Excuses, Excuses

This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.

We all have things we need to do in life but don’t want to. Maybe we’re afraid, maybe we just don’t like doing them; no matter why we don’t want to do it, it still must get done. We end up putting it off or ignoring it. We make excuses for why we haven’t done it or kept up with it.

I’m no exception to the excuse game. I make excuses, I come up with “reasons” not to do what I know I need to do. For the purposes of this post I am going to specifically talk about the excuses I make for not doing things I need to do to be a healthy diabetic. And why I don’t like doing these things and, perhaps, what I can do to stop this behavior.

Sticking to my LCHF diet - I need to do this but have a hard time with it, especially lately. I want to do it, it works to keep my BG under wonderful control but it’s difficult because I am a carb addict and I get powerful cravings. And I get burnt out from the constant hard work. My excuses for breaking my good eating habits: “I have no self control”, “I have low will power”, “I deserve a break now and then”, “The cravings are too powerful and won’t go away unless I satisfy them”.

For the record, all of these excuses are true, but I use them to get what I want instead of trying to overcome or fix them. I do try to ignore the cravings or satisfy them with alternative healthier foods. I do try to exert will power and self control, but I never try hard enough because I am soon overwhelmed with feelings of rebellion. Nobody and nothing is going to control me!

I need to change my attitude. I need to take control and force the will power. I really need to find a way to fix my cravings problem…

Exercise - I need to get a lot more exercise. My excuses for not working out: “I have neuropathy and it hurts real bad to be active”, “I’m too tired”, “I hate going outside”.

Again, all of these excuses are real, but there is no reason I can’t work through them. Getting fit should help the energy and tiredness problem, I just need to push myself more to work through it. I’m not the outdoorsy type anymore, at least not on a regular basis. But I don’t have to go outside to workout! I have a perfectly good Xbox Fitness program, I have a treadmill! I know how to workout in my living room!

Now, the neuropathy is an obstacle. I get on the treadmill and even at a slow pace I can’t go more than five minutes before I am wanting to cry. And by ten minutes I am struggling just to stay standing. But I have a bike I can go out and ride, biking doesn’t hurt nearly as much.

I need to just do it!

Carb/protein/fat Counting - I have a habit of not going to the trouble of really working out the proper counts and getting solid numbers. I don’t tend to do the math to it’s proper and exact extent for I:C (insulin to carb ratio), etc. My excuses: “It’s so much time and effort”, “I do a lot of home cooking and so it’s difficult to figure out counts and portion sizes”, “I still need to figure out how protein and fat get counted, it’s so confusing”, “I ■■■■■■■ hate math!”.

Yes it does take time and effort, but it’s of vast importance and needs to be done. Eating home cooked meals tends to be healthier and less expensive, you have much more control over what goes into your food. Also, I love to cook, and I love to experiment. I think a little extra work to figure out nutritional facts and portion sizes is a reasonable price. I enjoy study and learning things, so there really is no excuse for me to not have bothered to learn how the whole protein and fat thing works. I really need to do that. And I really do hate math! I’m not bad at it, I just am not a scientific thinker by nature, I am a natural abstract thinker. So math is just boring, monotonous, and annoying to me. But it is an important part of life and there is no getting around it. So I need to just buck up and do it.

All the Doctors - I don’t see all the doctors I should, and I don’t mention to my doctors all the problems I have. My excuses: “I’m dealing with so many problems already”, “I have so many doctor and medical appointments already”, “I’m tired of all this medical stuff”, “These problems I don’t mention aren’t all that bad, I can live with them”, “I’m afraid I’ll need surgery”.

Diabetes comes with tons of added baggage. You need to do what you need to do, that’s it. It gets tiring, having appointments all the time, but it’s required for good health. There might be an easy fix for this little problem here or there, all I have to do is bring it to my doctor’s attention and then I just might be freed of this or that issue. Sure, it may lead to surgery, but if that is what is needed, then that is what is needed.

*And my number one excuse I use for EVERYTHING: “It’s just a constant reminder of my lot in life. I just want to close my eyes and make it all go away.”

Living with diabetes is not easy. It takes a ton of work to live healthy. And having a ton of complications on top of it is just added heartache. It drains you. But I only have two choices: give up or be strong.

I’m far from perfect, I don’t even bother to strive for perfection because it doesn’t exist, I strive to do the best I can. I make mistakes, I get tired and stumble.

But I will never give up.

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I understand the carb cravings. It surprised me when I reduced my daily carb consumption to 50 or fewer grams per day, the cravings just stopped. I have days when I allows myself more carbs but they are exceptions. You know what to do and certainly don’t need my advice!

Your self-awareness is your best asset to fix what needs to be fixed. You are well aware of what you need to do. You plainly stated them above. Maybe just pick one or two things to concentrate on and just do them.

I’ve found the best motivation, the thing that really stokes me, is success with my BG goals. Good luck!

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Hi Tamara,
I know LCHF is used a lot, but have you considered if it’s the right option for you? I’ve found that I can have really good blood sugar control by simply switching my carbs to low glycemic carbs and eating smaller meals throughout the day. I just found that when a diet is too restrictive it often ends badly. Just a thought.
Christel

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I’ve tried low glycemic and it didn’t work very well for BG control. I have found that LCHF works best for my BG control because I am super sensitive to all carbs (maybe because I am pretty sedentary?). I actually only am successful at BG control when I follow a nearly zero carb diet. Otherwise I have to use tons of insulin to even come close to good BG. I don’t know why I am so insulin resistant and sensitive to carbs, but I am.

Also, if I eat even a few carbs, my cravings explode and I fall right off the wagon real hard. I have found it is an all or nothing situation when it comes to carbs, because when I don’t eat any of them I have fewer cravings for them. The hard part is resisting temptation. I don’t allow any carbs at all in my house and that works…as long as I don’t leave the house! If I could find a way to kill the cravings and resist temptation, I’d be fine! LOL

The choice here is, do I want to work at controlling myself (cravings, will power, etc.) or live with high BG all the time because I just can’t resist those damned carbs and am so damned insulin resistant.

I know there is more to it. There are reasons things are so screwed up. I just need to figure it all out. Right now I am just trying to do what I need to do and make no excuses to not do it. :smile:

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@Tamra11, I know exercise is hard and painful for you but I’ve found the combination of LCHF eating with daily walking has been the ticket for me. Walking, even 30 minutes, acts a catalyst to make my insulin intake work better. I like to time my walking to when my CGM blood glucose line starts to climb after eating. That walking seems to chop off impending BG mountaintops.

You mentioned that cycling is a little bit easier for you. Perhaps that could take the place of more painful walking. Do you use an stationary exercise cycle for use during inclement weather? I like listen to podcasts on my phone to entertain me while I walk.

Interesting that your carb threshold that ignites carb temptations is zero. How long have you been able to maintain a virtually zero carb intake without a lapse? There are a lot of food items like vegetables that contain carbs. Do those make you crave carbs too?

It’s been my experience that any habit changing activity that requires large expenditures of willpower, I cannot sustain for long periods. I would hope that habit would take over and ease the amount of willpower needed so that I can keep it up. I’ve also had long-run success when I take pleasure in meeting my goals.

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About controlling portion sizes (resisting doing the math) – one thing that helped me enormously with that was getting a “smart” scale, one that automatically reads out the amount of carb, protein, etc., in a portion. There are a number of them on the market and it does reduce the amount of bothersome calculating substantially.

FWIW

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It seems that any carbs increase my carb cravings. I can’t say I’ve tested them all but I can say the many I have all have the same effect. I do well on extremely low carb for anywhere from two weeks to a month at a time before I fall off the wagon for a couple days. Then I have to work hard to get back up and start again. It’s tough but I’m just trying to do what my body needs to keep my BG’s stable.

I used to have a stationary bike, but it broke down so now I just have a bicycle. I also do yoga which doesn’t hurt but it’s not as helpful for BG control as walking or riding, but it is good for health. When I do get decent amounts of exercise I do find that I can handle a bit more carbs BG wise, but I still have to deal with the cravings and lack of will power. So I just try to keep it way down, almost zero.

Hey, @Tamra11, have you ever tried acupuncture to help with the neuropathy? When I was DXed last year I talked to my acupuncturist (he has extensive training in Chinese medicine and teaches Tai Chi, too) and he told me that acupuncture can often help with neuropathy. Might be worth a try? Sure helps me with joint pain in my (no-cartilege) knees.

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I’ve heard it helps, but I haven’t tried it… yet.

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Do give it a try–just find a truly qualified practitioner.

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Like @CatLady06, I have found acupuncture very helpful. There is a national network of Community Acupuncture centers—the Mothership is right here in Portland and it is $15-30 sliding scale. When I had to go to MN to care for my Mom, I found one there and in Santa Cruz, too, when seeing my kids. Amazing people and great help. I’ll see if I can find a link for you…

Have you looked up Sitting Workouts? I have found them incredibly helpful due to progressively worse arthritis, as well as fibromyalgia and my “dumb left foot.” If you experiment a bit with various approaches, you can even put together your own version that has a good aerobic aspect…Does music help? get a good beat behind you and it could help. You Deserve to enjoy moving—we all do—we all did once upon a time…

I love doing Tai Chi. I just usually divide it up—a bit after breakfast, lunch and dinner, as opposed to all at once. As a former dancer, I can’t Not move—but I’ve been figuring out sustainable day-to-day purposeful movement since the fibromyalgia hit in 1996…Great blog and so many great suggestions…Blessings, as ever…

@Tamra11…Somewhere along the line, I got over my carb cravings, but I certainly remember them. About all I can say on that is that I gradually found satisfying substitutes like the rich stuffing I created out of WASA flatbreads because my first holiday turkey dinner after dx was way too depressing…

The discipline that we need to sustain as diabetics is extreme. I am a numbers wimp—when I was dx by an unempathetic doc, all I could see was losing my feet—so I got looney about tight numbers. Highs terrify me (don’t need to worry about lows yet).

I am completely with you on docs. After some nasty experiences, I ration out the info I give them. Not good and unfortunate on my part. But I do research my concerns carefully…Sigh.

One last thing—And this may not apply to “addictions”. It didn’t help years ago the first time I tried to quit smoking. But—for Habits, it is great—Apply the discipline to establishing a new habit for just 3 weeks and it’ll settle. I find that a hopeful thought as I go into a change…Onward is the best we can do…Blessings

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I have a peddle bike thing meant to be used under a desk. I sit it in front of my couch and use it while I watch tv. I also get my arms moving to, while I peddle during the commercials to get my heart rate really going.

I have been intending to buy a Tai Chi DVD. I have a book I got years ago but it’s not helpful to really learn the stuff.

I do love to move, I always play music when I workout or do housecleaning. I break into little dances sometimes, too when the music is just right. I just wish I could keep it up longer before the pain builds to the breaking point and I just have to sit down. I’m up and down all day because of the pain, I used to be up most of the day and only down in the evening. :frowning:

But I’m working on it. That’s all I can do, keep trying new and different things until I find what works for me. :smile:

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I have found zucchini and cauliflower are amazing as substitutes for carb products like pasta and potatoes. You can do so much with zucchini and cauliflower to make the right consistency or flavor of pasta or potatoes.

I also just discovered Pasta Zero which tastes a lot like zucchini noodles to me but they aren’t. 4g of carb per serving.

I do enjoy the experimentation and journey of discovery part of all of this.

And I always remind myself that life would be so boring if there were no struggle. :smile:

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That’s a good reminder for all of us! As my mom always said, a day and a step at a time. :footprints:

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I remember many years ago, soon after my dx in 2007, when I first joined TuD, seeing in many posts, the Mantra—“Baby steps”…Such a simple statement, but profoundly helpful. A reminder that we don’t have to do it all at once!..Take care…Judith

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