This isn’t a new diagnosis – but I need to publicly acknowledge my situation. I’ve managed my adult onset, type 2 diabetes in the past with diet and exercise, but in recent years (I’ll say at least the last 3 years), I haven’t managed the disease at all. My current situation is an A1C number over 10 (normal is 5.9 and lower). My daily blood sugar runs well over 250, sometimes hitting well over 400 and 500.
This disease will kill me if I don’t address it. I believe medication and shots (which I have never been on) are ways the medical industry has offered to “manage” a curable disease. The cure isn’t a mystery and its not disputed by most medical professionals. The cure is to remove sugar (including simple carbohydrates) from my diet.
I’ve already ‘tested’ this ‘cure’ and found my blood sugar levels come down below 200 almost immediately (like day 2 of any sugar restriction). That’s still not ‘normal’ – which would be a lot closer to 80-100. After a week of disciplined diet and I drop to below 150. Beyond that I do what I’ve done so often that it inspired the title of this blog – I quit… again!
This week, I’ve started rowing 1000 meters every morning – which only takes less than 5 mins. I have looked at my diet and made different choices over the last few days, but I keep saying “ok, tomorrow I’ll start in earnest…” right before I make a really bad food choice.
Why am I putting all of this into a blog post for a blog I haven’t written in for like 10 months? Because I’m hoping that writing these thoughts out will help me to focus, to stay the course, to change a life long bad habit of making choices against my best interests… and because my name is Dale, and I’m diabetic.
“The pain for Regret must be greater than the pain of Discipline.”
I heard the statement above on a YouTube video this morning. My immediate thought was “but its not.” I asked myself why. Why is the discipline more painful than the regret. I regret eating candy last night, but the pain of saying no last night was greater even now. I didn’t wake up angry of my actions last night. I woke up mildly bothered by my actions. I step on the scale and I’m disappointed but not angry. Why? What makes one pain greater than the other? How can I change?
The pain of regret has become a chronic pain in my life. I’ve learned ‘pain management’ for regret. I’ve learned to live with it. I almost don’t even notice it now, but its ever present.
I named this blog so many years ago, “I quit…again!” I’ve learned since that I can’t seem to quit making bad food choices. I can’t seem to quit choosing to watch TV instead of go for a walk. I can’t seem to quit living with the regret of bad decisions and poor self discipline.
That’s the number I’m turning in 85 days. Its been 2 years since I last published here. A LOT has happened in those two years, but regarding my health – no real change. I’m currently 268.2 lbs, my blood sugar is uncontrolled, and my body is failing at the “you’re turning 40 this year so just accept it” rate. I’m timid to make bold statements about my ability to make a change. I’ve seen some progress – I got down to 238 lbs at my last most successful effort, however like every other time, I gained the weight back. Not entirely without progress – I have actually managed to keep a little over 10 lbs off from my prior “set point” of 285 lbs.
Ok – enough small talk… I’m finding, fighting even, my way back. I have 85 days until I hit the BIG 4 OH! and I’d like to take off 20 lbs in that time. I think 20 lbs in almost 3 months is a safe, conservative, and most importantly healthy goal. I’m not looking for radical change. I’ve tried radical change and I’ve gotten consistent results – failure. If I can stay focused despite having a full time travel job – I’ll be under 250 lbs for my birthday. I’ll set a new goal for Christmas, which is exactly 90 days after my birthday.
So, if not radical change, how am I planning to do it? Here is my plan:
- A salad for lunch everyday.
This isn’t entirely difficult to accomplish and it actually provides immediate benefit in afternoon work meetings.
- Reduced alcohol consumption.
I know a lot of people might say “don’t reduce, eliminate!”, however dinner drinks are an important part of the work culture I’m currently in and as I said, I’m not looking for radical change.
- Eliminate bread
I don’t consider myself to be a big bread eater, but that’s because I’m pretending I don’t eat the bread they bring to the table before dinner or the sandwich at lunch or the croutons on the salad, etc, etc. I don’t think this will be a difficult change, but I do believe it could be an impactful one.
- Eliminate sweets
This seems like a no-brainer for a diabetic, but like many diabetics out there, I have a sweet tooth. I enjoy dessert. I enjoy candy. And I enjoy sugary meals in general. This will likely be the most radical change in my “not radical change” plan.
Where is drink more water on this list? Its not there. What about get 8 hours of sleep every night? Also not there. How about exercise – shouldn’t that be on the list? Probably, but no… its not there. Lets focus on the four areas I have listed above first… lets save some change for the 90 days following my birthday.