Sunday, July 11, 2004

Unsweetened Oatmeal is Gross, and Other Musings

Alright.  I admit it.  I was wrong.

I need to address the sugar addiction.  Period.  I feed my addiction to make me feel good and it really does have a physical effect, and it's no different than if I were using alcohol or illegal substances.

Here's the skinny.  When I was in 3rd grade I passed out in my school cafeteria.  My mother takes me to a doctor (this was mid 70s) and he diagnoses me with hypoglycemia.  He prescribes a Coke and a Hershey chocolate bar for whenever I have my "episodes". 

Years go by and I have these episodes off and on.  I learn from different new medical information that things like orange juice or peanut butter or even cheese are better food choices to stabilize my blood sugar, but the thing that really works is the soda.  So without fail, thoughout my life, I've used sodas to help me "feel better". 

I've been tested endlessly for diabetes, but never was diagnosed, and it always appeared the hypoglycemia was "reactive", meaning it was dependent upon what I ate or drank (or didn't).  But I read today that hypoglycemia is a precursor to diabetes, so I figure it's time now to put the breaks on.

I also found out so many of the things I've always chalked up to personality quirks (or disorders) could be attributed right back to the hypoglycemia.  Things like moodiness, things like depression, things like being overly emotional, I always attributed to severe PMS (which also has a connection to hypoglycemia, apparently).  Things like being tired, fuzzy headed, forgetful or uninspired to finish much of anything I start I always attributed to age or my weight or just my own character failings - but these too can be tied to hypoglycemia.

I told Steven it was the best and worst news of my life.  It's the best in that I can actually work to get better.  It's the worst in that it means I'm going to have to deal with the deprivation issue finally rather than be a slave to it any long.  I'm honestly very scared to do this.  But I'm going to feel the fear and do it anyway.

So as I choke down my unsweetened oatmeal (and furiously scribble Stevia or Equal down on my grocery list), I admit to everyone and myself that I'm ready to get real about my sugar addiction.

I'm scared, and I cannot promise I'll be perfect.  But I do know I want to feel better, and if this is the way to do it, then I guess I have to do what ultimately has to be done.  I've ordered low blood sugar and sugar free cookbooks to help make the transition easier.

I hear you all cheering.  I sure hope it gets easier, that's all I can say.



journey2sarah said...

You are in for quite a ride my dear.  But, HALELEUJAH! (SP?) Been patiently waiting for you to see the light.  And you had to see it because this will be not easy what you are going to do, if only because sugar/white flour is so pervasive in our society that it is almost impossible to purchase anything prepared without it.  Burg was right about stevia, but you  may find its taste not that great.  Someone said Splenda--there has been a lot written about apartame (giving headaches, and a slew of other things) I use Splenda instead of aspartame (Equal).  But the best way of all is to use more than one type of sweetener to achieve the effect, depending on what you are doing.  Splenda is great when a sprinkled effect is required.  It can also be cooked with nicely.  Stevia can be expensive and no two brands are created equal with it (excuse the pun).  However, the  jar lasts quite a while.  I found a happy medium and brands I like of it.  You will need to see for yourself on that one based on your area's availability.

Carrying dried fruits is my answer.  Unsweetened dried cherries, pineapple, apple, etc.  Finding the sources in your area may be the challenge--do you have Trader Joes down there? --a wonderful, reasonably-priced source of great stuff.

This entry of yours finally explains your almost fanatical fear of going off of sugar.  [Please make sure to do so quite safely--would keeping orange juice in your house be a good idea for your health issues? ]  If you were eating the usual kids' sweetened cereals it would be easy for anybody to faint if a large quantity were eaten.  These things should be banned from public consumption.  What happens is the kid eats a lot of it (it tastes more interesting than candy or cookies) then has a sugar crash 3 hours or so later (if you did not have money for or access to candy you could easily nod out by lunch hour).  I

journey2sarah said...

I would be curious to read any anecdotal /stories the readers/poster care to share about their experiences or their childrens' or friends' experience with glycemic responses (sugar highs/lows).

nslieder said...

Hi Ginger!
My boyfriend has diabetes, and he loves using Splenda.  He's a fantastic baker, and I have eaten pies of his made with splenda, and not even tasted the difference.
The other thing you might want to try is barley malt or rice syrup, found at your local health food store or "natural" section of your supermarket. You really don't need to eat your oatmeal unsweetend! For a while back in the 80's, I ate macrobiotically, where NO refined sugar (or flour) was allowed, and I used to cook the most amazing desserts.  I took a macrobiotic dessert cooking class at the Kushi Institute in Boston, and the sweetners of choice were barley malt, rice syrup, maple syrup and After-the-Fall applestrawberry juice.  Dried fruit was also a biggie. Another "sweet treat" is a product called mochi, made from sweet brown rice. It's also amazing when you do without refined sugar for a while how your taste buds change, and things that didn't used to taste sweet actually start to, like cooked carrots (yes, I know it sound strange)!
Best of luck with all of this.  You're strong and tough and I know you'll find what works for you!

chicagocubs2000 said...

Wow, thats a big thing to start doing all at once.  I have also tried hard to give up pop (or at least not drink more than 1 per day).  I hope you do good with this new goal.  Good Luck!

datadiva318 said...

Wow!  That's a very big step.  Kudos to you for your bravery.  

I have noticed that since I gave up the sodas, it is a lot easier to lose weight.  In previous attempts I was too hooked on the stuff to last very long.  I think that replacing it with water has helped.  I like water so, it was not a huge leap.  

However, I know how it is to feel like you need the sugar.  I think it was more the caffeine for me, though.  I never was a coffee person so I actually drank Coke with breakfast!  

I wish you luck.  You can do it!  Do it at your own pace.


sjburgess51 said...

Hi Gin,
 Stevia Plus or Splenda.  Not Equal b/c it has the alcohol sugar stuff in it that makes you bloat.  Stick with Stevia Plus or Splenda, that should do the trick for you!

journey2sarah said...

Hey Ginger:

You say:  "alright, I admit it.  I was wrong."  I should have mentioned in my prior post that it takes courage to do this.  Continue to take courage.  Take courage every day.  Renew your goals do not be afraid to amend them.  Face the mirror, the camera, the scale, people in public, your keyboard when you internet journal.  May G-d grant you ample courage.  Your courage encourages us  all.  Your courage is magnified in the Lord and with your journaling friends and partners.

Thanks for your e-mail...(now) [ME:  I just lost this man, John because I am fatter than he likes!  And, he has little neuroses.  I am feeling worse than worse.  I am so imprisoned with this fat and I am so upset by it all.  11 weeks of wasted time with him.]  I guess I have to go with plan B.  Revenge.  Best revenge is looking great.  I was never good at revenge though.  Help!  Pray for me.  I am lost.