How to get motivated for better health
When I went to the doctor in April, my first time under Medicare coverage (woo-hoo!), it had been 12 years since my last visit. I don’t recommend this, by the way. But I’ve always considered myself healthy, and I had herbs and healthy food to keep me that way.
So imagine my shock when the doctor’s office called me a week later and said, “You have diabetes.”
My first thought was, “Oh, no! I give nutrition advice to my clients!” I was embarrassed more than anything else.
You see, knowing about healthy foods and actually eating well are not the same. I knew how much chocolate I had been eating. I recognized how screwed up my digestive patterns were. I just didn’t recognize the symptoms of diabetes: I thought I had a UTI.
But when the doctor suggested I start taking insulin immediately, I balked. There are all sorts of health conditions and risks associated with diabetes, but the one that terrified me was the increased risk of dementia from insulin. Having lived through my mother’s decade-long decline into late-stage dementia, I vowed I would do anything to lessen that risk.
Anything? That’s where this disease diagnosis became an opportunity to get my body and my life back on track.
I told the doctor I didn’t want the insulin, but she insisted I would need it until I got my blood sugar stabilized. So I made a deal: I’d use it until I was stable, then would keep myself regulated through diet. (Turns out, exercise is a huge part of this as well.)
Okay, I was motivated. I spent hours researching the Glycemic Index of different foods, and — what turned out to be even more important — the Glycemic Load: how much sugar you are actually ingesting, depending on how much of a certain food you eat.
I found some surprises. Blueberries and raspberries, my favorite fruits, have a very low Glycemic Load (GL) if you eat just 4 ounces. Ditto for peanuts and most tree nuts at 1-1/4 ounces. But popcorn, my go-to snack, unbuttered, was off the charts — and so, off my new diet regimen. So is chocolate, of course, but I didn’t throw it away; it’s in the freezer, awaiting some future time when I can face my sugar demons with moderation.
So, eating low-GL foods and measuring everything, I became stable and could stop taking insulin after six days.
At my checkup visit one month later, the doctor said I was compliant enough to just measure my blood sugar once a day, as soon as I get up in the morning.
As of this writing, I’ve been on this new regimen for 3 months, and I’ve lost 22 pounds. That’s really helped to keep me motivated.
My next doctor visit is in October, and I expect it will go well. There is research showing that diabetes can be reversed — with regular exercise, adherence to diet, enough sleep, and keeping stress at a minimum. Oh, and some herbal supplements can help, too. I’ll keep you posted.
Let me also apologize in advance to my clients: I will probably be even more forthcoming with nutrition advice in the future.
If you’d like to find out how Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu and Herbal Medicine can help you reduce stress and improve your health, please get in touch with me.
Christin Whittington is a practitioner of energy medicine – helping people restore balance in their bodies, their health and their lives using a combination of Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Qi Gong and herbal medicine.