Saturday, 11 June 2011

Blog 39. Or ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love chocolate’

You may have seen the film, Dr Strangelove, but if you haven’t I suggest you do. The film is about the nuclear deterrent being that of mutually assured destruction (MAD) – i.e. everyone loses. Well I have a similar relationship to chocolate. This is a bit of a tenuous link but I really liked the title of this blog post, which is a play on the full title of the film, Dr Strangelove or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb).

Chocolate is the evil enemy, disguised as your best and most comforting friend. I used to eat a lot of chocolate. I even went to a chocolate festival in southern Belize (a town called Punta Gorda). It wasn’t very good even for a key part of the former Mayan empire, which at times used cacao beans as currency, so valued were they. The Mayan’s even had a King called Ah Cacao (or King Chocolate). But then Belize is a third world country.

So far I’ve gone from Stanley Kubrick to ancient Central American civilisations, so broad and complex is my relationship with chocolate. Lately this tangled web has gotten even more strange thanks to the threat of the hypo. I’m now on new medicine and it brings my blood sugar levels down low. So low in fact that my last HBa1c was a very promising 6.8! But one of the side effects of this is that I now regularly experience the early stages of a hypo – the shaking hands, the disorientation, the cold sweat. You can see where this is going.

The oncoming hypo became an excuse for a bite of chocolate, which quickly went from a bite to a bit to a bar, which turned into a preventative cookie at about 11.00am. As enjoyable as this is I know it can’t be good for me as a try to lose weight to help control the diabetes. It’s all so confusing.

Alternatives to chocolate are; try to eat an apple or some fruit at regular intervals to avoid the hypo in the first place; or even a bit of a sandwich; or drink a bit of fruit juice which is quicker in tackling the hypo then chocolate. Or mix this up a bit so you can have a bit of chocolate every now and then in which case you don’t have to worry about it. This approach has also stopped me obsessing about chocolate, which likely makes me a bit easier to live with.

So there you have it, how I learned to stop worrying and love chocolate. I haven’t really stopped worrying that much as I’m guessing this all means my blood levels are a bit all over the place. But as I’m doing quite a bit of exercise too (I just joined a football team) things are bound to be a bit unstable until I learn more about my changing body. More football news later. I’m back from Disneyworld, and I was right about the food – processed rubbish.

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