Very Old, Very Healthy Diabetic

...or die trying.
I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33 with NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes. I come from a diabetic clan. I even married a diabetic. Are you on the diabetes road, too?
This is my goal: to become a very old, very healthy diabetic by day to day choices regarding eating, exercise and medical management. Walk along with me...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Permission to Obsess

Once, before Dr. Parts and I found each other, I had a boyfriend who accused me of being too focused on my diabetes. If I thought about it less, he stated, it wouldn't be such a problem for me.

I knew I was in trouble when I realized that all of my traits that I thought of as strengths, he thought of as weaknesses. Not a good sign for the future of that relationship. I'm so glad I've got Dr. Parts.

When asked to list my hobbies, I've listed diabetes. I think I have to. I do think about it a lot. I read about it. I write about it. I talk about it.

I keep track of my numbers-no wait-my meter does that now. I keep track of my weight. Actually I weigh myself more than twice a day. I only write it down once a day. I love my scale. It's an older model Tanita scale that not only tells me how much I weigh, it tells me how much of that weight is fat. It is glass and round and lovely. I try to think of it as my friend, even when I don't like what it tells me.

I'd recommend David Mendosa's post today on thinking about eating. I can't wait for that book he mentions, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. I see that all around me. I especially liked the insight David reports that the first few bites of the dessert are the most satisfying. I don't need to fill my stomach with chocolate cake. I only need to satisfy my mouth. Two or three bites are enough to satify my mouth. When I feed my body and fill my stomach, I need to pack it full of nutrition, more so than is contained in chocolate cake.

Can one focus too much on one's diabetes? Sure, I guess. But I'm not there yet.

I haven't ordered my diabetes organizer yet. I haven't loaded any diabetes or diet tracking software into my Palm device yet. I'm a little horrified that there are such products, but at the same time, relieved. My brain is full enough of little factoids and phone numbers. Writing them down in my hand-held or an organizer frees up that space in my brain. I need space in my brain for hope and love and friends.

I suppose if one worries or frets about the diabetes without it producing a change in my behavior, that would be pointless. If my thinking and focus does produce a change in my behavior, with the goal of improving my health and improving my diabetes status, I'm okay with that.

You're working hard to keep yourself alive and healthy. It's sort of like maintaining an airplane. If you don't check the bolts today, or don't use the right parts, or ignore that minor crack, everybody's at risk because you skipped a step. The aircraft could fall out of the sky.

There is a difference between an unhealthy obsession and a healthy obsession. They are separated by only a thin line. You have my permission to develop a healthy obsession with your diabetes.

So, yes, perhaps society at large will not understand if you obsess about your eating, your weight, your numbers, your doctor's visits, your feet, your skin, etc. I hope that others of us with diabetes will.


  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger Minnesota Nice said…

    Great ideas Lori. I think that being "ever mindful" of diabetes can be successfully done, in addition to living a busy and fulfilling life (and doing a whole slug-load of knitting!)
    I have also heard that pleasure of foods lies within the first three bites.
    Have a great weekend ahead.

  • At 6:00 AM, Blogger Kassie said…

    I hadn't heard that about the first few bites, but it makes a world of sense to me! Truly satisfying food really doesn't have to be gobbled/overeaten.


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