Diabetes Burnout, Chapter 4 and Made to Crave, Chapter 3

Healthy Eating:

Diabetes Burnout author Polonsky shares a list of 10 roadblocks to healthy eating.  I am going to list them out, then share my reflections on which one(s) affect me the most.  Then I’ll share my reflections on tackling these road blocks.  I have a feeling Made to Crave‘s chapter will somehow impact my reflections…

Roadblocks to healthy eating:

  1. You are not exactly certain HOW to follow a healthy meal plan.
  2. Your vision of a healthy meal plan is unrealistic.
  3. There are too many temptations everywhere, and it is hard to resist them.
  4. Life is too stressful. (Comfort food)
  5. Eating at restaurants or at social gatherings is just too hard.
  6. It takes too much time and effort.
  7. Every time you’ve tried to follow a healthy meal plan, the results have been discouraging.
  8. You get no cooperation or support from your family.
  9. Eating healthfully is boring.
  10. It is hard to say no.

So, which of these roadblocks show up in my life?  I have to say, first of all, how BLESSED I am that my husband and sister-in-law both support and cooperate with healthy eating.  Brandon also wants to be a healthy eater, and even eats his green beans when he DISLIKES them so very much!  (He hates “sqeaky” food…)  So #8 is NOT a hindrance.  #1, knowing how to eat healthy, is not an issue.  I actually LIKE most healthy foods and salads, fruits, vegetables, grilled and baked meats, etc.  Fried foods taste good, but don’t always set well in my system. 

The rest of the roadblocks come up in different forms.  It is hard to set a healthy meal plan and stick to it for a few reasons:  yes, temptations are high, but so are the grocery prices.  Choosing lower-carb, fresher foods and staying away from pastas and potatoes is HARD on a low budget.  Why does eating healthy have to cost so much????  When I went to Palestine and Israel YEARS ago (1999 to be exact), fresh fruits and vegetables at the market were a fraction of the cost of prepared meals.  Here in the U.S.A., it is the exact opposite.  Fresh and/or organic foods are three times the price of a can or frozen bag.  So I am exploring websites for coupons, meal-planning ideas, frozen dinners, crock-pot meals, and such.  The other issue is complexity and lengthy ingredients in some of these recipes.  I am trying to keep it simple and add spices instead of tons of other ingredients.  Any ideas, websites, or such for coupons, meals, recipes, money-saving cooking tips?  Please share below!  I do use Swagbucks, and am just looking at The Grocery Game today.  It is definitely hard to say no to a meal out with friends or a delicious fresh cookie warm out of the oven, bagels and cream cheese, or donuts freshly made just down the street.  Convenience is nice too, especially when not feeling well.  I have been sick for almost a week and a half now, and ordering pizza or running to McDonald’s for a burger and small fry is so much more appealing than cooking.  I do have to say, I am enjoying a Happy Meal more than the Two-cheeseburger meal now.  Smaller portions, and apple wedges and a toy!  So much fun!  But, that is beside the point.

Yes, I have road blocks to healthy eating.  Now, what can I do about them?  Polonsky shares “seven strategies for overcoming the barriers to following a healthy meal plan” on page 44 of his book. 

  1. With your health care team, develop a meal plan that is clear and reasonable for you.
  2. Modify your eating environments to support your efforts.
  3. In the face of meal planning disappointments, get perspective.
  4. Make use of the principles of “structured cheating.”
  5. Focus your attention on the new habits you are planning to start, not the old habits you are trying to stop.
  6. If your daily life seems boring, take action.
  7. In challenging social situations, make use of assertiveness strategies.

I have my physical in two days.  From there, I am expecting to have follow-up appts with a new endocrinologist and diabetes educators in the not too distant future.  I also want to explore budgeting and assistance programs to increase our grocery budget.  Then I would like to have regular, weekly meal-planning meetings with my husband and sis-in-law once we have down on paper the dietary needs we all have.  I am so thankful for supportive people in my life and household!  Now, if only I can gain willpower to not chow down on muffins, donuts, and coffee cake on Sunday mornings…Love my church, and we LOVE to eat!  I need to learn to set limits, and that it is ok to have a little bit once in a while.  Scripture even talks about eating in moderation (I think Lysa TerKeurst will be mentioning this to me shortly after I read chapter 3 of Made to Crave…).

I also know it is important to set reasonable and measurable goals.  Cutting ALL sugary sweets may be unreasonable.  But, limiting myself to 1-2 portions a week, or a mini-candy bar once a day, seems doable, and like a reward to look forward to!  I just cleaned out the pantry, so that is helpful.  I found my vitamin supply this week too, and have been taking those twice a day to increase my immune system while I am sick. 

Best thing I can do:  walk past the Zebra Cakes at the grocery store.  Curse you, Little Debbie!  Those silly oatmeal pies…the creamy goodness that is oh so bad for me…OK!  ENOUGH!  Walk away, Kara.  Maybe, a prepackaged zebra cake or oatmeal pie for $0.75 will be ok, but NOT THE WHOLE BOX!  OK, done.

Since my husband and I are new to the Champaign-Urbana area, we need to learn the locations of some healthy eating establishments.  Unfortunately, we live right down the street from Pia’s, and they have amazing chicken fingers…so, anyone in the I-57/I-74 corridor with food ideas for date night? Needs to be low-budget too…

One thing I have to remember is that even on my best-eating days, my blood sugar may still do something wacky.  I know my hormone levels (spikes and lows) impact my sugar levels.  So do temperatures and activity levels.  Not only in my food choices do I need perspective, but in my environmental factors as well.

Since I am embarking on a weight and inches losing campaign as well, I need to keep in mind that better control over blood sugars will initially impact my weight levels.  Perspective here will be everything.  I need to remember that INCHES lost means more than WEIGHT lost in the long run.  I took initial measurements down on January 2, 2014, and have a “before” picture that is head on and profile views.  I’ll be revisiting these monthly, ideally.  🙂

Polonsky also discusses eating disorders here in Chapter 4, so I encourage anyone struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating to find a support group and talk to your doctor.  Even call a crisis line if you don’t know where to start in finding help.  SPS America is a great resource for finding an initial starting place.

Made to Crave:

Lysa makes an observation about our society:  “we want the results but have no desire to put in the work required” (pg 25). In dieting, we always make good strides at the beginning.  Yet we fail to keep up with it.  We want the results of smaller pants sizes without the work required to earn it.  Too true, for me especially.  And this links so quickly with the meal-planning it takes to successfully care for myself with diabetes as well.  Lysa writes about HER food plan, and that each of us will have a different food plan.  Hers is quite strict, really, and makes me nervous, but it works for HER.  We all need to set realistic goals, achievable goals, in our eating habits.  She also writes that she has grown to love her plan.  It is an adjustment, no matter what.  We have to grow into our eating plans, and make adjustments along the way.  Consulting a nutritionist would be great, but at least a doctor and accountability group will suffice for most of us.  (I’ll end up with a nutritionist, I am sure, but I am ok with that!).  

Lysa encourages finding some friends to walk alongside in this journey.  I know my husband will walk this path with me.  I also started a facebook group and am adding friends to it nearly daily.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/LetsDoThisTogether/ is a closed group, but you can look me up anyway on facebook.  My link is here somewhere…

So, yes, let’s do this together!   We can keep each other accountable in our food, in our inches lost, and in replacing our cravings with God’s Diet of His Word.

 

In Christ,

Kara

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