So if I asked you, “what are some circumstances you fear most?” What would be your reply? Loosing your job? Getting a letter from the IRS that you are being audited?
For me it was a fear to be diagnosed as a diabetic. You have to realize I’ve watched the destructive nature of diabetes both type 1 and type 2 impact my entire family since I can remember. Family reunion picnics were extravagant feasts of some of the most fattening “comfort foods and sweets”…all the while conversations comparing blood sugar and dosages of insulin were overheard at every table. Aunts, uncles and cousins, who would give themselves an “extra shot of insulin” so they could indulge in those extra desserts was common place. Family members who had lost toes, legs, even their eyesight just worshiped food and ignored exercise. So that was my “genetic pool” which fostered my fear…”MAYBE ONE DAY THAT WILL BE YOU!!!”
Despite that lingering fear, as I stepped over the “40” year old mark and noticed the creeping number on the scale and expanding inches on my waist band I fooled myself into thinking “surely I would be okay.” I mean after all I was getting out there on my bike (yeah, maybe not EVERY DAY but I was still “active”) and that was enough right?!? Yes, my metabolism had changed drastically, but I was eating healthy enough…that is WHEN I would eat! I would usually get so engrossed in work projects, traveling and selling at cycling events that come 8pm I would realize, “I haven’t eaten anything since 7am!” So then I would voraciously eat too much at that late hour, along with drinking an “adult beverage” or two. Essentially, despite my fear, I had allowed myself to stumble down a gradual, slippery slope that resulted in “hitting rock bottom.”
This past month I found myself feeling absolutely horrible and after “dragging my feet” since I could not be bothered to stop working and pay attention to the progressing signs of diabetes (fatigue, blurred vision, nausea, dry mouth, frequent urination, etc…) I FINALLY went to the hospital. After more than a week of excellent care and education on my situation, I was released and started my new “adventure” of pedaling through the “sweet life” as a newly diagnosed diabetic.
What does life look like now?! For me it’s absolutely NOT sleeping in. I get to bed at a decent hour and get up early to make SURE I have time to meditate and exercise first thing. I make NO MORE EXCUSES about riding or at least walking a couple times a day. I eat regularly throughout the day, concentrating on a plate that’s 2/3rds raw veggies, fresh fruit along with lean protein & healthy fats. I always have little bags of nuts somewhere nearby in the Sprintervan or in my bike’s transformer frame bag to snack on in case grabbing a meal is not an option. I have cut back HUGE on my drinking (my only temptation since I have never had a “sweet tooth”) and refuse to eat past 6pm…ice water helps take away those “late night cravings” that are pretty much just pangs of “boredom” and a bad habit that will hopefully disappear eventually.
Diabetes is so prevalent in our culture now. It is definitely easy to stumble into, especially as the cost of eating healthy increases and our pace of life interferes with getting our bodies moving. Don’t neglect the steps you need to take today to protect yourself from diabetes. My doctor affirms, what I read online, that if I am persistent, dedicated and careful my body may be able to “correct” itself and regain a healthy balance once again. That hope is renewed in my mind & soul every morning as I ride around the flourishing, beautiful green hills here in Ojai, CA that just 6 months ago were burnt ashen grey from the Thomas fire. I am discovering now that diabetes, is something that can be victoriously managed day by day, as long as we choose every day to simply MOVE and fuel our body with GOOD things…that is the “sweet life!”
Okay, time to throw on one of our organic cotton Tshirts and get in some pedaling…Go Big or Go Home?! Kind of feeling like a Bear today though?! http://www.cyclelogicalgear.com
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