Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
Last September, late on a Friday afternoon, I was getting ready to go out to dinner with a friend who I hadn't seen in a few years. I was primping myself and thinking about the amazing Italian restaurant we were going to, trying to decide on which delectable meal I would order, and the possibility of a sinful dessert when the phone rang. It was my doctor calling to tell me the results of my lab tests from my annual physical. My blood glucose level was almost 300 and my kidneys were already showing signs of irreversible damage. I had Diabetes. I felt a wave of panic, lump rising in my throat, heart beating faster. Crap, I thought. There goes the creme brulee. How would I enjoy myself after that news?
My life has changed drastically, but I'm still struggling with those changes. In addition to the meds I have to take twice a day, my diet needed an overhaul. Out with the simple carbs - goodbye, sugar, I love you! - and in with the complex carbs - hello, whole grains, nice to meet you. This is still proving a difficult change for me. I am a carbaholic. Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta - my morning bagel! AGH! How would I do this?! As I go along I am finding healthy and delicious substitutes for most of my favorite carb products. Luckily I adore brown rice, so that wasn't so hard. As for pasta, I found Dreamfields pasta which has a low glycemic impact and tastes just like regular pasta. I was sooo happy with this discovery because when I tried the whole grain pastas (you know, the brown, gritty ones) I thought I was eating sand. I'm also learning to like sweet potatoes which are healthier than their plain white counterparts. And breads - well, hearty multigrains are delicious. And many companies are now making the extra-thin flatbread products such as bagels or sandwich thins, so I can still enjoy those things. In moderation. And with fruits and veggies. I am still working on that part.
The hardest part for me is proving to be sweets. Yes, there are plenty of sugar-free options out there, but eating them in moderation is a bit of a challenge for me. I am slowly learning what healthy eating is. No one ever really taught me. My family is chock full of foodies, emotional eaters, and sugar fiends. I have to be my own inspiration here. I'm getting better at picking up the healthy groceries and walking away from temptation. I'm even learning to go for the berries or the light yogurt instead of a handful of sugar-free cookies. I have lost 20 pounds since I found out about the diabetes, but I hit a plateau over the cold winter months. Now Spring is here and I'm hoping to kick it up a notch and get back to losing. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!