“Are You On a Diet?”
I can’t begin to describe some of the funny looks I’ve been getting when I sit down with my bag of almonds at morning tea time. Those looks that just scream of “is that all you’re eating?” or “are you on a diet?” or “are you not feeling well?”
The young guy in the fluoro shirt who should be skulling choc milk and having a Woolies donut, eating almonds? Yep, I get it. While my diabetes is pretty transparent, people still forget or don’t realise it’s there.
Last week, one of my work Mums brought in a tray of leftover sweets to share from her weekend. As usual, I got the typical Nonna treatment. “Go on. Take it!” I politely said that I was trying to be good, and asked her to save me something for later. “Why?”
Last week, we had a bake sale in the staff room at work. I felt guilty for not buying anything. As I sat down in front of all of the tempting cake with my bag of almonds, someone remarked to me “you’re being good today, are you?”
I don’t put a lot of things off limits when it comes to diabetes and food. So long as I feel that I truly do enjoy eating something, then it is worth the effort. But I absolutely hate to perpetuate the myth that someone with diabetes can’t eat whatever they choose. I felt compelled to explain my choice not to indulge in cake at 10am on a work day to the staff room table.
After six months of experimenting and fine tuning, I am finally starting to see some consistency in the mornings while I am physically active at work. I am starting to feel that sweets are just not worth the effort while I am working. I will be guessing the carbs. I will be giving a generous dose of insulin. That insulin is more sensitive while I am physically active, and I am more likely to go low. What tends to follow is a day where I am trying to juggle highs and lows. I don’t feel very motivated to manage my diabetes well after days like this, and it’s just not fun.
I eat a satisfying breakfast when I wake up. My treat in the morning is my Coffee Club Cappuccino with no sugar, enjoyed with my team mates. It’s 12g of slowly digested carbs, and I can handle that just fine.
But at 10am, I eat almonds. Almonds have minimal impact on my blood glucose while I am working. They don’t send me into a vicious cycle where I am correcting highs and warding off lows. Turning down cake is a small price to pay for the juggling act I so badly want to avoid while I am at work.
Plus, the cake will still be there to enjoy later, right?