What’s Goldilocks and the Buddha got to do with Type 2?
A lot, as it turns out.
Remember Goldilocks? She couldn’t tolerate her food being too hot or too cold. It had to be just right.
Just right means choosing options in the middle, not at the extremes.
The Buddha too endorsed the middle path as the least destructive way to live. His own life experiences taught him that neither excesses, which can lead to over-indulgence, nor too little which leaves us feeling deprived, work.
With Type 2, the benefits of this philosophy are soon evident in many areas, especially food.
If I go either too long without eating, or eat too frequently, my blood glucose reflects that. The same can be said for portion size. Too big or too little can also result in higher levels.
There’s no manual that’ll work for everyone.
General fitness level, how much activity that day, your weight, how much you drink – these all vary from person to person, day to day, contributing to fluctuating numbers.
Even the temperature has an impact. Too hot and humid, or quite chilly can effect levels. The higher the humidity, the less stable mine is.
The only sure way to constantly manage is paying attention, testing frequently, and correcting trends if necessary.
Being mindful allows me to check in, making whatever adjustments I need to correct, maintaining my blood glucose at an acceptable level.
The overall system of managing this condition, and the apparent similarity in keeping all these balls in the air at just the right height enables me to feel less confused. I firmly get that the middle path is crucial, and rather than feeling all over the map, can grasp this fundamental information that seems less random.
If you’re unsure where the middle pathway lies, take a moment to think about it. Ponder what would feel extreme in either direction, indicating too much or too little.
With portion size, first imagine a plate with food piled high, like a hill. Probably too large a portion if you can’t see all of the food, as some is hidden under the rest piled on top.
Now imagine the opposite, too small a portion. Here, a few pieces of food are arranged on the plate, not touching each other with an easy view of the plate in between the pieces. Most likely too small a portion, BUT, eat it and wait 20 minutes for it to digest.
After 20 minutes, if you still feel hungry, eat a little more. If you don’t feel hungry, or even better, feel full, than it was sufficient.
Everyone has different food needs, and individually will vary from meal to meal, day to day.
Learn about yours by paying intimate attention to your optimal eating habits.
I recognized that my eyes distorted the amount. So I began to re-train myself by giving myself permission to have a second helping after the 20 minute test. I was constantly surprised by how infrequently I needed more.
Over time, knowing I can have more food if I need it, and won’t starve, I can now be more accurate in eyeballing my portion.
Result is I eat far less food, and recognize the sensation of when I feel full as I’m not over-riding the ‘full’ switch.
I continually draw upon Goldilocks and the Buddha’s advice to remind myself to not become complacent, but continue to pay attention.
My quality of life depends upon it.