So what is keeping me up at night? I worry about ending up right back where I started from just two years ago: 245 pounds, out of shape, no control of my blood sugar levels, ignoring my dental health, lacking any sort of joy. I'm a long way from that point but some days, inside my head, it feels just a quick ride from where I am right back to the beginning.
For about the last eight months, I've on-and-off flirted with my binge eating disorder. For those not familiar with binge eating disorder, here's how it looks for me:
- I eat a lot, quickly, even when I'm not hungry;
- I feel like I can't stop eating even when I'm uncomfortably full;
- I feel ashamed about my eating episodes and usually try to hide what and how much I'm eating from others around me.
Until this week, none of my recent binge episodes had any adverse effect on my blood sugar so I just kept allowing them to happen even as my weight and, more importantly, my body fat percentage crept ever higher. (My body fat was at 26% in June, it hit 33% two weeks ago; not good.) Then I had a major binge Sunday afternoon and evening followed by another one Monday night and a slightly smaller one Tuesday night, and it finally caught up with me: my blood sugar reading Wednesday morning was higher than it had been in over a year.
When I say it was higher, it was 20 points higher than the top of my normal morning readings. To be clear, it was still well within the "healthy" range espoused for diabetics by most of the national diabetes organizations, but that isn't the standard I hold myself to because I don't believe it to be strict enough to avoid diabetic complications and I certainly don't want those.
At first, I chalked it up to the night before's eating and told myself it would snap right back to normal by lunchtime; it did not. Two hours after breakfast it was still high. Before lunch, after lunch, and before dinner readings were all higher than normal for me. Again, far below the national standard guidelines, but not low enough for me.
And finally - finally! - something inside me snapped awake and said, "this is endangering my health and my life, so it must stop right now." TCB had noticed the higher than normal reading on my meter the night before, so when I sent him a panicked text message after lunch to say that I was scared I wouldn't be able to get my readings back down to normal, he wasn't surprised. I told him I was going to go low carb for a few days to see if that would reset things back to where they belonged and he was totally supportive.
It's Thursday afternoon now and things seem to be back on track. My numbers are right where they belong, I haven't eaten even a morsel of simple carbohydrate since Tuesday night, and I feel as though I've been rebooted to a better, healthier mindset at last. I don't know how long it will last, though, and that's where this blog comes in.
I want to come here each night to check in before bed and share how I've done. I may at some point share more about the rest of my life as well, but right now it's all about staying abstinent from binge eating, moment by moment, meal by meal, day by day.
If anyone's still out there listening and has anything to share on this topic, or healthy eating in general, the comments are open and I'd love to hear from you.