Jan 12, 2013
At the age of 38 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It really scared me. I worked a desk job and was working 80 hours a week at the time, sitting all day every day. I got very little exercise and my diet was mostly fast food and prepared foods.
I knew about diabetes, it runs in my family. My maternal grandmother was a type 2 diabetic; she was almost blind by the time she was diagnosed by her eye doctor. He sent her to a general practitioner for treatment. But for her it was too late, she had dementia brought on by the diabetes along with being almost completely blind. She could not remember to take her medication and when she had someone there to remind her she was violent and refused the meds. She ended up losing both of her legs and then dying from complications brought on by Type 2 diabetes.
I knew enough that it scared me, I started walking and trying to eat better. I joined the gym, lost 50 lbs and really cracked down on the diet. A year later my A1C levels tested normal and then I hurt my knee at the gym and could not exercise for 6 months, gained back some of the weight. But I tried again, this time with walking; I had lost my 80 hour a week job with the crash of the economy, so I had loads of time on my hands for exercise. I was walking 20,000 steps a day when I had another injury. I spent another six months recovering and gained back a little more weight.
I started all over again, and was walking 10,000 steps a day in 2011 when I started traveling from Oregon to Idaho regularly. I had met a great guy and we were starting a relationship. He loved to eat, I loved to eat… luckily we both love the great outdoors, but I dropped my formal exercise program thinking I could get enough in just walking down to the river to fish or working in his garden.
It turns out it was not enough. In the fall of 2012 I tested my blood sugar for the first time in a long time and it was higher than I had ever seen it. 328! I knew I had to take action. I was in Idaho, my doctor was back in Oregon, but I had decided that I would be relocating with in the year to Idaho permanently. So I made an appointment with a local doctor. He seems like a nice guy, has a great sense of humor, but he upset me when he told me he thought I would have to go on insulin, that he did not think I could control my diabetes.
That was in November 2012, I immediately started working on my diet, cutting carbs, completely cutting refined sugar. Eating more veggies, lean protein and whole grains. I also started exercising again and as of January 10th I am walking 10,000 steps a day again. I have to do a lot of it inside because of the weather in Idaho at the moment. I am using Leslie Sansone’s 5 mile walk DVD and a pedometer. I usually do 5 miles in the morning then try to walk outside for 30 minutes to an hour in the afternoon; if I can’t walk outside I do another three miles of the video.
The good news is that my blood sugar numbers are coming down. I am hoping it will be enough. They are still higher than they should be 172 today. Now I just need to keep my motivation going and get into the habits that I can keep for life.