Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Glycemic Index

On the way to my follow up visit with my doctor, I figured it all out. Diets are hooey. I don’t really need to loose weight; I am happy the way I am. Actually, I am losing weight, but I am so contrary that as soon as I really try, I sabotage myself. Or worse, I lose a lot of weight, and then I put it back on, which is worse. So – no diets for me.

He has the results of all my blood work, and before I can go into my speech, he starts talking about how my trigliceride ratio is all wrong, and that my blood sugar readings would have been OK ten years ago, but now the scale has changed, and although I am a smart woman, my brain is spinning and I never get a chance to give my ‘I am not going on a diet speech’ because he is talking about the GLYCEMIC INDEX and how if we can reverse this all and I will never have to go on medication.

I register that part. I never want to have to go on any medication I have to take every day. That’s for OLD people, not me. Not me!

Diabetes is scary to me. I had a diabetic cat. We did everything, tried all different kinds of insulin, we never did get her blood sugar under control until we put her on special food, when it evened out. Then we moved to Doha, where the vet said he had never seen a diabetic cat before, and where the pharmacies promised me it was the ‘right’ insulin and it wasn’t . . . I really, really do not want to be diabetic.

So I started reading about the glycemic index, and glycemic diets, and oh, my head is spinning, none of the resources agree with one another about what is desirable and what is not! In one place, they will say you can eat pasta, and in another place, they will indicate that you can only eat whole grain pasta, and in one place peanut butter is good, and in another, it is like the worst.

They all agree that you need to be eating mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but watermelon is forbidden, and candy has a lower glycemic number than a baguette. I am SO confused.

Wikipedia says The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI.

I totally get that. It’s the specifics I have problems with, as well as wondering if it works the same for each person (I imagine metabolism gets involved here, and exercise) and there is a part of me that wants to be like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand. It’s all overwhelming.

I slept well last night, but was wide awake at five, worrying about my glycemic index. I decided it might be a good time to walk; we are having really warm weather, so warm the windows are all frosted up from the A/C inside and the heat outside. I used to have water aerobics on Wednesday, but now that I am in the Isaiah study, I don’t get there on Wednesdays, and walking early would be a good substitute.

I headed our with my phone, keys and flashlight, all of which can be used as weapons if I feel endangered, but I discover there is a whole neighborhood full of people out there running and walking at that quiet, dark time of the day. As I reached the top of the hill, there is even a stiff breeze, which feels really good in the sticky humidity. If I can make this a habit, maybe the glycemic index will have less significance. I can hope.

October 27, 2010 - Posted by | Aging, Diet / Weight Loss, Exercise, ExPat Life, Food, Health Issues, Pensacola, Weather


  1. I faithfully followed a GI diet for about 2 months. I felt great, was losing weight, and was eating well. It required lots of preplanning for meals, and that fell by the wayside as our schedule to meet deadlines required obscene work hours. I was just thinking I needed to get back with the plan… is more of a eating lifestyle than a diet.

    Comment by patzee | October 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Patzee, I like that thought. We have made significant changes in our lifestyle over the years, and we eat far less meat and far more vegetables than before . . . if I can think of it that way, and make changes we can stick to, I think we can be OK. Do you recommend any particular book or website? How did you find the details for your diet?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. The book I used is “The G. I. Diet Clinic” by Gallop. It was the “health” book in my Fit-In-Christ class at church. We combine health tips and weight loss goals with Bible study. I think there are several books by this author. My favorite part of this particular book is the recipe section at the end. Everyone I have tried has been really good (Steve would disagree with me on the bran muffins), and after stocking my pantry with healthy things I’ve never used (oat bran, wheat bran, whole wheat flour) they are fairly simple to prepare. I don’t buy into absolutely everything in the book…..I’ll never entirely give up eggs and butter, but I have modified my cooking and food choices.

    Comment by patzee | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Gasp! You give up eggs and butter? I’ve cut way down on both, but give them up? Completely? *the mind boggles at the very thought*

      I will send for the book. My best weight loss program was also through a church, the Weigh-Down Workshop. The creator/author was kind of a fruitcake, but I found I really liked a lot of the things she taught, and for me, the program worked. Thank you for telling me about this book. Note – bran muffins and oatmeal are in the same boat in my book – my sister calls oatmeal ‘spackle’ and I have to agree, and bran muffins, heavy, leaden, like eating balls of hay, not that I have ever eaten balls of hay.

      Comment by intlxpatr | October 29, 2010 | Reply

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