Left to my own devices, I would eat a LOT of “comfort food,” full of carbs and sugar and fat. Ice cream, bread, doughnuts, candy, margaritas, cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate, chocolate, and then more chocolate, PB&J sandwiches, cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, clam chowder, french fries, burritos, rice, chili, sushi, kung pao chicken, tacos, wine… You get the idea.
And I would weigh 300 pounds, barely be able to move, would have a lifespan from here on that’s measured in weeks, be shooting insulin to stay alive, and be generally incredibly unhealthy.
Thus, the “adulting” shit I do and the highly different diet from that described above.
It’s a question of balance – I do not want to live like a monk, and I won’t. Nor do I want to live like a candidate for a Discovery Channel reality TV show, and I won’t.
Making mature, responsible decisions.
The tricky part is where to set the balancing point on that spectrum. Sometimes my doctor and I disagree. Particularly in terms of carbs and comfort food.
The measure of success or failure in this ongoing battle is the A1C measurement, a blood test that says how much sugar you’re retaining in your blood from your diet. This can vary as you age and can also vary from time to time as the medical powers-that-be change their mind on what’s acceptable and what’s not. The short version is that for me now I need to be between about 5.0 and 7.0. If I’m over that, my doctor is really going to push hard for me to start insulin to treat borderline Type 2 diabetes. I am really going to push back on that, preferring to control my A1C and blood glucose levels with diet (see above!) and exercise.
It’s a long running “discussion.”
I get my A1C tested routinely twice a year, and with one or two exceptions over the past fifteen years or so, I’ve hit those targets. One of the way I do that, while still maintaining a lifestyle balance that leaves me with the will to live when I finish dinner, is to have periods when I have an A1C test coming up (where I have an extremely restrictive diet) and periods where I’ve just “passed” my A1C and can be a little bit less restrictive.
(To be clear, “less restrictive” is not code for going totally off of the deep end and eating like a lunatic. It more means that once or twice a week, if I have dessert or some pasta or something “bad,” I’m not going to beat myself up over it or lose sleep. Moderation, remember?)
Today, I passed my “spring” A1C test. And tonight I celebrated by having pizza for the first time since December. Nothing fancy, just Dominos.
It was sooooooooooooooooo good!
And yes, I feel like I ate a bowling ball, and no, I did not eat the entire medium size pizza by myself. There’ plenty of leftovers for tomorrow or Thursday.
But the cheesy, saucy, thick crust Carb-o-lisciousness tonight was indeed a celebration.
Tomorrow I will have a banana and egg for breakfast, fruit and raw veggies for lunch, and something reasonably healthy for dinner with veggies and salad. (And some dessert! Maybe wine!)
But tonight, it’s a wonder that this got written and posted before midnight, because I am warm and snuggly in the bosom of a carb coma.