Monday, August 2, 2010

the intimacy of food, part 1~


Sometimes I just wanna eat.
I don't want to think about it. I don't want to count carbs. I don't want to worry about if I should or shouldn't be eating a certain thing.
Sometimes I look around and I see all of these gross people mindlessly stuffing themselves full of french fries and pasta and cake and triple mochaccinos with an extra shot of "carb" and I just wanna be them.
Of course, I'd be sick to my stomach at the end of a day of eating like that, but still. You get my point.
Heck, it's even just the wanting to eat some soup and salad for lunch and hoping the bolus goes ok (too much? too little? too EVERYTHING?)
Now, I know that doctors and diabetes educators tell us we can *technically* eat whatever we want (especially someone like me, who tends to be underweight) but we all know that's not a healthy way to live. And honestly, I like eating healthy. But sometimes I just want some damn french fries. And why do I not eat french fries, you ask?

1) They are a carb count I will never figure out. What is 15 grams of french fry? Do you count them, one by one? Do you just grab a handful?
2) They require a combo bolus (dual wave, to medtronic users) that I simply can't get right. I already have a hard time with this type of bolus, but I really don't wanna mess my cards up doing it on flippin' french fries. Let's just say hours of painful work ensue.
3) I actually don't like french fries that much (honestly). But man, when I want some....
*Please insert the word "pasta" into the above numerical discussion. Now you see why there are just certain foods that make me wanna cry. Especially because I technically *can* grab a handful of french fries in an attempt to measure them, but with pasta? C'mon on. That's just not a dining experience you'd want to share with anybody.

What I'm talking about here is intimacy. With food. My food. But it becomes more than just "my food". Sometimes it feels like it really isn't my food. I look around at a picnic or a restaurant or a dinner party sometimes and it seems like everybody's got their own food but me. Like me and food need to go outside and have a little chat; make an agreement: now you be nice this time. I told you about how what you did last time was so.not.cool
There is so much that goes into eating a meal when you're a type 1 diabetic that you simply cannot plan for...the pre-meal number. The type of food. What you're doing after you eat. The random person who comes up to you to say hi right as you are calculating a bolus, causing you to forget you wanted to do a combo bolus instead of a straight shot. Oops. Life happens.
It takes away the ability to savor your food sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I also think type 1 diabetics are some of the most savor-your-food type people on the planet. But there's always a twinge of anxiety as you check that post-meal number, hoping the calculations and planning and timing and...conversations all.went.right.
So sometimes I just wish I really owned it. Food, I mean. Like we had this intimate relationship. An understanding...the way it should be when your immune system isn't busy attacking your pancreas (what the heck are you doing down there! Get back to your real job, ya lazy...SYSTEM!) Then, you just eat. Mindlessly sometimes. But in my [mostly] healthy world of living and eating, mindlessly simply means I'm focusing on the conversation with my honey. Or my friend. Or my book. Or whatever got stuck in my tooth.

6 comments:

Mori said...

Oh Em. You make me realize how much I take for granted. I feel for you dear. and I hope, that as time goes on, it will feel more intimate...is it possible to become so good at calculating it will feel more like intuition and less like math? Maybe not, but I wish you lots of encouragement and increasing peace and simplicity in your journey with food. Miss you!

birdy said...

aw, you are always way too sweet, mori!! ya, actually it does become more intuitive...and insulin pumps help with that. but there is still...life. nothing is perfect with this disease. but please don't think this post a whining rant (although i think it probably sounded a bit like that, haha, sorry.) i really am grateful for everything i've been given, especially lately. more on that soon. :) hey, i miss YOUR good posts, ma'am!! (hinthint) ;)

Mori said...

It didn't come off as a rant at all. More like on honest description of a legitimate feeling. I just blogged yesterday after a 8 month hiatus? Trying to get back into it!

Lyrehca said...

Interesting post.

I could argue that you experiment with portion sizes, brands of fries, lengths of combo waves, carb counts, until you just get how fries work for you.

Honestly, I love fries and I just bolus much more than I think they would be (like, maybe 80 carbs for a serving, depending on the size). I am not afraid to take a giant amount of insulin for a particular meal, then I just monitor how things go for several hours afterwards. (Are you on a CGM? I forget...).

Sometimes you'll get it right, sometimes you won't... but if you really want to eat a certain food, keep figuring it out until something makes sense. For me, pizza and french fries fall into this category, while things like most pasta, pancakes or waffles, other high carb foods that others crave, I could care less about (and will always order an omelet instead of a pancake or waffle at a restaurant).

Yes, the highs will annoy you, as will the potential lows, but honestly, in the grand scheme of things, is it worth it to you to figure out how you can eat certain foods and bolus accordingly, or would you rather avoid the foods altogether?

birdy said...

you are so right, cheryl. to be honest, i'm still working on these feelings. i think a lot of it has to do with being diagnosed at 27. i swore off so many things (that i didn't even eat that often, ha!) just b/c i was the one who had to be in control of my disease and no one else; i was so hyperaware everytime i ate of how much i was bolusing...i didn't realize i was so hungry for months! it took me a while to even gain all of my 10 pounds lost at diagnosis, partly b/c i'm just so thin and it takes a while, but partly b/c i wasn't even aware how much i was restricting carby-carbs. i'd say only this year (my 2nd year as a t1) have i begun to finally experiment with these foods again. b/c you're right, if you want something so carb-heavy (especially one you don't eat everyday), is it better to just forget it and be bummed out or have some and figure it out? i'm finally at the point too, where i've got my combo bolusing down better for such foods...which i think was part of the problem when i was on MDIs up until last fall. ah! such freedom again to figure this stuff out!
thanks for the great post, cheryl!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Food is so complicated to me. So full of guilt. I guess what I'm saying here is that I too fight with food, and I hate that it has to be so complicated for us.