May 2008

A1CI am pleased to report that my latest A1C test result is 6.5.  Three months ago my A1C level was 7.3. The A1C goal for most people with diabetes is less than 7.0. So my newest AIC level IS something that I’m very pleased with!

The A1C blood test is not the same as the testing that most diabetics do on themselves on a regular basis with the help of a glucose meter and test strips. Glucose meter testing tells you what your blood sugar is doing NOW, while the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past three months

The A1C test is believed to be the best blood test for us diabetics since it can show our health care team how well one’s treatment plan is working over time. For nearly all diabetics, our “treatment plan” includes following a nutritionally-sane food plan (How do I follow my food plan? Just One Day, One Food Choice and One Meal At A Time, of course!).

It is believed that a high A1C result (e.g., 7.0 or higher) increases the chance for serious diabetes-related health problems to develop (e.g, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, etc.). So lowering my A1C level — by any amount— can improve my chances of staying healthy.

Can you believe that I’m actually EATING CARBOHYDRATES and keeping my diabetes well under control AND losing weight!!! <I think I just heard the voice of a carbohydrate hater threatening to beat up my endocrinologist if she ever again dares to test my A1C level!!!>

As always, the TRUTH will defeat those who promote fear and loathing of carbohydrates — even the “dreaded” substances known as sugar and flour! And to think my diabetes-smart dietician actually ENCOURAGES me to eat carbohydrates (285 grams of carbs, to be exact) EVERY day!



This past Friday I met for the first time with a diabetes educator (who also happens to be a dietician). The main item on her agenda item to modify the Weight Watchers POINTS food plan for me so it gives me more direction in terms of how many grams of total carbohydrates I should consume each day. The more appropriate my carbohydrate intake, the better control I should have over my diabetes.

So yes, I’ve actually been ORDERED (by a health care professional no less!) to EAT CARBOHYDRATES…In fact to eat 330 grams of carbohydrates EVERY day!!! <I just heard an Adkins Diet devotee or some other carbohrate phobic SCREAM in terror of the mere thought that even so much as one gram of carbohydrate would dare touch my lips…or my hips!!!>

If you’ve read some of my journal entries, then you probably have figured out that I am NOT a “carbohydrate phobic” in any sense of the term. In fact, just like my hero Jared Fogle, I eat some bread EVERY day! I’ve lost around 85 pounds thus far and Jared has lost 235 pounds, so maybe the carbs are NOT the problem?!?  Maybe the (food) addiction IS the problem?!? Maybe the ADDICTION is what the 12 Steps treats, while I have the freedom to eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates, One Day At A Time?!?

Yes, I have a resentment. DUH!!! I greatly resent those cabohydrate phobic addicts who act as if their food plan is the ONLY food plan for the rest of us. Whether they are part of the H.O.W. Movement cult within Overeaters Anonymous or part of some other 12 Step fellowship (I can think of at least four such organizations that insist on ONLY ONE anti-carb food plan for their members), they really irritate the snot out of me!

Addicts (myself included) should NEVER play dietician to other addicts! My experience is that recovery works BEST when addicts trust direction for their food plan to a professional! I know, most of these professionals are “earth people” (e.g., people who don’t share and not fully understand my disease of addiction)…but they DO understand what constitutes SANE eating…which is more than we addicts can do!

To quote the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous), “When it comes to [food[ we [addicts] are strangely insane.” Amen? Amen! I would no sooner trust myself (or any other addict) with my choice of food plan than I would trust a pyromaniac to work as a fireman. It just ain’t a good idea!

A word about Weight Watchers POINTS food plan…As I’ve stated previously, I believe this plan is the sanest, most flexible, most moderate and nutritionally sound food plan ever written. The reason I needed my diabetes educator to “modify” it is because I am a diabetic. And while non-diabetics don’t usually need to keep track of their carbohydrate intake, as a diabetic I need to do this to help me maintain the maximum control of my blood sugar.  The POINTS food plan takes into consideration three values for each food: calories, dietary fiber and total fat content. As a diabetic, with the help of my diabetes-savvy dietician, I also now know how many grams of carbohydrate I should ingest each day to manage my sugar.

NOTE that I am NOT to avoid any food altogether — not even sugar and flour — in order to manage my diabetes. Instead I’ve been instructed to eat a MODERATE amount of carbs and (when possible) choose foods that are rich in fiber (examples: choose whole grain bread over bread made with bleached wheat; choose solid ftuit over food juice). Above all, even though NO food is totally off limits, I am to limit my carb intake to 285 grams per day.

ANOTHER NOTE: 285 grams of carbohydrates is a value appropriate for ME, NOT for you. If you are a diabetic, please follow my example and meet with a diabetes-savvy dietician who knows your specific medical history. Please follow their advice and NOT the advice given to me by my dietician!

Jared FogleY’all know who Jared Fogle is, right?  Jared, pictured at right holding his pair of “before” jeans, is the guy who lost 235 pounds while eating Subway (submarine) sandwiches EVERY day (while he was losing weight). Rumor has it that that he is STILL eating Subway sandwiches on a regular basis, while maintaining his ideal weight!

Jared not only achieved his weight loss goal, but he has been at his goal weight for just over nine years. He has been CONSISTENTLY 
losing/maintaining his weight for over TEN years!

It is widely known that Jared has been eating BREAD virtually EVERY day of his inspiring weight loss journey (GASP!!!). The “bread” Jared has been eating is the BUN that comes with each Subway submarine sandwich he consumes. Those BUNS contain several ingredients, including SUGAR AND FLOUR!!! <I think I just heard the sound of a H.O.W. food plan devotee just passing out from shock — and/or carbohydrate deprivation!>

My point to this rant? Well, other than to salute Jared on his impressive success, I wanted to point out that at least some of us food addicts CAN eat bread (e.g., CAN eat sugar and flour) and still remain in recovery — not to mention achieve long-term recovery.

With Jared having been some 235 pounds over his ideal weight, would you not agree that he probably/likely qualifies as a food addict? If not at 235 pounds overweight, then at what degree of obesity would you consider him to likely be a food addict (given that he has no known health problem(s) that would cause him to be morbidly obese)?

So the next time some devotee of one of those UNbalanced, INsane and rigid “no sugar, no flour” diets (they may call them a “food plan”, but honey those things ARE a “diet” in the worst way!) tries to tell you that you MUST avoid ALL sugar and flour or you can’t/wont be successful in your recovery journey, feel free to point out that at least some food addicts (e.g., Jared Fogle) ARE long-term successful WHILE STILL EATING sugar and flour.

Maybe some folks really have to avoid ALL sugar and flour (that is their choice — even if they can’t find a doctor or dietician to sign off on it due to the increased risk of health problems caused by low-carbohydrate diets)…but their choice does NOT have to be yours or mine…and your success does not have to come while attempting to follow a CraZy diet that is based on (at best) highly controversial scientific theories.

I probably should mention that ALL carbohydrates break down into SUGAR in our bodies!!! So NOT “ALL sugar” is bad or (in one sense) is any indivudal TOTALLY sugar free IF they eat ANY amount of carbohydrates. 😀

I’ve found that “ALL food is just food” — an INantimate object. It does NOT magically force me to eat it. Sure, I crave and enjoy some foods more than others. But I don’t have to give any food I like some sort of magical power. I work the 12 Steps and work on other aspects of my reovery (One Day At A Time) so NO food (not even sugar and flour) scares me like they do some carbohydrate-phobic addicts.

BTW, Jared is not the only food addict who has achieved and maintained a significant weight loss while eating sugar and flour! Just view the Subway corporate website and you’ll find LOTS of “friends of Jared” who eat sugar and flour while achieving tremendous physical recovery.