Friday, June 25, 2010

Diarizing changes perception

When I was first diagnosed pre-diabetic, I indulged in three months of intensive tracking and diarizing; my blood sugars, my diet, and how I felt. This sort of furious activity temporarily impresses the professionals. I come in to my appointments with my reams of charts and graphs. So organized. So, dedicated. So... geeky. I don't keep it up forever, though. My inner hedonist wrestles free in time.

Those three months did me a valuable service, though. The connection between my eating and how I felt could no longer be ignored. I began to look at sweets and sugary drinks in a whole new way. They now blaze red flashing signals of misery. I easily pass them by.

My perception of portions and what full means were permanently changed as well. A good portion of meat shrunk to the size of a pack of cards. Vegetables swelled to half my plate. I no longer kept eating until I could hold no more. I became much more aware of my body and at interpreting it's signals.

My recent flurry of diarizing, to track medication and exercise and their effect on my blood sugars, yielded similar results. Again, I'd avoided the obvious. Regularly portioned exercise directly improves my ability to process sugar. My body aches were cries for more exercise, not a call to relax.

Which got me to thinking of the value of diarizing. Not all of us can do it all the time. But it pays to set aside a packet of days to pay attention. The exercise may just change your perceptions.

A great online tracker can be found at Registration for the basic service is free, and you can track through your iPhone. There are dozens of trackers to choose from, and you can select those you are following now.