Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 2

Day 2 done. Today was a little better although I felt very low this morning and stayed in bed as late as my schedule would let me even when that meant that my morning rituals were very rushed. Even the sunshine and blue sky wasn't tempting.

I had an early morning appt with my doctor about blood work. I feel grateful that my blood sugar is not elevated (there is a family history of adult onset (type 2) diabetes, and alcoholism and diabetes are closely linked in many people). But my cholesterol levels aren't stellar and she wanted to talk about medication for it. We had a good conversation. She was most supportive of my getting off sugar and she knows how long I've been trying to do this. So we've agreed to check blood levels again in 3 months and see what the dietary changes can bring.

My housecleaner Jane came today. She's a lovely woman and it felt good to have her here and to have my house clean and sparkling--that shifted the energy in the house and my energy as well. I also told her what I was up to and she decided to join in by giving up sugar for herself. In fact, several readers of the blog are also making their own changes so I feel much less alone in this adventure.

I got more than a dozen emails of support and some of you also commented on the blog and I so appreciate your kind wishes and solidarity with me in this.

My sobriety from alcohol was solidly based in Alcoholics Anonymous and I had hoped that Overeaters Anonymous would work for me in the same way. But it hasn't, and maybe because it isn't Sugar Eaters Anonymous. While addiction is addiction is addiction, there are differences with each substance of choice that are crucial in the recovery conversation. I hope to explore some of those differences in upcoming posts.

I took it easy today. Let my schedule be fluid, watched some very funny episodes of 30 Rock. Laughter as medicine seemed a good idea. I'm still awfully restless and there's a kind of internal jitteryness that I associate with a hangover and withdrawal, something I haven't felt for a lot of years. I know that will pass as my pancreas rests and the rest of my hormones settle down but it is unpleasant now.

Thanks again for your kind wishes. Glad to be headed off to bed.


Cynthia said...

Dear Jill. Thank you for your forthright account of what it's like for you to give up sugar. I've been learning since last summer about the power of noticing in a matter of fact way what is happening for me. Tagging it seems to help me let it go. So I've often found myself thinking, "Oh. I'm arguing with Karl," or "Now I'm hurting myself with images of (this or that.)" You seem to be doing something similar in your blog and it strikes me as beautifully self-accepting and self-befriending.
Reading your stories will help me to maintain my own commitment to eat only foods that benefit me.

frogfrond said...

The downward spiral began with thyroid problems beginning about twenty years ago. Next came menopause. My metabolism lost the battle with those two. Having never needed to worry about weight gain, I missed the danger signals until my knees began deteriorating about fifteen years ago. By that time a deadly pattern had established itself: weight piled on, painful knees precluded exercise, and ice cream by the delicious half gallon became a staple. Finally I was reduced to planning each step to avoid agony. I would be driving around on my motorized job, weeping in pain every time I had to shift gears.

Living without health insurance and working as an independent contractor, I dreaded becoming one of the huge, diabetic people in wheelchairs, watching my body disintegrate and living on Medicaid. My work brought my into direct contact with such individuals and believe me, the specific details of their existence are terrifying.


frogfrond said...

The money I inherited when my mother died would have been enough to squirrel away and nurture into a next egg for "old age." Clearly, at the time of her death, my deteriorating health precluded reaching old age. So Mom financed knee replacements, overdue dental work, an appendectomy (a surprise) and some other physical tinkering. Thank you, Mom. I thank her every day since that transition in 2006.

In the meantime, I needed to find a way to return to good physical health. I'm science-oriented and spent about ten younger years preparing for a medical education. The ravages of yoyo dieting were vividly detailed for me, and I never wanted that to happen to me. So I began a regimen that reminds me of what you're doing, Jill.


frogfrond said...

First the ice cream, okay, and the cookies, had to go. But I wanted to find a way to restore a healthy metabolism, one that would automatically reject ice cream and cookies for alternatives like great salads, Middle Eastern and other healthy regimens, and any delicious healthy food. I knew if I could do that, I could look forward, some day, to feeling healthy and attractive again. Using books that ranged from good old Adele Davis's Eat Right to Keep Fit, to my current constant companion, Flip the Switch, to popular tomes like the Eat This Not That series, I have succeeded.

For the past six months I took a sabbatical from the regimen of constant attention to food and exercise (and speficially, rehabbing my knees) because I had hit a plateau. I have maintained my weight by observing basic principles and by benefitting from healthy practices achieved by the years of attention to my metabolism. Now I'm back on the program, exercising by walking at the zoo and monitoring daily intake more carefully again. The rest recharged my motivation.

OA never appealed to me because for me the primary issue is not losing weight; it's establishing healthy maintenance of a metabolism that works like a top-of-the-line furnace. I don't lose the weight or keep myself healthy; my metabolism does it for me, if I keep it tuned up. The 12 Steps definitely are part of the plan, but the focus is different from OA.

Even though I don't deny myself treats and splurges, some days I just rebel against the discipline. Not in the bucket of ice cream tradition, but in the refusing to weigh myself and not buy the chocolate bar at Trader Joe's way. Oh well. I have more disciplined days than not. One step back, two steps forward, and all that.


frogfrond said...

The rewards for all this saintly goddam blanking behavior (SGBB) are indescribable: self-esteem, almost non-existant pain, and a long list. Will there ever be an end to all this SGBB? Doubt it. Who cares? I'm not, and not likely to be, a huge person in a wheelchair dragging my deteriorating body to the welfare office for a meeting with my social work (shudder). I also don't have the retirement nut; but again, who cares? I'm not in charge of the overall plan, here.

Replacing the old "pleasures" and compensations for pain and fear with behaviors like the ones you are using - nice surroundings, moral support, laughter, occasional lapses for a minor treat - will continue to be a vital staple.

Hope that helped.

Way to go, Jill!

Love, Fern

frogfrond said...

Hi, again,

By the time I figured out how to use a blog, I had deleted the first part of my tome. What I said was to the effect of, wow, another opportunity for growth. Using comforts like tidy surroundings, laughter and rest augur success. Way to go, Sistah!

scotkamins said...

Two days & counting -- YAY!!!!!! And all you have to do is get though today.

I'm on your side, kid!

Jan Shannon said...

Hey, maybe you are the one to start Sugar Eaters Anonymous! Lord knows there are enough of us addicts who would benefit from it...