As I learn how to use WordPress, which is a bit of a task, the posts will become more consistent, so please bear with me.
Food is my favorite thing in the world. I love to eat, my favorite sweet is caramel. I don’t care what it comes on except maybe coconut (who would ruin perfectly good caramel this way?). Early on in my diabetes I actually mourned the loss of eating good foods. In my mind I had convinced myself that the days of eating caramel with sugar, ice cream, and other favorite foods would forever disappear from my menu. I actually mourned this more than anything else associated with diabetes, sad but true! For the first 9 years of my disease I was paralyzed by the numbers, I felt that if I could not control every number, I was failing. It got to the point I would buy the exact same foods every week so that I could control the numbers. Yet I still had these terrible cravings for sweets or ice cream. I tried all the sugarless renderings of the various junk food, just not that satisfying. I had to come up with something that would satisfy my desire to eat sweets or other unhealthy foods without sending me to the hospital with a ketoacedotic episode (extremely high blood sugar readings).
My wife and I were talking about this one day and I was lamenting about eating some ice cream and copious amounts of caramel when she suggested I have one cheat meal a week in which I eat whatever I want to eat. That blew my mind (I know it doesn’t take much right?). I had never given myself the permission to have one cheat meal a week to satisfy my sugar cravings. I thought it was not allowed, that I was being a bad diabetic if I didn’t eat sticks and twigs like all good diabetics did. After all control was key! Yet as we discussed this, I began to see how this type of thinking really helps me to successfully manage my diabetes.
I have always been one who has to have something to look forward to achieving in order to be motivated. I had given up on eating “good” foods that I used to eat and was just eating things that best regulated my blood sugars. I had single servings of frozen chicken (my favorite meat) in my freezer wrapped in tin foil for me to grab and grill or bake….every. single. day. My wife and step daughter still, to this day, make fun of my freezer burned tin foil wrapped chicken.
I experimented with incorporating one meal a week, usually Saturday evenings, to go on a date night with my wife. We would visit different restaurants and I would order whatever I wanted to eat on the menu. At first, I was sure that if I did this, I would wake up dead the next morning. Fortunately, this did not occur. I had quite a food hangover and a bit of a blood sugar spike but my overall control for the week was virtually unaffected. Eureka! I had discovered the motivation to remain consistent with my good eating if I could look forward to the one cheat meal a week. This has been a fun thing for me, as a rigid diabetic control freak, to experience and have fun with. I recommend this to all of you out there that desire a taste of the ‘wild side’ it has helped to restore hope to me and has made me feel ‘normal’ again. I have to remind myself, each week, that it is not always about absolute control, but about quality of life. Life is here for us to enjoy, food is a huge part of our culture….live it to the fullest!