Lessons from a Temporary Diabetic / by Susie Lubell

I'm going back to work in a few weeks and I still need to shed a few baby pounds. In fact, I'm actually down to my pre-pregnancy weight but it's all accumulated in new places. Like my gut. And my boobs. I'm okay with the boob part since the "Breastaurant" is still open 24/7. But what the hell am I supposed to do about my gut. My old clothes basically fit I guess, if I were into the "shoved myself into these pants" look. Not super professional.

I'm just not a good dieter. I mean, if there are chocolate raisins in the house, and there are, then I will eat them. And if there are not, I will buy them. And I get super hungry toward the end of the day. Like right now. It's 10pm and all I want is a bowl of cereal. And that's after eating yummy salmon, fresh corn, cous cous and some salad.

But during pregnancy I was an expert dieter. At least for the latter part. I had gestational diabetes so I had to adhere to a super strict diet so that the baby wouldn't get too big inside that lovely sugary environment that my whacked out endocrine system had created for her, unbeknownst to me. I found out at around 30 weeks after my glucola test. My numbers were crazy high. I had been seeing a midwife so if I wanted to keep my midwife I needed to get my sugar levels low without the aid of insulin (once you're on insulin you're deemed a high risk pregnancy and then I would have had to go with an ob/gyn). At that point I had already gained 25 pounds. And with ten weeks left till term, I was on my way toward gaining upward of 40 pounds which could have resulted in a ten pound hypoglycemic baby and a C-section. No thanks. I'll stop eating chocolate.

If only it were that simple. I had to be so strict. Limited carbs, no sweets, no milk or fruit during meals, no fruit after dinner. And no cereal. But I was motivated by this baby inside. I was able to stick to this diet for her, deprive myself the joy of eating whatever I wanted during pregnancy so that she would be healthy. And in fact she was healthy. Only 8.5 pounds. No hypoglycemia. No C-section. A wonderful birthing experience with the guidance of my fabulous midwife and the encouragement of my supportive (and foxy) husband. Because of the diet I didn't gain another ounce from my 30-week checkup. I was essentially losing weight - just instead of dropping it, I was converting it into chubby baby. And I actualy felt much better during the end of this pregnancy than during the end of my first pregnancy. And I was really happy to be more mindful of the food I was putting in my body. Since I had to write everything down and check my blood glucose levels four times a day, I became a super conscientious omnivore.

But now that she's out and my system is back to normal I can't seem to stay on that diet or any diet. The diet wasn't even too bad and some things I even looked forward to (like my low carb fudge ice-cream bar for after-dinner snack every night). But I'm back to drinking juice (big no-no for diabetics). I'm back to eating bigger meals instead of my six small meals. I'm back to gorging on cherries and grapes. (I mean it's fruit for god's sake). But that stuff is pure sugar. And now that I've had gestational diabetes, I'm more prone to get Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes later on. So I should be watching what I eat for my own health. But I don't.

I think it's a mom behavior. I'll do anything for my kids. Even give up cereal. But my own health and well-being doesn't seem to be a strong enough motivator to keep me away from the chocolate raisins. Maybe the threat of looking like a stuffed sausage at work will get me back on track. The imagery alone is probably enough...