Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Like most, I have lost and gained the same weight so many times over my life that I could never put a number to it. The gaining part took no effort what so ever. The losing part seemed like endless sacrifice. Maintenance? Hmm...now that was an interesting concept. From childhood on I was either losing or gaining...never maintaining. My body didn't do maintenance. Dieting=weight loss. Eating=weight gain. Those were the two options. 
So needless to say, these past 15 years of figuring out how to not gain the 120+ pounds I had lost back.. has been as labor intensive as anything I did to get here. My body is so prone to weight gain that for me, maintenance requires vigilance and effort. I wish I could say that my body was "healed" from being a fat storing machine, but that wouldn't be true. If I deviate from my normal controlled eating plan for more then an occasional meal now and then, I will gain. If I take a break for a week and  eat like everyone else around me is eating, including people who are not overweight, I will gain. And it's not necessarily the calorie count that is the issue, but the food itself that will cause the weight gain. 

Grain based foods and sugar are the welcome mat in front of my fat cells. My insulin spikes and every calorie gets locked away like squirrels storing nuts for the winter.  On top of that, eating them also awakens the sleeping beast that is appetite and hunger. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetics can have a voracious appetite that is beyond anything imaginable. As far as you body is concerned, it is starving, no matter how much you consume. Obesity is the natural result.  
It is my JOB to be mindful of the food I consume and I know that each choice comes with consequence for me, good or bad. Because I am diabetic, I have a built in alarm system that fires if I go astray for more then the occasional deviation from my normal diet. I will feel like crap! I keep my blood sugar and insulin levels under control with lifestyle choices, but when I choose something different, BAM! Diabetic Pam!  
It frustrates me to accept the fact that I will never be"normal", whatever that is. I'm still not sure how "normal" people go about their lives. Do they just naturally run checks and balances in their heads constantly to keep their weight and health on track? I know that's how I live now. I generally know the caloric and nutritional value of everything I put in my mouth and I keep a running tally in my head. I see other people eating breads and sugary deserts and know that I can't have it. Let me rephrase that, I choose not to have it. Do I want it? You know I do, but if I want to stay on this planet with all my original parts and be healthy, I have to say "No". That is maintenance for me.

Standing Strong

So here we are at the gates of the annual "Binge Eating Ball". Everywhere you look from now until New Years it is nonstop over-indulgence in food and drink. We feel entitled to join in and for the next month,  we want to be part of the party. We want our traditional foods and we don't want to be the one standing against the wall while everyone else is mindlessly celebrating without a care. For people in the process of weight loss, it can be a complete derailment and an undoing of all your hard work.

I dread this time of year, every year. Not for myself, but for all my clients that will be struggling with the frustration of wanting to stay on their plan, but feeling overwhelmed and overpowered with all the pressure to eat, drink, and be merry. You may not be diabetic or have some other known health issue that influences the choices you make like I do, but we all desire quality of life. That means different things to different people. For some, it means doing whatever you want and paying the consequences which can be poor health, pain, or even death. For others like me, it means doing my best to support my body and accept it's special requirements and not feel deprived, but empowered by my choices. We each have our own reality to deal with and choices to be made. Stand strong and make yours based on your own best interests, not on the influences of others.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Life, Stress, Choices, Challenges

Dieting is hard, even under the best of circumstances, but outside stress pushes every button an emotional eater has. Without an alternative therapeutic release valve on your stress, it can turn in to an emotional battle ground which of course...creates more stress. For whatever reason, we turned to food as our coping tool. Other people turn to more positive outlets like music, exercise, hobbies, or any number of options. There are alternatives out there for each one of us. The challenge is to discover what yours is.

In a typical persons life they will be touched by all sorts of difficult things that are overwhelming and seem insurmountable, but for the most part, we get through and we go one. We may be changed, hopefully for the better, but we do go on. I have always told my kids that "You can get over pretty much anything". That probably sounds insensitive, but if it were not true, then why even try? I based this theory on my own personal experiences and heartbreaks. Deaths, divorces, addictions, poverty, homelessness, chronic illness, physical/emotional abuse..yeah..I can tick all those boxes whether in my own life or in one of my children's lives. And yet, time goes on and we do too.

We may not have the power to change other people, but we do have the power to change ourselves and the direction we choose to take. Obesity doesn't happen "to" us. It happens "because" of us. That's the good news! We are the creators of our current physical state, good or bad. We can be the designers of our new and improved physicality as well.

Never underestimate you ability to change.