Di is back with her Saturday “Swap-It”. It’s a forum where dieters and healthy eaters can come and give support to one another and share what works and what hasn’t worked so well in each case.
As everyone’s metabolism is different, what might work great for one person will do little or absolutely nothing for the next. Di points out that we shouldn’t become discouraged comparing our story to another’s. They no doubt have their off days too and their discouraging times. The point is to ‘stick to it’. Just because you have a set back, doesn’t mean you throw the diet or plan right out the window as a ‘failure”. Nope. Get back on the figurative horse and keep trying. And yeah, I do know just how hard that is, given how easy it is to offer as advice.
This week something has happened with me that has raised my stress levels to red line status. One of my ways of coping with stress is to eat. I’m a ‘stress eater’. I’m aware of that, and I deliberately avoid buying comfort foods to combat bingeing on something that’s just going to make me sick or that I’ll end up tossing out because I can’t eat the quantities of such stuff any more for some reason. Sweets tend to make me sick, so I have to be careful. Carbs do the same in excess, so moderation.
Bread and yeasty baked goods are at the top of my comfort food list. Mashed potatoes. Mac and cheese. I’m going to make a cheesy rice casserole that I enjoy because it covers the comfort food jones, but (save for the rice) is fairly diabetic friendly. It’s high in cholesterol though if that’s a consideration for someone.
Stress and food are intertwined in my personality. I have a moderate food addiction, and the reasons why are varied and a big list so I’m not going into WHY. Food has never let me down, so has come to be viewed as a reliable ‘feel good’ remedy for occasions that upset or stress me out. Food doesn’t judge either.
I find it odd that food can be an addiction. We need food to survive. What (in my opinion because I’m not a professional) causes the addiction is our bad food choices. Snack foods are truly one of the most awful things to ever be manufactured. They’re usually ready to eat (no prep time), they often have HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) as an ingredient and HFCS is addictive. The nutritional value of most snack foods is zero. So in that way I do see why food could become an addiction.
Learning good eating habits as an adult may well be the hardest thing someone ever tries to do and the failure rate is massive. I often envy those who were born with diabetes because they have always had to ‘eat healthy’ and rarely (if they are wise) indulge in sugary snacks, sodas and empty calorie fast foods like a large majority of Americans do. I was diagnosed at 40 years of age with diabetes and was the first in my family to get it ‘so young’. There are those in my family who got it as geriatrics (70+).
Learning to ‘eat right’ after 39+ years of eating what I wanted to (for the most part, spicy food turned on me in my 20s), has been a truly uphill battle. It’s a pain in the bum frankly. Because suddenly one has to work to eat. Better choices of what to eat, more vegetables, less comfort food, and if one is wise, no sugar. That last thing is one thing I’ve found it impossible to exclude. Everything has sugar in it in some form. Even fruit, which was my fall-back choice for ‘healthy eating’. Fructose (fruit based sugar, nothing to do with corn syrup really) is something I’ve been lectured about indulging in far too often.
A lot of my favorite foods are high in carbohydrates too. Carbs are necessary to a balanced diet, but the diabetic needs to strictly monitor the intake. Carbs convert to sugar (energy). Rice was called “the carb laden bomb” by one dietician I consulted about diabetes. It’s little grains of pure carbohydrates. Since rice is one of the pillars of my former diet, that was a severe blow.
For me anyway, stress throws the healthy handbook right out the window. It’s a choice of feeling really bad from anxiety OR feeling really bad from bad food choices. It’s tough to choose which will be the lesser of the two evils. Today? The bad food choices are winning. There’s only so much medication can do to relieve stress/anxiety.
But fortunately tomorrow is a bright fresh new day and I’ll get back on the horse and hopefully ride into a healthier sunrise.