Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gratitude. And Resistance.

I've been wrestling with some things. One of those things has been this diagnosis of diabetes. I have not yet decided whether I want to say that "I am a diabetic" or "I have diabetes." It seems silly, but there is a difference in my mind. I am overweight, and there is a bit of shame in admitting diabetes, no matter how I express it, as though I might have brought this on myself, but I do know skinny people with the disease. The other thing is, when the news is fairly public, people have all kinds of ideas about what you should and should not be doing and sometimes those ideas are not exactly accurate. But, at any rate, the only true shame would come in me receiving this diagnosis and not doing anything to help myself.

The (still weird) doctor has increased my medication. I have been to one part of the education presentation. I am trying to be mindful of what I eat. I have not yet taken a walk or done any sort of real exercise. I have been irritated at having to check my blood sugar every morning (oh I know, that is indeed whiny, things could be so much worse) and I have been irritated to find my numbers are still a little too high, in spite of my (sometimes) sacrificial eating habits and regularly taking my medicine. That almost makes me want to go out and eat one of those tubs of ready-made sour cream chocolate cake frosting, just for spite (hey, I never claimed to be perfect!). But I know that would be counter-productive. So far, I have resisted the temptation. Exercise is what is needed. Exercise is what I have been resisting.

You might be wondering what brought this little tirade on. It is that I am slowly gaining a new perspective and appreciation for this diagnosis. I often see things in a skewed sort of way, and I am beginning to see diabetes as a bit of a gift to me. I seem to need boundaries (we all need boundaries) and having to eat mindfully and in a disciplined manner (about the same amount of carbs each day, about the same time each day) is slowly starting to shape me into a healthier lifestyle. I need to be reigned in. Otherwise, I would continue to eat whatever I want, and however much I want, and Lord knows it would all have caught up with me eventually, so at least I am getting an early start before too much damage is done. For that, I am grateful. It does not mean I am happy about the limits. I am not. But I am grateful for the opportunity the limits present.

And I really need to adjust my attitude and get up off my duff and at least take a little thirty minute walk every day. The funny thing is, I see the habit of walking as a time for prayer, for meditation, as an all-around calming and positive habit. The benefits would far outweigh the “pain” and inconvenience of the effort it would take to walk. Sheesh. I know I need to do it. And one day soon, I will.

There are other things on my mind as well. Who knows, this place might become a confessional of sorts for a short time. We shall see.


  1. And you do know the diagnosis saved your life, right? About 16 years ago right before hub was diagnosed with diabetes, I had been telling him what the problem was. Everything just fit, and to me, it was perfectly clear. He didn't want to admit it for a number of reasons. Mostly because it proved his dad right, even though his dad had passed away a few years before. Most of his teen years were spent hearing his dad get on him about what he was eating and finishing off every tirade with "You're gonna get sugar diabetes." (Cracks me up they always called it *sugar diabetes* in that certain tone...) Anyway... hub just thought it was cool that he was losing weight. I begged and begged him to go to the doctor and he kept putting it off. I finally got on my computer, back in the days before the *Webs as we know them* and found a bulletin board devoted to discussions of diabetes. I told them the problem I was having with getting him to go to the doctor and begged them to send me all the horror stories they could of what happens with uncontrolled diabetes. They all came through brilliantly. I won't go in to the gory details, but hub was at the doctor the next day.
    Yes ma'am... the diagnosis gives you your life back in many ways!

  2. Funny how bad news can be turned into good news when the perspective changes in your mind. I think one day soon you will decide to create something that requires a little thinking out and you will put on your shoes and take that thinking outside. Then you will see something in the distance that might help you think if you looked at it a little closer and you will walk over to that and something else will catch your eye and then you will hear a bird and then...30 minutes down and your pancreas will feel marvelous.

  3. My brother is diabetic. Has been since the age of 5. He is now on a pump.

    Take care of yourself. Trust me on this one.

  4. Yes, and I agree with Cynthia and the P of E as well. It's amazing when you start looking at what you eat and all the foods that "look good for you that are high in carbs, which is what we have to watch out for. Funny thing is too that it makes your eating more of a mindful activity. And how many of us eat mindlessly...I would bet we could all raise are hands on that one! I have my hand up right now! Also I am ever so conscious of whatever I put it my mouth I cannot take back. That's a huge thing. Okay, enough said...on to the exercise is a great way to meditate. Try 5 minutes and build up to 30. Small steps lead to bigger ones. I don't think there is any shame as you say in being diabetic, I don't automatically think "fat" when I hear diabetes. And you know I am no bigger than a minute and my sugar can swing from here to kingdom come at the blink of an eye. So there! And I am's the coffee. Sorry.
    Confession is good for the soul.

  5. I love to get out and walk, but must admit that I did little of it this summer. For me, it's always been a quiet time, thinking time, praying time. Others prefer finding a friend to chat with along the way. You can do this, Annie.......

  6. We're all cheering you on, Annie. Raising my hand with the 'eating mindlessly' crowd, and needing to get back into the exercise groove myself.

    And the blog-as-confessional thing? Worked for me....

  7. Well, pooh. Tubs of sour cream chocolate cake frosting are out of the picture. And sodas -- once you've traded them for water you'll find that the other stuff is sickeningly sweet. :-)

    I love the idea of walking as a meditation as well as exercise. Anthony Robbins has a great daily walking / exercise method where you do a certain type of breathing when you start your walk, then change it and kind of "chant", then walk for a spell with very mindful gratitude for people and things in your life, and so on. It is really a great way of doing it.

    And if thirty minutes feels like too much, do 15. You can find fifteen minutes to do ANYTHING.
    :-) I'm joining the crowd that is cheering you on!!!!

  8. I'm with all the others. Your body deserves to be taken care of! Sometimes we can't put off starting until we feel like it because circumstances intervene.

  9. Like you, I often think of disease as a way for God to warn us about an area of our lives that might need to be better disciplined. Disease can be a wake up call to pull back the reins and it can give us the discipline we never had before the disease came along.

    (And no...I am certainly not saying this is the case with ALL disease...not my point here!)

    So, what to do? I'm in the same boat. On days when I don't get out and get a good walk in with the camera I have started to exercise in front of the television during my favorite programs. I walk forward, walk back, kick in front of me, kick behind me, I just keep moving for 15 to 30 minutes until those little beads of sweat come to visit.

    Even that amount of exercise will help you bring your diabetes into line if it is Type 2 so get moving, Annie! Even a little bit can make a big difference. Start small and see where it leads.

    P.S. I'm so excited that you've found a new church and are starting a bible study with them! I can't wait to hear more about it. Keep us posted!

  10. Linda is definitely correct on getting rid of sweet stuff.. once you get used to it, it's really weird how you will find you cannot STAND things too sweet anymore. That happened to me when I cut *Bad carbs* to lose weight a few years ago. I even rarely drink diet sodas anymore because they are too sweet. No sweetener in my tea of any kind... eat my Cheerios plain... it's amazing how once you get past feeling like everything has to be sweet, you won't miss it and in fact most likely won't be able to even stand sweet things anymore. That is the one thing I cannot get hub to do.. he will still dump splenda on sweetened cereal. eeewwwwwwww...

  11. really need to hop on over to my blog.

  12. You can do it, annie!

    Take your camera with you on those walks - you might see some butts! *grins*

    Lots and lots and lots of this in my family and you have hit the nail on the head about the boundaries thing.

  13. Wow, good attitude, Annie. I've been putting off going walking too, even though, like you, I enjoy it once I start. You've inspired me to get on it. Even if it's just around the block to start.

    We could walk together, in a long distance kind of way. ;)



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