Spent a lovely evening with my daughter C last night. M was off at the big ultra marathon race, assisting the crews of a couple of friends running while also watching the race and socializing. A was off at his cousin’s wedding. Since C just started her job and was in training/transition, she could not take time off until after completing this period in her career. So we went out to dinner after she got off her shift and then came back to my house to continue our yakking. I had invited G and K to join us, but they were attending K’s cousin’s engagement party.
We ate chinese food at my absolute favorite local place, where the owners and much of the staff now know us and greet us by name. In the last year we have slowed way down on our eating out in general and our chinese food in particular. It is unfortunately not the most favorable food choice when trying to watch your overall diet and blood sugar fluctuations, yet I still love the food and the staff and how warmly they welcome us back and ask after the rest of the family. If a big, carby meal were not bad enough, we also splurged and stopped for ice cream, hot fudge sundaes to be more precise. While it was a small sundae, it was still A LOT of sugar in one hit after several months of being careful and restrictive about it. I am feeling the aftereffects well into this Sunday morning.
First, my fasting blood sugar was the highest it has been in months, possibly the highest since going off the meds at 144. A combination of too much food, the majority of it being raw sugar and carbohydrates, and an unusually late night made me feel poorly this morning. Second, I ended up sleeping later and skipping pilates in favor of a gym workout, and believe me, I struggled mightily. I did 2 sets rather than my usual 3 minimum on the List of the day, and it felt as if I have undone a year of hard work and months of consistent practice overnight. I haven’t, of course, but I feel how I feel and always strive to be honest about my thoughts and feelings, even when they seem overly dramatic and bordering on ridiculous.
Thinking about it now, guzzling water and a couple of aspirin for the unexpected headache I am enduring, I am not really sorry or feeling guilty about my choices. My daughter and I rarely have opportunity to hang out and just catch up on the minutia of our lives, so we took full advantage. Did we have to have ice cream? Absolutely not, and next time hopefully smarter heads will prevail. In the last several months I have theorized about consequences of falling off the careful, mindful eating wagon, and now I completely understand what range of possibility exists for me. However, it was one meal out of the couple dozen I had last week; I will live and continue to pursue my better health goals with new knowledge, experience, and understanding of the consequences of my actions. And if I pay with my A1c skyrocketing next month, I will be closer to knowing definitively the weaknesses of my own body and its regulating systems.
M has warned me and preached and preached about the evils of sugar in fitness. When you are very unfit and everything is this huge, daunting, dramatic, and frustrating struggle, it is so hard to take his cautions and sky-is-falling type warnings too seriously. In my mind, I have always wondered how it could possibly get any worse? Now I have achieved a small measure of success in my journey to better health through more conscious choices in food and lots and lots of exercise, and in this moment I now have a much clearer understanding of what he meant, what those precise ill effects feel like. It was not so much I reverted to using 2 lb. dumbbells instead of my usual 25 lb. ones, but the effort required to move those usual weights to and fro felt more like being back to when I first began this program.
I have also not been consuming much by way of dairy products the last several weeks. It’s not been a conscious choice so much as natural selection. I only use milk on cold cereal and in coffee, and since I have ceased eating cold cereal and drinking coffee, my direct ingestion of milk has fallen away. I finally had the epiphany that if I do not particularly like or enjoy yogurt I should not force myself to eat it anyway. Kind of stupid, I know, but there it is. I do supplement with whey protein as well as plant-based protein, but compared to how much cheese and milk and other dairy I consumed directly once upon a time, it feels like almost a total ban. Ice cream – this was my first binge-worthy event in many, many months. My new guidance on desserts is that unless I absolutely love the type of sugary goodies being served (at birthday parties or other events), I will simply smile and decline. If I am going to go there, it should only be for something I truly love. Like good chocolate.
Such thinking has dramatically simplified my choices and strengthened my restraint. And now that I feel so crappy from overindulging, I am hopefully less likely to make the same choices again in the future. Consequences are a huge teaching tool for me these days.
While I do not necessarily feel like my perky, happy best right at the moment, there are positive takeaways from this experience. My blood sugar is falling back into its normal range after splitting breakfast between before and after workouts, my normal, daily habit and pattern of eating. It was a long, hard slog through today’s List of the day, but at least I went and did something. Plus my present day mindset knows this is not a harbinger of the rest of my week or my training life. I fully expect tomorrow’s training session will be perfectly fine and normal despite my Saturday night sins. Unless J is having a crappy morning, then all bets could be off. *smile* It’s a grocery shopping day and there are no carby or sugary temptations lingering out there calling my name. Or at least not that I can hear through the grinding in my stomach and the pounding in my head. I have a shopping list and it should be relatively simple to stick to it, especially since M is out doing his 20 miles and will not be with me. My meals are planned for the week and I am back to eating lots and lots of vegetables with some chicken with a little beef and pork sprinkled in for good measure and variety.
Experience is the best teacher. Perhaps I just wish to be less a stubborn student in the future.