Bread, Me, and the Food Tracker!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
I love bread. My mother loved bread. With my mother - it was any bread. With me - it's the more "exotic" breads - any bread that isn't white and the more seeds and extras thrown in, the better.
I remember one Christmas my mother wanted to buy a bread machine for the two of us. I looked at her and said, "Are you nuts?! We'd both be so fat we wouldn't be able to make it through the door to go get more bread flour!" She thought about it for a moment and agreed. We both fought ourselves over bread and yet, at the time, I didn't realize how much I fought myself over a lot of things.
If left alone, I'd eat all the sweets I could. I had a sweet tooth that wouldn't quit and the idea of going without sugar was like giving me a death sentence. I didn't realize then that eating sugar was the same thing as a death sentence.
By the time I was away from the parental supervision, I had been deprived of so many things I loved that I became a rebel. "You can't tell me no now!" I gained weight as the news reported that genes were the blame for obesity. "Okay! It's my mother's fault! WooHoo!" I had given up trying to not eat sugar, fat, and salt, and no one was going to tell me that I could restrain myself - because I knew better.
Now - I've just discovered - without a doubt and irrefutably - that I can lose weight, I can't eat bread, regardless of how many seeds, what good grains it's made of, or how sugar free and fat free it might be. I can't eat it.
When I was diagnosed as pre-diabetes 2, which for those of you that don't believe in such a thing as pre-diabetes - it means that you do have a chance to change it so you are not diabetic if you change your lifestyle instantly. This means to lose weight (I think it was about 10%) and through a balanced diet, reduction of sugar, salt, and fat, and plenty of exercise and, of course, meds, you can put it off, possibly forever if you keep up with it. So I launched myself at it.
Unfortunately for me, at the time in a an area that was loaded with senior citizens all being diagnosed with diabetes 2, the diabetes classes that told you what it meant to have diabetes, how to change it, or live with it, etc., were all closing due to lack of participation either by patients or by leaders. I was really upset about it and my doctor let me out the door by telling me to stop eating potatoes. "I'm Irish - don't tell me to stop eating potatoes. They have to be in every meal I eat!"
One of the first things I learned was that potatoes were like little rocket ships that sent my blood sugar soaring out of control. So, because I was Irish, which meant I was probably stubborn, and I loved the things, I had to wean myself away from them. I'm still not totally without them, but I have cut them back from the biggest potato to the smallest potato I can find and also learned how to eat them with a carb that helps combat the fast burning carb of the potato. I am still working on not eating them at all and can make it for a couple of weeks without any, which is a lot better than the daily diet of McD's French Fries! (No - I still can't look at a McD's truck with the French fries picture on the trailer without having to fight myself to not go to the nearest McD's for the most French Fries I can buy.) Do you think McDs has a good marketing program? I definitely do!
And now I have confirmed for myself that bread does the same thing to me as those potatoes. Only I am refusing to try to find a combative slow burning carb to fight the fast burning carb of the bread. I am going to try to stop eating bread cold turkey. I know how hard that is going to be, too. I love turkey dogs, with the toasted buns. I love a tuna sandwiches with crusty bread and potato chips (of which potato chips are not allowed in the house, car, or my hand - pretty much eliminates them anywhere or anytime). But, yes, I still want them.
I'm not crying or feeling deprived, but I did cry when I discovered this fact in the middle of the night. This self-awareness came about when I weighed yesterday and was irritated at myself for not losing any weight. I knew what I had eaten. Today I weighed and lost 4 pounds in 1 day. I knew what I had eaten so I scanned my tracks. There it was! Bread. One day with it - no weight loss, one day without (yes, by accident) and I lost 4 pounds. No, I don't think that I will lose 4 pounds every day I don't eat bread, but I am more than aware at how much that food tracker is helping me! Yes, the food tracker that I have always hated!
So now, the food tracker has become a tool, the same as the fitness tracker and the scale that I see every morning. All they do is help me make adjustments that help my lifestyle, and my health, improve and when they don't improve, I can now go back and figure out why.
It's a bit like being a scientist on a project. You track EVERYTHING! Times, dates, changes, things you did, things that you didn't do. I think I learned how to do tracking after I had surgery and with all the complications from that, I had to track things for the surgeon. He was specific in what he wanted to see. So I daily tracked everything, food, which at the time was NO FAT, NO FRIES, NO CHEESE, NO DAIRY (EXCEPT 2% MILK) (I drank 1% for years and was okayed on that). He knew I am pre-diabetes 2 so it also meant low sugar/low carb. So I had to track every bite of food, which meant measure and weigh that food before consumed. I had to track my blood sugar levels (BSL) and when I tested and before/after what meal and he basically wanted fasting (before breakfast) daily. When I went to him for the followup one month after surgery, he looked first at my BSLs and said, "Wow - yours are better than mine!" Then he looked at the rest and said, "this is the best tracking I have seen." Everyday I had tracked my temperature, weight, food, exercise (which was a lot of wandering around the house. I was afraid I was going to wear out my carpet) and even how many times I urinated and the other so he knew my insides were working. He had me on homecare for a week and a nurse came and did my pulse, blood pressure, and listened to my lungs, my stomach, and checked my incisions. She reported directly to him, but she also quizzed me on my diabetes knowledge and how I was handling things and made sure I had an evacuation plan for hurricanes. I was cleared for everything.
Since I never felt like I needed the home care, it did one thing for me. It proved to me that I did know what I was doing and it was good. My meal planning and actions were great. She asked me where I had gone to classes. I told her it was a lot of research on my own - some trial and error, but mostly pulling up my own boots. I felt like a champion when she left telling me I should be a trainer. Can't afford the classes to become certified, but thanks for the confidence building.
So the moral of the story, for me, is use those trackers for tools. They don't hurt you! If you can't stand to look at them, then there's only one reason for that hate - you don't like yourself because you don't want to know what you are eating. Sure I came up with all kinds of reasons for hating the food tracker, but it all boiled down to I didn't really want to know what I was eating. Even while losing weight, I didn't want to know what I was eating.
Not any more! I use that tracker everyday. And no - it isn't perfect even now, but it's getting there because I have learned that going to the store and taste testing is very hazardous - and I've learned to not be afraid to tell the server that very same thing. I'm learning a lot of things from that Food Tracker tool and I don't hate it any more. I love it!