Food Control and CGMS’s

I am a slave to food. Particularly packaged crap food that is terrible for you, high in sugar, high in fat, high in calories and LOW in NUTRITIONAL VALUE.

StepsMy poor eating habits (and that is what they are – habits) are the downfall of my diabetes control. I eat for so many reasons that are not related to hunger. Tired, bored, upset, depressed, etc. I guess I’ve been aware of these things for a while, but just haven’t taken that next step to actually not eat anything. It’s kind of like “Ok, I know I’m just eating because I’m bored & tired”, then “chomp, chomp, chomp”<chomp,>. Then I’ll be all down about it, and want to eat again because I’m down, then “chomp, chomp, chomp” all over again! It’s what I call a toilet bowl downward spiral.

It’s amazing to me how good my numbers, mood, energy and outlook are when I’m not eating all the time (or thinking about eating all the time). It’s also amazing to me how crappy all of the above are when I am eating all the time.

If I can get a grip on my food intake, everything else will fall right into place. How does one go about that? I tend to go totally crazy and be so strict with myself that it doesn’t last long. Then I’ll swing to the other side and go totally reckless! I need to find that balance.

A major part of it is my food choices. Now, when I explain what I like to eat and what I don’t like to eat, you will see that I should not be as healthy as I think am. I am a carboholic. I need to join some 12 step program. Carboholics Anonymous or something like that. I love carbs. I don’t eat meat, fruit or veggies. Just carbs. That’s right. I have no frickin’ idea how my body deals with what I eat and don’t eat. It can’t possibly be getting what it needs to survive! I do take a multivitamin, but that doesn’t cut it.

I don’t like the way I eat – I mean my tongue likes it, but I wish I had healthier tastes. I wish I liked salads. I wish I liked fruits & veggies. I wish I liked certain meats or other protein sources. But I like what I like – how can you change that?

I’ll go through spurts when I think I’m being very “good” about what I eat, and will have cottage cheese and V-8’s mixed in with whole wheat bread choices, etc. But it only lasts for a while. Whether it’s because I’m broke and ran out of groceries, or just get so sick of it that I quit.

I would like to start eating smarter also because those damn calories add up so fast. I’m a pretty big guy, 6’1″ & 260. Some of it’s muscle, but I could stand to lose a good 40 pounds or more. The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you eat. Which is tough when you make crappy food choices. With good solid balanced regularly spaced meals, I can stay under 2500 calories and feel very satisfied. Throw in some exercise a few times a week and I’ll be headed in the right direction. Have Micky D’s or BK for breakfast, and you’ve started your day by consuming almost half of your daily intake limit. I’ll be on the treadmill forever and STILL not lose any weight!!!

So, that’s what I’m working on. Smarter eating.

The other thing that has been on my mind a lot the last few days is a blog from a guy (Wil) over at lifeafterdx.blogspot.com who has started using the Medtronic Guardian RT continuous glucose monitor. I have a lot of questions about how this works in a real life situation, and Wil is giving us an excellent report of his daily experiences with it. The idea of being able to see what your blood sugar is at any time just by looking at a device is so exciting. A dream come true. What I question is the hassle of having to wear a second infusion type thing & transmitter, and what challenges that might present. Would I be able to wear it playing basketball? Would I WANT to wear it playing basketball?

There’s so many questions right now – I can’t say enough how much I appreciate this look into Wil’s experiences. I think that within the next couple of years we are going to see big advancements in this technology. It’s the next big step in our therapy. The early 80’s was the step moving from testing urine to testing blood. Continuous glucose monitoring is the next big impact improvement. I think that data management will be a challenge – I haven’t figured out a good easy way to make good use of my manual numbers now – much less having hundreds and hundreds of readings each day! That is a problem I’d be happy to wrestle with though! The tradeoff of being able to know my BG at any time without having to do a manual test would be enough to convince me.

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3 thoughts on “Food Control and CGMS’s

  1. Scott, I understand what you are saying about being addicted to carbs. Certain foods really trip my trigger, and I am doing everything I can to avoid them.

    For example, I could never eat just one oreo. My wife, on the other hand, can and does. She is so reasonable about it and doesn’t understand why I struggle with it. “We are just wired differently,” I tell her. She shrugs her shoulders.

    I think it’s the really fast acting carbs that set me off, so I avoid them unless I’m treating a low.

    My advice to you is count, count, count and LOG. Knowing how much it is all adding up to is exremely effective for me at least. Set a target not to exceed.

    Good luck. You can do it!!

  2. Scott- I can definitely relate. The diet component of managing this disease is the hardest thing for me. I’ve heard people say, “what’s the big deal- just watch your sugar intake” or “just watch what you eat”, but those kinds of comments just show me how little people know about the disease. It’s not so simple! It seems like in order to get normal readings, you really have to have the perfect balance of food, insulin, activity, and the list goes on from there. Overdoing it or underdoing it has it’s consequences…which makes this ever the more frustrating :(. Plus there’s the whole matter of temptation, you can’t turn on the tv w/o seeing a commercial for some fast food place of junk food of some sort. Then the holidays don’t help much either. As much as we would like to stick to a healthy meal plan, there’s so many opportunities to stray from it and I think that happens to the best of us.

    I, myself, really got off track during Thanksgiving and now I’m trying to get things stabelized (easier said than done). I’m continuing to exercise just about everyday and I’m doing my best to eat right. However, even though I’m trying my best, things sometimes aren’t where they should be. But it’s one of those things where you have to keep working on it and not give up. I encourage you to do the same…keep fighting!

  3. I love carbs too. I stuck with the really low carb stuff for a few months after diagnosis, but not so much anymore.

    As far as food choices, could you add good stuff in little by little into what you already eat, instead of a lot of new and a little old. Say you had spagetti, add a vegetable like squash to it. Vegetables and pastas usually go well together. If you have dessert, have fruit in/with it, maybe ice cream with fruit or sugar-free fruit pie. Adding fruit to cereal gives not only fruit but protien, Milk has some protein. I went though this protien thing, pre-diabetes, when I wasn’t eating very much meat, and I was kinda suprised how much protein I really was getting. If you like eggs, theres another option. With that you could even add some veggies in an ommlet.
    Think about things you kinda like or would like to try and see if you can add them to something you really like. Then, as you go, you could add more stuff.

    I don’t think any change in life can be made totally different from where you currently are…be it diet or all your day to day activites. Gradual is good. Make your own 12 step program if that would help. 12 goals, 12 gradual steps towards better not 1 or 2 really steep steps.

    But, anyway you do it, Good luck!