I have a routine now, more than ever, and out of necessity.
For years my motto has been:
Such power there is in clear-eyed self restraint —James Russell Lowell
But honestly, I've been less “powerful” than I could be because my self restraint has been just enough to keep going.
But with a clear and present medical condition (type II diabetes) that I can directly influence with my behaviors, it's time to actually take it seriously. A doctor friend of mine laid it out for me:
- I can do nothing, just keep living like I have been living. I will be on insulin within two years, and probably eventually go blind and/or start losing extremities.
- I can take this seriously for six months, then get lax and lapse about halfway back to how I used to do things. I will be on insulin within seven years, and might never have other side effects if I start being serious when they put me on insulin.
- I can take this seriously now and stay serious, and never need insulin, indeed I can basically be “normal” with the caveat that I have to keep being serious about my food.
In other words, I can actually have some clear-eyed self restraint, and in so doing have power to influence my own quality of life. Type II diabetes is an interesting condition in that the best treatment plan is “grow up, stop eating junk food, and get off the couch once in a while.”
Part of why I'm here is genetics; Type II diabetes runs in my family. And I have known this my entire life.
Which is the other part. I have known this my entire life. I could have prepared. I could have kept the weight off, I could have eaten better when it was obvious my metabolism wasn't a teenager's metabolism any more. I could have started taking exercise seriously earlier in life. So part of this is my fault.
So I'm making the needed changes. More than that, I'm helping my kids make changes now, so they don't have to get to this point. If we teach our kids to have a healthy relationship with food now, if we can help them embrace physical activity as a part of daily life, we can spare them later.
I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.