Coming down the mountain

This week I (Liv) wanted to take a little time to share my own personal relationship/struggle with food. You’ve read a lot about Andy and how our lives have changed post Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, but Andy wasn’t the only one with food issues prior to Spring 2011. Here’s a little bit of my story:

Did you know that walking downhill is actually harder and more physically taxing on your body than walking up hill? It seems counter intuitive, but it’s true. It’s certainly that way in the dieting world. It’s very easy to eat yourself up that food mountain, but the descent is always a rude awakening—at least it is for me.

The first holiday season after Andy’s Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis was difficult. While we were definitely eating better than the previous year, by the time we hit Andy’s birthday in mid-February, we’d hit full stride up that sugar/carb mountain. At the end of a long birthday weekend—where we essentially ate out every single meal—Andy and I decided that we needed a major food break.

And so began the descent. Our bodies were so overwhelmed with the food we’d been eating that the first couple of days were a relief. We were eating our standard diet of lots of lean protein, veggies, and fruit. It was refreshing! Then our bodies started detoxing. We weren’t detoxing intentionally, but when you stop eating processed food all those toxins eventually start leaching out—and that’s when my cravings hit. The kind of sweet cravings that can’t be satisfied by an apple or some pineapple.

I’ll be straight up, Andy is much better at this food self-control thing than I am. I caved more than once on the journey from his birthday to mine (exactly six weeks later). Most women’s food issues are much more deeply rooted than men’s and I shamefully used that as my excuse. I wanted candy, so I had candy. Not to the extent that I was eating it before, but enough that my climb off the sugar mountain had a lot more hills and valleys than Andy’s. Slowly–finally–my metabolism, blood sugar, and willpower returned to pre-holiday levels.

Lifestyle changes are difficult (no one ever said they were easy), but in those six weeks I found that I didn’t need a “night off” in the kitchen at least once a week. Eating out wasn’t cutting it anymore. Andy’s diagnosis had changed more than him– it changed us, and me.

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