How is your type 2 diabetes journey going? Mine has been anything but smooth!
I do not know anyone who manages to ace it from day one, but my diagnosis has been extra bumpy. Sometimes it feels like I am trying to ride a three-wheeled skateboard uphill on a cobblestone street, all while holding both a pit bull and a rattlesnake in my arms! I think you get the idea–it is not easy!
Sadly, millions of people in North America and worldwide deal with their own issues with regard to type 2 diabetes; like it or not (and nobody does), it is a lifestyle! Day after day it refuses to let up, so we need to find a way to get ourselves into a mindset in order to come out on top of this problem! Everyone has their own off days, but that is not the issue. Where our focus needs to be is our good days, and to try and create as many as possible! The two biggest priorities as a type 2 diabetic that you already know (being diet & exercise) can become ugly monsters if we allow them to be, which is not very difficult.
We can psyche ourselves out and come up with any excuse to fail, but here is what I have learned that has helped me make the best of my situation. My personal lifestyle is primarily being on the road as a touring comedian, or at least it was when I was first diagnosed. I was on the road a lot more often than I was at home, which caused problems. Finding time to plan my meals, shop, cook and eat right is already hard for ‘normal’ people to do, but it was a constant struggle for me because I was single and always on the go. Exercise can be just as bad in that regard (or even worse), so there has to be a plan in place in order to succeed at conquering the obstacles holding you back.
After years of trial and error (mostly error), I have put together five tips that have made my life easier, and I hope at least one or more of said tips can do the same for you!
1) MAKE EXERCISE A PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE IMMEDIATELY
While it may appear to be a difficult practice, it can be done. What I do is I make sure to get it out of the way as soon as I wake up in the morning. When I started to walk on my birthday, I found a way to manage it by 9am. I am not a morning person by any means, but I still managed to make it a life priority (and you can too)!
At first, I was lucky to get going by 8:30am (sometimes later), but I was determined to make it a habit, which I did. I started to get up earlier, and found myself feeling better than I had prior after only a few days. I eventually managed to hit 5000 steps a day, and then 10,000 after only a few weeks. I am now averaging around 13,000 steps per day with a minimum of at least 10,000 or more.
2) WHEN EATING IN RESTAURANTS, PLAN ORDERS IN ADVANCE
Most restaurants have their menus available online. Choosing a healthy meal in advance can be easier than you may think! Sometimes, I have to eat out for days (or sometimes weeks), and while that may sound great, it is absolutely not. It can be tempting to go for the worst meal choices that may taste the best, but in reality is awful health-wise for you. Having a plan before going can really help curtail this urge, and it is not that hard once the practice of sticking to said plan becomes a habit for you!
3) ALLOW YOURSELF A CHEAT TREAT ONCE IN A WHILE
Eating healthy does not mean that we can never have a treat for ourselves; however, it must be stressed that it is just a treat at the end of the day. Having something once in a while rather than daily makes us appreciate it more, and it can be part of our life’s enjoyment if we will continue to be smart with our choices!
4) LET YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY KNOW THAT YOU ARE SERIOUS
I have found that the best way to stay on track with my type 2 management was to let my closest associates know that I am making the effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Believe me, they let me know if and when I do something they do not think I should be doing, but that is a positive! Sometimes, it can be a pain in the pancreas, but it is also a great safetynet!
5) CATALOG AND CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
With human nature being what it is, it can be very easy to be hard on ourselves if we screw up even once. I find that the best way to fight that sense of failure is to list the many times that I do it correctly! I bought myself a physical calendar, which I keep handwriting in the number of steps I took that day, what I ate, and my weight for that day. I have not missed exercising in a very long time, and that is what keeps me motivated to keep going even when I do not want to. I am sure that there will be a day where I will have to miss an exercise session, but I will still be able to look back at all the days in a row where I did, and not get to a point of going back to my old ways.
I am on a mission to make this a daily lifestyle for the rest of my living days, and I hope that something sparks an inspiration in all of you to come and join me on this wonderful trip towards peak health and wellness! There is room for everyone because a better life is available to us all!