I have trouble with gluten. It's not that I avoid it because it "makes you fat" or something silly like that - it causes real stomach disturbances for my daughter and me. To the extent that Catie sees a GI specialist every 3 - 4 months to make sure everything is still OK.
I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - a condition where the male/female hormones get out of whack, and if it goes untreated the ovaries start sprouting cysts. Other side effects include irregular cycles, getting fat, depression, and growing facial hair. Oddly enough, the thing that triggers my PCOS is a prediabetic condition called insulin resistance. It's one of those horrible self-perpetuating things - the hormone imbalances make it hard to lose weight, what with the cravings and depression and all, and the added weight makes the insulin resistance worse.
I've been under treatment with Metformin (a drug usually used for diabetes) for 3 years - if I hadn't been taking it, I don't think I could have gotten pregnant with Tristan. I know it's important to watch my sugar intake, so I don't become full fledged diabetic.
Here's the thing. I already can't eat gluten. The consequences of eating gluten are immediate. So in the rare moments that I get to have a gluten free baked goodie, I tend to overindulge because I've been feeling deprived.
Yesterday I baked gluten-free banana muffins. There are lower-sugar recipes that I could have used, but I used a recipe that called for a cup of sugar on top of 6 bananas - that's a LOT of sugar. Then I started eating them - some sort of dopamine switch got flipped on in my brain from the sugar, and I ate way too many. Then I spent the rest of the day dealing with the aftermath of a sugar high and crash, which my body doesn't handle as well as it used to.
But I'm really struggling with the idea of cutting out sugar.
Because cutting out sugar would gave a bigger overall impact on my health than cutting out gluten. My mom has been off sugar for the past year - she not only lost a good amount of weight, but she told me that once you get over the first few days of cravings, you don't miss it that much.
I also have to drop the diet soda again. I was doing OK with iced tea sweetened with stevia and the occasional cup of coffee, but over the holidays I started up the soda habit again. You know what the funny thing was? The first glass I had tasted like malted battery acid - I only kept swallowing out of habit!
My health problems are part of why I got my big bike - I wanted to build more exercise into my life while making it fun. It's been so cold the past month though, that I haven't gotten the bike out of the shed in about 4 - 5 weeks.
So, here's the plan.
I'm going to make a pitcher of tea. I'm going to brew some coffee. And I'm going to look up some recipes on pennilessparenting.com , because she has a lot of low-sugar and healthy sugar gluten free recipes.
And I think I'm going to have to hide the M&Ms from myself.