Super Girl v. Sugar

Every three months, I see my nephrologist (read: kidney doctor). It’s just a usual check-up, and after seven years of living with a kidney transplant, my health care is pretty low-maintenance.

The one thing that does continue to be an issue – more for me than the doctors – is my blood sugar. For the last few years, it’s been hovering just under the level that would qualify me as diabetic. So, in theory, I don’t need to worry just yet. My doctor explained that developing diabetes is normal in some kidney transplant patients. If it ever does become a reality for me, it will probably be as simple as taking a pill every day.

But still. Diabetes kind of freaks me the f*ck out, for two reasons:

  1. I feel as though God has given me my limit of health issues and there’s no need for him to offer any more.
  2. The idea of cutting sugar from my diet makes me incredibly depressed, to the point that I feel I need a piece of tiramisu to feel better.

I don’t do well with self-control, especially when it comes to food. Dieting has never been a part of my repertoire, and I’m lucky that I inherited genes that have never made weight an issue.

Yet, clearly I shouldn’t be drowning my feelings in dessert.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been making a semi-conscious effort to cut out sweets by refusing to keep them in my house. I do make special exceptions for holiday leftovers and the occasional pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But overall, I’m pretty good about avoiding the sugar aisles at the grocery store.

But just because I don’t keep dessert items at my house doesn’t mean I’m not overindulging nearly daily. I’ll never turn down a baked good and I happen to work in a place that places high value on muffins, pastries, and other tasty treats. Many weekdays I’ve got a sugar high going before 10 a.m. and then another one at 3 p.m. when I dip into the office candy drawer.

My other downfall is carbs. I rarely eat meat, so pasta has become my mainstay. I’ve tried to take the carbs down a notch by occasionally using spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti. I’m also conscious when meal planning to limit my pasta dishes to one or two over a 2 week time frame, which, with leftovers, means I’m still eating it a few days a week. However, that doesn’t take into account the “off nights” – which occur at least once a week – where I don’t feel like cooking the planned meal and instead make an easy and comforting helping of mac & cheese.

After today’s check-up, I thought the prescription was to keep trying to lower my sugar intake. But my doctor said that may not help. When I keep track of my food, I’m usually within the daily allotment of carbs and because of my small size, there’s not much room for me to cut nutrients out of my diet. Diabetes may be less about my diet and more about my kidney transplant and family history.

So, I’ve decided that I’m not going to beat myself up over my love of pasta and dessert. But, my inner control freak is still going to make a conscious effort to diversify my diet and just say no to the office baked goods. One of these days the control freak has to beat the genes, right?



Filed under foodie, rambling nature, transplant

4 responses to “Super Girl v. Sugar

  1. wow, I had no idea you had a kidney transplant. That’s intense.

    You can probably replace a lot of pasta and carbs with vegetables. Eggplant is a good substitute, it’s dense and filling and creates a good base for the main part of a meal. Plus it tastes awesome.

    I think I got lucky by not having much of a sweet tooth. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve willingly ordered dessert after a meal, or even bothered to indulge in the cake or pie at a party. Although it’s not much better that I hover over the salty snacks. Bring on the chips and salsa, popcorn and questionably flavored doritos.

  2. Portion sizes! Find someone in the office who is on a diet (and there’s always someone) and share the muffin or pastry. Boom – half of it is gone and you won’t have it there to tempt you, but you still get something for the craving. And those little Weight Watchers cakes are tiny portions but the chocolate ones are riiiich and are just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. The lemon ones are good too.

  3. No suggestions here since carbs = my worst enemy and greatest love. I’m the one girl in the world that doesn’t like chocolate and would pass up cake for a french fry anyday. I choose to run it off (before or after.)

    And Diabetes, scary as crap! My ex had type 1 and was diagnosed at 21. Fluke weird thing but life altering and scary to say the least.

    Glad you’re taking such good care of yourself.

  4. When I was pregnant and facing the very real possibility of gestational diabetes, I’m pretty sure a little piece of me died. I cried a little thinking about it. For me, it wasn’t just the sweets. But, it was the idea that my diet and every iota of what went into my mouth would pretty much rule my life. Ugh. I feel for you and am pleased to hear you’re not going to let thoughts of a maybe hold you down.

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