Beating Type 2 Diabetes and How I Did it
Really, It wasn’t that hard
In February of 2010, at age 57, I had a brand new mission in life, beating type 2 diabetes. Mine.
It was a shock, but looking back it shouldn’t have been. I ate too much and exercised too little. I had some major problems and I did it all to myself.
This is also one of the best moments in my life. I just didn’t now that at the time.
At that time in February, I was a cardiovascular time bomb waiting to go off. Blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and exercise habits all bad. Walking out of my doctor’s I have to admit I felt scared and depressed, as in my life could be over at anytime kind of scared and depressed. I kept think of a radio ad I heard that said that for many people my age, their first heart attack was their last heart attack. They died before they really knew what hit them. Maybe a bit over-dramatic, but I was a cardiovascular time bomb waiting to go off. The overall description for my general state of health was that I had metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome can be described quickly as:
- Triglycerides too high
- The bad cholesterol (LDL) too high
- The good cholesterol too low
- Blood pressure too high
- Fasting blood glucose too high.
For good measure, my BMI (body mass index) was too high, which was the nice way of saying I was officially obese. I learned about metabolic syndrome later on, and so for the moment I just had to worry about correcting the diabetes problem.
On the bright side, like 85% of those with type 2 diabetes, my own bad habits were the cause of my problems. I was fixable. Controlling type 2 diabetes was a matter of persistence and discipline
My doctor was leaning towards putting me on diabetic medication. I asked if I could I could first at least try to control this with diet and exercise. To my surprise he agreed, although I think he sighed a bit. I bet he’s heard that a lot.
When I got home, I got out all of those diet cookbooks me and my wife, the Charming Mrs SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) had collected over the years and ignored mostly. We started to look for recipes that seemed to be fit the definition of healthy.
I dusted off my bike and started to ride first thing in the morning. That nearly killed me at first.
I met with a diabetes educator, got my glucose meter and a frank talk that my numbers, the metabolic syndrome stuff, still as yet unnamed. “They suck,” she said, and went over my very general dietary guide lines, which was mostly to eat low fat, watch the portion size, and think of a plate divided into three sections, one quarter for lean protein, or quarter for complex starches and one half for fruits and vegetables. Also I had to exercise and she was please I was already riding my bike.
All of the basic tools were now in place, diet, exercise, knowledge, motivation. I just had to do it and keep at it.
You know what? It worked. I started to lose weight. My fasting blood glucose really started to drop as did my blood pressure.
I also started to blog about my experiences in all of this. It was my way to keep me on track. I did not want to make a fool out of myself before the whole world.
Today I am happy to say all of my bad numbers are good. I lost about 40 lbs and I continue to keep it off, although losing some more wouldn’t hurt. I continue to ride my bike and I what that I-could-ride-in-the-Tour-de-France physique. The Charming Mrs SWMBO thinks that is too thin and I disagree. I feel so much better thin.
This blog is now my statement to the world that for most of us, beating type 2 diabetes is possible. You can do it. Better yet, you can avoid it. All it takes is some determination and knowledge. Just so we are all in agreement, I am not an expert in medicine, nutrition, diet, or exercise. I was never very good at that science stuff. I don’t offer advise, just information and my opinion of things. You can do with it as you please. I hope I spur some interest that makes you want to learn more and form you own opinions.
No, I take that advise statement back. I have this one little bit only: This is your life. Make the most of it and that means staying healthy. If you have your health, you can handle just about anything.
Note: Everything on this site is my opinion. I am an expert on nothing and nothing I say should be regarded as advice. I am an expert only on controlling type 2 diabetes for me. If you need advice, find a real professional trained to help you.