…Prepare to fail.
It was bound to happen. So completely and utterly inevitable. And of course it won’t be the last time by a long stretch of the imagination. Here I was a week ago, all smug and filled with enthusiasm that my new plan to be the Wonder Woman of Diabetes was going fantabulously. It’s easy, it’s a breeze, who needs carbs. BUT the carbs came calling. They came and wafted in front of me, brazen and full of arrogance. You’re going to eat us. You’re going to give in. And of course, I gave in. I’m here, waving the white flag and having my Queen of Diabetes crown revoked.
I definitely *could* have avoided it, and considering how utterly shite I felt on Friday, I wish I had. But hindsight is a wonderful (if fully irritating) thing. Meh, you live and you learn. I want to retell it because 1. It’s definitely going to happen again, and reading this over may put me off a bit and 2. We’re all about honestly here on these pages. If you haven’t learnt that so far, then we’re in a spot of bother.
The day in question – the day of sin – was Thursday. Gluttonous Thursday. To be fair this was no ordinary day, and I knew that it wasn’t going to be, yet in typical JennyEnders fashion I didn’t really think about it enough to avoid the Downfall.
Work was hosting a big gig in sunny seaside Bridlington, and I knew it was going to be a looooong day. I did my reporter duties in the morning and then trotted off to Bridlington about lunchtime. I was meant to go home and get some lunch but was running fashionably late and on track to miss an important briefing, so I happily munched on a bag of almonds in the car instead. I even took an EXTRA packet of Brazils with me just so I had *something* that I knew I could eat later on. I thought this was pretty nifty of me. If I’ve learnt one thing on my journey to low-carb city, it’s that low-carb food isn’t particularly transportable. Because it’s all fresh stuff, my cupboard is very empty but my fridge is rammed. The lunch time ‘goodness’ that we’re all so used to grabbing on the go is just the express train to high blood sugars. Sandwiches, crisps, chocolate bars – I’ve said my goodbyes to them. The other week I got caught out of the office without lunch, and I raided a corner shop for something, ANYTHING that would keep me going. I came out with two Babybels and a packet of Pork Scratchings. As you can fully imagine, it wasn’t elegant or dignified. Or even tasty. Me down to the ground, then. So, aside from reformed bits of pork fat (nice), nuts are really the only thing that you can stash in your bag for days on end, for those moments when you’re peckish on a train, or stuck late at work and you neeeed food.
So I thought I was all good. Off I trot, ready for the havoc of entertaining a load of slebs and all the ensuing drama of welcoming 4000 members of the public in one place. Don’t get me wrong, I was a very small cog in a very very large wheel. I was there because it was an amazing thing to be a part of. I do honestly sometimes believe I have the best job ever.
Off we go, it’s very exciting, there are demands being made left right and centre; celeb X wants chips, celeb Y has no drumsticks etc etc. It got very hot and very busy. I didn’t want to eat the brazil nuts and more to the point, I didn’t have time to eat the brazil nuts. They were stored far far away – and I had a clipboard and a very exciting in-ear walkie talkie radio that made me feel very important and the Ultimate of Cool. I was MI5. James Bond just doesn’t do Brazil Nuts.
One thing I absolutely love about low-carbing (before I let it down in spectacular fashion) is that the lower amounts of insulin completely put a halt to the low-high swings that dog your day. Before, I could be in the teens blood sugar wise after lunch, and then be on the floor with a hypo by 5. I’ve never had such stable blood sugars until I started doing this. So, having eaten my almonds at 1 I was still A-Okay at about 9. Fabulouso so far.
The perk of being around a load of famous people is that food and drink appears from EVERYWHERE. It’s honestly a different world. Stuff just happens, just magically and miraculously turns up. When I’d done my bit for the evening, at around 10ish and actually stopped for a breather, I suddenly realised that I was Hank Marvin. This is a phrase I’ve only recently been introduced to, but ravenous does not even cover it at this point. Hello table of beautiful, colourful, delicious food in the green room. We ain’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. Not a pork scratching in sight.
Ahhh it all looked incredible. I knew I wasn’t going to miss out on this bad boy. I don’t earn a lot, and thus food normally gets reduced to the bottom of the priority list. So in I went, face first. It tasted bloody amazing. I didn’t eat a lot, and nothing on this table was of huge proportions because we all know famous people don’t eat. But I had a bit of a go. It started innocently enough – little pieces of salmon, veggies with dips. All low-carb friendly. Then there were these little filo pastry quiches… and mini Yorkshire puddings filled with beef… and the juiciest fruit you’ve ever seen in your life. I miss fruit. A lot. I’d had a measly bag of almonds all day, so it’s fair to say me and the table had a good time. There are many reasons why I will never be famous, and food is definitely one of them. Nom nom nom.
So I had the insulin and all was ok. There was no time to test my blood sugars; far too much was going on. Just when you think this isn’t sounding so disastrous, there was an afterparty. Oohhhh, the afterparty. I’m aware this is all making my life sound very glamorous – it really isn’t. I assure you. There are many posts to emphasise this point, and I’ve no doubt there are many more to come.
So off we trot to the afterparty (I very much had work on Friday, but why would that ever stop you letting off some mid-week steam?! Wait, I could have said no and gone home? Oh). And before you write me off as a complete failure, I only had vodka and diet coke all night. This ever so slightly redeems matters until, thanks to the fact that the drinks were all free, I am somehow very drunk very quickly. And what does everybody want when they’re steaming and at the seaside? Chips, of course. Glorious, fat, crispy chips. I got my drunken greedy little mitts on them, and they were everything I ever wanted and more.
After the chips were gobbled up, I stumbled back to my crash pad for the night and dosed up on insulin. It was fully guesswork by that point. Three hours later when I got up for work (yes three. Horrif) my blood sugar was a glorious 14.2. Eek. Naaaat good. And I felt it too. Sure, the hangover didn’t have me leaping out of bed, but I felt like a dog’s rear end, and I reckon 99% of that was the shock of all the sugar that was literally running through my veins, after nearly two weeks of not so much as a sniff of a sugar molecule. Plus, given the insulin I impressively remembered to take when I fell into bed I did NOT expect my sugars to be that high. I honestly think my body couldn’t handle it in the same way.
So, we’re all aware that standard procedure under these circumstances is to have the extra insulin dose and go on our merry way. Which I did, and didn’t even eat breakfast, but my sugar level was EXACTLY the same five hours later, at lunchtime. My body was not my friend that day. And as good as the food was, it really wasn’t worth feeling that shit on Friday. All the old favourites returned; I was sluggish, sickly and very untypically down. You’d never think a few chips could do that to you. But the insulin hangover, combined with the alcohol hangover has absolutely completely put me back on the Path to Righteousness. For the time being, at least. It pains me to say it but I’m not even sure my favourite Ben and Jerry’s is worth that feeling, certainly not anytime in the near future. I’ve recently read that nearly every tissue in the body is adversely affected by high blood sugars. That’s not a concept I want to entertain.
The thing with this low-carbing is that no one’s told me to do it. No doctor has threatened me with the loss of my eyesight if I keep eating sandwiches. My last HbA1c was 8.0, which is not bad at all. So if I want to, I can keep on eating carbs. But when there’s an alternative that’s going to make me healthier and happier (mental blood sugars equal mental state of mind) then the chips are gonna have to go. Yes, it’s a bit shit because chocolate and cake and crackers are all very nice. The food I’m eating at the moment is lush and very satisfying, but it doesn’t cuddle you like only a bar of Galaxy can. That may sound ridiculous, but I reckon there’s many a girl who’s sat in on a Friday night with Hugh Grant nodding in agreement. Low-carbing will never be something you jump at the chance of doing. But it’s something I AM doing. I want to live and I want both feet, both eyes and both kidneys to work as they were designed to until I pop it in my 80s, NOT my late 50s. Thanks very much.
And while I’ve been referring to Thursday’s incident as something of an outrage, it’s really not. I’m not a bad person because I gave in to a potato (although putting it out there like that, how ridiculous does that sound? It’s a sodding potato). This is a massive learning curve. I would never go up to a takeaway and ask for a burger with no bun, so hopefully next time I’ll just leave it altogether. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and learn the lesson. Friday was horrendous but Thursday was bloody amazing. So really, what is there to complain about?