Writing as a Diabetic (and Why it Pertains to Non-Diabetics)

Be different. Like that leaf.

Be different. Like that leaf. (MY PHOTO. THANKS)

I’m Type 2 Diabetic. One of the fortunate side effects of being diabetic is, it makes my skin very glisteny-clean, and I am a wonder to behold.

This is a lie.

While some people consider me quite handsome, diabetes has no direct pros. In fact, there’s nothing redeeming whatsoever about diabetes. Right? Wrong. While it effects literally every aspect of my life, oftentimes throwing wrenches into my day while simultaneously hindering my “drunk coolness” factor, it also makes me a stronger, better person. It was adversity. It is now a benefit. Usually.

(And now, all you non-diabetic writers are wondering: why is this important to me?) Continue reading


A Diabetic’s Perfect Candy

What might that be? Nerds.

If you live in America, you’ll know how carb-packed everything seems to be. Especially if you’re poor (which I am). I liked the statement, “We’re morbidly obese while starving to death,” to enforce our carb culture. It’s true.

I like sugar, though. In fact, sugar is easier for me to handle than other kinds of carbs like rice and pasta. The complex stuff stays in my system forever, constantly pushing up my blood sugar level. It’s like eating garlic at lunch with a date at dinner. Unless you want her to enjoy the puff of gross, you’re in trouble if you don’t plan ahead.

Same with the carbohydrates.

Yet, I’ve been recently experimenting with some of the candies/sugars that extinguishes the sweet tooth flame, and I have to say Nerds is perfect for the diabetic with candy needs. Reeses’ Pieces, M&Ms, and Skittles probably work, too, I guess, but Nerds are so small that you can suck a piece at a time and get so little actual sugar in your body, you can go at it for a while.

Anyway, anyone looking at the carb counts on the back of boxes (which I do religiously: I worship the serving size number almost as much, those tricky little devils) will know even the smallest cookie packs a punch. Ice cream, coupled with that whole lactose stupidity my body has decided to develop, leaves me dumbfounded and sleepy even with the tiny 4 oz cups. And cookies go stale, ice cream comes in tubs, you feel obligated to eat it all.

Personally, same with the M&Ms. I don’t know why. I eat one and I’m wanting a handful.

Not so with Nerds. It has a harsh sweetness to it, a sour that makes you pucker your lips, and it slows that craving to nothing, especially if you’re being conscious about eating the pieces one at a time. It’s not good for the major cravings, of course. For those I recommend a heavy helping of Moose Tracks and lose your blood sugar monitor for the night.

I’ve decided it’s my perfect candy. Just wanted to share.



Aspartame in My Hatorade

I’m diabetic. I weigh a little over 200 pounds. I don’t gain weight easily, and I don’t lose it easily either. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes last January (2011) I was told to remove all soda (my kryptonite) from my diet. I was 185 lbs. Diet soda was fine, since it had no sugar, but sugar (high fructose corn syrup) was bad, bad, bad for me.

Being diabetic is a love-hate relationship. My body needs carbs to be efficient, but it can’t handle the sugar in those carbs so eating them drags me down to zero energy. It’s a complicated “eat only 40 grams of carbs a day” scenario where 10 over or 10 under might screw up the rest of my day.

Aspartame is in everything. Apparently, before my time, sucralose was in everything, and the big companies switched to Aspartame to properly substitute corn syrup. Why? Cheaper. Bottom dollar at work again. Cheaper, processed and therefore patented artificial sweetner some big company can corner the market on. So “diet” usually means aspartame.

“Diet soda” is a misnomer. It’s not a diet soda. It’s not a dieter’s soda. It makes you RAVENOUSLY hungry. Savage like a wild animal. It eats your stomach up until you have a gnawing black hole devouring the universe inside you. You salivate over donuts, daydream about Doritos. And, of course, that’s what the Krispy Kreme and Doritos companies want. Some technical term like Cross-Marketing comes to mind.

Aspartame is the devil for a dieter. It’s like little Bailey’s-filled chocolates for an alcoholic on the mend. It’s better to drink cane sugar than to drink an ounce of that stuff, because it destroys your dieting resolve.

But I’m not a dieter, so it’s gravy. Right? No… It in fact made me so hungry for sugary, candy things I was doing worse in the insulin department than I was before I went off it. Let’s get this straight: soda’s nasty. 49 grams of corn syrup in each 12 oz can is downright dangerous. But I gained 20 pounds simply by getting into an otherwise “healthier” lifestyle of removing soda and other high-carb drinks (like sweet tea).

Advice for dieters and diabetics alike: buy unsweet tea and administer stevia to taste if you have to. Or coffee. Stevia is a NATURAL, UNPROCESSED sweetner that accomplishes the same pros Aspartame does but can’t be trademarked or developed by Big Business, so you won’t hear a lot of advertisement about it. Furthermore, Dr. Pepper won’t be replacing Aspartame anytime soon. It’s bad business, and I understand why they wouldn’t change something that isn’t broken (again, they aren’t in the business to help you lose weight or live healthier. They’re in the business to make money).

SoBe has some low-carb alternatives full of caffine, too, if that’s what you’re looking for. Lifewater. Look for the Truvia label, and look for the lids with purple or green. They are awesome.

Finally, Aspartame reacts with me strangely. It turns me into a blubbering idiot. I forget focus every five minutes, after drinking some, and run around wondering why I can’t remember anything. My creativity dies. It is literally a dangerous drug with damaging side-effects. For me. Reactions do vary, of course.