New Year with Diabetes : Striving for _______ in 2013!

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/

8 Comments »

Comments on this post

  1. Megan (Best of Fates) says:

    It’s great the Paleo diet is helping so much. Good luck with under 7% – you can do it!

    1. Emma S (bigpurpleduck) says:

      Replace ‘Paleo’ with ‘low-GI’ and this is me. My 20th diaversary is at the end of January and under 7% is a target I want to reach but haven’t managed before. And future kiddos is a motivation for me, also.

      I love what you said about the cookies. I used to feel deprived too – but in reality it’s just that I’ve actually always had a very healthy diet. It’s not deprivation – just being sensible.

      Good luck – I’m with you!

      1. Martha Miller Johnson says:

        Allison,
        I am trying to find you! I read about your diabetes greeting cards in USA Today and really want to include them in the next issue of Diabetic Living magazine. Please email me and we can chat on the phone. They are terrific and I’d love to let readers know they exist. My phone is 515/284-2075. Have a great day!

        Best,
        -martha miller johnson
        editor, diabetic living magazine
        Meredith Corp,
        1716 Locust St.
        Des Moines, IA 50309

        1. Melissa says:

          I have the exact same thoughts. Except… I still have them after almost five years of having diabetes.
          It’s a mix of being diagnosed at 18 (I remember not having diabetes) and that I remember clearly at my “training” the nurse said “you can eat what you want, as long as you bolus insulin for it correctly,” so that’s just what I always believed.
          But… the reality is there’s a lot more to it!
          My A1C has been steady the past two, possibly three years now. Between 7.1% and 7.3% and that was while I was in college. My doc is happy (because of the consistency and that I was in college), so I never questioned it.
          BUT… I’m getting married in May. And I want a family in the future. If I keep it up… I’m not sure how I’ll ever get my A1C down to “baby-making-range” since I don’t know how to break those habits.
          Hmm… this definitely got me thinking for sure. I’ll have to start with baby steps and talk to my doctor in a week when I have my next apt.
          Thanks for writing what I’ve never really wanted to full admit to myself.

          Good luck! I know you can do it :)

          1. Karen says:

            I think this is a fantastic thing to strive for in 2013. You can do it!!!

            1. Patients for a Moment (PFAM) January 2013 Edition: Celebrating Renewals : DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog says:

              […] of With Faith and Grace is striving for an A1C under 7.0. That will certainly make for a good New Year with Diabetes — go […]

              1. Cherise says:

                Allison- I love your new website. You can totally do this. I have a question, how do you like the paleo diet? I have read a lot of pros and cons. I’m curious to see what you think.

                1. Whole30: Day 14-20 | With Faith & Grace says:

                  […] of a bummer than my overall average might start creeping up again, but I also don’t have to have an A1C under 7% that is built entirely on hypoglycemia. That’s not sustainable! I still think I’ll be […]


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