I’m at the age where it seems everyone is popping out kids. Where weekends are for 9am birthday parties. Where conversations must include the word ‘trimester’ or ‘daycare’. Where appearing on North Korean television earns less Facebook likes than a toddler in a raincoat.
My socially-delivered education on prenatal biology and women’s health has been confronting, yet informative. One pregnantista was eagerly awaiting more relaxin, which turns out isn’t a generic brand of Valium nor an album of easy-listening jazz, but rather a hormone our bodies make that does exactly what’s on the label.
I’ve also learned about gestational diabetes, courtesy of a friend’s misfortune. Most of us realise that not all diabetes comes from donuts and Netflix. Turns out pregnancy can cause diabetes too. Usually it resolves at birth, apparently buddying up with the parents’ free time and leaving for a place where it can get a single night of goddamn unbroken sleep.
Yet for some unlucky ladies, gestational diabetes refuses to take the hint. Instead it loiters around like some mid-30s dropkick living with their family. And just like that dropkick, it can kill you in your sleep.
Seriously. If blood sugar falls far enough during the night, sleep transitions smoothly into a diabetic coma. The sleeper is usually unaware. Unless they’re woken and treated, they die.
Fortunately, on most nights they don’t die. Instead they awaken for a day of carefully planning the timing and contents of every meal, snack and drink, and the influence of exercise on blood sugar levels. Even then they need to test their blood frequently, and inject insulin if required. Normal life gets fitted somewhere in there too, which now includes caring for that new baby who kicked this whole thing off. P.S. This baby has a greater risk of itself developing diabetes.
So I’m hoping that if my week-long Chocolate-Only Diet raises anything beside my blood pressure, then it should be awareness of this issue.
Testing higher risk women early in the pregnancy can mitigate impacts on mother and child should gestational diabetes be present. While we can joke that I’m eating my way into the waiting room of a diabetes clinic, even healthy and sporty women (like my friend) can develop gestational diabetes. This can then persist, usually as type 2 diabetes. But it can also trigger the unpreventable type 1. For them, diabetes’ arrival has little or nothing to do with diet and exercise.
Beyond awareness raising, I’m going to take a bullet for my friend. More precisely, this week my body will absorb what, for her, would be a fatal dose of chocolate. Delicious, deadly, chocolate. For each dollar of chocolate that gets to my belly, I’ll donate a matching dollar to JDRF, a global research and extension body for Type 1 diabetes.
This heroism won’t be constrained by a lack of supplies. Today I realised that I bought more food than I can hope to eat within the week. Guess I didn’t actually need yesterday’s supplemental (i.e. fourth) batch of tasty treats. A leftover stash of chocolate in the pantry does not auger well for reestablishing healthy eating habits after the week is through.
Yoga this morning, the first exercise session on the diet. Having felt a bit weak over the last few days, I wasn’t sure how I’d manage. I also worry that the creative poses could precipitate some kind of bowel emergency. The class, however, passes without drama, gastrointestinal or otherwise. That said, I did end up sleeping a total of 11 hours today.
Somewhere upwind, a damn neighbour is having a BBQ for dinner. To spite them and their delicious smelling fare, I bump the indulgence up a notch. Tonight’s dinner thus is an all-chocolate fondue for one, enjoyed by candlelight. Perhaps though I should call it a fondon’t, as the pieces of brownie I sliced up for dipping crumble off the toothpick and stay in the melted chocolate. Still indulgently tasty though.
Right now you’re probably thinking to yourself “if only I could bring some of the romance and indulgence of Banno’s glamorous lifestyle into my own humble home.” Well you’re in luck. Because sharing is caring, I’ve written out the ‘recipe’ for you here.
Daily Kilojoules, Day 3
|Target||Consumed||% of Daily Target Consumed|
Food Diary, Day 3
|Breakfast||Freddo Frog x2, fun-size Mars Bar (2), Salted Caramel (2), Flake (2), Snickers (3)|
|Lunch||Tim Tam (2); Freddo Frog; fun-sized Salted Caramel (2), Picnic (2), Flake (1)|
|Snacks||Cold mocha; hot mocha; gluten-free Choc Fudge Brownie; fun-size Snickers(2)|
|Dinner||Gluten-free Choc Fudge Brownie (2.5); Tim Tam; Choc Mint Creme biscuit; Mars Bar Pods; M&Ms.|
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On to Day 4, where the world has turned upside down – willpower is now resisting healthy food and eating mud cake instead.
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