The premise behind one of my favorite websites, PostSecret, is that holding onto secrets gives them power. Even small, seemingly silly secrets can have a hold on us if our motivations for keeping them are that we we feel the need to hide part of ourselves from the rest of the world. The site’s founder began with the simple idea that when we tell our secrets, even anonymously, we begin to free ourselves from the burden of them and can be more authentically ourselves.
So, I come to you today with a secret of my own. One that may seem trivial to some of you, especially those who’ve never had issues with food, but for me it is anything but trivial. I have been eating lots of things I know I shouldn’t in quantities I know I shouldn’t. This is an issue for me for two reasons.
- I’m diabetic and some of the foods I’m eating are extremely unhealthy for me. Toast with your eggs is fine for some people but for me it’s not. I have to accept that.
- I am in recovery from eating disorders including Compulsive Overeating (COE) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Secretive eating is NOT okay when you have an eating disorder. Eating when you’re not really hungry is usually not okay either. (Sometimes it is but the different types of hunger we feed is a post for another day.)
I shared this with a friend a few weeks ago and started digging into why it was happening. It’s a combination of things including stress, being overly rigid with a weight loss program and going off track during the time B was in the hospital followed immediately with a vacation. I told my friend I wanted to do a 30 day challenge of no carbs. Difficult during the month of December but with fasting blood sugars hovering around 130-140 it didn’t seem like a good idea to wait until after the holidays. My intention was to start December 1 and to write about it for last weeks blog post. I had computer issues so didn’t share the post but thought I’d still try it. This didn’t go so well.
I’m sharing my secret with you all today because we often hold ourselves up to standards of perfection that are rarely achieved. We compare our behind the scenes selves with everyone else’s public persona. If more of us show our behind the scenes we can help each other. This can be tricky because too often people use this, “See, I’m only human,” peek behind the scenes as an excuse to continue making bad choices instead of as a stepping stone to better ones. To be clear (mostly with myself), it is NOT okay for me to continue making the choices I’ve been making. It is understandable that I’ve made them over the past few months. I am not a bad person or a failure for making them. I will continue to be compassionate and loving to myself. BUT I will also work toward doing better for myself. I deserve compassion but I also deserve good health and I must not sacrifice one for the other.
I’m also sharing this with the intention of updating about my progress. I don’t necessarily think you are all riveted and pining for updates about my eating habits but the public accountability helps when I’m trying to get back on track.
It feels a bit odd to start a challenge in the middle of a month but putting it off because of something as trivial as a number on the calendar would be silly. So, beginning today I’m avoiding simple carbs for the next 30 days. This means no refined sugar, wheat flour or potatoes. I’m also going to closely monitor my blood sugar with foods that I’m unsure about. Certain fruits and vegetables are higher in carbs than others and I’ve added a few things to my diet since I was initially experimenting with my glucose reactions to certain foods. I want to be sure these new foods are really okay instead of just assuming. My hope with this challenge is to have my blood sugar back under good control in the next few weeks.
Wish me luck!