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It is my gift; it is my curse (Does it serve you?)

February 6, 2013

Today I weighed myself for the first time in about two months. All I’ve done in this time is go dancing a few times, been to the gym a couple of times, and slightly improved my diet. I’ve lost five or six pounds. I told this to my mother and she was jealous. So I thought I’d share my secret. You see, I have a gift. It’s a curse.

The secret to resisting ice cream, or sugary cereal, or carb-intensive pasta? It makes me very ill.

This is the silver lining I look for as I grow slightly older, and my body starts to notice I’m not young enough to shrug off the abuse I put it through anymore. If I’m going to get up, function for a few hours, and sleep well enough to repeat it the next day, with minimal discomfort, I have to be careful.

I have a moderate lactose intolerance issue. I can have a coffee, but a cereal and ice cream are out of the question if I don’t want abdominal cramps and other more inconvenient unpleasant side effects. That one’s a no brainer, it takes no willpower, only a simple choice – do I want to be in pain today and unable to leave the house? Answer’s no. Usually.

Because I’m diabetic, on a program where I inject insulin according to how many carbohydrates I eat, I have to be careful. Some things are easy to judge – a slice of bread usually has 15g of carbohydrates. Some things are less straightforward: pasta, for example, or a bag of chips from the chippy. I’m not great at gauging carb content of these things, so I often make mistakes. This can also result in my being incapacitated for the day, upset stomach, leaden limbs, and feeling generally extremely ill. So when invited to get a bag of chips, the answer is always easy. Some days I’ll risk it if I have nothing on, and if I’m ill I only have to worry about correcting my sugars, not missing appointments and such. But generally, the answer is no, 99% of the time.

Just avoiding those two things, I cut a massive amount of calories from my diet that I used to inhale without a second thought.

But you don’t have to be diabetic or anything else – if you eat this stuff and listen to your body, you may feel “off” anyway.

I saw a fridge magnet on once that I want to buy with slightly different wording. It read simply: “Will that slice of cake help you improve your karate?” Obviously this can be tweaked: “Will that snack make you healthier?”

For a long time I had written on the fridge in felt pen “DOES IT SERVE YOU?” In other words, does what you’re about to take from the fridge or freezer do you good, or is it a snack, or an emotional balm? I’m guilty of binge eating when I’m emotional, be that depressed or angry, one or the other of which I am quite often. But with some understanding, some pause, and a thought, it’s getting better, and you can do the same.

So that’s one other area, of many, that Daniel is improving his life. If you want to lose weight, fix your diet, and you needn’t worry about exercise. “90% of your weight loss is done in the kitchen.”


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One Comment
  1. I’m glad you are having such success – thank you for sharing the simple truth that diet is hugely influential – AND – best of all, that we can control it.

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