Friday, February 21, 2014

Low-carbing as a diabetic

I spent my day being lazy.  I could have gone out and got some cardio, but I didn't.  Actually, that's not true ... I did spend some time working out in my backyard.  I always forget how tiring gardening can be.  What I did today really shouldn't even be called gardening.  It was pulling weeds.  Let's call a spade a spade.  Gardening sounds much nicer though, doesn't it?  I imagine lovely tulips with blades of green grass.  I have carpel tunnel in both my wrists with tendinitis in my dominant hand, so I haven't spent as much time on my backyard as I probably should have.  The pain is manageable, as long as I don't do too much at once.  Some some weeds are still alive and will be attacked on another day. The combo of my hands and bad back and I just had to call it quits.

I decided to spend some time today working on my food plan.  While I'm in the pre-op six-month educational portion of bariatric surgery, I have been advised to aim for a ten percent reduction in my body weight, although it is also okay for me to stay right where I am as long as I don't gain any weight.  A standard 1200 calories a day has been given to us as a guideline.  However, I always have to remember that I have some unique needs because I'm a type-2 diabetic.  Lately, though, I have been trying to see if eating a low-carb diet full of veggies and protein would serve me better.  That doesn't mean I haven't gotten in any carbs, but only from those that come with the foods I have been consuming.  Needless to say, my carb count has been pretty low.

The problem for me is that I have been feeling pretty weak.  I've been trying to push the feeings away, convincing myself it's just because I'm eating less calories.  Yet I know that the last thing my doctor would want me to do is to starve myself.  So I started looking back at some of my paperwork I've received from the doctor and diabetes nurse educators over the course of the last year or two.  Time and time again the point is made that I should not be avoiding carbs as a diabetic because that's where I get energy from.  Intellectually, I do know this.  I think that sometimes I forget how severe my case of diabetes is.  I have to take oral medication along with injecting insuling.  When my dad was here visiting, he was eating low-carb and he is also a diabetic.  However, I have to remind myself that he's doing it outside the advice of his doctor.  And he does have ongoing weight issues of his own.  Perhaps that's not the example I should be following.

Looking at the diabetic food plans I have been given that were tailored specifically for me, as well as research I did online, it's clear I've been taking the wrong course of action and can explain why I have been feeling so famished.  The dietitian wants me eating 2-3 servings of carbs per meal (up to 45 grams) with a daily goal of at least 6 servings of starches, 2 fruit servings, 2 dairy servings, as well as other guidelines.  When I step back and look at it, it makes a ton of sense as to why I'm feeling so hungry.  When I have more carbs in my diet, I do feel more satisfied with my food.  I used today as an experiment to see how my blood sugar would do.  I added a serving of black beans to my lunch and a serving of quinoa to my dinner.  When I checked my blood sugar each time, it was 115 a couple of hours after lunch and 117 a couple of hours after dinner.  Hmmm, exactly in the zone it should be.  .

Surprise, surprise, I'm not hungry right now.  I feel satiated, which is what I'm supposed to be feeling.  These are novel concepts to most people, but I guess not for me.  I tend to forget I'm diabetic a lot.  Or, I should say, I tend to act as if I'm not diabetic ... I never forget I have diabetes.  It's a disease and is always reminding me that it's a part of my life.  I have to somehow let go of the dieter's mentality that tells me that less is better and that feeling hunger all the time is good.  Sure, I should be hungry when the time comes but not all the time.  It's difficult to gauge when it's physical hunger versus head hunger when I'm not getting enough to eat.  I feel like a child relearning things as if for the first time in some ways.  My goal for tomorrow is to add more starch in, even if it's just a serving at a time.

Water Challenge Day 38:  Drank 183 of 183 ounces


Beth Ann said...

Isn't it annoying when we realize that we should be paying attention to those doctors and stuff? I find myself doing the same thing. And pulling weeds is totally exercise!

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