Thursday, January 10th, 2013 | Posted under Diabetes
It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in the DSMA Blog Carnival now that I’m not a full-time staffer at DiabetesMine, but I thought it would be great to rejoin at the beginning of the year. The January Blog Carnival question is:
New Year with Diabetes : Striving for _______ in 2013! Tell us all about what you’d like to accomplish diabetes-wise in the New Year.
For me, this is a very easy question. It’s something that has been on my 101 Things list, both this iteration and the previous one, and it’s something that I’ve wanted to accomplish and never have since I was diagnosed with diabetes nearly 19 years ago (my diaversary is this month, on Jan. 27!).
I’m striving for an A1C under 7% in 2013.
Now, for those of you without diabetes who are wondering what the big deal is, an A1C (a measure of your average glucose levels over 3 months) under 7% is the clinical recommendations by the American Diabetes Association. It’s what most physicians define as “controlled diabetes” — although that term itself is bollocks. It’s like saying “control that screaming 2-year-old in the grocery store!” Uh, yeah. Right.
Up until about a week ago, I basically did what I wanted to do, whether or not my diabetes was responding well. I wasn’t exactly ignoring my diabetes, but I wasn’t helping the situation. Starting on the Paleo diet has definitely changed how my diabetes behaves. On one hand, I kind of feel like diabetes is the unruly 2-year-old who is controlling the situation, but then I have to step back and remember: diabetes is not an unruly 2-year-old. Analogies only go so far. Diabetes is also a disease that could cause serious damage to my life and limb, and it is not just going to “grow out of it.” It will always be what it is.
When I was growing up, I hated being told that I shouldn’t eat something because I had diabetes. I didn’t like that diabetes was preventing me from having what I wanted. I was under the misguided perception that everyone else without diabetes could have the cookie, so I was going to try my damndest to eat just like everyone else. It’s true that people with diabetes can eat cookies, but I had this idea that if PWDs could eat cookies, it meant they could eat cookies whenever they wanted. That’s not true. Just like non-diabetics can’t eat as many cookies as they want. We all have limits on what our body will respond well to. It seems obvious now, of course. But for a long time I just couldn’t let go of the idea that I could do exactly what I wanted and it would somehow all work out.
Listen: if what you’re doing isn’t working, stop doing it.
We have to figure out how our own body works and what it needs so that it will do and be what we want. Right now, the Paleo diet has really changed what I believe to be possible. Although it places some restrictions on my eating habits, and it sometimes makes me feel like the unruly 2-year-old has control of the situation, I also finally feel like I’m not fighting anymore. I’m no longer trying to shove my square eating habits into a round diabetes hole. And I’m hoping that when the unruly 2-year-old is placated a little bit more, I might be able to have an ice cream on special occasions. I don’t feel like I’ve succumbed to the unruly 2-year-old, but I do feel like I’m working with it so that we can both get what we need.
My goal is to have an A1C under 7%, because that’s what I believe to be the healthiest. Not only is it the healthiest for me, but it’s also the healthiest for my future kiddos (no, I’m not pregnant). For the first time, with the help of the Paleo diet, I actually feel like I might get there this year. My diabetes management has been the best it’s been in years. Results are a powerful motivator to keep going.
I really think I’ll get there this year.
This post is my January entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/january-dsma-blog-carnival-2/