‘I felt faint. I did not need this, but I did need to take my medicine. “Ralph, look I need to get off the phone and get ready for church.”’ ~ Eugeena Patterson, Deep Fried Trouble
I’ve known about my diabetes for over a year now, but it doesn’t mean that I have my lifestyle of managing it under control. It takes some serious discipline to stay healthy and alive.
It is important to take your meds and to eat regularly to control blood sugar levels. There is nothing worse than skipping a meal or forgetting to take your medication. Do it too often and you risk your life. So schedule meals and snacks throughout the day as well as a regular time to take your medication.
Tip #2 Plan your meals.
You know what you can and cannot eat, right? Well, it is real easy to eat the wrong thing when you haven’t planned your meals properly. If you know you will be eating in a restaurant, check their menu for heart-healthy food and foods for diabetics.
Tip #3 Add regular exercise to your regimen.
Move your body. I’ve lost over 30 pounds from watching what I eat and walking. Was it easy to get up every day and walk? No way, but I had the support of my neighbor and a couple of other walkers in the neighborhood. I started easy and going short distances until I could gradually add more to my strolls. Sometimes I push up a hill and sometimes I walk the mall. On the days I cannot go out, I march in place or do some form of exercise. (I have one of those Zumba DVDs though I feel clumsy doing it.)
Tip #4 Keep stress at bay.
Forget “I’m too blessed to be stressed,” I say I’m too stressed to be blessed, which helps me manage my diabetes. The less stress I have, the better my health. The more stress I have, it feels like the disease is controlling me. I’ve learned that a regimen that includes exercise helps me with my stress, but then there are the moments when I tune out life for about an hour and simply chill. I will read my bible, pray and sometimes I just sit on my porch to relax and watch the sky.
Tip #5 Change your recipes.
One of the first things I did was go through my recipe box and go to some websites to find heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly recipes. You know the first one I found was for fried chicken, right? Now I can make baked cheese grits and many other things too. Go through your pantry to make sure everything in it is good for you.
Tip #6 Rest.
Diabetes can wear you out, don’t I know. However, I make myself go to bed early and allow myself some extra time to get up in the morning. I don’t push myself to be active short of my daily walks, but I do make sure I take the time to simply rest and let my body repair itself. Do yourself a favor and buy some pretty bed clothes and buy some pretty sheets with matching covers. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Rest yourself.
Tip #7 Choose to care about you.
For years I ran myself ragged taking care of my husband, my children and everybody else, and I was the last one on my list of priorities. In hindsight, if I’d taken better care of me, I’d probably not have diabetes. You’ve got to want to live, so you’ve got to take care of your body, mind, soul and spirit.
These are the ways I began managing my diabetes. If you have some of your own, please share them in the comment section.
Take care of yourself, now.