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Taking better care of my type 2 diabetes in 2009!

kalimah bioBy Kalimah Johnson

February 2009 — Now that the holiday season is over, I can admit to a few things.  First and foremost I gained a total of four pounds between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.  Kwanzaa (a cultural celebration) takes a whole seven days of being with family and friends, singing, dancing, praying, lighting candles, and EATING!  On Christmas Day, I ate enough food for at least three days of normal eating I am sure.  Thanksgiving was not any better.  I am surprised I made it to 2009 with numbers that mostly ran below 200 mg/dl.  

As a type 2 diabetic, thinking about my sugar levels, testing, taking my medications and eating the right amount of food at the right time is daunting.  Multiply that intensity by the holidays and what I ended up with was an attitude from hell and self-destructive thinking.  I found myself eating when no one else was around, sneaking pieces of pie, tasting as I was cooking, etc.  I participated in all kinds of acts of "eating perversions" during the holiday.  

Why?  Well, sometimes I can be self-destructive.  Sometimes I get tired of the routines required to manage my type 2 diabetes.  Sometimes, I think I reward myself with food instead of using other healthy options to cope with let downs and/or accomplishments.

Stressors such as entertaining more than 20 people in our small condo, rising to the expectation of gift giving in this economy, and having to be around family/folks you know you would not being around (albeit the holidays) made me eat whatever it was I thought I wanted.  Mainly, because I thought I had earned the right to do so.

Which leads me to my next admission.  

I knew that the New Year was coming and with 2009 upon us, I can always start all over again!  

I can develop a new attitude, think positive, make small changes, and honor myself by trusting that there is a higher reason for this past season and that I have a higher purpose.  My purpose on earth can be fulfilled when I am healthy, happy, and here.  

As a type 2 diabetic, I have learned so much more about how my body functions and how my mind can play tricks on me.  Spiritually, I have discovered that there are lessons I can learn from my ancestors.  I can learn more about this disease in terms of new research, and I can manage it, as well as conquer it, through prayer, meditation and making better choices.  

There is nothing like a New Year and a fresh beginning to get us back on track.  I like the idea of being able to start anew, begin again, re-do, un-do, fix it, try harder, and thank God for the new day!  I like the holidays, but it is so hard for me to keep up with my regiment of eating right, exercising, and monitoring.  Lastly, I have to admit that I am glad to reclaim my daily routine, and I am sort of happy that all the hoopla of the holidays is over.

In this New Year, I have decided to join a "real" African Dance class at the fitness center. I usually dance at home alone.  I tried it this past Saturday and I had a ball!  I learned quickly that what I was doing at home was nothing compared to what we did in class.  It was very nice being able to connect with others who are culturally sensitive to movement and music.  I encourage anyone reading this to learn something about your heritage and if you can do it through movement, dance, or exercise, that would be even better!

In this New Year, I have decided to set an appointment with an endocrinologist, in addition to seeing my regular family practice doctor to ensure that I am on the right track with my health and any other concerns regarding my type 2 diabetes.

In this New Year, I have decided that I need to learn more about eating and portion control and complex carbohydrates, sugar, and how it affects my blood sugar.

In this New Year, I have decided that dLife has made a huge difference in the way I think of myself as a type 2 diabetic and that I am vowing to tell others about the online community, as well as the television show.  This article is saving my life one word at a time, and I am so happy to be here.  I hope it continues to serve as an inspiration to you because telling my stories (the good, the bad, and the ugly) motivates me to strive to take better care of myself, admit to my shortcomings, celebrate my successes, and to lean on as well as trust that with support, honesty, and commitment we can make our lives better with this disease.

Got it Sugar?  Good. 

 

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

 

Disclaimer
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 dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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