Ugh. Anyway, yesterday I found myself tired (too much thinking instead of sleeping), hungry, irritable, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and wallowing in self-pity. By lunchtime I felt like I might start crying any minute for no particular reason. I sat down to eat some homemade chicken soup and think of a self-care plan, and that’s when I had an epiphany.
Awhile back my doctor checked my A1C and came back in the room making a frowny face. A1C is a lie detector test. Your doctor asks what kind of foods you’re eating and you swear it’s all kale and lemon water and then your A1C pops up with a result that indicates there may have been a few dozen Snickers bars and Oreo cookies thrown in there on a regular basis for the last three months. (One test blabs how much sugar you’ve been eating for the last THREE MONTHS!)
I had to pull myself together but there are sooooo many diets and eating plans out there. It’s overwhelming just reading about them. How can I decide which is the “right” one when many of them really do work? How do my vegan friends and keto friends all look so good, eating such radically different foods? But for me, following a plan is like doing homework. Didn’t do it in school, not likely to start now. The most successful diets have something in common, though: there’s no Bread Diet. Nobody is going on Instagram saying, “Look at these before-and-afters of me in a bikini, I went on the Bread and Birthday Cake Diet and lost all this weight and my cholesterol is 75! Follow me on IG!” So after my doctor scared me I just cut way back on the carbs and sugar and got a glucometer to see what worked and what didn’t, and lost 17 lbs. Then the holidays came, and cold weather, and I fell off the wagon, hard. Over and over.
Oh yeah, my lunchtime epiphany: If I can no longer eat my winter feelings, if I can’t make it all better by inhaling half a batch of no-bake cookies (sometimes baking takes too long), if it’s too cold for a walk or too icy for a drive to the gym, when I’ve become too apathetic to even care about my health, if I can’t bury my feelings under a pile of M & Ms, all I’m left with is my rage! I feel so much better after some of those soft, chewy cookies they sell in the bakery of every grocery store. They're so much more comforting than thinking about what’s bugging me, with quicker results than a nap. Instant gratification (followed by regret and self-loathing). Even at my advanced age it had never really struck me that as soon as life got dicey or the inside of my head was too dark and cluttered to deal with, sugar was my medicine. In this case the “cure” is definitely more deadly than the disease.
Hard to imagine when it’s 4 degrees out, but eventually summer will be back, bringing summer clothes and sun. I guess I better switch medications. Can I swap sugar for sleeping . . . writing . . . maybe an art project? Or maybe someone will come up with a vaccine that makes simple carbs taste bad. That would be nice.
Epilogue: If you’re someone who can’t relate to any of the above, you might like to know that Meijer carries the following Oreo varieties: Original, Double Stuff, Mega Stuff, Fudge Covered, Red Velvet, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Pistachio, Mint, Coconut, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Golden (plain yellow Oreos, who cares?), Chocolate, Valentine, Carrot Cake and . . . Reduced Fat! Just don’t see your doctor for four months.