The Angry Type 2 Diabetic: The 'Betes Preachers...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The 'Betes Preachers...

Art by: Ankhammentu
Pinups Girls and Vectors 
There are two things that often make me feel uncomfortable; no, three: discussing religion, the current state of politics... and discussing my diabetes regimen with another diabetic.

"Wow, you have to get out of this business if that makes you uncomfortable, Liz!"

You'd think.  :-) I still do all three.

Some of you might get where I'm going with this, before I even get there. You meet some diabetic folks, you share the management lessons (individual lessons) life with diabetes has taught you, and then you're told you're wrong; very wrong. You might even get accosted for it.

It's not surprising, really. More personal than spirituality, than who we vote for... I can't think of anything more personal than what we eat.

What we eat and when, is a language, and it speaks for us and who and what we are, as people; for what we believe, subconsciously. Besides hunger, it might say things like...
  • We're sick;
  • We're bored;
  • We're emotional;
  • We're religious;
  • We respect nature;
  • We're against corporate greed;
  • We believe in self-sustenance;
  • We believe we don't care;
  • We use food as filler;
  • We use food as comfort;
  • We use food as excitement; 
  • We use food as DOGMA; 
  • etc, etc, etc. 
I've truncated it considerably here, but the list for what our eating says can be quite lengthy...  and often perplexing.

For these very same reasons, there really isn't any other "belief" system in which so many folks try to "preach" to us, sell to us, get us to follow their way, their methods, their paths; get us to join their particular "culinary denomination," more strongly.  

... And, often, BEFORE illness even enters the mix! 

It doesn't help that for every need or illness, there's an opportunist out there hawking a book, a cure, a reversal, a miracle, and of course... a conspiracy theory, and a diet. A diet you must strictly follow to the letter. They all claim to be the experts on "weight loss," or the "it" revolutionary diets. They ALL claim they can work for any illness, regardless of your circumstances, and let me tell you, not a single one of these people... has ever said anything less than that they were 'renowned' experts. They all claim to be renowned doctors, dietitians, food scientists, etc. (Experts in everything, and nothing.) 

Folks with diabetes are just like everyone else, and can be vulnerable to the pulls of these jokers, and of fad dieting choices, from every which way. We are, after all, eager little sponges, wanting to soak up all that 'learning' out there in the big ol' 'interwebs'... and we want be on the cutting edge of managing our disease. We also want to be IN CONTROL, at all costs, and often under fed delusions that needing ANY medication at all is a bad thing.

Now, don't get me wrong... We must strive to be the healthiest we can and I am not against any particular way of eating, so long as it's something we can maintain long term, and it works for US and our daily diabetes management, as well as our personal beliefs. 

It's just that there's a lot of intransigence being taught out there, as well; a lot of 'evangelizing' and a lot of intransigence. People use these food platforms to tell others that there are NO other ways to health, but through their own plans; that they will lose control and binge uncontrollably, or never attain tight control, and go to diabetic complication hell if they don't follow as they do, or that they are lacking in scruples if they decide differently. And it gets so annoying! 

To me... THIS is what getting "diabetes religion" means: that you are so self focused on what works for YOU, that you forget that your own mileage varies, as well as everyone else's, and that we all have the RIGHT to find our own path in our management, without someone else making us feel that we are the devil in a blue dress for daring to do so. 

I'm a moderate low carber, myself. I'll still eat some ice cream, some tiny amounts of pasta mixed in with a lot of veggies, or tiny amounts of rice; I'll even occasionally, go jogging for the pleasure of having a cupcake... or I'll eat a cheeseburger on a lower carb bun. I EAT BACON. I, personally, do not view foods as "good" or "bad." And honestly, I *believe* it's wrong to do so. I believe life is about moderation. I hate to admit that, because I can get attacked at any point by no carbers, low carbers, no-restrictions on carbs people, vegans, raw foodists, and I have! 

But quite frankly, since what I put in my mouth is between me, my God or lack of a God, my glucose meter, and my doctor, it's no one's damn business! (It's insane for anyone to think that it is!) 

Keeping it between you, and your glucose meter and your doctor, is what we truly ought to be evangelizing. Finding that balance that is right FOR YOU, so that you can keep a good pace during the long-life marathon that is diabetes. 

(... And yes, I do not take any medications. I've lost nearly 80 lbs, and yes... my A1C is 5.5%, and yes... I have a beautiful cholesterol panel. Thank you, very much. I've worked HARD for that... even if I got to have a burger or some ice cream, along the way, while achieving it.) 

Your diabetes mileage can and WILL vary. Help where you are asked for help, support those who need it, and NEVER lecture another for being different than you, or having different needs than you. After all, you wouldn't want them deciding what you should eat. Remember the code of Diabetes Etiquette for Diabetics.



  1. Good job, girl! You have it exactly right! There are things you can do and tolerate that I can't and vice versa. So we each have to follow our own path, but I'll wave at you when I see you pass by over there! :-)

  2. Great post!!! Just when I needed it. I too have great all of the above but am very low carb and tired of it!! Gives me thot to try a more moderate way of eating. Maybe 2 slices of bacon instead of 5-6 so I can have bread. What a thot!! LOL Thanks! Karen

    1. If it helps, I stick to the 45 Calories & Delightful varieties, from Sarah Lee. They range from 7 carbs a slice, to 10 carbs a slice, depending on the kind you get. I believe the Honey Wheat is the lowest one. :)

    2. Thanks Lizmari! I will check it out.

  3. Oh my freakin gawd, Lizmari! I just wrote a rant on this very subject on a forum minutes ago! I even used the comparison to religion and politics! Crap like what you describe is what drives me away from forums because some folks get on their "you have to do it this way" horses and it makes me insane! I'm going back there RIGHT NOW and post a link to this post because it says exactly what I feel quite eloquently. Thank you!

  4. I agree Liz! But I do care what others eat. Out of compassion and caring for their health...out of concern for my country's well being, economy, and out of wanting the best for people. I don't believe in judging those who eat junk every day, but I do care about it because it affects me and the whole world we live in. I like when others care about my health and well being, too. So I hope others know that for many people, it's not a judging thing, it's a caring thing. Many of us probably don't articulate it properly but there are good intentions behind most people's words. Anyway, you're very articulate and I truly appreciate that as well as your willingness to always hit these topics head on. :)

    1. Maybe what is junk to you, is not junk to them. You can "care" in your own mind, and what you may think are good intentions, and what you may think are actual black and what rules of what something ought to be like... but people may disagree with you completely (and still be in the right), and if something is working for someone, and their food regimen is working for them, and their medical team, it's really not your business, nor mine... no matter how much we care. No one died and named us the "caring food police."

  5. A society that eats unhealthy food regularly affects us all in many ways-it's been proven harmful just like drunk driving is proven to be harmful to society. I would think that our health care spending would prove to people that our collective well being affects us all. So I will always care. But like I said, I genuinely want those who aren't feeling well (like myself, sometimes) to feel better. It's a win win. I'm not talking about those who eat certain foods in moderation. I'm talking about toxicity. But honestly, if something that is proven to be junk isn't to someone else, then they just don't understand nutrition. And if people read this and ignore that I'm referring to those who eat junk too frequently (which varies depending on each individual) and whose food regimen is NOT working for them, then they are choosing NOT to see my point.

    1. My post was not written for "those who want to eat 'junk' or live unhealthful lives every day..." So, I am hesitant to turn it into a debate about such things. I may make a home made burger, with organic beef, and organic everything, and someone else still term it as junk. (Because Dr. Mercola or some other person told them it was junk, with some obscure 'reference' or another.) While there are certainly many genuine concerns out there, there is also a lot of poorly founded fanaticism, and this has turned nutrition into a sort of religion... with many alarmists (with money making opportunism in mind) fanning its flames.

      That being said, we also need to keep in mind that just as WE had to come to our own personal awakening of what we needed to eat, or change, in order to be healthy... so do other folks need to find that very PERSONAL path. We need to be GENTLE with people, and be careful that we do not use our "caring for society" as a sort of excuse to abuse that very private, personal space... or as license to go around trying to tell people how to live.

      Since we are, after all, the land of the free... That's never okay.

      We can be civic about what we see as wrong, or advocate, or blog... But we need to treat people, individually, as people. With respect for their person, their choices, and their privacy.