Friday, August 10, 2012

Not waiting for "rock bottom"


My diabetes test is scheduled for next Wednesday. I have to get checked every couple of years because I had gestational diabetes, but I don't think I have it. I have no symptoms, and I've done a couple of finger-prick blood tests at home which have been normal.

Nevertheless, I am in a pretty high risk category for getting diabetes at some point. The gestational diabetes is a big warning indicator, plus I am overweight with lots of stomach fat and my dad has pre-diabetes. I have very high cholesterol, and I have always been prone to episodes of hypoglycemia (I don't know if this last is relevant, but I know that is can be a problem for diabetics).

Diabetes doesn't just mean having to inject yourself with insulin or avoiding donuts; it increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and depression, and can cause blindness and nasty circulation problems.

Why am I waiting to be diagnosed with some horrible disease to take action about my health? It isn't just about getting thin.

When I had gestational diabetes I had no difficulty managing it with careful diet, but that was for the health of my baby. I can't seem to consistently do it for myself.

I can't take action for the next few days. From tomorrow morning I will be on a three-day carb-laden diet to prepare for the glucose tolerance test. But after that, regardless of the results, I need to start looking after myself.

The best way to avoid diabetes is to act like you already have it. Regular exercise, achieving a healthy weight, a healthy diet of normal food. The only real difference is the carb counting. Carbohydrate-rich foods have to be spread out through the day in careful portions -- not too much but not too little.

I'm feeling fat and stressed and sad today. Like I need to fix my health but won't be able to. I've failed at this before.

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