You’re telling me I can never eat candy again?

Candy. 🙂

*This blog is a little messy, because the topic is messy.  No matter how I tried to organize or clean it up, it just wouldn’t cooperate.  And it’s personal. Fair warning. 🙂 

Just about daily, someone asks me what I ate to lose weight or manage blood glucose for Type 2 diabetes.

A lot of people are interested in the food dynamics for BOTH of these issues.

The bulk of these conversations are people who are a) genuinely curious or b) want confirmation that what they are doing is the right thing.  We tend to get really chatty and animated about food and helpful tips!

A handful of the conversations are people trying to convert me to their way of thinking/eating.  If it works for them — great!

A handful of the conversations are people questioning my choices. These conversations, as you can imagine, go a little differently.  It’s usually heralded by a comment like ‘Well, then what are you allowed to eat….?’  First, I try really hard not to get defensive. Then, I quickly let them know that I am NOT being punished or on a ‘diet’; I am simply and willingly MAKING choices based on what works best for me.

I usually end the conversation right there.

I will freely admit that any of the above mentioned conversations can easily get a little more confusing than normal.  Why?  Because I will eventually admit that I personally made choices to ban certain foods from my life. People are justifiably curious about why I have chosen to do that. (Hence the title question of this blog.)

The honest answer?

They’re banned in my life because of my total lack of control.

I am not one of those humans blessed with the skill of ‘moderation’.

Eat one cookie? A bite of a candy bar? One small slice of pizza?  Yeah… Right…

I have learned these past 3 years that I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl.

That’s really good stuff to know about yourself.

I have had people get — literally — in my face about my food choices.  As recent as this week.

It’s when I choose NOT to eat something that usually triggers the harshest of comments.

‘Your diet would KILL me’, ‘your life has to be so boring if you can’t even eat cake…’ and my favorite (not) ‘just ONE bite is NOT going to kill you…’

There’s more – but you get the idea.

I have a few things I do when I feel confronted or questioned about food;

  • Walk away.
  • Find a friend who knows my story and stand with them. I still lack self-confidence and strength (maturity?) in my relationship with food. I know it. I seek out FRIENDS for comfort instead of food these days. Maybe this is not a healthy trade-off, but it works for now as I am still learning coping skills and gaining confidence.
  • Decline invitations if I know that my food choices are going to be scrutinized or my decision to NOT eat is going to be taken poorly or cause problems for the host/hostess.
  • Just take a portion of whatever is being adamantly pushed and quietly get rid of it.

I am working HARD to make the choices that work best for me and for sustaining my healthy lifestyle.  Non-stop learning.

The biggest hurdle for me continues to be understanding and accepting that NOT everyone needs to approve of what I do, of the choices I make…  And learning to resist the urge to apologize, explain or defend my choices to everyone.

I AM NOT asking anyone else to buy into this crazy, neurotic food ride that I am on.

But it works for me, and me alone.

The one comment that always makes me defensive?

The ‘One bite…’ comment.

People are seriously taping into the deepest of my emotional injuries with that comment and they don’t even realize it…

One bite COULD kill me.

OK… NOT literally at this point in my health journey.

But when I was managing T2 diabetes and battling life-long obesity… FOOD was a very real, dangerous, controlling drug of sorts for me.

When I was trying to establish new, strong habits — one bite could be a real mental/emotional unraveling down a very, very steep and slippery slope. And I knew it. One bite could be the difference between winning and losing a battle.

Or winning and losing the entire war.

Why?  Because that is ALWAYS what had happened in the past.

Having ‘one bite’ is not about being flexible or daring or easy-going or accomodating…

FOR ME, that ‘one bite’ was entirely about the act of GIVING up and giving in. One small step at a time.

One bite leads to two… And that is exactly how you wind up 392 pounds at age 42.

I’d lost the battle countless times.  I know the ‘one bite’ battle all too well.

I have had to work hard to re-frame my entire relationship with food. It’s one of the parts that’s not overtly visible unless you eat with me often, read my food journals or I have chosen to confide in you… So that’s about 3 people. Seriously.

So what did I have to re-frame? What are my goals now?

  • Food is fuel.  I treat food as a means to fueling my life, my goals.
  • I focus on only eating when I am physically ‘belly’ hungry.

I had to first work hard to move away from thinking of food as comfort, peace, solace, friendship. Thats what it had been most of my life.

Then I had another big leap to make when I was in the throes of battling Type 2 Diabetes to move away from thinking of food as poison or adversarial.

It has been constant, private, hard work.

And I’m not done. Not done by a long shot.

So am I really saying no more of certain foods, ever again?  For me; yes. That is MY choice,and it’s worked more than 3.5 years.

I think some of my struggles and battles with food choices might resonate with a handful of folks. BUT my strategies and tactics and ‘all or nothing’ approach with food – NO, it won’t work for most people.  I totally understand that and would never actively encourage folks to follow in my exact footsteps.

Everyone has to find their own path to healthy.  Make their own choices.  Discover what works for them…

Iced black coffee. 🙂 My favorite treat!

I can tell you that it is a path well worth finding… 🙂

14 thoughts on “You’re telling me I can never eat candy again?

  1. While there are amazing, lovely people out there, sometimes people suck. But it sounds to me that you have a plan. While it is not always easy to stick to, you know what you have to do and you can do it!
    I cannot eat ‘one bite’ or ‘one biscuit’ or ‘one slice’ either…I tend to let myself eat whatever I want if I have done a full training day or massive ride or hike, and otherwise, there is no way! Friends get it. The opinions of other don’t matter.
    Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Hannah! Tough learning curves that you aren’t always prepared for… Managing food is one thing. Managing the relationships around it is one aspect I think most folks are NOT entirely prepared for. THANK YOU for reading, commenting – and for the support!


  2. Oh man – this post makes me think of two things. 1) Good for you. GOOD for YOU! When you figure out what works for you, that’s all that matters – and clearly, you have. 2) I remember a field day at the CBARC station in Pendleton two years ago where I clearly remember saying “One bite of…” wouldn’t hurt. Sorry friend – ugh, we all have a lot of learning to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had this same issue with alcohol. And I find when I ban myself from that liver poision/simple sugar, then I end up going over board in other kinds of bad-for-me foods. It’s such a challenge, and trying to have a social life makes it the hardest part. Does everyone else not have genetics of alcoholics and crappy pancreases? Why is drinking the only thing I learned to do in college to be social? It’s a battle. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting Lacey. I adore you. And I am really, really struggling with how to respond to you on this one… Having a very good friend who just hit one year sober I feel like I had a front row seat to watching his struggles. And his many successes. And NONE OF ANY OF THIS — his battle or mine — IS EASY! And working in a College… I see the same ardent development of social skills through the use of alcohol and I don’t know how to stop it… It is a battle. And it’s a lonely battle. But you are NOT alone. It’s why I’m writing this soul-barring blog. And telling stories about myself that are LESS than flattering… There are folks out there that have fought and won and are willing to help. I’m asking my friend to weigh in on your comment and see if he has advice for you. OK? I’ll be in touch. I know how to find you.


  4. Thank you for this raw blog. It will help anyone who thinks they can not become healthy just because they can not follow your path. You have nudged me to seriously evaluate not just my relationship with food, but also with people who question my choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean! The people part of this journey was the part I was least equipped for. As I become more confident – it gets easier. And I have worked hard to surround myself with a small handful of people who are supportive and understanding and that helps in being able to ignore the masses. I would bet you will find that some of your relationships are MORE supportive than you realized or gave them credit for. I bet you will find a handful that with some direct communication about what’s helpful will wind up being wildly supportive. And you will find a few that have to be dealt with. GOOD LUCK with the discoveries from your ‘nudge’. 🙂


  5. You are an inspiration to me Betsy!!! Good for you! Keep going! I’m going to get back out there and RUN. Food IS a very personal challenge! You keep on keeping on!!!! By the way, you look great!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Darcy!!! Food is a very personal challenge and not one we get to ignore. 🙂 As soon as I realized that I HAD to have a relationship with food and I could keep on doing what I was doing or invest the time to make it a GOOD relationship — that’s when things shifted for me. 🙂 We can’t NOT eat. 🙂 Thanks for reading – -and for commenting. I appreciate it!!!


  6. You have the characteristics of a true leader. You know what’s important and don’t let silly comments bother you. I am my own human experiment, and I love seeing the results. Rock On!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And it looks like we have T2 Diabetes in common. I beat it into remission and plan to keep it there. Diet and exercise are the only solutions. Granted they take on different forms/combos for folks; but they’re the only way to beat this disease. Thanks for reading and for commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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