So what's a wanna-be-in control supposed to do?
Over the years I've come up with some strategies to use when I want to crack open a pack of Oreos and throw open the window to yell, "I have type 2 and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
1. Mix things up. It's been said before and it's worth repeating: If you completely limit yourself food-wise, you're guaranteed to end up halfway into a quart of peanut butter ripple ice cream with no idea what happened. I've found that by varying my meals and trying new recipes, I can avoid these cravings and subsequent breakdowns.
2. Eat the best food you can afford. Excellent fish or steak in small amounts beats cheap fast food when it comes to health, satisfaction, and flavor. A small piece of imported dark chocolate, a fresh peach, or a single bakery cookie can quell a craving and prevent a complete culinary breakdown.
3. Swear off white foods. Avoiding everything white––like flour, pasta, and bread––has really helped me to regulate my sugars. But more importantly, I started to explore grains and wheat and rye products, which help to break the monotony of my overall diet.
4. Spice up your exercise regimen. I love my exercise bike, but some days I'd choose housework over yet another endless ride. To fight the boredom of biking, I also take an exercise course where the routine changes with each class. And I recently started a class in Tai Chi, an easy way to move that is relaxing and alleviates stress. Trying something new shakes up your body both mentally and physically.
5. Change your test pattern. By testing my blood sugar more often than usual every now and then, I can find out what new foods––like pomegranates or pistachios––do to my blood sugar. By testing more frequently, I can give myself a little mini checkup and see how I do in different intervals, testing sugars after an hour rather than two, or at different times throughout the day.
Diabetes will never be easy. Or fun. And I will continue to have moments of self-pity. But by breaking up the routine through diet, exercise, and testing, I give myself a chance to restart the diabetes clock. By adding variety to my care, I have a better chance of staying on track. Not for a few days or a few months, but with luck, for years and years.
Read Ilene's blog.
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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