I’ve been talking around the fringes of my pre-diabetes diagnosis for a few posts, between the questionable nature of the diagnostic category, and my continued adventures re-engaging with yoga. But it’s feeling as if a more generalized circle-back on the topic wouldn’t be a bad thing tonight, especially since I am still 100% mid-tome in my reading of Wolf Hall.(1)
First things first: even though I am beyond cheesed at the suspect nature of the whole “prediabetes” terminology, given what I learned last week about the topic, I’m still choosing—at least for the moment—to continue using that term for my diagnosis. Because however problematic the U.S. medical system’s application of that term may be, it is the U.S. medical system in which I have to exist right now.(2) So I might as well keep using the diagnostic label all my medical professionals are going to be using on my chart.(3)
Now, I reserve the right to change my mind about this down the line. But it’s where I’ve landed for the nonce.
So, in addition to trying to get in the habit of body movement—as documented by my various posts re: yoga—I’m also trying to take teeny-tine steps to lowering the amount of carbohydrates in my daily food intake. One of the concrete suggestions my endocrinologist had in that oh-so-annoying consultation some weeks back was that, instead of my routine of having one Kind bar for breakfast and another for my mid-morning snack, I try lo-carb protein smoothies (e.g. Atkins). And I’m trying to give it an honest try, really I am. The flavors are fine, but there is something about the liquid meal that just isn’t as satisfying to me as something that I can chew and swallow.
Still, given the metabolic realities I need to contend with right now, reducing my morning routine from 34 carbohydrate grams to 10 grams is a significant enough gain(4) for me to summon some stick-to-it-iveness. Across the week, that’s 144 grams of carbohydrates I’ve made go bye-bye.(5) I would like to think that will be worth something when I have my 3-month follow-up.
Let me brutally honest: this way of talking about food, measuring grams and quantities and talking about reducing amounts of “bad” substances, is hella triggering. It feels barely a nanometer away from all the mental poison of diet culture and disordered eating.
Which is why I’m so grateful to have found some extra resources along the way.
In that first half-furious, half-despairing weekend after my endocrinologist appointment, I spent some time gnashing my teeth and feeling sorry for myself. (As described here previously.) But I also did something proactive that I’m pretty good at: research. I found a couple of Facebook groups whose members support each other in addressing diabetes and similar conditions without collapsing into diet talk.
And through one of those groups, I found out about an online class/support group that is specifically devoted to a HAES approach to diabetes and similar conditions. The course is co-led by two nutritionists, Rebecca Scritchfield and Glenys Oyston, who both embrace the radical notion that self-care choices are more likely to be inspired by compassion and self-acceptance than by social stigma and public shaming. (I know: shocking!!)
Having these guides and their resources to start me down the path of addressing my diagnosis is help that’s actually helpful rather than hopelessness-inducing. I have Rebecca’s book lined up as the next entry in my HAES/self-care reading list, and I’m so incredibly grateful that I was able to find and access this resource so early in my prediabetes journey.
(1) Don’t get me wrong: I am very much enjoying the book. But, just like when I started the year with that Alain Locke biography, it just takes a while to read something as lengthy and dense as this novel is.
(2) Until I make that mythic fantasy move to Iceland…
(3) Much in the same way I’ve trained myself to be able to call September’s Veronica-removing procedure as the lumpectomy it was.
(4) Well, reduction, actually.
(5) I’m only holding to the protein shake thing 6 days out of 7: that’s more than enough for now.
Image credit: Photo taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.