Day 4 – Body: Care
Yesterday I looked at how time has ravaged my body. More critical, though, is the effect my lack of care has had on my body. Bad food, alcohol, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, environment and attitude all play a part in my physical health.
My toes have been going numb. At first I just dismissed it as not important. As it slowly spread I started to look into what could be happening. It is a symptom of type 2 diabetes. No! That cannot be right! I cannot have diabetes! I am healthy and fit…
About fifteen years ago I applied for a keyman insurance policy to protect my business should anything happen to me. After a straightforward medical I sent off the application. The response shocked me.
I was offered a very high premium because I was at risk for diabetes. My blood sugar (the indicator for diabetes) was normal, so what was the problem?
My two brothers had diabetes, therefore I had a high risk factor, the man from the insurance company told me. The cause for my brothers was lifestyle choice, I told him, food, alcohol and exercise. I persuaded him that none of that was true in my case and that because my reading was normal in my early fifties I was clearly not going to suffer from the disease.
Yet here I am with symptoms, what has happened and what is going on?
I have started monitoring my blood glucose levels and, indeed, I have very high levels and am probably suffering from diabetes. Why?
Food and alcohol seem to be the main factors. I am overweight and have been for some time. I am technically obese, although I do not see myself as that. (That is a warning sign right there.) I have been enjoying myself and ignoring the signs that have been there every day.
Sugar is the big offender, sugar from alcohol and sugar from food.
I drink a lot of wine and beer, although I am not an alcoholic. I know about this because I have at least two family members who are self-confessed alcoholics with serious side effects, not least being the serious effects of diabetes, such as compromised eyesight. I do, however, drink more than the recommended levels. I enjoy my wine and would happily drink it with every meal. The problem comes from the excessive amounts of sugar this puts into me.
I love marmalade, mango chutney, chocolate and ice cream. In fact I have come to realise that I crave these ‘foods’—a clear sign of excessive blood sugar.
I have to change what I see as healthy and fit, it goes deeper than being able to climb mountains—something I love to do. I need to recognise my problems and incorporate the solutions into my daily living.
My lifestyle has become about enjoyment rather than care and the effects prove to be dangerous for me. So I have decided to change. I have instituted a programme of eating, drinking and exercise that is not a diet but is a lifestyle for the rest of my life. I am changing what I enjoy so it no longer conflicts with care of my body.
This is serious and this is a challenge. Reverse diabetes, reverse neuropathy (numb toes) and return to a balance in my body that I enjoy and that looks after me.
- What is happening in your body that you are not aware of?
- What is your lifestyle, what drives it?
- Do you have balance in your body?
—Photo Credit: Flickr/Moyan Brenn
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