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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Wake Up Call

Diabetes has harassed my family from generation to generation. First, my paternal grandmother hobbled up and down steps with her wooden leg, then my poor father suffered tremendously when this awful disease stole his limbs, kidneys, and life. My mother became diabetic as an elderly lady and now another close family member tests her blood in order to keep her Diabetic sugar levels under control. So why did I wait so long to kick into a healthy life style?

It’s easy to become fat and lazy being a writer. Over the summer, I spent hours sitting in front of my computer doing the thing I love most—writing, but there are consequences. My weight was up along with my cholesterol and blood pressure until that frightening call from my doctor’s office telling me to come back for another blood test because I might have Diabetes. Fortunately, I got lucky with a Pre-Diabetes diagnosis and a stern warning that my status would surely change if I didn’t react to the news.

So, I’m doing what’s necessary. The Diabetic Store in Memphis, Tennessee offers free classes for anyone whether or not you are a diabetic. I eagerly attended two classes and have followed the eating and exercise plan proposed to me. Three weeks later, I’ve dropped a dozen pounds and am still going strong.

Throughout my life, I figured I’ve gained and lost the weight of several people in my quest to be thin. Since my last rebound to the fat lady store, I’d given up on this task and watched my weight balloon past my nine-month pregnancy size. I’d even stolen a comedian’s line by instructing my kids to keep me on life support, if I ever needed it, until I became a size 6.

Now, I’m determined to be a six without life support. The difference in this diet and all of my others is portion control. In the past, I’d load up on the healthy vegetables but never limit how much, thus keeping my stomach from shrinking. I now realize that this is what keeps people thin: that small stomach that can’t fit careless binges.

At first, eating three ounces of meat, a third cup of rice, and two or three half-cup servings of vegetables was very difficult. I chew my food slowly and top off the meal with a 16 carb serving of sugar free chocolate ice cream. I’d leave the table hungry but was determined not to eat more because that was all my body needed. I did and still do enjoy snacks when hungry, but I keep them around 15 carbs. Now that I’ve finished my third week, an amazing thing has happened. I can get full on very little food, and it’s no longer difficult.

So wish me luck in this venture, and if you’re overweight, come join me before the doctor gives you a do or die warning.

1 comment:

Sarah Darer Littman said...

My daughter has Type 1 diabetes (was diagnosed at age 8). Her dad had it too and I have Type II on my side of the family. Trust me, you want to do everything you can to avoid getting this condition.
I hate it with a passion! My poor daughter has no vacation ever from finger pricks and carb counting and being conscious of what she eats. Or if she does take a vacation from it (which as a teen, she unfortunately seems to want to do more and more) she pays for it by feeling dreadful. Plus puberty is wreaking havoc with her blood sugar control. You are doing the right thing by trying to take control early!