I’m one of those people who doesn’t respond well to being told what to do: what I can and can’t do, what I should and shouldn’t do. Well, with some exceptions, which I’ll get into in a bit. For the time being, stick with me here.
I’m diabetic and have always had a sweet tooth but at my first nutritionist visit after being diagnosed, it was strongly suggested I not eat chocolate chip cookies or brownies again. Basically, ever. Please. I went right out and had one of each and have since developed a taste for doughnuts as well and I really don’t even like the sugary little pieces of fried dough.
Same with losing weight — if a doctor tells me that I should lose some weight because it will help my depression or diabetes or my knee or whatever, I want to walk out. A dietician who sets out a 1200 calorie diet in three meals a day is not listening to me when I say I feel better eating six times a day. Out the door and drop the diet in the trash on the way out.
When someone tells me that something will be good for me, I instantly revert to a head strong three-year old and want to say “Who says so?” or “You’re not the boss of me!” I wanted to tie my own laces, pick out my own mismatched clothes and dress myself long before I started school. I haven’t changed much since except that I’m perfectly capable of matching my own clothes now. And, making my own decisions, thank you.
I’m fairly intelligent, I’m over sixty and I have lived in this body all that time but you’d be surprised at the number of doctors, dieticians, diabetes educators and psychiatrist who don’t get that or just don’t care. I understand nutrition and exercise and the importance both play in controlling my weight, my blood sugar and my depression. I know but I don’t always do, and that maybe isn’t the best for me, but, I still want to pick my own clothes, no matter what good advice or ridiculous rules someone else gives me. If it’s not immediately life threatening, I’ll make my own changes in my own time. Moderation is my friend.
That attitude sometimes leaves me struggling, or cranky, but most often breathes new life into anything I choose to do because I choose it. I may still be a hard-headed little kid, but come on, who says one chocolate chip cookie now and then will put me into diabetic shock if the rest of my diet is good and my blood sugar is under control? (I’m not on insulin, so I’m not sure how that works for others who are.)
Granted this whole “being healthy” thing is not easy and I have gotten some good advice from others, but mostly they gave me information, not rules. I research, I read, I give myself pep talks, I try new foods, I lose three pounds and regain one, I falter, I make poor decisions, and I just keep at it. One step at a time is fine, but if anyone else tells me that I just want stick my fingers in my ears. It has to be my decision.
Now the exceptions. I’m not much into reverse psychology so when someone tells me to eat all the chocolate chip cookies I want, thinking I’ll scoff and refuse, well, they’re wrong. And, if someone challenges me to lose 10 lbs. by a certain date or run a marathon by September or whatever, pffft. I’ll probably just laugh all the way to the bakery to buy a brownie.
So, leave me alone. No preaching. I’ll get there on my own. And, yeah, I may have a brownie in my hand when I do get there but you can bet it’s because I’m feeling healthy enough to have one.