My mother died in a nursing home with a form of dementia related to diabetes. Type 2 diabetes runs along my maternal line. Twenty years ago, when I learned that my mother was injecting insulin, I decided to start monitoring my blood sugar. It has always hovered in the slightly elevated range of 100-110. Over the past few months, it started zig-zagging into the 120 range. It was time for a change.
However, this change is not new. I’ve been in a war with body image and food since the first grade when I played a rain drop in a Johnny Appleseed play. Photos revealed that I was the only convex raindrop in a long line of concave little, blue-sequined bodies.
In many ways, this issue has been a master teacher … it led me into nutrition, exercise, and a deep interest in health, for which I’m grateful. It also led me into every conceivable weight loss plan, all of which worked until I stopped working them.
Two things happened recently, both on my trip to Reno: my blood sugar spiked, and a book fell into my hands on a visit to Barnes and Noble. My first reaction was: Oh &^%$! … not another diet book. However, I took it to the in-house Starbucks thinking it would be the same-ole same-ole. And, it was, but it wasn’t. Little was new, but somehow, it landed differently.
One of my last bright ideas on this journey was: NO BS … meaning no bread or sugar. However, what I really meant was NO BS unless I really wanted it, and all too frequently I really wanted it. This book was saying pretty much the same thing only offering a compelling scientific case against sugar and flour and their addictive qualities. They advocate hard guardrails, which they call bright lines. When they say no, they mean no, none, nada! Plus: no in-between meal eating as well as their own version of portion control.
The next day, I finished reading the book and again refrained from sugar, flour, and unhealthy snacking. My blood sugar dropped immediately and has been under 100 for the past five days. Before, in the 20 years of monitoring, I haven’t registered under 100 more than a handful of times and never in a series.
So here I am, making a change, one that I’m seriously committing to … for my health’s sake, and for the peace of mind that I think might come from ending the war with food.
The first thing I did this morning was to pack the scale away for 30 weeks. My relationship to scales has always been unhealthy. If I was down, it wasn’t enough; if I was up, it was an invitation to binge. I arbitrarily chose 30 weeks as a time when it might be safe to get on the scale again.
Bright Line Eating recommends identifying NSVs … non-scale victories. So, that’s going to be my focus. I already have one NSV … normal blood sugar and a reduced possibility of diabetes and dementia! That’s pretty motivating.
I didn't want to write this post; it's more self-revealing than I would like. I was motivated by the Facebook Bright Line Eating group which I'm finding helpful and inviting. I wanted to post about my blood sugar but realized it would show up on my own timeline. The choice seemed to be to go public or forego the opportunity to talk to people in the group. I believe I need that support on this journey toward a new way of being in my body and engaging with food.
On my morning walk, it was suddenly clear that issue, this experience is part of who I am and I need to embrace all of myself. There is also always the chance that sharing this information might be helpful to someone else.
I recently made an image that intrigued me and have decided to use it as a touchstone for this part of my journey. It's definitely bright enough.