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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.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Don't Want to Know...

I know that food is my downfall. I know that food is the root cause of most of my diabetes management woes. I know that I need to know more about food.

I know that the Glycemic Index is a pretty important aspect of food. It is a measurement of how fast certain foods raise blood sugar.

David Mendosa has been talking about the glycemic index for a very long time, and I'm sure that he is where I first heard of it. David has been writing about diabetes for about as long as I can remember reading about it. I view his information as very credible and well researched, and I encourage all of you to take a look at his website and to subscribe to his blog.

About a month ago I caught a burst of health related motivation. I rushed off to the bookstore determined to pick up a book on the glycemic index. I was motivated to learn all that I could about this important measurement about food.

As usual, I was so juiced up and excited to learn, I didn't buy ONE book, but rather three or four. Rather than doing the smart thing, spending a little bit of cash and buying a single book to see whether or not it was useful to me, I spent a bunch of cash and bought a bunch of books. I'm really good at not being smart about stuff when I get excited about it.

You know how much of the first book I've read so far? About twenty pages. And it has been painful. I can't get into the book, but that is no fault of the book. I just don't want to know. I'm not motivated to keep reading.

I'm trying my damnedest to ignore the fact that I need to change my food ways.

I can finish a huge computer book in a single weekend. I can polish off a book about kayaking or geocaching in a few days. I can read a novel at bedtime, little by little, and find that it keeps me up later than I should be up. Books that suck me in and don't let me put it down.

A good book about helping me change my dietary habits - my brain just refuses to get into it.

I am so completely amazed at the depth of my food issues. This is one fight that I am having real trouble fighting.

I would rather ignore the problem altogether and have some doritos. What good comes from rebellion of this sort? None! So why is it so hard to stop?

20 Comments:

Blogger Carol said...

Scott, I wish I had the answers, but since I struggle with the same things...well, you know. I don't know if it's the same for you, but I hate being told I cannot do something. Have all my life. It just fuels my fire to prove the person telling me "no" wrong. When I think about what not to eat, it triggers that "prove them wrong" response and makes me want to eat whatever I damn well please. No, I don't know who "they" are :)

So I've been thinking about how to reframe my diet issues into saying "yes" to better, healthier foods. For example, giving myself permission to buy some really good fruits and veggies at the premium grocery store and learning some new ways to prepare them.

I don't know if some form of "reframing" could work for you, but maybe something to think about. If not, maybe geocaching for food :)

3:50 PM  
Anonymous in search of balance said...

It doesn't have anything to do with diabetes, but I read The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil (I know, I know), and it was really helpful. I think you might like it! It has small baby steps in the right direction, and more importantly, spends a LOT of time considering why we have the harmful habits that we do... for example, what emotional benefit we get from eating junk. It has lots of charts and fill in the blanks and asks many hard questions that need to be asked... It's really eye opening and very helpful. Just ignore the part about who wrote it....

And know that you're far from alone in this struggle, and you have lots and lots of supporters! Go, Scott!

4:29 PM  
Blogger JustLittleMe said...

Scott

I just have to tell you how much I appreciate your blog. My husband was diagnosed just about the same time as you were. When I read your blog, I feel like I'm reading his mind (his name is Scott, too). I have learned so much about diabetes over our 18 years of marriage, but you have helped me to see his side of things better. Thank you for that.

JustLittleMe

6:56 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Hey Scott,

First of all, thanks for reading my blog and commenting :) We're getting really excited to meet the little one... only a few days now!

As for food, I totally feel your pain. The pregnancy was great motivation to eat lower GI foods, particularly when my insulin resistance hit its peak. However, I won't be pregnant in about a week and I'll need to find another source of motivation to eat well!

I saw remarkable results weight-wise by eating few refined carbs over the past 6 months or so. I gained less than 20 pounds during my entire pregnancy! I can see that I've visably slimmed down in my face, arms and legs. That itself motivates me to keep up the diet I've established lately.

The worst thing is to feel deprived. Perhaps if you could find a few "treats" that were easy on the blood sugar? I love granny smith apples with peanut butter! Also, I really like a few health food bars (Luna, Larabars) that I'll enjoy with a little coffee. Ironically, I found that food tasted better when I ate moderately sized meals and snacks throughout the day.

Keep blogging about this Scott, it's something we all struggle with! Especially during the holidays. I just threw out a bunch of chocolatey treats because I couldn't resist them!

Happy New Year!

7:22 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Oh man.
When I get into a cleaning frenzy, I find diet/weight loss books that I don't even remember buying.
To name a few:
The Rice Diet
Eating Mindfully
It's Not What You're Eating - It's
What's Eating You
The Detox Diet
Dr. Gott's No Flour No Sugar Diet
The Zen of Eating

and yes, I have Dr. Phil's book also (never opened)

blah blah blah

7:50 PM  
Blogger AmyT said...

Scott, you are so awesome for sharing this way.

God knows, I now own just about every book ever written on controlling your blood sugars, so why do I keep hovering over 200? Because reading it isn't the same as living it. Aaaargh!

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I am a cookie monster and cannot stop. I have never had a problem with my weight until I started pumping and the freedom it offered me.

I hate hate hate the way I look now and that should motivate me but it does not.

Perhaps I should put the lock on my bolus keys. I too could start a library.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Scott,
I totally understand where you are coming from. I think having to spend so much mental energy on food decisions really makes it tough. I have one book on food that I think you might actually enjoy reading. It's not a diet book but it does get into the mentality of why we eat. It's called "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" and is actually a fun read.

-Anne

8:30 AM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Oops! I also have the Mindless Eating Book.............maybe I'll start with that one ('cept I don't know where it is)

6:04 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I've found it helpful to break it down into the most basic of reasonings. What is Doritos doing for you other than satisfy your taste buds. That is the only pro to it. Otherwise, you feel bad about yourself, guilty, your blood sugars suck ass, etc.

But, great-for-you foods like vegetables don't satisfy you unless you find a way for them to appeal to your tastbuds.

Ying and yang.

But then last night I ate a bowl of buttered spaghetti....fucker.

I hope you find a way to stop struggling. I'm much like you with food issues, so I hope we can find a way to rise above the animal instincts we have about food :)

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

Hi Scott.

This woman's amazing story and logical reasoning WILL make you want to at least try it her way. She's not pushy, and the book includes a lot of easy, healthy recipes and resources. She's all about balance. Meg Wolff's Becoming Whole.

Best of luck to you in 2008!

9:45 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Scott

Thanks for sharing your triumphs and struggles with us during 2007. I hope that you had a nice Christmas break and here's to a great New Year for all of us.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Jillian said...

Scott I have no suggestions on this front, and I don't think any advice from a 16 year old would help. But Happy New Year, thanks for sharing 2007 with us!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Scott you have one of the best Diabetes Blog around and I thank you for it. I have been having diabetes for over 10yrs now and find that FOOD (yeah that horrible four letter word) is my major downfall as well.

Oh I just came across a blog on medic alert for diabetes the author has a tattoo done and its really cool check it out Medic Alert Tattoo

2:34 AM  
Blogger Cara said...

Food: Can't live with it, can't live without it.
It controls every aspect of our lives, much like those who deal with an eating disorder. We KNOW what we should be doing, but we CAN'T seem to do it.
At least that's how it is with me.
I have really tried to start changing things around in the past year. It helped me to stop buying junk food. Then I actually have to go out to get it! And since I can be lazy at times, this is a good combination.
As for the glycemic index: I can't get it either! Reading the books is BORING!
Human nature, maybe. But annoying all the same.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

For me personally, the hard part about resisting the temptation to binge is training. Sugary foods have been my drug of choice for most of my life. Eating to cope with stress, depression, celebrate, mourn, socialize, calm down, etc, has been my strategy of choice.

A professor told me that the withdrawal experienced when quitting a drug have inverse profiles of the highs the drug produces. Let's say a drug causes brief euphoria, followed by a long period of peace and calm. Quitting the drug will cause brief periods of intense distress, followed by long, drawn out periods of low level, gnawing anxiety.

That's a fair description of what junk food does to an addict (read "me"), and a fair description of what quitting junk food does to an addict (me too).

The big problem is that, unlike other things with a drug-like effect, you can't completely give up food. Nicotine and meth can be given up entirely, but food is necessary for survival. It is easier (for me) to quit cold turkey than it is to moderate.

11:48 PM  
Blogger mollyjade said...

I think a lot of what we eat is based on habit. We run on autopilot so that we don't notice that we eat a piece of chocolate first thing when we get home from work. Or we eat pasta for dinner again because we don't have to think about how to make it. Have you ever tried changing the route you drive to work? It takes time because you keep forgetting to turn at the new corner. Changing how we eat is like changing a million different habits all at once. No wonder we fail.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Dirk Baeuerle said...

Hi Scott!

I know what you mean. My problem is also food. But I add to that boredom and laziness. When I am lazy and bored, and I know I have money in the account, then I spend it on food, even food that raises my sugar too much. I am slowly adjusting to the new lifestyle. Come check out my blog (healthychangesforlife.blogspot.com) and you see my struggle. I can get my BG under control for pre-lunch, pre-dinner or 2+ hours post meal, but my fasting BG reading is still high. Do you have any tips?

9:56 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Scott, Today I made my first contact with the DLife Website, and I read your article, "When do you call it an eating disorder?" I am interested in responding to the issue of eating disorders and diabetes.

I have Type II diabetes, and I am learning to put my health first. About 3 years ago, I was told I was "pre-diabetic." My fasting blood sugar was 115, and the A1C was 6.1 At a heigth of 5'11", my weight was 260. I received diabetic nutritional training.

I am now on metformin. I have made inconsistent changes in my lifestyle and have gradually lost about 20 pounds. Most recently, my choices have been pretty unhealthy. My most recent fasting blood sugar was 130 and A1C was up to 6.4.

The specific issues may be different between Type I and Type II diabetes, but I also wonder about the "relationship" that people with diabetes have with food.

Like many others, I have "used" food to deal with painful emotions. This has contributed to my progression into Type II diabetes. I have resisted making changes which I know will create better health. I know that food is also my "medicine." I know these things, yet I continue to make unhealthy choices. Is this an eating disorder?

And does it really matter if it is? I have been involved in a 12 step recovery group, and have found spiritual and emotional recovery. So, I do have new hope; I believe I can make necessary changes and I believe I am worth the effort. (These ideas are sometimes still a bit "shakey." I think they may also be a part of the cycle of habit that has brought me to this point.)And I still have the "eating habit."

I connected to DLife and now to your blog in an effort to take small steps towards a lasting lifestyle change. If you and others have thoughts/experience with these concerns, I'd like to communicate.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Scott K. Johnson said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.

I think many of us would love to hear your story, as many of us share so many of the challenges. I know I'm still looking for ways to make healthy changes "stick", and I believe it is a mental thing.

12:00 AM  

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