Let me be honest…having Diabetes and managing my sugar is not a walk in the park. In fact, it is more of an emotional roller coaster ride than anything. I have good days and I have bad days and EVERYTHING effects my sugar. One minute my numbers will be in range and the next my PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager / Insulin Pump) alerts me that my sugar is high or I am urgently low. Alarms go off in the night and even during business meetings. I have to laugh and make light of this so I don’t cry. I just tell people that’s my signal and that I’m about to expire in the next 8 hours. What it really means is my insulin pump needs to be changed. We typically laugh, I answer lots of questions and we carry on.
This month marks my 1 year anniversary of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Apparently, it is rare to be diagnosed at my age and even rarer to have the kind of food sensitives that I have. When I say, “EVERYTHING effects my sugar” …I mean EVERYTHING and the worst part is nothing is predictable. It is easy to understand why so many people with Diabetes prefer to continue living an unhealthy lifestyle because of how frustrating, time consuming and emotionally draining managing it can be.
Although, Type 1 Diabetes is considered an auto-immune disorder and the onset is not linked to lifestyle the complications of Diabetes most certainly are. Complications include, heart attacks, stroke, kidney and liver failure, and poor circulation which can lead to amputations. So, with all that in mind I have made a conscious decision to make some adjustments to my lifestyle. It is a lot to take on at once so I have tried to focus on three main areas – Meal Planning, Exercise and Reducing Stress Levels.
Meal planning was the first area that I had to get under control because of my carb sensitivity. Foods like sweet potatoes, lima beans, black beans, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and butternut squash spike my sugar off the charts, even when I give myself the appropriate amount of insulin. So now I have a list of foods that I must avoid. It’s not easy to do all the time. And at times I find myself still trying certain foods and hoping for a different outcome. It never works! The good news is there are so many amazing recipes out there all I have to do is make a food plan and prep. The plan and prep make implementation easy!
Reducing stress levels and exercising are easily manageable when I put my mind to it! When I am feeling, overwhelmed and frustrated I love to ride my bike and listen to country music. My bike rides range from in length from 10-20 miles and it is a great way to clear my head. I have also taken up running on the treadmill at the gym and plan to incorporate weight training in 2017.
It’s still hard for me to put myself first but I am learning. If you have Diabetes and struggle or have learned tips and strategies on how to manage Diabetes better, I would love to hear from you. We can connect on Facebook.com/TracysWellnessJourney