Last week I wrote a blog post entitled “Putting on My Oxygen Mask.” I have now embarked on what I call “Project Me.” I am in week two of Project Me and I’ve been getting quite full of myself….until today. I will be the first to admit that I am proud , I’ve been eating right, exercising five days a week (stop chuckling those of you who saw that I first wrote five times a day) and I have successfully managed a fun and social weekend dinner at my house without scarfing down the chocolate cake or drinking a bottle of wine.
Feeling all successful and light-hearted, tonight I announced to my family that I would be taking a hot bath as part of Project Me and retreated into my bathroom. As I soaked in the tub, reflecting on my progress, I had a moment. Actually, if I’m being 100% honest I may have been talking to myself. Here’s how the conversation went. Que Ally McBeal.
“OK so week two. You’ve got this. Thank god you don’t have bigger issues. Imagine if you had to quit drugs or alcohol? Those people have huge mountains to climb. I can’t imagine going to a party and not having a social drink or feeling awkward because everyone is holding a glass of wine. Ah….at least I can cheat a little. I can have one chocolate chip cookie once in a while, I can have a piece of cake in a couple of weeks and I can hide these little cheats because they blend soooo easily into the normal way of life around me. Hmmm….I kind of sound like I have a problem. After all, I did get my blood results back and the doctor said I’m once again pre-diabetic and my cholesterol (thank you cheese and sugar) is a bit high. In fact I don’t ever have one cookie, I have one or three cookies and a couple of spoons of cookie dough while making cookies “for my kids.” I socialize all the time, go to lunches with other moms and have dinners at my friends’ houses. Carbs, sugar, alcohol are at these social gatherings in abundance. I did write about how I felt uncomfortable around friends and the need to change my way of thinking. Perhaps this is what addiction feels like? Could I stay away from sugar and carbs if it meant saving my life? Am I going to be able to say I can’t have that piece of cake for good? Will I start hiding again, pretend I am normal and wind up with bad blood sugar results again? Perhaps my problem is very similar to others who struggle with their own addictions. Sugar is addictive. My body is insulin resistant. Houston we have a problem!”
I spoke about “mentally changing” my views in order to get healthy with a friend this weekend. Something she said hit me hard. When I told her it was difficult for me to be in social situations and say “no” to the carbs, the sugar and those things that are toxic for my body she just sat and listened. When I got to the part about feeling pressured by others, she stopped me and said “YOU NEED TO OWN IT!” I was dumbfounded. Five simple words that never crossed my mind. Five powerful words.
I need to own it. Why be ashamed? Why feel bad about limiting the amount of sugar and carbs that I put into my body at a dinner social gathering. I’ll tell you why…because I’m a NUT. OK that was harsh. I’m an extreme caretaker and would rather make myself uncomfortable than inconvenience or make others feel bad. I need to own it. I don’t need my friends to eat differently, cook differently or do anything differently – I need to own it.
I’m not diabetic. I’m pre-diabetic. I don’t get to reward myself with sugar cheats because I haven’t yet destroyed myself to a point that I’m full blown diabetic. I need to own it. I’m putting on the damn oxygen mask and stepping away from sugar. Yes, I know there are many hidden sugars in food. One step at a time. My first step is to cut out obvious sugars and go low carb as recommended by the American Diabetes Association and my former nutritionist. As one friend said in her fitness profile “The switch has flipped.
This is going to be tough but I have to believe that if I start filling myself up with LIFE and LOVE it will be well worth it.
Visit me on Facebook!