Diet – back to basics

I had an appointment with my endocrinologist yesterday to review my latest lab results. While overall I am doing very well and my A1c is moving in the right direction, my blood sugar remains too high. Normal A1c >6 and mine is at 9.1. This down from 3 months ago, but the downward progression hardly moved. Reviewing my logs, there are wild swings and inconsistency, all of which can be related directly to my diet, because I am exercising consistently and even increasing it, which shows in my nearly perfect cholesterol numbers.

He suggested I get back to extreme basics, diabetes 101 – carb counting.

My daily “budget” for breakfast, lunch, dinner is 45-60 carbs. Total carbs (as interpreted by me) is 185, because I like a little wiggle room for a snack. But sticking to the 45-60 per the 3 daily meals is critical at this point. I am definitely capable of maintaining a consistent blood sugar, but if I am binging on breads, pastas, potatoes, etc. it is going to serve up the wild swings my meter is reporting about me.

Starting today, I’m back using MyFitnessPal to plan/record food consumption and keep track of carbs consumed. I am trying to be philosophical about it, view this as a science experiment and the PITA-ness of recording food and measuring/weighing portions as part of the data collection process. Mostly it just feels uncomfortable and like another unreasonable demand to be performed every day that I would rather not.

But I will force myself to do it. I am also allowing 24 to 48 hours of piss poor attitude toward it in order to purge my system of the irritation and resentment. I know that I can adjust my attitude and make this process easier and just another daily habit, but right now I’d rather whine about it. Damn body and it’s high-maintenance demands.

11 thoughts on “Diet – back to basics

  1. I feel for you. I am allowed 30 carbs breakfast, do 15 at lunch, 15 at afternoon snack, 15 at dinner, and 15 at bedtime snack. I am always hungry, and have a hard time staying on it. I dont need insulin yet, but just waiting till the day. Have you heard that you can reverse diabetes by eating only 20 carbs per day? Cheryl

  2. Wow we have a similar pattern (I just got below 9 a few months ago – all the other numbers are great) – but very similar trend as you. Embrace the wallowing – it isn’t fair and it sucks. My doc doesn’t do the carb counting thing – says eat low carbs (he has an eating philosophy vs diet – and I find it more helpful for me). I just checked and my last week I averaged 86 carbs a day per my fitness pal. I have to make sure I eat my carbs at the meals – with protein – and not as a snack or they make me want to eat more (and more and more).

    On reversing diabetes/20 carbs a day – this is a huge pet peeve of mine. you can get your diabetes under fantastic control – diet and exercise only – or maybe just diet ir just exercise. But you aren’t reversing it or curing it. You should be slowing, stopping or preventing further complications or side effects – but you are still a diabetic and need to manage around that. It is one of the worst parts about diabetes in my opinion – there is no cure – there is just life long management. A friend said something similar to me once (he had been recently diagnosed) and thought he would drop 20 pounds once and he would be fine. He has been surprised and frustrated that it didn’t work that way. He now has the attitude of why bother – I’ll just take some insulin. And in many ways after a couple of years he is in a worse place with his diabetes than I am after 18+ years. So if 20 carbs a day works and you can do that for the rest of your life I think it is great. But most of us need to find a balance of exercise, food, and meds to manage it.

    • Oh man – we really are leading parallel lives! I think he’s got me doing “basic” carb counting because I’ve wandered so far off the reservation. I will do it, because like you I so desperately WANT to be better! I’d stay at this weight if it meant having normal bloodsugar, but it’s so not happening. So today I wallow, tomorrow I will embrace the latest chapter that is my ongoing science experiment in living.

      I had not heard that idea about “curing” or “reversing” diabetes, but then again, I tend to not pay attention to stuff like that. I understand the reality about maintenance, and it’s an ongoing commitment. I hate it, but I cannot change it. My desire to pursue a long and healthy life overwhelms my resentment – which means trainer J is a weekly appointment, I have to see my doc more frequently than 3 months, and I must make friends once more with MyFitnessPal. This is my life, might as well do the best I can with it.

      I just discovered Quest protein bars and have been methodically working my way through the various flavors that sound like something I might like. Surprisingly they do not taste like protein bars to me, although the brownie one I had today, while not offensive or terrible tasting, I can definitely taste the higher sodium. They are not meal replacements for me, but 1/2 of one each morning is turning into my go-to snack before workouts and for the midafternoon starvation signals. They are ridiculously expensive – $2.49 is the best I can find locally and $3 at the gym if I forget. But like everything, I’m factoring it into my budget and trying to get back on track.

    • Thanks for explaining. My doctor told me I will always be a diabetic and will need insulin at some point. The 20 carbs per day thing I read on another site and couldn’t understand how the diabetes would just go away. Cheryl

      • Cheryl – I hope the insulin is a long way away for you. Yes it can get the blood sugar levels down – which is super important – but it makes losing weight/eating so much harder. Just remember – none of us are perfect, we’ll all slip up, but that doesn’t mean we quit – just keep plugging away and we’ll all stay healthy for a long long time! Some things that work for me – eat the carb with a protein – say peanut butter with and apple or on the bread – a carb alone makes me crazy hungry. Try a protein snack when hungry – a teaspoon of peanut butter can make you feel full or 10 almonds (yes count and bag them – a pain but better). Also, one thing my doctor told me – when you are hungry – drink a glass of water first and then see if you are hungry. We – me for sure – are used to eating when bored, tired, stressed, etc – for lots of reason other than hunger!
        You can do this!!!

  3. We’re so parallel I am counting in so we can encourage each other. On the bars – check Amazon – they might have a good deal. I started making an isopure protein shake after work outs – tastes ok and is filling. Not as heavy on the stomach for me as bars. Today was my double day – yoga and trainer. Now I just want to collapse but will need to do work when I get home.

    And don’t forget we’re cheering you on!!

    • I did a double too! I was at Bikram at 5:30 this morning for a 75 minutes class, raced home to shower and change (who shows up for a one-on-one training appointment already sweaty and grosss? Not me! Never, never, never me!), then back at the gym for my 8:30 appointment. It was tiring, but I can already see the advantages – being warmed up for training when I get there and having more time to focus on correcting my form for whatever we’re doing this week.

      Syntha 6 chocolate protein shakes are my FAVORITE, but they are not very portable and the vitamix makes an huge racket. Those are weekends and evening workouts – uber yummy!

      Your ongoing comments and help is invaluable. I was thinking yesterday I also need a diabetes coach now, because my poor doc probably sees/hears from me more than he wishes.

      • You showered between? I didn’t even shower before the first one today (I did shower before bed but still)! The warmed up part helps a lot – my trainer asked if I did yoga today because I was able to go deeper/better posture. I wish the shake was portable – but it is now my after workout treat when I get home (How sad). Does your doc have a good physicians assistant you can check in with more frequently? And I actually bet that you doc appreciates how much you are trying and willing to be on top of your diabetes – many many people aren’t!

      • Well, the Bikram is at a completely different location/studio than the gym and I’m dripping and totally gross when I’m done, so yeah, I did shower in between. Bad enough that I’m sweating through my shirt and feel twinges of guilt when J touches my back or shoulders to remind me what I should be doing (today I was shoulder shrugging instead of un-shrugging) and my shirt is damp. I would probably never return if I didn’t shower between yoga and training. Thankfully it’s only once a week!

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