Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Biggest Factor

The biggest factor in how you struggle is your environment. If you are single, or if your family eats the way you want to eat, you will have a cakewalk. Otherwise, you will struggle big time.

I struggled big time, except during periods of living alone or with my parents, largely from whom I learned to eat this way in the first place. But as I have said, the struggle gets easier over time.

Until I was about 30 years old, I never knew anyone with diabetes. Now, 18 years later, I know tons - people with Types I and II. The first person I knew was a small boy with Type I. He had just been diagnosed. His father was talking about it at church one day. He told how they had to tell the kid he couldn't have any ice cream when the rest of the family was having it. I was surprised. I would have expected that the family would have given up ice cream upon receiving the diagnosis of the kid, at least in the home if not in individual privacy. Silly me, but even today I think that would be the right thing to do.

Roughly 5 years after that, I had a much bigger surprise: I was diabetic myself! I never would have imagined it. My family made no adjustments for me. It was difficult. Now it's not, except for one thing.

We are like Pavlov's Dog. Last night was my son's birthday. We always make a junky cake from a can and a box, light and blow out candles as a minimum for the kids' birthdays. Last night, she also picked up a ready-made lasagne from the store. By now, I'm secure enough in my tastes, desires and discipline that I have no trouble staying away from the cake and the lasagne. In fact, since they were eating so differently, I just stayed over here by my computer and ate my own stuff.


I cannot help it affecting my appetite. Something switches in my brain so that when they have ice cream, I have to have bananas, for example. When they eat chips and salsa, I have to have millet and tomatoes. Stuff like that. Last night, because they were having a party, something in my brain was turned on full blast and I had to have a party too. So although I ate nothing sweet, I ate into the night, well past 6:00 p.m.

I regretted it. But I'll probably do it again.

So if you go to one of those retreats where you isolate yourself with other like-minded people and learn how to plan meals and get used to eating a different way, you'll do super while you're there. Then you'll come home. If your family all went with you (like if all you have now is a wife and she went), you have a great chance at keeping it up. Great for you. If not, watch out. What is easy to snuff out in the water can be extremely difficult to suffocate on dry land.

Your biggest factor in your struggle will be your environment. I do not suggest extreme measures (such as divorce) to change your environment. I suggest just being bigger yourself.