You go first. Let's try that again. Knock knock Whose their? Hard. Hard who? Hard to be funny with so much on my mind. I was in the doctor's office two weeks ago, and he diagnosed me with Diabetes. It's a combination between genetics, high levels of stress, and bad eating as a result. I've had an incredibly stressful year. If all my coworkers were to throw their health problems into a box and shake, the box would explode. That is if they stuck around long enough to watch. One by one, many have quit. Those of us who have stuck it out have suffered from high blood pressure, shingles, and now let's add my Diabetes to the list.
As for the dreaded diagnosis, I've been expecting it for some time. After all, genetics loads the gun and life style pulls the trigger. My dad was diagnosed when he was around my age and under going a lawsuit from his business. In many ways, I am my dad in that I'm a worrier who wants to please. Interestingly enough, I've had a lot of dreams recently that involve Dad being with me. Although he died in 1993, I've never stopped missing him. I guess we never do. Looking at dream analysis sites, dreaming about one's father hints at a need for protection. This makes sense because Dad was always looking out for me. With me being only 31 when he died, I felt cheated; however, I've since gotten over these feelings by talking to people about their dads. I was better off with my father for 31 years than theirs for 62. Dad never hit me, but I believed he would. He told me to do that with my kids.
Unfortunately, although we never even spanked our children, we could not pull off the believed fear that we would. As for me, I've only successfully beaten the crap out of fictional characters. Does that mean the violence is in me? I could claim that to scare my kids, but it's too late. They are adults, and I'd have a hard time convincing them that they'll be going over my knee for their insolence. By the way, my kids' favorite thing to do is to tell "You're mama" jokes in front of me, but I'm being ADD, again.
The good thing about my dreams of Dad is that at night he shows up walking. Dad lost both of his legs to Diabetes. Mom, on the other hand, never had severe problems with her Diabetes. I hope to keep the disease under control. I've lost five pounds in the last few weeks and plan to lose more. Plus, I will be eligible to retire in a couple of years. Pray that I can hang in there long enough to receive full benefits for thirty years on the job. It's hard to believe just how close I am. As a side note, you may look forward to reading about how I abuse my characters after I retire and have time to focus on getting published.
When I was a wee little girl, I ate two things: hot dogs and jello. The hot dogs had to be peeled of skin and cut into little round pieces while the jello was usually red.
My frantic mother rushed me to the doctor and asked, "What do I do?"
"Feed her hot dogs and jello," the doctor said.
(Reminds me of the old joke, "Doc, it hurts when I do this!"
"Don't do this.")
So Mom left me alone and with little fanfare, my food jag slipped away. Today there are very few foods I don't like. Don't get me wrong, there are many things I won't eat, but it's due to diet, health, or religious issues, not from stamping my feet like a two year old.
I still love hot dogs (even after the events from my A-Z hot dog post). Here is a picture of my lunch. Yes. That's a hot dog hiding behind asparagus, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. I count carbs, so you're not seeing a slice of bread, but I did eat a delicious 13 carb fiber brownie for dessert. The vegetables are about 5 carbs per serving, and I probably have at least four servings on the plate, so I think I'm good. If not, I will instantly balloon out and have to throw out the few things that didn't shrink in my hot closet, but that's okay too because my kids have directions via Rita Rudner.
They've grown up hearing, "If I'm ever on life support, don't pull the plug until I'm a size six."
"Yes, Mother." They roll their eyes and never find me even slightly funny.
Back to the carbs. I started counting carbs in April and since then I've shed about twenty pounds. I don't eat much in the way of sugar, but that's nothing new. The thought of a glazed donut makes me want to gag, which is ironic because my WIP is a story called MRS. ZIMMERMAN'S DONUTS and involves a little boy who's deprived of these and other delectables from his over protective mother.
I don't eat pork as a poor attempt to follow at least one kosher law. If I were truly a good Jew, I'd give up my favorite traif, shrimp, but it ain't happening. At least not outside the home.
I like wine, but every time I drink a glass, my blood sugar spikes. I'm not a Diabetic but the disease runs heavily in my family and that's the main reason I'm carb counting. I have a pre-Diabetic diagnosis and don't want to take it any further than that, so I figure I have a choice: Eat healthy and lose weight or get the disease and lose the weight of a leg or two. I choose the former. Yay! Blood sugar was 93 this morning.
As for foods I don't like, I hate liver, olives, sweet pickles and relish. I'm not a big fan of okra, but it has more to due with the slimy texture than the taste. It looks like snot and doesn't score too well on my appetizing meter.
Now that you know my food issues, I leave you with a musical number on the topic. Signing off from the Methodist Germantown Hospital. Surgery was a success, and I'm going home today. I hope the dogs don't attack me when I head through the door.
Beware of Dogs
Enjoy one of my favorite songs about a yummy food that I won't be eating for awhile.
Diabetes has harassed my family from generation to generation. First, my paternal grandmother hobbled up and down steps with her wooden leg, then my poor father suffered tremendously when this awful disease stole his limbs, kidneys, and life. My mother became diabetic as an elderly lady and now another close family member tests her blood in order to keep her Diabetic sugar levels under control. So why did I wait so long to kick into a healthy life style?
It’s easy to become fat and lazy being a writer. Over the summer, I spent hours sitting in front of my computer doing the thing I love most—writing, but there are consequences. My weight was up along with my cholesterol and blood pressure until that frightening call from my doctor’s office telling me to come back for another blood test because I might have Diabetes. Fortunately, I got lucky with a Pre-Diabetes diagnosis and a stern warning that my status would surely change if I didn’t react to the news.
So, I’m doing what’s necessary. The Diabetic Store in Memphis, Tennessee offers free classes for anyone whether or not you are a diabetic. I eagerly attended two classes and have followed the eating and exercise plan proposed to me. Three weeks later, I’ve dropped a dozen pounds and am still going strong.
Throughout my life, I figured I’ve gained and lost the weight of several people in my quest to be thin. Since my last rebound to the fat lady store, I’d given up on this task and watched my weight balloon past my nine-month pregnancy size. I’d even stolen a comedian’s line by instructing my kids to keep me on life support, if I ever needed it, until I became a size 6.
Now, I’m determined to be a six without life support. The difference in this diet and all of my others is portion control. In the past, I’d load up on the healthy vegetables but never limit how much, thus keeping my stomach from shrinking. I now realize that this is what keeps people thin: that small stomach that can’t fit careless binges.
At first, eating three ounces of meat, a third cup of rice, and two or three half-cup servings of vegetables was very difficult. I chew my food slowly and top off the meal with a 16 carb serving of sugar free chocolate ice cream. I’d leave the table hungry but was determined not to eat more because that was all my body needed. I did and still do enjoy snacks when hungry, but I keep them around 15 carbs. Now that I’ve finished my third week, an amazing thing has happened. I can get full on very little food, and it’s no longer difficult.
So wish me luck in this venture, and if you’re overweight, come join me before the doctor gives you a do or die warning.