After 1 year I don’t have a routine down for my Type 2 Diabetes and Low Testosterone diagnosis. I don’t sleep well. I’m constantly tired. I’m depressed. I think my doctor’s suck because with them it’s all about tests and prescribing medicine. There’s no discussion about lifestyle, and as much as I’d personally like to think it’s just eat less and run more to fix everything, it’s not.
Ultimately the best chance I have is to lose weight because it can reverse the diabetes and possibly remedy the other issue of low testosterone (which can be caused by type 2 diabetes).
So, the recipe seems to be take my medicine, eat right and exercise more. Only it’s not that simple. This is about pushing past the depression and lethargy, and making a habit out of a lifestyle change. It’s about a schedule that overrides other schedules, and in fact cutting things out in order to make room for the things that are becoming a priority. It’s about finding motivation when there isn’t any. It’s about learning new ways of doing things that I’ve done my entire life, and yes – I know it’s going to suck for a while.
It’s all about the plan, isn’t it?
When I checked my blood glucose this morning it was 191. I hadn’t been testing recently and decided to do so. It was a stark reminder to get my shit together.
Normal Blood Glucose Fasting
Normal for person without diabetes: 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L)
Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes: 80–130 mg/dl (4.5–7.2 mmol/L)
2 Hours after Meals
Normal for person without diabetes: Less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes: Less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)
Normal for person without diabetes: Less than 5.7%
Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes: 7.0% or less
Blood Pressure 120/70 blood pressure goal
Metformin 500mg (Rx) – 2 pills twice daily to improve blood sugar control
Loperamide Hydrochloride 2mg (OTC) – 2 pills twice daily as an Anti-Diarrheal because hey, Metformin
Victoza 1.2mg (Rx) – inject once daily to stimulate insulin production
Lisinopril 5mg (Rx) – 1 pill daily for blood pressure
Testosterone 50mg/5g gel – 1 tube topically once daily for depression (which I have) and libido (which I have none)
It’s true that half the battle takes place in the kitchen. One of my favorite local running stores offers a simple weight loss plan written on a board in the back of the store: “eat less and run more“. If the weight isn’t coming off, then eat less and run more. It may be overly simplistic, but the basic tenant is true: manage your caloric intake and get regular exercise commensurate with your health and you will see results.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a reddit fan, and I recently came across a post in the r/MealPrepSunday sub reddit that linked to a blog hosted by a medical student’s foray into meal prepping. It has some really practical advice on setting up your kitchen, and includes some great, simple recipes that you can use to plan and create your own breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.
Remember that this is part of becoming a better version of you. It’s time to start improving your health, your body, and your mind.
Check it Out: Prescription for the Kitchen: The Adventures of a Medical Student Taking a Bit of Her Own Medicine: Replacing Fast Food with Home Cooking
April 7 is World Health Day, and the World Health Organization’s focus in 2016 is on curbing the rising trend of Diabetes. In the US the Center for Disease Control estimates that almost 22 million adults in America were diagnosed with Diabetes in 2014. In 2015 I joined those ranks. Although my diagnosis was a wake up call, it explained symptoms I had struggled with, and it also gave me a path to recovery.
For anyone diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes medication is critical, but it’s important to know that lifestyle changes including weight loss and exercise can often help control the disease. Two of the best things you can do are to learn more about what you eat, and to engage (now, not down the road) in a more active lifestyle. One of the most important steps you can make is to spend more time taking care of yourself by planning meals and dedicating time to an active program.
Step outside for 30 minutes during your day.
Find something you can be passionate about, then find out a way to be active in it.
Spend an hour each week to learn how to cook again.
Plan your meals, and your trip to the grocery.
But back to me again: It was on a particularly hot day last summer that I walked out of my local grocery store with a Bai5 Tanzania Lemonade Tea. From a dietary standpoint one of the biggest challenges has been to restructure how I eat. I look more closely at nutrition labels. I’m looking for more natural foods with fewer ingredients. I’m looking for new foods and healthy alternatives that replace things I enjoy, but which I know aren’t healthy. I’m a huge Arnold Palmer fan, but I had just found its 5 calorie doppleganger.
I’m trying to learn how to stop making myself “responsible” for things that are outside my direct control, and focus more on living a life that is worth living. Bai is my new trick to help me maintain my blood-sugar levels while still enjoying a great tasting variety of flavors.
I’m challenging you to #walk1mile; run, walk or roll your mile and tell me why you did it – it can be a walk for the homeless, for military service, for better health or to fight depression. It can be a walk for those who can’t. Whatever your cause, by participating you can help to raise awareness and grow empathy for something that’s bigger than you or I. Share pictures and stories in social media with the hashtag #walk1mile and I’ll add your pictures to the site
I’m setting up this site to inspire you to do something. I’m working on a unique incentive to recognize your contribution to our program – stay tuned and expect something from me soon!
Will you join me?
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb in to his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus, To Kill a Mockingbird