As several of you know from reading my last post, I face a new reality with my recent diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. I actually received the news back in February. I kept it pretty quiet except for family and close friends. Frankly, I was embarrassed. It took a while but I finally reached a conclusion that keeping things quiet isn’t helping me or anyone else. And if I can help just one person through this by sharing my story letting them know they are not alone, then it’s worth the soul baring.
Once I found out, I set about trying to make some changes that would better my health. However, being a creature of habit, I did well for a while and then settled back into my old habits. Essentially, I was lying to myself by trying to tell myself I had turned a corner when, in fact, I have not.
I did make some dietary changes and I have robust support at home with my wife working on finding recipes with me that will be healthier but still tasty. I think part of it is difficult for her but she’s always been more health-conscious than I have so I think the challenge is more on my part.
This summer has led to more physical activity for me but it has also been tough for me to put down a cold beer when it is presented. I’m also having difficulty with my favorite empty carb snacks like potato chips. And don’t get me started on trying to eat out in a responsible way. Next to impossible.
Again, if you read my last post, you’ll remember that I recently spent a few hours in the ER with chest pains. After several tests, it was determined that I have nothing going on to be alarmed about. But still . . . it was an eye-opening experience. And it’s time to get back on track with my diet and exercise.
My doctor is recommending a low carb diet so that will be my approach for the time being. I also have to be more diligent about checking my blood glucose. And I have to stop the mindless snacking.
It strikes me as I sit here writing this that I want to snack right now. I’m not hungry, I just want to snack though. It would be so easy. Fifteen feet away from me, on top of the refrigerator, are a bag of Cheetos, tortilla chips, pretzels and kettle cooked potato chips. They taunt me like a bottle of vodka to an alcoholic. Seriously, I know that my situation is nowhere near as difficult as alcoholism so please don’t think I’m minimizing that disease. It’s taking nearly every ounce of willpower I have not to go over there and grab a handful of chips.
I also need to step up the exercise. I ride my bike to work a few days a week. The trip is only about five miles so it’s pretty easy to do. But I hate dripping with sweat when I get there. I have a shower facility but five minutes after my shower, I’m dripping sweat again. I know . . . excuses.
This past week has been fraught with diabetic danger. A Fourth of July party complete with burgers, beers and desserts didn’t help matters any. I was physically uncomfortable when I got home. Stupid, stupid decisions.
And then there was the going away party we went to Saturday night for a friend’s daughter, who is moving out of state. At least from a food perspective I did a little better. Pulled pork and chicken, cole slaw, crab salad on endive leaves. No dessert but I did have a couple beers. If you haven’t tried Sun King Wee Mac Scottish Ale, you are missing out. Still though, I did a little better. My past self would have had about 4 of them. I stopped at two.
So today was a new day and I started it off with two eggs and coffee. I did well at lunch with some protein and quite a bit of salad. And dinner was a pork chop, fruit and some broccoli with a downside of a breadstick.
After dinner, I even got in some exercise. Not a huge amount but a 40-minute bike ride in which I burned off about 335 calories. Not my best ride by far but I got out there.
I have a secondary motive for baring all these details of my personal life. My blogosphere friends are going to be my accountability partners. I have come to the realization that I can’t do this without a support group. I know there are also numerous online support groups that I also plan to participate in.
My goal is also to grow my readership and attempt to help others in the same boat. I can’t be the first or only person with a new/recent diagnosis of diabetes who is struggling to form the new lifestyle. It truly is getting used to a new reality and I refuse to curl up in a ball and stop living my life.