Take a minute to think about your favorite food. Imagine how it tastes; how it makes you feel. Maybe it’s macaroni and cheese like your grandma made or homemade bread fresh from the oven, dripping with butter. How about a baked potato smothered in cheesy goodness? Pizza? Pasta? Cheesecake?
Brussel sprouts? It’s comfort food, right?
Now imagine that you are told that eating your favorite food will most likely contribute to poor health and that you shouldn’t eat it. Dang! Here’s the harder part: if you eat said food, you still get the same great tastes and comfort and you don’t feel bad at all! In fact, despite what you’re told, the food doesn’t make you feel sick. There is no immediate consequences to eating your favorite things which makes it that much harder to give it up. It’s like having your security blanket ripped from your hands.
This is what it’s like to live with type 2 diabetes, specifically if you don’t use mealtime insulin.
Here’s another thing that makes this difficult: you are constantly bombarded with the idea that you can eat whatever you want, in moderation. Well-meaning friends and even HCP can tell you that it’s “ok” to indulge from time to time. A little bit won’t hurt! Really? Maybe it will hurt. Go back to thinking about your mac and cheese or pizza or cheesecake; your comfort food. Can you see yourself being ok with just a bite now and then? Well, if you’re like me you can’t. Just a bite of pizza? Get real. And even worse, think about doing without your security blanket for the rest of your life!
People who live with type 2 diabetes often don’t receive adequate education to understand how to make changes and why it’s important. We are often told, ad naseum, about all the complications in our future if we don’t toe the line and yet we aren’t really prepared to make the changes we need to make. I mean, I ate pizza and my foot didn’t fall off! What gives?
My point: (I do have one). Living with type 2 diabetes is hard. Most people aren’t taught how to use their glucose meter to determine how foods affect their BG. In fact, many are discouraged from checking their BG very often (limited test strips and lack of funds). They are told that they need to moderate and then are chastised if their A1c goes up. "What did you do wrong?" Huh? Society adores food and we are faced with celebrations where we’re supposed to moderate while everyone else does whatever they damn well please. We are stigmatized on social media for being fat and lazy and told that “all we have to do” is XYZ and we’ll be fine! Come on, what’s wrong with you? Eat this way. Walk this way. Just freakin DO IT! It’s not that hard!
Yes, it is.
With all the talk about how to eat in a more healthy way or what diet is best or how we ought to be exercising, no one ever stops to say, “Hey, I bet it’s hard. I’m sorry.” Instead we’re told to suck it up and get with the program.
Think about your favorite comfort food for a minute. Now think about how much you’d miss it if it disappeared from your life.
Hey, I bet it’s hard. I’m sorry.