Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Emotional Struggle with Food Choices

I'm feeling guilty and down about my food choices the last few days.  A few months ago, I wouldn't have stressed about it, but now I write every bite down and monitor every carb that goes into my body.

It started on Saturday.  After a month of being very, very careful about food - which took a lot of the joy from it - I made a decision to have a cheat day.    I read up on people's opinions of it, reactions, and safety, and psychological and metabolic impact. My blood sugar has been phenomenal, even going into the borderline-hypoglycemic level a few times, so I was confident that one bad day wouldn't hurt.

My husband and I started the day with plans to see a Star Trek matinee (OMG!  This isn't a blog about the new Star Trek, but everyone absolutely must see it!!!), but were running late.  I didn't eat before leaving the house because I planned on stopping somewhere for a donut (cheat plan number one).  However, we were further behind than I thought, so there were no stops.  Instead, I started getting low blood sugar signs from my body during the movie (nodding out, feeling woozy) so I popped 4 glucose tablets to get me through and felt fine until we got home.

Once there, I couldn't decide what my first, official cheat meal would be (probably because of my disconnect from food), so my husband and I went to one of our favorite diners and I had a burger and fries for a total of (about) 120 grams of carbs in a single meal.  I don't even want to think about the amount of fat and saturated fat.

Guilt.

From there, I had a waffle cone of ice cream (about 2 cups of ice cream and a cone, for about 75 grams of carbs).

Later at night, I ate two sauerkraut dogs on buns with more fries for about 130 grams of carbs.

It's not over, yet.

I finished the night off with a nice beer.  I don't even know the carb count.

I was glad when the day was over, and I could go back to my routine.  Allowing myself the freedom to eat whatever came into my head had me feeling kind of panicky for the entire day. 

It's weird, though.  Since then, I'm finding myself cheating the system a little.

For example, I'm using low-carb items to stay under my allowed per meal number (I allow myself about 30 grams of carbs per meal, even though my dietician thinks I should have 45 - 60) while not paying attention to fat content and eating large portions.  My blood sugar is in check, but I'm not doing my weight any favors.  It's only been a couple of days, but I feel like I'm gaining weight already. 

I'm probably not.

Yet.

So, the guilt gets pushed back into my motivation and I woke up this morning (way too early!) eager to go back to portions and good choices.  I'm glad of that, but the back-sliding has made me feel like a failure, and it seems like I have to rebuild my self-respect.

Breakfast - 6:45 am (schedule thrown off because of my diabetes class before work)
1 cup fat-free, Greek yogurt - 9 grams of carbs
1/4 cup sliced, raw almonds - 4.5 carbs, 14 grams fat
1/2 banana - about 15 grams of carbs
1/3 cup of strawberries - 4.25 grams of carbs
Stevia

32.75 carbs, 14 grams of fat

One thing that's helped motivate me on a weekly basis is my diabetes class.  It's a group of about 12 adults with diabetes (or spouses of people with diabetes) working through how to be healthy.  With very few exceptions, everyone wants to be there.  The nurse teaching the class is amazing and encouraging and smart and knowledgeable.  I can't say enough good things about her.

Unfortunately, today was my last class and I'm worried about my ability to stay motivated on my own.  I've considered joining a weight loss group to help me stay on track, but that doesn't feel like the right path for me.  When I think of Weight Watchers or similar, I just remember Patton Oswalt's bit about being in recovery for over-eating, and the idea seems more like a punch-line than a valid option.

So, I'm continuing to log my food intake to keep me honest and shame myself when I have (or just want) something that isn't good for me.  I'm trying to rebuild my relationship with food, but right now it just feels like taking back a cheating lover; the emotions are raw, there is no trust, and what we have is just a perverted remnant of what we were.