Dark Humor and Sautéed Snow Peas in Olive Oil
Nurturers, caretakers, child bearers, organizers, planners, worriers. Big picture, detailed thinkers. We women are often a lot of things, or expected to be a lot of things. Some of us have rebelled in some ways against that, but in the end, biology still plays a role in our bodies to help us plan for some of those things. Mostly, it pumps us full of hormones, and helps us carry fat around certain parts of our bodies and organs so we can better sustain a potential pregnancy, and not abandon our offspring once they start crying at 3 AM. Because they are cute. And we love them. Remind yourself of that.
And while all of those are good things, evolutionarily speaking, there are also some not so great byproducts of that.
- Being able to worry about our families is good – but it also means we get depressed more easily: the hormonal fluctuations of periods, pregnancies, and menopause, put a lot of stress on a woman’s body, as well as the constant tending for the needs of households, and families
- Being able to carry extra weight is good for a pregnancy – but it also means we have a harder time losing weight than men, and will carry weight more readily around our organs and midsection
These situations often feed off of each other, and may lead to other potential health risks, such as developing clinical depression, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc. And while a healthy woman of 55 years or younger has less chances of having a heart attack than a younger man, woman who has developed these (or other health conditions) is more likely to have a heart attack, or to be in poorer health condition.
And yes, all this extra stress, depression (excessive serotonin production), and weight around our midsections have been shown to contribute to the development or triggering of type 2 diabetes in predisposed women. Not to mention, that other reproductive health conditions, like polycystic ovarian syndrome, are also known to produce excessive hormones which may also lead to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, depression, heart attack, and development of type 2 diabetes.
So… as women, when we look back personally on all of what we have to juggle – we may get extremely overwhelmed. For me, this is a challenging feat: I am the organizer, big picture and detail person for my household – which means a lot of things. I pay the bills, plan the meals, worry about deadlines, taxes, making sure things don’t fall through cracks, and get forgotten. I also have three jobs. Three jobs which expect the same kind of detail and attention from me. And then I have to come home, and try to fit in taking care of myself in all of that. Finding time to exercise, to grocery shop for the right things, to see a doctor, to monitor the ups and downs of my blood glucose levels and take my medications, to make sure I schedule all the right yearly tests I’m supposed to get, and specialists I’m supposed to visit. To even sleep! It is a lot to manage, and sometimes, some women end up having to make two separate dinners every night, because their families are so unsupportive, they refuse to make dietary changes as a unit, in order to support her. Whatever happened to the old school dinner choices of ‘take it, or leave it?’ We need to practice more of that, in my opinion…
But seriously, diabetes, especially when combined with the pressures a woman faces from society, makes a woman more likely to have a heart attack than a man, to develop severe complications like loss of kidney function, to develop pregnancy complications and eating disorders, to lose interest in sex, or the ability to experience pleasure, and to develop depression. Some medications may also make things challenging, because they make it harder to lose weight, or they may lead to thinning hair and the development of facial hair. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being a balding, hairy apple. But with type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, this is my life… and some days, it’s my dark humor which gets me through it all. Dark humor, and sautéed snow peas in olive oil.