We are designed to rebel. Or at least that’s the way I see it. My personal beliefs tell me that we, humans that is, are imperfect beings. Furthermore, we are the target of infinite varieties of temptation. It’s funny, instead of which came first, the chicken or the egg?, one could ask – which came first, imperfection or temptation. The irony of this situation is that not only are we imperfect and vulnerable to temptation, we are highly developed and possess both a knowledge of what is good and bad for us and a conscience that inflicts remorse and guilt when we choose the ‘bad.’ The irony doesn’t stop there…… those ‘bad’ choices usually deliver some form of pleasure, relief, relaxation, exhilaration, contentment, etc. This has to be the definition of cruel and unusual punishment!
Certain seasons make this cruelty more palpable that others. Last Saturday, it was in the air, swirling all around me. The temperatures had dropped (for Texas this is truly a moment to rejoice in), the smell that accompanies the arrival of fall saturated the air, I noticeably had a new shimmy to my step and down here in the south, the part of you that only comes alive with college football roared to life! It was finally here, the dawn of my most favorite time of year and the beginning of my vicious void of vices!
Shopping. Oh the fall fashion! Ok, maybe you wouldn’t really use the word fashion in the same sentence with me…… but I LOVE to shop for and more specifically, buy fall clothes. Jeans. Sweaters. Boots. Jackets. Hats. Scarves. Yes, I love it all, including the rush of endorphines that is released by the simple act of spending money (come on ladies, you know its true!). Ohhhhh, but one must have money to spend money. This is what that little thing called a conscience tells me anyway. As a medical student’s spouse there is one thing we are guaranteed not to have….. money. FANTASTIC! Vice #1 out the door.
Eating. I love to eat. I have no shame sharing that with you. It’s true. Food and me, well, its just like peas and carrots – nevermind, I HATE peas and carrots. It’s like chips and queso, or wings and bleu cheese, or cheese fries and ranch…… we were made for each other. The arrival of fall ushers in weekly “game days” and the food that defines it. You say ‘football’, I say ‘queso’…… broccoli, spinach, zucchini….. these are just a few things that do NOT spring to mind. Then you must factor in that with fall comes Halloween…….. CANDY, Thanksgiving……. ALL OF IT, and yes, Christmas…… again, ALL OF IT! The cherry on top is the contentment and true happiness these delectables bring me. Me and food…… we are quite the pair. The problem is, we have a third wheel, type 2 diabetes. And, let me just tell you, you will find this third wheel wherever you find me and food. The worst part is that the food and type 2 diabetes have a terribly contentious relationship. They can not stand to even be in the same room together! Guess who knows this better than anyone? My conscience, of course! TERRIFIC! Vice #2 out the door.
Drinking. I like wine. OH, and I really like beer. Fall = football=food=beer. I am not talking about wild, crazy, college-esque drinking (although, if you read The Dishing Diabetic you will see that has been a vice I have employed before). I am talking about friends, food, football and responsible beer consumption. Surely when you use the word “responsible” next to the word “beer” this would be allowable for little ole me, right? Yeah, well, NO! #1, beer, alcohol in general, is an antagonist for my weight loss efforts and therefore an obstacle to my type 2 diabetes management efforts. Seeing as I do not like light beer (give me a Fat Tire or Sam Adams Blackberry!)….. I am looking a 3 points/beer on Weight Watchers. If I have 3 beers during a 3 hour game and I have used up 9 points…… that is 40% of my daily points! Then when you consider the effects of diabetes on my liver, well, asking that organ to work overtime processing the alcohol I ingest is just not a good idea – again with the conscience thing! So, as I search for a vice, a way to rebel, adult beverages are not a qualified option. SPECTACULAR! Vice #3 out the door.
Smoking. Oh, I know, for many this is such an ugly word. It seems unimaginable why anybody would smoke….. for those who have never smoked. Well, for those of us who do or have smoked, we know it to be a popular vice. Smoking is a stress reliever, a calorie free treat, a social habit and it is all of this without leaving us unable to operate heavy machinery! I smoked in college, although like many of my friends then (and quite a few of them now) I would have classified myself as a non-smoker. Why? Well, I only smoked socially (with beer) and isnt that the definition of a non-smoker? Yeah, right. Remember that conscience thing? Well, something happened when I shed the adolescent sense of immortality and realzied that everything I do, eat, say, drink, smoke, dont do (exercise) has a direct impact on my life….. it’s quality, longevity, success…… and the life of those that I desparately love and who I am quite sure love me, too! So, there it was…… no more smoking. No more “non” smoking with my “non” smoking friends at football games while we ate our queso and drank our beer dressed adorably in our fall wordrobe. OUSTANDING! Vice #4 was out the door with it’s 3 best buddies!
So, as my absolute favorite time of year unfolds spilling forth parties, football games and holidays, I find myself in a virtual vacuum of vices. There is no shopping, no carbohydrates, no booze and no smoking. I am left with the instinctual need to rebel and no qualifying vices. My world of rebellion sadly rests upon the moments when I defiantly leave the dirty dishes in the sink, the laundry left undone for one more day or the bed unmade. Despite my belief in the contrary, I was not Born to be Wild……. I was Made to be Mild.
What vices have you kicked to the curb? What ‘wild’ healthy substitutes have you found?
The Dishing Diabetic