Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Me? Healthy?

Well, clearly, no. But I'm trying.

For the first time in my life I am attempting to change my eating habits for the sake of my health rather than for the vanity of losing weight.

Those of you who know me well know that chocolate chip cookies are, by far, my favorite food. Followed fairly closely by cake of any sort. Chocolate works for me as well, as do really salty fries.

This being said, it is no small thing for me to substantially ratchet down my intake of these types of items and replace them with healthier alternatives, but indeed this is what I have been doing for the past three weeks or so.

I have been flirting with diabetes ever since three of my last four pregnancies were gestationally diabetic. I regularly check my fasting blood sugars, and have watched as they have crept up to their recent average of 114. This is solidly pre-diabetic. Flat out diabetic is 125.

And, as you already know, I am riddled with cancer, so now seemed like a good time to do whatever I can to make a quick u-turn on the path I am currently on. It would be a terrible irony if I were to beat cancer only to find myself living decades with diabetes! I hope, instead, to live long and healthy.

Three weeks after reading "Stop Prediabetes Now" and implementing much of what was recommended, I have arrived at a fasting blood sugar in the low nineties. I am hoping over time to bring it down another 10 or 15 points. As a bonus, I have lost five pounds. (In fact, my study nurse asked me what was 'wrong' at my last oncology appointment--she was concerned that my appetite had left me again!)

In addition to virtually eliminating carbs (sugar, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, tortillas), I have substantially increased my intake of non-starchy fruits and vegetables, along with protein such as meat, eggs and cheese. I am also faithfully exercising 20 minutes per day.

I don't like to exercise. And I don't like meat. So, while this does not come at all naturally to me, I am giving it my best shot. I am not perfect, and I will most definitely not go the rest of my life without ever having another cookie or piece of cake, but it is my most sincere intention to make them rare treats. If I get a second chance at life, I want to treat my body with more respect this time around.

Wish me luck, as I attempt to convince myself that food is more for nourishment than for pleasure. 'Cause I still have a lot of self-convincing to do!


Sarah said...

Dear Suzanne,
YES you can do it!!!! Actually you have just inspired me to make healthy choices too. Well friend when it seems hard think of me because I will do it with you!
Stay strong because you are!
Love, Sarah McCormick

Tiffany Hayes said...

Once again you inspire me. I was having a bit of a trying day and was ready to eat just about anything I could get my hands on. You made me think about it (I have been trying to be good anyway). Thanks for helping me stay on track.


Shannon Akina said...

Suz, I have known you a long time and I know you can do anything you put your mind to. Who is it that broke both her ankles and didn't want her mom to find out she was hurt? (Like we could have kept it a secret.) You still stayed at school all day and didn't call your mom until we had no choice. You can do it.... You have the most positive attitude I know.


Annie Bizzi said...

I am sooo proud of you--I suppose this means you won't be laughing and poking fun at my tofu marinara with quinoa pasta or my green tea smoothies or the delicious, but oh so healthy agave-sweetened mango rice pudding...
You are awesome--and an inspiration to someone who has slipped in the exercise department...

Ange.i.am said...

Lots of awesome books out there on healthy eating. Try looking up Real Foods, Nourishing Traditions and things in that group. I lost quite a bit of weight fairly quickly without really trying just by stopping processed foods and switching to better sugars, better oils and better meat. I just make my own pies and cakes. ;-) You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Exercise? yeah, whatever..... but that agave-sweetened mango rice pudding sounds tasty.. Recipe Andrea?

nicole said...

Good luck! At least you have a healthy motivation. I'm not very disciplined in my eating habits, and I need to be.

Anonymous said...

So does this mean that the next time that Liz is selling buffalo meat you will be in on the transaction with us? Remember that buffalo meat is lower in fat that chicken and turkey. Hard to believe but it is very lean. Also, they raise the animals themselves. You can do this!! Diabetes is sooo hard on the body - it took out my sister's kidneys - I really miss her. Take care of your beautiful self! Love to you from Northern California.
Ma P

Rachel Whitehead said...

Have you heard of Abundant Harvest Organics? If you haven't, check out www.abundantharvestorganics.com
They are local, certified organic farmers and their produce is so much tastier than what you get at the store. You pick up your box on Saturdays, either at their Lancaster or Palmdale pick-up spot. It's fun too because each week the contents of the box is a surprise (unless you go online and look ahead of time). It's like a present of healthy, yummy food each week. Anyway, I just wanted to mention it since you are eating healthier now. We really enjoyed it. The farmer that organizes it is very faith filled and writes a wonderful letter each week to help us learn how organic farmers grow their crops.

Take care,
Rachel Whitehead

Bianca said...

way to go Suzanne! As always, I should have read this earlier in the day. Then I know I would have skipped taking that handful of candy or that ice cream that I was craving. I can't believe your blood sugar is in the 90's! Way to go! Definitely an inspiration!!!

anna lisa said...

Good Girl!!!

Sophia and I gave up cake for lent, but we're a pair of miserable backsliders. I don't even like baked goods from the grocery store but the other day we found ourselves eyeing Zingers like a pair of junkies. "Those don't qualify as cake do they Fifi?"

"Of course not!" and then later, hunched down like two fugitives in the car, "My inner fat girl is purring!!!!"

I have to laugh at the passion your post elicited :D!

And yes, I promise to be better too...