A white ceramic cookie jar with a red lid. The jar is decorated with a drawing of a rooster and the words: "Kellogg's, Good Morning"

Addicted to Air

I’ve talked a time or two already about how my pre-diabetes diagnosis has me looking at various ways to reduce the amount of sugars and carbs in my daily food intake. What that also means is I have stumbled across so many books and websites that play on the tired old trope of “sugar addiction.”

I’m not going to amplify any of those sources here tonight—you can find them easily enough by making your own visit to Professor Google. Besides, you don’t need to know much more than the fact that this metaphor is out there loud and strong in the culture to be able to ride along with my complicated feelings on the topic. Mostly critique, but some small resonance, as well.

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Help That Truly Helps

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.

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More from the Floor

I’ve been staring at the computer screen and listening to Beethoven for I’m-not-sure-how-many minutes now, trying to figure out what to write about here on JALC (or even if I was going to write at all).

Ultimately, I decided to give it a try—in part because I want to postpone the wheels-falling-off-the-cart moment I feel almost inevitably coming down the pike at me. It’s gonna be an intense few weeks at work with various deadlines to meet, so I foresee a number of missed blogposts in the near future, as I will likely have to set JALC aside in order to devote my evening writing time to job-related stuff.

I’ll be doing some of that tonight, but first: a super-quick post with some more yoga observations I forgot to include last night.

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The View from the Floor

I’m already trying to “level up” my renewed yoga practice: not only did I follow through on my intention to attend class last night, I also went straight from work to attend a 6 PM beginner’s class tonight.

Now, in a perfect world, I’d up my class frequency while still having some recovery time between sessions. But these are the two nights that beginner classes are scheduled on, so this is the structure I need to work within–at least until I build enough skill/stamina to take on additional class types.

So here we are. After two classes in a row, I expect to sleep well tonight. I also half-expect to be sore tomorrow. And, in the interest of continuing to reflect on and honor my journey getting back to the mat, I’m going to share some of the impressions and observations that have come to me during this week’s classes.

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If I Lived In Iceland, I Might Still Be Healthy

Every now and then, when the endless brouhaha of U.S. culture and politics start wearing me down, I indulge in the mental fantasy of becoming an expatriate in Iceland. It’s one of those fantasies that’s almost completely divorced from reality: most of what I know about the country comes from seeing various friends’ vacation snapshots. I have absolutely zero understanding of what it would take to emigrate, and I presume that my professional skill set as a non-profit fund-raiser wouldn’t have much (any?) value on the Icelandic job market.

Still, any country that has such a well-established tradition of Christmas book-giving sounds like the sort of place that’d be right up my alley. So I continue to hold this Icelandic emigration fantasy—loosely, but holding onto it nonetheless.

Now it turns out that being in Iceland would also impact my recent diagnosis.

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Stretching Beyond My Comfort Zone

For all that I have complaints about my endocrinologist’s world view,* there was one thing she said last Friday that has really resonated with me. As we were going through my lifestyle assessment—job, schedule, usual meal choices and physical activity day-to-day—she sussed out the fact that the demands of my non-profit job, both in the sense of dedication to my org’s mission, and the general workload/stress, are strong contributors to my current landscape of sketchy nutritional choices and sedentary days. And the endocrinologist said:

You should be taking your health and self-care as seriously as you do your job.

And although I’d wager that she and I have drastically different definitions for what constitutes “health” or “self-care,”** it’s still a point well taken.

I’m not the first or the last non-profit professional to fall into this trap, but I do have a pattern of neglecting my well-being in an attempt to keep up with the workload and sustain an organization I legitimately, really, truly believe in and want to see succeed. And as I figure out my approach towards handling my new diagnosis, it’s worth recalibrating a little bit.

So tonight after work, I did something very brave: I went to yoga class.

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Good Fatty, Bad Fatty

As I continue coming to grips with last Friday’s diagnosis, I’m facing up to some uncomfortable emotional realities around the Venn diagram of overlaps between my life, my habits, my body and my diagnoses.*

Now, I don’t think I was wrong when I theorized that part of why I was thrown for such a loop last Friday had to do with me (falsely) believing that I was off the hook, only to have a sudden reversal of fortune. But another huge piece of this is just a plain old shame spiral.

The conventional rhetoric around Type 2 diabetes and my version of prediabetes is very much that it’s, like, totally preventable. That makes it very easy for me—in my usual perfectionist, hard-on-myself way—to think of myself as being “to blame” for being prediabetic. And that self-flagellation takes me down the shame path pretty darn fast.

I am now 100% in the ranks of the “bad fatty,” and I am having all kinds of shame and sadness around that.

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