School Year Resolutions

Having the determination to make healthier choices this fall.

kalimah bioBy Kalimah Johnson

October 2012 — As summer winds down I find myself thinking about preparing syllabi, cleaning my office, scheduling students for advising, updating my calendar with meetings, and ordering books, supplies, and other items for the first day of class. As an assistant professor in social work I present, teach, and focus on topics that are related to oppression, discrimination, marginalized populations, and a myriad of other social ills. It can be quite depressing, draining, and challenging to say the least.

In the past, I have been guilty of not taking my lunch break, working long hours, eating the wrong foods at the wrong time, and slipping when it comes to testing my blood sugar levels. Stress, carbohydrates, and sugary drinks raise my blood sugar, and I have had the bad habit of allowing things to bother me way more than they should. I like crunching and munching on potato chips as a way of dealing with the stress — between classes I would drink something like orange juice to keep my sugar spiked during the day while skipping meals. The habits I have formed to manage my work day are horrible! I am declaring right now that as I get back into the routine of work this Fall, I WILL break these bad habits… And the best time to start this change is now.

I must also mention that I live in Detroit, one of the fattest cities in the country, and I am, no doubt, a contributor to this fact. I have been losing weight, but I have a long way to go on my journey. While I had bariatric surgery to help, the surgery is only a tool — it is imperative that I stay on the right track for weight loss, maintenance, and good health.

To that end, I want to share a video created by my friend, Mr. Charles Pugh, that I think everyone should see. Charles is our City of Detroit Council President and has successfully lost over 60 pounds in the last year! While I think that is an awesome feat that he should be congratulated for, I am more appreciative of the everyday routine and the facts about food and exercise that he shares in this 45 minute production. Trust me, Charles used to be a television and radio personality, so the video is engaging, fun, and informative. Here is the link:

My friend has given me the inspiration I need to face the new school year with a plan! In addition to his video, I also encourage you to check out these links on dLife. I have found them to be quite helpful in my preparation for the start of the new school year:

Stress Management

Top 12 Budget Foods

12 Best Snacks to Pack

7 Lunches for Better Blood Sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a part of my life and I must integrate it into my daily routine for better management. I must change my attitude towards stress and create an even balance of work, play, and relaxation. I must show up at my job prepared to teach bright minds that social work is a great field to work in. If our City Council President can work to address Detroit's social issues while taking care of his health AND being a role model for our citizens to exercise, lose weight, and manage stress, then why can't I?

I am going to stock my office refrigerator with items such as Greek yogurt, protein shakes, nuts, and water. I am going to prepare dinner at night and save half of it for lunch the next day. I am going to take the stairs, have a light heart about matters of politics at work, and think positive as much as I can.

In terms of the social ills that we face and the "isms" that I teach, I am making a commitment today to see the glass as half-full and celebrate the successful programs, interventions, and work that social workers do on a daily basis. This will help me manage my own stress, which will help my sugar numbers, which will support my health and well-being. I encourage you to create a mantra or routine that will help you do the same.

Got it Sugar?


Read more of Kalimah Johnson's columns, Get it Together, Sugar, here.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 10, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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