Tag Archives: sugar

My silly sugar tests

Will scrubbing my lips with a sugar lip scrub affect my blood sugar?

That question popped into my head one morning as I was gently scrubbing my lips. I knew I didn’t have to do a blood check to know the answer but I thought it would an entertaining way to return to regular self-monitoring blood glucose checks.

I have to admit that I’d been complacent with my testing for a while now. I had resolved to get back to SMBG checks to restart my diabetes management but after months of slacking, resuming SMBG tests was not as easy as I thought. I kept forgetting to check at the two-hour mark. Thus, adding an element of silliness and fun may not be a bad idea. So, one morning, a frivolous sugar scrubbing experiment was born. Continue reading

Sugar

The sky has been dumping snow all over Japan, with snow starting to fall in Tokyo from sometime last night or early this morning. Snow continues to fall, accompanied by strong winter winds. Hence, hubby and I cancelled all plans of going out and stayed home watching a Metallica concert on disc and the Winter Olympics on TV. There is still a blizzard out there as I write this. I wish we had these conditions (even with the wind) when we skied last weekend.

Tokyo snow storm

Tokyo snow storm

Last weekend was unusually hot in Japan for February. Although the skiing in Nagano last Saturday morning was not that bad, the temperature started to rise in the afternoon. By Sunday, the temperature was between 6 and 7 degrees C (perhaps higher?) and the snow had turned to slush. I was complaining about how hot 7 degrees was, which I’d say was anomalous for someone who grew up in a tropical country and was standing on a mountain top surrounded by snow! We were literally skiing on wet table sugar, with some portions looking like the Coke slurpee I used to love years ago. While I was trying my very best to spring ski, I was spewing waves upon waves of unspoken expletives. Because the snow was like sticky sugar, sugar was inevitably attached to those swear words. 

Spring in Feb

Spring in February

Why can’t sugar leave me alone?  

Sugar. As a Type 2 diabetic, I shudder when I hear the word sugar. Literally. When I was diagnosed, the first thing that my GP told me was to ditch sugar and it was not easy. To anyone who has a sugar addiction, please know that you can get rid of it – you can do it.

I never thought I’d actually get over my fondness for sugar. I grew up in a society which, like many other societies, loves sugar and sweet things. Although my mother tried her very best to discourage us from sugar-laden foods and drinks, sugar was unavoidable – desserts, snacks, slurpee, and sickeningly sweet coffee, iced tea, soda and fruit juice. But now, sugar is no longer such a big or unsurmountable issue with me, which makes my life with diabetes a lot easier to manage. I mean, I now drink black coffee and unsweetened tea. Who would have thought? So, now slurpee no longer bothers me, unless it’s slurpee on the mountains.

I guess that’s sugar’s way of trying to own me. If it can no longer tempt me to eat loads of it, it will call on its distant cousin on the ski slopes to make life difficult for me. How sneaky; much like how sugar finds its way into our bodies these days. But, I got the better of it, because at the end of the ski day, my blood sugar was low. 

Did you put sugar in my cappuccino?

Two of my GP’s first instructions to me after my diagnosis was one, ditch sugar, and two, not to use sugar substitutes.

No sugar or gum syrup in my coffee and tea. No cookies, cakes or pies. I understood ditching sugar, but staying away from sugar substitutes as well? Were they harmful to my health? That wasn’t it. My GP’s reason was very simple – he wanted me to wean myself off sweets. If not, I will have a major long-term struggle adjusting to a life of diabetes. Sweets surround us, diabetic or not, everywhere we go. Whether I like it or not, I will be constantly tempted at dinners, parties, networking functions and other social events. I would be constantly tempted just by the sight of sugar. He knew how much I loved sweets. Whatever the reason, at that time, I was willing to do what my GP wanted.

Deal with sugar first. Piece of cake! But I underestimated my severe addiction to sweetness. The fact was I did not know how addicted I was to sugar. Like the great Hercule Poirot, I used to put 3 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee. I loaded my tea with gum syrup, and drowned my strawberries in condensed milk. I snacked on chocolates – except bitter, dark chocolate.

The following weeks were hellish. My experience must have been close to what Renton in Trainspotting went through. All right, that’s an exaggeration. But I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I would rather run through the Sahara Desert in summer than cut out sugar.

Especially in my coffee. I drink coffee by the bucket and, as I said earlier, with a lot of sugar. How could anyone drink that bitter black liquid without any sweetener? Without my sweet coffee, I was the quintessence of meanness, spite, and cantankerous attitude. I was able to keep Ms. Hyde at bay in the office but not at home. My dear husband bore the brunt of it (I tell you, I’m nominating him for sainthood).

Then, one Sunday afternoon, while my husband and I were at one of our favorite restaurants, I asked for cappuccino. I spat out what they gave me because it was sweet. I complained to our server and explained to him that I was detoxing from sugar. He assured me that they do not put sugar in their cappuccino and that it’s the same recipe they used the last time I was there. I forcefully insisted it was sweet and that therefore they put sugar in it. My husband, who was obviously embarrassed by my allegation, intervened. He tasted my cappuccino and assured me that it harbored no sugar.

Unbelievable. My taste buds changed. Sweetness no longer had control over me (well, most of the time). I knew then, without doubt, that I can control my Type 2 diabetes.

I still want sweets sometimes, but I’ve not put sugar in my coffee or tea since, and I’ve developed a fondness for dark, dark chocolate.