Dx: Diabetes Building your life from the ruins?
When the doctor walked into the office and told you that you have Diabetes, did it fell as though your life was in ruins? We can choose to do something about it.
To quote DH Lawrence:
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, We are among the ruins. We start to build up our new little habits,
to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work. There is now no smooth road into the future; but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We have got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
Although D. H. Lawrence was writing about the time after World War I, when I read this opening passage again, I thought how it also fit the way many of us feel after we get our diagnosis of Diabetes or any life altering disease. While I am NOT comparing a diagnosis of Diabetes with the aftermath of war; everything has changed. Nothing seems to be the same. So many of us feel really lost and hopeless. So it is time to rebuild our lives and find new ways of coping. It is up to us to figure out how to go on living the best and healthiest life we can. Fear can be a motivation. In my case, my brother (also had Diabetes) was kind enough to point out that two of our aunts had legs or parts of a leg removed. There is nothing like family to get you in the right frame of mind.
Building new habits:
Whether we decide to exercise more, lose weight, take our medications, or find new ways to prepare food; we have to decide on doing something…or nothing. Doing nothing is also a decision.
If the decision is to lower our carbohydrate intake, it means either smaller portions of the foods we are used to eating, or finding new foods to replace the one’s we are eliminating. My choice was the new foods fixed in different ways road. My “new” habits became cauliflower and spaghetti squash. The habits also included deserts made with replacement sweeteners and lower carbohydrate nuts to replace some of the flour in my recipes. I have not suffered at all with my new habits. They have become as natural to me as the old ones.
Whether it is food or exercise, once you start to do it, it becomes easier and just another part of your life. As for the exercise, cold mornings make it harder to get out from under the covers, but I am told the exercise has more effect if it is cooler.
New little hopes and hard (?) work:
In changing the way I eat and exercise, I had hopes of still being able to enjoy what was on my plate. The fear was that everything was going to taste nasty and dry. The actuality is that I eat as well, maybe even better than before, but I have to work at it and think about it. If I want a hamburger when I am traveling, I have to remember to bring along my own bread or be willing to eat it with a knife and fork.
I always thought that standing over a hot stove for hours on end was enough exercise for anyone, especially me. Who had the time or interest? What happened is the medication I was prescribed, along with its awful side effects, caused me to lose a chunk of weight pretty fast. I liked it. However, once my body got used to the medication, the weight came back a little. Not so much that I was discouraged, but enough to get me doing a little exercise. No, I am not running marathons or bench pressing 1000 pounds, but I do a little and keep my weight steady and no doubt my heart is a lot healthier.
Scrambling over obstacles:
The first obstacle had to be my mind and my lack of knowledge about Diabetes. I thought sugar was the one and ONLY culprit. I would never have suspected that carbohydrates (including sugar) were the real culprit. Sadly, eight years later, I still find myself explaining that to other people. My first attempt at controlling MY Diabetes was to limit the carbohydrates on my plate. The food was about as appetizing as packing peanuts and straw. It had to be a total reset of thinking to figure out that what I thought I “needed” to have a great meal, I didn’t need, and we have control of the plate. We can make it scrumptious.
The rest was up to me (and you) to do a little “stupidmarket” research and find foods you like and foods that like your Diabetes. It may not be easy; however, get real, it is not that hard. Just put on your glasses and look. It is worth the work. YOU are worth the work.
So I say to Chicken Little or Henny Penny: If you still feel that Diabetes is making your sky fall, watch out! You might just wind up as part of a delicious Diabetes-Compatible meal. Just ask Foxy Loxy.
Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!