Every day, I have to accept the truth that my body doesn’t metabolize carbs like an average person. That doesn’t mean that I can’t eat any carbs. It just means I can’t eat any carbs that are refined (i.e. have no fiber/roughage connected). In other words, 90% of the carbs I eat need to have either fiber or fat connected to them.
I know, I know. It sounds totally like anarchy or blasphemy from all the scientific studies and theories to say that fat is a bonus to me, but I can’t help it. I’ve tried for 30 years to make fats the culprit and pare them down, meanwhile eating refined carbs like average people—in moderation, just once in a while—but I can’t do it. Try as I might. They cause me just about every symptom that alcohol causes an alcoholic—just on a toned-down scale—and then some.
All refined carbs cause me to crave them—the more I eat, the more I want. As the saying goes in AA, to an alcoholic, one drink is too many and a hundred isn’t enough. To a carbo-holic like myself, one bite of refined carbs is too much and a whole batch of cookie dough or a whole pan of brownies or an entire loaf of bread isn’t enough. I might not eat that much in one sitting, but I’ll eat the rest standing and hiding, sneaking—as if what I’m doing isn’t obvious by the excess weight I carry.
Vegetables, even fruits, I can eat in moderate quantities, walk away, and never look back until the next time I’m genuinely hungry. But not so with breads (pretty much all kinds—even whole wheat) or anything with gluten, starch or sugar. Those things are like hard liqueur to me. Potatoes and other grains are very slippery slopes for me. I have to be very honest with myself about them and eat them with great respect, because it takes very little to push me over the edge into the “strange mental blind spot” the AA guys wrote about.
“Oh, just a little bit won’t hurt.” Right?
Not for me. And you would think that 30 years of trying to ignore that fact would be long enough.
Oh yes, and fats? I seem to be able to eat all the healthy fat I want within reason. I mean I can’t eat it by the pound or by the quart, but I lose weight consistently without having to worry about measuring it. My body seems to let a lot of it slip on through for some reason. Meanwhile, my body holds onto every stinking calorie I ingest in the form of starchy, sugary carbs.
There are so many other benefits of abstaining from junky carbs for me. Within a few days I can feel my thinking become clearer and quicker, my moods lighten up, and my arthritic aches and pains let up. That’s when I begin to remember that—weight loss or not—the old OA slogan is 100% true for me:
NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS ABSTINENCE FEELS.
And just so I never forget that I’m not the source of my own abstinence, I have to make a slight tweek to that slogan:
Nothing tastes as good (or as sweet) as deliverance feels.