A Conversation About Diabetes
Diabetic. I’ve heard the word a million times but now…it’s directed at me.
I’ll be 40 in May, and this past year has been amazing in terms of personal growth and physical growth. My low was laying at the bottom of the stairs almost 11 months ago with a broken heel bone, crying as I dragged myself to unlock the door so my cousin could get me to the ER. My high was 2 weeks ago when I climbed Katahdin, a lifelong goal. I’m a strong woman, and I’m not freaking out about the diabetes conversation - I’m just taking it seriously so it doesn’t lead to further complications. I have the mental fortitude, physical ability and willpower to meet this head on. It’s all going to be just fine!
But I have such a supportive and encouraging community of readers and I wanted to be open and welcome any of your advice based on your own experience of getting your blood sugar down. (Please note I know to speak to my doctor, this is simply a conversation with friends ) I’ve been trying to get healthier this year, and feel my struggle with weight is disproportionate to my eating habits. I’m a believer in monitoring my body, not fad diets or demonizing certain food groups. But I suspect I’m simply in a perfect storm of things that had been contributing to my weight gain - age, decreased activity, hormones, genetics, and the ill effects of previous years of dieting which only make a body better at holding onto fat to protect itself.
Tests say hormones are fine but two A1C tests over 6.5 have confirmed that I’m over the line into diabetic. I’ve lost some weight since the first test and even though the A1C number hasn’t changed my doctor still wants to let me pursue natural efforts for trying to get the number back down instead of rushing into meds. I appreciate him for that.
I’ve eaten plenty of fresh, clean food straight from the garden, and try to practice moderation in most things. But I’m guessing there are places where saboteurs are lurking. I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to build muscle but I need to be dedicated to these efforts at home. I’ve climbed mountains, but I need to move daily as well. And I need to drink more water. (I can tell I’ve been drinking more as my dimples are starting to show up again )
No need to tell me to stop worrying about my weight, to accept myself, to stop comparing myself to others, that I look fine, that “real” men love curvy women. I’m tall and carry my extra weight under baggy clothes, so what you see isn’t the full picture. I don’t care one bit about the number on the scale. Society can stuff their standards. And if I’m single because men don’t like my weight, I wouldn’t want to be with those men anyway. People are attracted to all types, and that’s ok. I’ve been single for so long because of my lifestyle not because of problematic men. (And while we’re on the subject, it’s ok to be single. Companionship, sex etc are of course wonderful things but don’t define a person’s ability to have a full life.)
Anyway, none of that is my focus, but I get a lot of well meaning comments from people who think I just need to worry less and accept myself. But honestly I only care about being healthy, and fit/strong enough to do the things I love, most importantly hiking. Here’s to our health, we only have one body, and wow what an amazing thing it is. It can be so easy to take for granted, and I hope to be able to love and nurture mine through many more years of beautiful life
(Photo on the coast of Maine about an hour from home.)
Thanks for reading, and thank you to all the amazing people who have weighed in over on this Facebook discussion!