Hoping that healthy living doesnt become a passing fad.
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October 2007 —I like to think of myself as a quiet, country girl with diabetes. (Okay, maybe I'm not too quiet.) I'm not sure if it is because of diabetes or in spite of it, but I like to live an uncomplicated life. As I'm sure most people are aware, there is little about living with diabetes that leads to a simple life. But I try - that includes fashion, lifestyle, my surroundings, the whole nine yards.
My children tell me I am way behind the times. I'm sure I am. They try to keep me up-to-date as best they can. They have given me designer jeans, jackets, purses, shoes, etc. I have my very own hot pink iPod I listen to every day. I appreciate their generosity and I respect their concern.
Recently they began telling me about the latest trend they have discovered - healthy living! A couple of them have begun reading food labels and are concerned about nutrition. All three have begun exercise programs. I'm pretty sure these are the three children that grew up in this house, so why did they act like this was new information? Were they not paying attention all these years? Next to insulin, diet and exercise are the two most important aspects of controlling my diabetes.
I have been consulting food labels since I learned to read. There wasn't much information on them back then, mainly just basic ingredients. I knew to look for sugar, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup, and all of the other words meaning "sugar", which I was supposed to avoid. I know the kids saw me read labels. It was a daily affair. Even though I always cooked the family meals, I guess they didn't think it applied to their eating habits. (Little did they know!)
Exercise was a family affair as often as possible. We spent a lot of time at the county and state parks. We always had a car load of bikes, baby carriers, strollers - whatever the outing required. We didn't frequent gyms or the YMCA because we had the great outdoors. The whole family rode bikes, hiked trails, walked, and generally had fun outside. When going away wasn't possible, we did the same activities at home. I suppose they didn't realize the exercise was a necessity for their mom. Now that they are older, my children prefer more organized exercise like activities at the gym and lifting weights. I still prefer outside activities. If going outside is not possible I always have exercise video tapes, but they aren't nearly as appealing to me.
When the kids first started telling me about their interest in living a healthy lifestyle, I was glad to hear it. But I was a little disappointed they did not remember these things from their childhood. They told me they knew I read food labels. They thought it was just one of those things moms do for their families. All the time spent at the parks and at home was just fun family outings in their memories. It wasn't equated with "exercise." I began to think this was all a good thing. I worked hard to keep my diabetes from overshadowing their childhoods.
At least now there is a trend I can share with my children. I am not totally in the dark. We may not agree on every aspect, but I know a few things about healthy living. I'm glad my kids are trying this lifestyle because they want to feel and look good, not because it is dictated by a disease like diabetes.
If anyone has questions about new trends, just ask. I'm sure I won't have a clue. But I know people who will know the answers. I have three really healthy, trendy kids!
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.
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