The Birthday Girl

My 40th birthday was looming on the 20th January. I wasn’t that concerned about turning 40 really. It was a big milestone, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I was the same at my 30th but I took my mind off turning 30 with a Caribbean cruise. It certainly helped! Now here I was, facing up to turning 40 and also facing up to Type 2 Diabetes.

I had a few things planned (not on the Caribbean cruise scale, of course!) to help ease the passage into my 40’s. I had a week off work planned and had an overnight trip away on the night before the big day, followed by as a meal with my mum and my in-laws on my actual birthday. Ah yes, my mum. I haven’t mentioned her yet. My mum is a strange creature. You would think she would be supportive of her daughter wanting to improve her health, but no, if she could find a way to carp and criticise then she would do that. I did not tell her about the diabetes diagnosis as that would cause panic and lead to her being more judgemental. It would give her a chance to criticise everything I put in my mouth for a start (not that she is an expert in diabetes or diet for that matter) but if I ever had a sweet treat I could hear her in my head asking “should you really be eating that?” as she thinks it is all about sugar and nothing else.  I had just told her that I would be watching what I was eating and that when we went for dinner on my birthday I would not be having a dessert. I could see the scepticism in her face already. It was all she could do not to laugh. How nice it must be to have a supportive mum, sadly I would never know.

On the Friday before my birthday I was finishing up work for a week, so I knew that there would be presents and cake (we have a birthday club, so I would be most indignant if there wasn’t!) so I had to figure out how to avoid the cake. I got a lovely big vanilla sponge cake with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the top. I took the first slice and sat it on my desk and then went around dishing it up to the rest of my colleagues (we are in an office of about 20 people). I managed to get away with not eating it, as I said I was going to keep it til later (it was still only 11am!) and then I took it home at lunchtime to give it to my husband so it wouldn’t go to waste. Unfortunately it was still sat there next day and it went hard, so we had to throw it away. Normally I would be distraught at the waste of a piece of cake, but I didn’t even want it.

Our overnight away was excellent and I allowed myself a couple of glasses of Prosecco and chips. Goodness, I had missed chips! And they were hand-cut and thick and delicious! Mmmmm! I chose a main of salmon on mashed potato with green veg and a side of chips to share with the hubby. Heaven. Before I  went for dinner I took my blood sugar reading and it was 5.2 . I took it at around midnight, around 2 hrs after finishing my evening meal and it was only 5.4. Next morning it was 5.5. I was amazed. How could this be? I had only lost a stone (14 lbs) – it was not yet the stone and a half (21 lbs) I needed to lose. Things were certainly heading in the right direction.

I spent my 40th birthday by going for a sauna and steam followed by a dip in the relaxation pool (no swimming here!). We had a lovely breakfast and headed for home. At lunchtime we met up with my cousin (who I had already told about the diabetes back at the beginning of January) at a nearby garden centre and had a coffee and I will admit to having a slice of carrot cake! Well, it was my birthday! I knew that these things were not good and not part of the diet, but I was not going to be miserable on my birthday and would get straight back onto the diet next day. Dinner was a tense affair, as predicted, my mum made an issue out of the fact I said no to dessert and pretended to feel my forehead to take my temperature to see if I was feeling ill. Maybe I swatted her hand away with a little bit too much force, but it had to be done to prove a point. It really annoyed me not to have a dessert, but I had had one the previous night and a cake earlier in the day, and I knew I just couldn’t. Those days were sadly over. I also had to hammer home the point to my mum and my mum-in-law too. She is supportive in principle, but is a feeder. She will buy cakes “just in case” and then proceed to ask you repeatedly “are you sure you don’t want a cake?” so much so that you eventually cave in. I was not going to let that happen again. In the end I know that is what they are both like and I will just have to deal with that. Why do people want to sabotage your attempts to succeed? Especially when it comes to losing weight. Maybe I’ll have a look at that in a later blog.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to let anything spoil my birthday and headed home with hubby to enjoy a wee glass of red and toast my 40th once again!

Next: The birthday party





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