Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why do we self-destruct?

Or, maybe I should say why do "I" self-destruct?

Ten months, ago in March, I made a radical shift in my meal choices based on some input from my Endocrinologist and further research online. It didn't take long to begin to feel the effects. My energy levels rose, my sleep improved, my skin got a little better-looking (that's saying a lot for 70 years of abuse and wrinkles!), and my overall disposition improved. 

As a by-product of the food intake changes, I also lost body fat, to the tune of about 30 pounds. I was beginning to look like my former body was emerging from its insulating layer! Then for my birthday at the beginning of November, I had some birthday cake... and the back-sliding began. Little by little, sugars and starchy carbs crept back into my diet and now they are rampant.

I suppose on some level I didn't actually want to believe sugar was so addictive, even though I know it intellectually. Oh, I can rationalize some of the carbs back into my diet as due to the time of the year. Potatoes are cheap and abundant, green vegetables aren't. Or, "My food budget is down because my heating costs are up during winter." Or, "The weather outside is nasty, and Comfort Foods feel so good.

The litany could go on and on... to include the Holidays (and we all know about Holiday Foods!), or being snowed in without power for several days and eating whatever was on hand even if it was wrong. But in the final analysis, it's all the head games we play. "One little slice of cake won't hurt me." 

Did I actually let the childish imp who lives inside me make the decisions of what goes in my mouth? Did I give in because it was the path of the least resistance? Did I allow some remnants of old and false food beliefs I had accumulated over the years thanks to advertising and food/medical PTB (Powers That Be) a space to still hunker down in my belief system?

Probably all of the above, in some fashion. Whatever the reason(s), I am now feeling almost as lousy as I did last March. I'm not sleeping well, my outlook is nigh on to depressing, I have no energy... and I have no one to blame but myself. I alone am responsible for the consequences of my choices and actions. No one put a gun to my head at the grocery store and made me buy those donuts!

I have re-gained about 10 out of the 30 pounds I had lost, which, of course doesn't make me very happy. The change in how I feel is what disturbs me most, and the weight is just a visible reminder. During the nearly 3 months I have been adding carbs back into my diet, I could have regained far more than just 10 pounds if I hadn't also been continuing a lot of the good foods I should be eating anyway.

So I'm facing a tough climb back to my protocol of a diet limited to 50g carbs a day. That will be difficult, or almost impossible, until I have more money in February to replenish my pantry. In the meantime, I have to eat what I have on hand or starve. I have plenty of meats, just not much in the way of probiotics like yogurt, and no eggs or cheese.

If nothing else, this diet departure has shown me exactly how destructive certain foods can be for me. IF I had any doubts about eating starchy carbs, 3 months has proven that I simply cannot! There's a definite parallel with the alcoholic and one tempting drink, to me and one tempting donut.

As a side note, it is NOT calories in and calories out for me. If anything, I was eating more total daily calories before I started adding in carbs. (Increasing carbs at a meal usually meant fewer calories from meats and other foods with good saturated fats.) My activity level (calories out) is pretty consistent over time. When I don't dig in the summer garden, I dig in the winter snow and haul firewood.


  1. Not to say you shouldn't cut back on your carbs, but don't minimize the very real impact that the lack of sun has on a person's psyche. It's not surprising in the least that as the sun hours begin to lengthen, your force of will is also returning. Winter depression, however mild, is beginning to shift... next will be spring fever, if you haven't gotten bitten yet this year. LOL

    I don't know how many IU of Vit. D you are taking, but that' might be an avenue to look into for offsetting the winter shift.

  2. I didn't mention it in my post, but I had also fallen off my daily Vitamin D dosage. I usually get about 6,000 IU, and as of yesterday, back on it.

    Thanks for the reminder!


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