Diabetes you’re not the boss of me. Nope. I was diagnosed with type II diabetes more than a decade ago, and for the first few years, I kept my blood sugar in check without medication. I did so through diet and exercise. Today, I take metformin, a long-prescribed, noninvasive drug with few, if any, side effects for most users.

Diabetes You’re not the Boss of Me

I’m fortunate to have a dear friend who is a naturopathic physician. Early in my diagnosis, she helped me to understand that type II diabetes often can be controlled without medication. She has type I diabetes, which she has lived with for most of her life, and although she’s insulin-dependent, she has avoided many of the complications experienced by Type I patients. Her secret is simple: She follows a healthy lifestyle.

When it Comes to Food—Think Ahead

Most people know that people with diabetes should avoid sugar, but not everyone understands that carbs can be just as dangerous to a person with diabetes. ADA (American Diabetes Association) Understanding Carbohydrates. The key is to avoid eating the wrong foods out of convenience, availability, or time constraints by planning your meals.

Bring Your Lunch

In my last job, where I worked in an office, I brought my lunch to work 90 % of the time. I brought healthy foods I enjoy, salads, homemade soups, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh fruit. Before I learned to bring my lunch, I ate diabetic, unfriendly fast food, machine junk, or didn’t eat—all bad diets. BTW, bringing your lunch is a significant cost saver.

Don’t Go Down “That” Aisle

I have food triggers, sweets, and carbs. For me, it was chips and cookies. I’ve replaced cookies with fruit and chips with seaweed snacks; my favorite is Wasabi-flavored. I also snack on edamame, almonds, and carrots. Another key for me is avoiding temptation. For example, I no longer walk down the cookie or chip aisles in the grocery store, and I stay away from the Friday morning company donuts because I know I can’t eat only one.

Find an Alternative 

My father was an insulin-dependent diabetic. He loved Little Debbie’s. I often did his grocery shopping and can count on Nutty Bars, Cup Cakes, and Pecan Sandie’s topping his shopping list.

I wanted him to be happy; these sweets pleased him, but at the same time, his glucose level was trending well past the danger point, I tried a compromise. So, I bought him sugar-free pudding. He loved it. In the past, his grocery list called for four or more sweets. His list went to two: Nutty Bars and Sugar-Free Pudding.

Exercise

The thing about exercise is it doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or running a 5K. What’s most important is to find an exercise you enjoy. How many of us have joined a gym and not followed through? We might have blamed our lack of participation on time constraints, but if going to the gym is something you enjoy, you find the time, and many do. Find an activity you enjoy.

For me, hiking is the answer. I love being on the trails and enjoy the physicality of it, but I could get that at my local high school track. What brings me back time and time again is the commune with nature. The combination of low-impact physical activity combined with the great outdoors is mood-altering. I just got back from a hike in Avon, IN. The photo is from the trials today.

Hiking might not float your boat, so find what does. Biking, yoga, dancing, running, kayaking, or just walking your neighborhood are excellent exercise forms. Find an exercise you like and commit to a schedule. As little as 30 minutes per day can make a huge impact on your diabetes.

“You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. If you think that you can’t find 30 minutes, you can break up the exercise into chunks—10 minutes here and there. Build up to 30 minutes gradually.” Endocrine Web Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise 

Diabetes Isn’t the End of the World

No, diabetes you’re not the boss of me  Please don’t misunderstand me; the disease should be taken seriously with regular checkups, continuous monitoring, and lifestyle changes as needed. However, having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from living your life. I, my friend, the doctor, and many others haven’t allowed the disease to take over our lives; just the opposite, we’ve taken charge, and so can you.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy How Negativity Adversely Affects Your Health (and what you can do). 

Photo by Mykenzie Johnson on Unsplash