a reformed diabetic talks about food, fitness training and life after diabetes
I Didn’t Mean to be Gone So Long
Sorry about the big gap between posts. Warning: This post is a little more personal than I normally get.
The Personal Stuff
Something I’ve discovered over the last year or so is that having a good support system for dealing with chronic illness and big dietary and health changes is important. This can come from family, friends, spouse, etc. But you also have to be ready to stick to your guns when you feel like you’re not getting the support you need in order to do what you need to do to get and stay healthy.
I’ve learned a lot about just how important it is to keep eating good food and exercising when the shit hits the fan. I think the reason I’ve survived the last two weeks is because I take care of my body now. Which controls the depression. Which enables me to get out of bed in the morning and face another day. In the past, emotional trauma would have put me face down in a gallon of ice cream or worse. But eating whole, healthy foods is so part of my life now that it never occurred to me to go there.
I’ve also discovered how truly lucky I am to have such great friends and family (and I already knew they were pretty cool). I’m so thankful and grateful for the thoughtfulness, caring and time they’ve shown me over the last couple of weeks.
One of the big challenges in following the new eating plan is eating at restaurants. I like going out for dinner once in a while, but it’s a learning process. The first couple of times I went out, I would order a steak, but I was uncomfortable asking for substitutions, so I’d end up leaving all the potatoes, rice, etc. on the plate. I don’t like waste and this made me as uncomfortable as asking for substitutions did. But as I’ve gotten more confident about what I can eat and what I absolutely won’t eat, it’s gotten a lot easier to ask them to leave the carbs off the plate and double-up on the veggies instead.
I can even find stuff to eat at the local Mexican restaurant where I’m a regular. I got a few funny looks at first, since these guys were used to seeing me eat a lot of food. First thing, push the basket of chips as far away from you as you can. (Eventually, you don’t see it anymore.) The trick is to just order the fajita filling, or carne asada, etc. without the tortillas, rice, beans, etc. And frankly, it’s plenty of food–just meat and vegetables.
I’ve only had one incident where my eating plan was a problem. I went to a business function at a small restaurant where the owner was involved in the meeting and had provided free food for everyone. He got very offended when I wouldn’t eat anything even after I had explained why. So I’ve decided that when these meetings are held at the restaurant, I’ll decline to participate.
Overall, you can eat out and eat well. Most of the larger chain restaurants post their nutritional information online and it’s pretty easy to find. And if you stick to basic fare that doesn’t have a lot of sauces and hidden ingredients it’s usually pretty easy to gauge what you’re eating. Just be aware that the nutritional information that the restaurants provide can be off by quite a bit. There was a just an article about this somewhere this week. I don’t remember where I saw it. If I find it, I’ll post the link here.