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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Card Says "Nutrition Counseling Services"...

I think for many of us, we know the truth, but may not be willing to face the truth. I think this is certainly the case for me in looking at my (lack of) "Nutritional Habits".

I talked to my Endo about this, and he handed me a card. It said "Nutrition Counseling Services" and had a name scribbled on the back of it. He said that this dietician is very knowledgeable with diabetes and pumping, and recommended that I make an appointment with her.

I know that the way I eat is probably the core problem with my diabetes struggles. I have known this for a long time. In fact, it's always been like that. As long as I can remember.

While the quantities of the things I choose to eat are certainly a large portion (pun intended) of the problem, it's probably more what I choose to eat.

I don't know if I've gone into this before or not (I probably have - forgive me). I eat carbs almost exclusively. And we're not talking about grams that ride along with other non-carb things - we're talking good old fashioned hard core starches. Meat and potatoes, minus the meat. Grilled ham & cheese minus the ham. Chicken Alfredo minus the chicken & heavy on the pasta. Okay? Okay. I'm embarrassed to a point about sharing this, but I also recognize that it needs to change.
I don't like meats. Does that make me a vegetarian? Well, maybe - except that I don't eat vegetables (some green beans are an exception to that rule). How about fresh fruits, or maybe salads? Nope and nope. Give me breads, pasta (plain jane style), rice, potatoes, etc.

When I go to eat at a place like Perkins, here is what I order. Grilled cheese on sourdough, french fries, side of hash browns, diet coke (can't have too much sugar you know...) times 5 or 6 refills, then a slice of pie to top it off. Don't forget about the entire bottle of ketchup that is poured on top of everything (except the pie...). Burger King you ask? Lunch menu = 2 x Large Fries, Breakfast menu = 2 x medium hash browns and an order of french toast sticks.

Ok, how about a place like Leeann Chin? Chinese food? An entire order of white rice (is that 2 or 3 cups of rice?) and an order of those cream cheese puffs (that would be 6 of them). Not to mention a couple of the fortune cookies.

Well, what about when I'm at home? Surely I can't eat that bad at home. Right? Right.

Well, when I get home from work I will usually help polish off whatever the kids might have had - that is unless it involves meat, veggies or fruit. In that case I'll polish off the carby stuff (mac & cheese, dinner rolls, garlic bread, etc.). Then I'll have some type of sandwich. This will be one of three possible varieties. Cheese & Mayo (or Miracle Whip), Cheese (dipped in ketchup), or (ready for this?) ketchup & mustard (again, dipped in ketchup). Maybe a cup of dry sugary cereal afterwards to satisfy my sweet tooth. Sick, isn't it? Yes, I know.

When I'm being what I think is a step closer to healthy, I'll make the sandwich on whole wheat, have some cottage cheese (for protein) and down a V-8 (that counts as veggies, right?).

Junk food? Yes, I'm all about that. If it's packaged and quick (in other words I don't have to think about the serving size - just eat the whole package), consider it a no brainer. Too bad that those types are typically the worst for you. Anything that ends in "itos" (Frito's, Doritos, Cheetos), etc.

I'll eat candy (and lots of it) that I don't even like, just because it's candy.

Being full has never stopped me from continuing to eat, just because it tastes good.

I look at what I typically eat, and it makes me think I should have a stomach ache. There is little to no nutritional value in what I eat, and I have to wonder how the heck my body keeps going! And what performance boost would I get out of eating better? I say performance in terms of things like sports (basketball), but also in my daily energy levels and moods as well.

This is not from lack of exposure - my mom & dad tried their best to get me to eat all the good stuff. I remember being told I would eat such and such, or sit at the table until bedtime. Well, when bedtime rolled around I got up from the table and went to bed. I remember being a stubborn little rascal when it came to food.

For many of the things I don't like, it's due to the texture or ideas of how it's made that give me the willies. Thinking of some nasty meat processing plant, or that roadkill you drive by, you know, blood & guts. It's terribly silly for a grown man to get grossed out like that!

I do know that there are many things I would like, if I just got the nerve to try some different things!

This is an all encompassing issue though, that I guess I'm glad to say I'd be fighting with regardless of the diabetes. It's just general health here - but the diabetes makes it more important and more noticeable.

I'll be sharing my journey through this introspection of my dietary habits. I'm not trying to move mountains in a day, so it may be a long ride - but I'm sure it will be an interesting one.

As Andrea suggested, I'll make an appointment, and go into it with an open mind. They may have some good ideas, and I can bring up any questions and concerns I have.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Caro said...

Your honesty deserves applause. I think we could all probably take a long hard look at the way we eat, but I'd bet many of us would do it with rose tinted spectacles. You should be proud of yourself for sizing up the problem.

One thing you said: "Being full has never stopped me from continuing to eat, just because it tastes good"

People with diabetes actually have an impaired ability to feel full, to know when they should stop eating, because amylin plays a role in the 'feeling full' pathway, and we don't have amylin. Unless we take Symlin...

Let us know how the appointment goes, and good luck!

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Hi Scott, I too applaud your honesty. You should print that post and share it with the nutrition counselor to get things started. Don't worry, I don't think there is such a thing as a carbohydrate detox center that somenone can be committed to involuntarily:-)

I wonder if the diet thing is a last bastion of rebellion against DM for you? As in, "OK, I'll exercise, OK I'll pump the insulin, OK I'll go to the endoc on schedule, etc., but diabetes is NOT going to dictate what I eat in any way shape or form, damnit!" Only saying that because based on your blog, I think we share some very similar underlying tendencies. Really enjoy reading what you write. Keep up the great honest posts!

12:42 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

At least you know what your downfalls are and you aren't in denial. And now you're seeing a counseler.

What more can anyone say?

I like Carol's idea of showing the counseler your post. This way she'll see what she's up against and maybe will work on everything point by point.

3:12 PM  
Blogger mytime79 said...

I second applauding your honesty.

I can imagine that being that honest and truthful was very difficult. Could the irregular eating be another result of having diabetes????

I'm dealing with this as well. I'm convinced that my eating is the cause for my numbers not being regular. In my mind I don't see how the endo can help me if the numbers are really the result of eating not everyday life.

Please keep us updated, I'm glad that you can write so openly about this stuff.

Oh yea, I didn't know that people w/ diabetes have an impaired ability to feel full (just read that in Caro's comment)

8:36 PM  

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