Death by cheesecake

Sometimes I get tired of telling myself “No.” If I get through one day denying an impulse, it’s back again the next day with the added evil message that since I was so good the day before I really deserve a treat. I used to feel that way about alcohol, but managed to get wise to the recurring message until it finally went away.

What started this last swan dive off the eating plan was the personnel manager at work: “Cookies and hot chocolate in the training room!”

“That would kill me,” I muttered back. She seems to forget that I can’t have that stuff. I’ve turned down oranges (fructose), hamburgers (carbs in the bun), candies (duh). I get tired of telling people I can’t have treats because anything like that will jack up my blood sugar.

I feel like saying, “Here hold my phone and watch what happens after I get that chocolate bar.”

They may be surprised by the spike but won’t stick around for the hours it will take me to get the glucose back down again.

I’ve also been wrestling with my weight. I’ve had success with extended fasting over the years, but something in my body has changed. It’s like a new set point has me stuck at 20 lbs more than I want to be. I’ve fasted for seven days and within three days of eating my usual low-carb, the weight has returned to where it was. I did a run of alternate day fasting and didn’t see any real progress. I used to only have success with four days or more, but it takes a whole lot of commitment to get through those first two days, and then get through them again and again.

So I live on a daily diet of denial and frustration. I’m not looking for sympathy, or anyone to tell me I look “just fine” at the weight I’m at. That last sentence sounds like someone who pushes away help, and I often do. I fall back on the idea that I have to figure things out on my own, because no one understands where I’m at, what goes on in my head.

Since starting this blog, I’ve been paying more attention to how I process my emotions, how I often try to ignore them. Just because they’re out of sight, doesn’t mean emotions can’t have use influence. They’re in the background, rumbling like a seismic event in my soul.

Yesterday, after turning down the treats at work I decided I was going to indulge and deal with the consequences later. These “fuck it” moments happen periodically. I give myself a pass on my diabetic diet and fall back on that first doctor’s advice: “Eat what you want and use insulin to deal with it.”

I mulled over enticing options as I helped a neighbour out hanging curtains. I told her I’d pretty much decided on cheesecake. She thought that sounded pretty good. We agreed to split one. I went out to the store and, sadly, saw there were no small options. I settled on a massive strawberry cheesecake. I came home and cut it in half and delivered her portion.

“I’ll have some after dinner,” she said.

“What? Why not have it for dinner?” I said as I forked a huge chunk from my share into my mouth. I admired her restraint. My restraint got up and left me in the deli aisle.

So what you see in the photo is the remains of my half. The glucose did what I expected, set off alarms for a huge spike and then settled up in the stratosphere. I tried to address the rising glucose with insulin, but the spike blew right past like a semi on the highway. Through the night, I awoke and jabbed myself again and again. No regrets, just acceptance that I had to deal with the consequences. This morning I dumped in a boatload of more insulin, and finally got things back on track.

Now time for reflection. Am I okay with these “fuck it” moments coming up periodically and leaving me with glucose spikes that are so high they are on the verge of making me feel ill?

What’s behind the urge to eat, anyway? Is there something in my history that ties frustration to food?

Mom wasn’t one for cuddles or tolerating tears, but I do know that when the crappy things happened, she’d cook a favourite dinner, like spaghetti, or make bread in a number of delicious forms. It’s an easy assumption that I learned to soothe myself with carbohydrates.

So is it at all possible for me to learn to comfort myself with love and comfort I needed in the first place? As I write this, that damned right eye is “leaking,” [translation: crying]. I wipe the wetness from my eye and wonder where the feelings are that accompany the tears. They’re still buried deep, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to bring them to the surface again. At the very least, I want to create a connection between these angry urges to eat and buried emotion. Because it’s the resulting glucose spikes that got me where I am today, an emotional diabetic with a crappy pancreas.

So I have the day off today. I think I’ll make a trip out to the beach where I grew up. Other people own the house now, but it’s the beach that really feels like home. A place that, as a child, I found comfort. As long as I didn’t go into the water, I was allowed to be on the beach and so that’s where I’d go when my feelings got all muddled. The springer spaniel Jiggs would come with me. Today, I’ll take my girl Gemma.

Maybe a connection with my child-self is what I need. Maybe I can offer her comfort she was missing back then. I can only try.

One response to “Death by cheesecake”

  1. […] but of course I don’t do things by half-measure. It was delicious. I have a history with cheesecake, some readers may […]

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