I think it’s time you and I had a talk. Finding out I had type 2 diabetes in 2012 really hit home—at first. It took a few months for things to really sink in. Last year I turned 30, and I know you were there. Now that I’ve had some time to really understand you, Diabetes, let’s make a plan together. No more battling each other, OK? So here goes:
We are going to eat better. Fruits, veggies, fish, nuts—heck, even bread. We are going to watch our portions, follow a sensible eating plan, and, most important, we are going to enjoy delicious, nutritious food together. We are going to be healthy and happy, and take control. At home, at work, even when we go out to eat, we’re going to do this. Oh, I know you get a little out of control when I have too much bread at restaurants, so here’s my idea: I’ll have just one piece of bread (preferably whole grain), and we’ll make sure to load up on veggies for the main course. Deal?
We are going to exercise. We are going to do things we really enjoy. Biking, walking, and if we can’t get outside because of bad weather, we’ll meet at the gym. We shall triumph on the treadmill! Conquer those crunches! Work those weights! And we’ll listen to some awesome music while we do all of this so we stay pumped. So get that iPod ready. Sound good?
We are going to learn our ABCs all over again. A1C is going to be on target, blood pressure will be in the normal range, and cholesterol will be at healthy levels. I know we’ve had some trouble with these at our doctor visits, but I know we can get them all under control. After all, ABC also means we are going to Achieve Big Changes. I’m ready for a big change. Are you?
We are going to enlist support. It may mean making a “walking date” or setting a “gym challenge” with our best friend. Or, how about a phone call to a loved one whom we can confide in about our new health plans? Also, we are going to let our loved ones know what’s going on, that we are embarking on a healthier lifestyle. We need them to support our goals. Maybe they have an awesome recipe to share, or maybe we can start a walking group or a stair-climbing challenge at work. I think there’s a lot of promise and possibility here. What do you think?
Well, Diabetes, I hope we are now on the same page. I don’t think we were for a while there, but I’m feeling pretty good about this plan. I know we’ve had our rough patches, but I think if we get things under control, we’ll be just fine. Now let’s grab those headphones and go for a walk! Are you with me?
With wishes of health and happiness,
Katie Genetz lives in Chicago and works at a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities achieve maximum independence. She reports that she has lost more than 25 pounds since her type 2 diagnosis, thanks to the love and encouragement of family and friends.
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