce

brown rice (I use Minute Rice), prepared according to directions without added fat or salt

Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about

Slice chicken thinly and add to large wok with a generous hit of cooking spray. Stir until browned on all sides. Remove from pan.

Add 1 T oil to wok and add eggplant and bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add green beans. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add cooked chicken and basil leaves to wok. Pour 1 cup of sauce over top, stir to coat.

Serve over 1/2 cup of hot rice.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information depends on the sauce used. I calculated my meal as about 10 Weight Watchers points plus per serving. To calculate exact nutrition information, plug the ingredients into http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

 

Taking a break 02/21/2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Diabetic Diva @ 2:14 pm
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I’m taking a week or so off from blogging to get my head on straight. I’ve been really struggling with dieting and exercise. So right now, I don’t have a lot of advice to offer. I’ll be back in a little while, hopefully with a lot more enthusiasm.

 

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?

 

Confession time! 02/13/2012

Filed under: Failing,Goals — Diabetic Diva @ 8:46 am
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I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks.

There is no excuse for this. Ihave lots of excuses. None of them are good ones. “My work schedule is crazy.” “I’m too tired to go after work.” “I don’t like getting up early to go before work.” “I’ll just watch my calories today.” “It’s cold.” “It’s raining.” “I don’t have a hair tie.” “My foot hurts.” “I parked really far away from the house.”

This is true.

It seems I’m not the only one who struggles to find motivation for exercise. This blogger I follow wrote a post about it just last week. And she’s way busier than I am.

A lot of what’s keeping her from working out are problems I have to. It’s hard. I’m fat. Everyone at the gym seems like they’re faster and fitter than I am. I’d really rather curl up with a book and have some time to relax.

But working out is one side of the fitness coin. The other side, of course, is eating right. At this point, I’m not really doing either. Six years ago, when I lost 75 pounds in a year on Weight Watchers, I was working out A LOT. Which means I could slip up a little and the exercise would cover my butt (pun intended).

And if I was adhering to my points value for the day on Weight Watchers, I’d probably still see a loss at the scale every week. But I’m going beyond my numbers every day and not racking up much exercise-wise.

The worst part is that when I live this way, I don’t feel good. The excess carbs make me sleepy and woozy. I feel out of control, like every fast food joint and every convenience store is a land of temptation just waiting to be explored mouth-first.

I feel better when I work out regularly. I sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed. Sweating for 45 minutes clears my head of all the work stress. After a hard workout, I feel powerful and strong and sexy.

I need to get the wheels back on the cart and start over, again. Because deep down, I don’t want to be the fat girl who will never find a decent boyfriend, who feels ugly no matter what she’s wearing or how cute her hair is (all of which I feel on a 24-hour basis). I’m not that girl inside. And I need to start changing myself on the outside to let that shine through.

I wish it wasn’t so damn hard.

Your turn: What do you do to get yourself motivated for exercise? What are your favorite ways to burn calories?

 

 

Gym angst 02/09/2012

Filed under: Failing,Working out — Diabetic Diva @ 8:05 am
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I have been having a really hard time motivating myself to go to the gym. I just don’t want to go. Maybe it’s the weather. I don’t know.

Anyhow. I came across this comic about what different types of people are thinking about other people working out around them at the gym. It’s hilarious and I thought I’d share. It’s from one of my favorite web comics artist, The Oatmeal. Just a warning. There’s some language that some would consider suggestive, though I don’t think it’s too bad: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/gym

Your turn: How do you summon the motivation to exercise?

 

Hobbies 02/08/2012

Filed under: Successes — Diabetic Diva @ 8:52 am
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This post is more or less off-topic, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

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One of my all-time favorite hobbies is taking photos. I like seeing things in a new way, finding beauty in the every day.
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Having a smartphone has made this hobby both easier and harder. I can snap a photo wherever I am.

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But having a camera phone with me has also kept me from bringing a “real camera” with me. And I have all these pretty photos on my phone, but I have trouble thinking of them as “wall-worthy.”

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(All photos taken with a Droid Incredible 2)

Your turn: What are some of your hobbies?