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Person flying out of car with pizza box and slices in the air.

Falling out of the Car/Off the Wagon

How many of us keep falling out of the car/ off the wagon in this journey of ours, on this dusty dirt road of diabetes? Come on, be honest…show your hands. I know that I do, and probably always will.

Staying on track with the exception of date day

Sometimes it’s intentional. For instance, Saturday is always date day for the wife and me. It’s a custom that started back in the late seventies when I was stationed at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, Georgia. The squadron I was assigned to was always on the road, doing modifications to aircraft that the local bases didn’t have the manpower to support.  But each time I got back home, we’d take Saturday as a date day and would do so until I was back on the road again. We have been doing that ever since.

So on that one day a week, I’ll let myself go, fall out of the car. Then on Sunday I’ll pick myself up, dust off and crawl behind the wheel again for the whole week. Ah, I forgot that there are certain holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hmmm, might as well toss those in also. At any rate, I’m back behind the wheel and hauling down that dirt road again until the next pit stop.

Taming the tiger, so to speak

There’s a free pdf download that I found a few years ago. A very enjoyable one, called Taming the Tiger by William ‘Lee’ Dubious. This individual is a diabetic himself and works in a clinic helping other diabetics as well. Very interesting pdf. He’s written other books on the subject of diabetes as well. Note: Reader be warned. If you’re sensitive to ‘rough language’ you might want to pass. The guy tells it like it is, but he’s also humorous at the same time. Definitely worth the read.

When I fall out of the car, I tend to give that tiger a treat. Yeah, I know. But what the heck. I figure she’s been very good and well behaved for six days so once a week she deserves a ‘treat’. Wouldn’t you do the same? Maybe not, but each of us is different. But be honest with yourself, do you not fall out of that car, off that wagon, and hit the dirt like I do?

Understanding personal boundaries

Before everyone starts in on me, look at it this way. I also know what I can handle and get away with, and what I can’t. There are sometimes though when eating certain foods will ‘play’ with me. For a long time, I’ll get great reads eating something. Then all of a sudden I’ll start scratching my head because I’m now getting high reads with the same food. Or, it will be vice-versa where it starts out bad and goes to good.

After a while, I’ll either give up on that one thing and quit it all together or, if I want it bad enough, I’ll take my chances and ‘go for the gusto’ instead. But for the most part, when crawling back behind that wheel again and heading down that dusty road, I’m doing great in measuring portions and counting carbs.

Relying on nutritional info to stay on track

No, I don’t tell myself that I can’t have this or have that. I did when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. Then when I got better at looking at the total carb and sugar in items and also counting carbs, I knew that nothing was off the table for me any longer.

I’m not going to tell you to follow my lead. Just like I wouldn’t tell you to take this or take that, or do this or that. What you do is between you and your doctor. Why? Because I don’t know you. I don’t know everything that is going on with you and your health. You might be telling me a quarter of what’s wrong with you and if I was to tell you to do/take or don’t do/take something, I could be totally screwing you up.

Always seek professional healthcare advice

You should always go with your doctor’s advice and if you don’t agree with what he/she is advising you to do, then find another doctor and get another opinion. That way you can compare their expert advice and decide how you want to move forward.

But never ask a complete stranger what you should do because what they tell you could make matters worse than what they already are. That my friends, is exactly why you’ll never see me tell you to do something. And when I tell you what I do, I will always tell you to check with your personal health care provider before ever trying anything on your own. I only know that the way I do things works for me.

Continuing to troubleshoot

So when I fall out of the car, I know exactly what I’ve done and will troubleshoot so to speak, to find out why it happened when it was okay before. But yes, I do give my tiger a treat at times to make her feel loved and happy as well. Otherwise, she might not go back to taking her naps for me and we’d have one hell of a fight all the time.

Maybe I’ll regret it years down the road, maybe not. Only time will tell. But for the most part, I stay behind that wheel and reaching around to wipe the windshield so I can see what’s headed my way.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • beachlife
    2 weeks ago

    I love this article. I’m still fairly new at all of this – 3 years in as a pre-diabetic, but not a true diabetic until about 6 months ago. I wasn’t really taking this whole thing seriously enough I guess. Since then I’ve become a little obsessed with numbers – both on my meter and nutrition labels – and it has been making me a little crazy. It’s like being on a diet that you can’t cheat on, or so I thought. I have, as of late, been allowing myself things I wouldn’t normally eat. Our “date night” is Fridays and I try to be careful all day so I can have some “forbidden fruits” for dinner. Sometimes my meter gives me good news, and other times it doesn’t. But, like you, the next day I hop back on and get my numbers back under control. I think allowing some treats now and then helps in the long run, making this journey more bearable and actually keeping me from falling off the deep end and doing way more harm than just an occasional “cheat”. Thanks for this article – it was very encouraging!!

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Thankyou for the comment and sharing your information beachlife. Like you I went very hard core when I found out I had diabetes. My stomache was calling me all kinds of names. 😉

    I lost almost 40lbs in three months. My wife was complaining about be going too much. Later I gave into the feeding of the tiger with a treat so she’d go back to sleep and behave herself as well.

    So I do fall out of the car but I dust off and get back in until then time to give her another treat.

    So glad that you are doing well like you are. Know it’s hard and at times we feel like saying ‘the hell with it’ but then when we think about the alternative we shrugged it off and start back again. We just do the best we can.

    Again beachlife, thanks for the comment and glad you like it.

    Tom Community Moderator

  • Kelly Dabel, RD moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share beachlife. So glad this was helpful and encouraging. Sounds like you’ve found a good balance to feeling good and staying on track. Appreciate you sharing and being part of our community! Best, Kelly, Community Moderator

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