Today can be an exception

Well, here I am, it’s 3am in the morning and I haven’t gone to sleep. I was at a birthday lunch today. Well, technically yesterday. I think you know why I’m up at this hour.

I don’t believe healthy eating is about resisting temptation. I believe it’s about choosing to be quite satisfied by a healthy diet. When I’m offered something, I don’t think “I shouldn’t”; I think “I’m not interested.” Well that’s what I aim for, anyway. It used to be a lot easier before epilepsy etched some things in my brain.

A few times a year I like to make an exception. To get caught up in the moment and do what I feel like. After all, it’s not really going to have much impact on my long-term health. However (and I seem to forget this every time), it has a huge impact on the rest of my day and night.

It’s funny how I’m confident that I can follow it up with the right level of insulin—and I conveniently forget that I never succeed.

Call that a doggie bag? This is a doggie bag

It doesn’t help that I take it to a ludicrous extent. And that I do have an enormous stomach. And that people don’t eat what they ordered. Seriously. “You can have the rest of my lava cake, I’m full.” And the garlic bread is just sitting there, getting cold. And that the cake and garlic bread are delicious. Why let it go to waste if nobody wants it and I’m not too full to enjoy it?

I was always like this as a teenager. It’s natural for me. (I didn’t have diabetes back then.) When I enjoyed people’s company I would just eat on autopilot. These days, I just tell myself I’ll sugar surf it. Which actually sort of works until it’s late and I either have a heap of tail insulin in my system or a heap of food still digesting.

By the way, something subtle that I learned a while ago is that larger meals take a lot longer to digest. I had to be particularly careful about this with my super-fast-acting insulin techniques. A classic example is when I eat double the amount of breakfast cereal, there’s actually less of a spike! (When taking the appropriate amount of insulin.)

But the effect also applies with other sorts of meals. I think this is part of the reason that many people find they need to spread out dosages for pizza, or find it quite challenging to manage because it’s really hard to be consistent what with different restaurants, different serving sizes, different bases, and sharing pizzas.

Exceptions are great, except...

... they’re not. I hate to burst my own bubble. Exceptions are more than extra work and vigilance. They have consequences.

That’s not to say they are a bad choice. Enjoying yourself can have a cost, but that’s no big deal. I’ve never had a hangover but in a lot of ways this is similar. Lots of people are happy to do it sometimes.

But, I don’t drink and I’m not interested in it. I think that’s a mentality that can be cultivated about all sorts of things, including food.

When you do it, own it

Like I said, I hate to burst my own bubble. But if there’s anything biadepsy has driven home, it’s that confronting unpleasant realities helps reduce greater unpleasant realities in the long run.

So, from now on, I’m going to be transparent with myself. Exceptions have consequences. If I decide to make an exception, I own it! I’ll enjoy myself without guilt, make the most of the opportunity, and feel the consequences were justified.

Exception or norm?

Something to watch out for is not realising how often you make exceptions.

“My birthday only happens once a year, let’s make an exception.” “I go to the movies a few times a year, let’s make an exception.” “I haven’t moved into a new house for three years, let’s make an exception.” “I go to weddings three times a year, let’s make an exception.” See how quickly it adds up?

I like blogging...

Verbalising all this has made me realise that I could temporarily connect to OpenAPS following this kind of day, even when I’m not otherwise using OpenAPS. Time to order an RPi...

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