Owning up to my bad diabetes habits

Do you know what your worst diabetes habits are? Mine jump right out at me, and often bite me right in the rear.

My bad habits revolve around food.

Accurate carb counting is critical to decent diabetes management. But, for some reason, the act of counting and measuring my food triggers strong negative feelings. I haven't figured out where it comes from yet, but I know it plays into my bad habits: sloppy carb counting and food binges.

Diabetes habit #1: Sloppy carb counting

This is, by far, my worst habit. I don't know why or where it started, but I tend to round up carbohydrate estimates too often. Even if the food label or nutritional information is available, I still find myself estimating or rounding up the numbers. I act like I'm allergic to math, and refuse to add anything that isn't in even groups of ten.

It doesn't take long for me to get myself in trouble with poor carb counting. The overage in insulin quickly adds up. Each additional serving or food item builds the difference more and more. Like a snowball rolling downhill, before long that extra insulin is enough to create a low blood sugar.

The other problem this creates for me is the tendency to know that I'm taking a little more insulin than I need which leads me to increase my serving sizes up a little bit.

Diabetes habit #2: Binge eating

From chocolate peanut butter ice cream to tortilla chips smothered in mild cheddar cheese. Wait, it's the chips and then the ice cream. When the food binge triggers hit, this is what I go for. I know, disgusting, right?

I don't count; I don't measure; I don't even think.

I take a bunch of insulin and then go to town on the grub.

Binge eating always ends poorly because my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Every single time I end up miserably full. And low. There is no worse combination.

I always worry the speed and action of the insulin is faster than what my stomach can digest, and that I'm going to need help to pull out of it. It's scary, and I beat myself up every single time. Each time it happens, every few months or so, I'm stuck with a yucky feeling of disbelief that I did it again.

Solutions to my poor diabetes habits

I'm trying to focus on the triggers for my food binges. Just because they are infrequent doesn't mean I can leave them be. Perhaps the simple act of tuning in to the triggers could help me become smarter about how I cope with them.

For the sloppy carb counting, I'm not sure how exactly to approach this one. I've gone too far the other way, and drove myself nuts being unsatisfied with less than perfect carb counting, which leads me to rebel against the whole thing. Maybe working my way towards a happy medium is the best approach.

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but if I can find ways to do a little better than I am now, I will consider that forward progress.

About Scott K Johnson

Scott K. Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. He has been writing about his struggles and successes with diabetes since late 2004. Scott stays busy connecting with others living with diabetes. Scott works full time as a freelance writer and diabetes consultant, and says "I'm your average guy living with type 1 diabetes. I don't have it all figured out, and sharing my struggles with diabetes helps by showing people that it is okay to still be trying to get it right, even after 32+ years."

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