We see all the studies that report about the rise of diabetes in our communities. Kids and adults alike. According to the American Diabetes Association over 29 million children and adults have diabetes. I am one of them.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Not the end of the world, but it did require attention. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2016, I experienced a year of good health and better blood results, but I wonder if I can continue on this path. The jury is still out.
Follow me on this journey and share your thoughts on what helps you lead a better, healthier life.
Sugar was my comfort food
As a child I always loved sugar. My mom would buy a six-pack of Milky Ways, Mounds Bars or Snickers for my brother and I to have as snacks. Within a day, or maybe two, all six of the chocolate bars would be gone.
“Did you eat them?” my mom asked. “Not me! Must have been my brother,” I insisted. It was the same script week after week. I love most foods but especially cookies, candy, cake and ice cream. The more the better.
When I was in college, my diet consisted of the “wonderful” choices in the college dining hall: pasta and more pasta, sandwiches and tuna casseroles. You get the picture. (This was back in the 60s before food vendors were required to provide healthy options.) I attended SUNY at Albany which was in downtown Albany at the time. And they did not serve dinners on Sunday night. The kitchen staff were off, and we were on our own. With little money to spend my roommate and I would head over to Stewarts. They served ice cream sundaes with all you can eat toppings. Dinner ended up being 3 scoops of ice cream and heaps of hot fudge, marshmallow sauce and sprinkles.
But all this crazy eating style never daunted me. When I choose to wear a fitted dress or tight pants for an upcoming date, I would begin an exercise regimen . You’d be surprised how sit-ups and side bends tighten your waist as well as your stomach muscles…and in a short period of time.
Then I got married and at 24 and 27 I became pregnant. Who worried about anything other than getting through those nine months. I was sick most of the time and actually lost weight while continuing to satisfy my sugar cravings. After all, I was pregnant and felt I was entitled to give in to every food urge you could imagine.
Running gave me a false sense of security
Now I’m in my 30s and my kids are growing up. I became a running nut. Six days a week you could find me out on the roads. That lasted about eight years, until my knees gave out. During those eight years I could eat anything and everything and still maintain a slim figure. That was a period of pure delight because I could give in to my sugar cravings and not feel the weight gain consequences.
Why the emphasis on weight? According to my endocrinologist, there is a direct correlation between weight and Type 2 Diabetes.
40 pounds later I am a diabetic
It is now 40 years later and I have permanently added 20 pounds, hence the diabetes. At the beginning of the year it was 40 pounds but I lost 30 pounds over the last 12 months.
You may wonder what I think the problem is.
The problem is simple. In five months I gained back 10 of the 30 pounds I lost. So the real question is, ‘what does it take for a Sugarholic to change her spots?’ After all, I could just take medication to “cure” the effects of diabetes. Or could I?
Follow me on this journey and let’s see where it leads.