Diabetes is hereditary. It runs in my family. My father was borderline. My Uncle was type 1 and so is my cousin. There is no guarantee you’ll get it based on family history. If you have a healthy diet and exercise you can prevent diabetes. I didn’t. I’d have to say looking back on my life I never was a health expert. Yes I ate three meals a day. My parents fed me well with veggies, potatoes, rice, meat chicken and pork . I found like most people I knew grew with up fast food. Instead of naming every fast food, deli, or cheese steak joint I ever ate at I will say they all contributed to my decline in health. If I would have eaten this type of food occasionally instead of weekly maybe I wouldn’t be fighting diabetes today. I struggled with weight mostly from my teen years to three years ago. Eating poorly was a norm for me.
I think the biggest jump in weight for me was after I left college. When I was in school I ran and went to the gym regularly. I had ran out of money and could no longer afford college. I went back to familiar lines of work. I worked at lumber yards and department stores. I did this out of high school and now I was back to these kind of jobs again. I really didn’t want to leave college, but I had to make a living and pay the bills. My confidence was at a all time low. I really wanted to become a music teacher and my dream was turning into a nightmare. I wasn’t much fun to be around and was very sensitive to losing out on school. Some people in this situation turn to alcohol or drugs. I did drink a lot of beer, but food was like a drug for me. It comforted me and made me better. Little did I know it would later change my life.
Addiction is addiction. I don’t care if it’s drugs, alcohol, or food. They’re all bad, and one might kill you slower, but it can kill you if you don’t take control and beat it. Your friends try to help you with encouragement, but in the end it’s up to you. I missed out on at least two personal relationships by lacking confidence and not being aware of my problem. To this day I regret pushing these people away. This is what addiction does to you. It can alter your life for the worse. If there’s people around you that care, don’t push them away by letting your addiction win. You can’t undo the past.
I lived near college for a few years afterwards and decided to move back to an area I was fond of when I was growing up. I moved from the West Chester area to Bucks county Pa. I soon found a job at a music store and was able to pick up a few private students. I also worked at a department store. Working two jobs is no excuse not to eat right, but I made it one. My daily menu would be frozen breakfast sandwiches or sugar sweetened oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch would consist of burgers, cheese steaks, or whatever else I could shove down my throat. My dinner was pretty much the same as lunch, or sometimes I would cook something.
I then got a job at a music store that I still work. I was teaching more there, but still I ate too much. I run a rock band program at this store and you have to put in extra hours to make it work, so I of course used this as an excuse to eat poorly. My average menu was a lot of processed foods and some cooked food. Dinner was the worst. I would have two cheese steaks, cheese fries and soda and then have a half of a half gallon of ice cream and half of a cake to complete my dinner. I was pushing about 330 lbs at this time. I was never this big in my life. My cardiologist to this day is amazed I didn’t have a stroke and die.
All these poor habits led me to diabetes. The best advice I can give is if you have an eating disorder, high stress and low self esteem seek help now. Embrace positive people and never push them away. My A1C was 9.0 when I entered the hospital and now it’s 5.3. It can get better, if you want it to! I’ve lost weight, still need to lose more, but I will keep fighting to live a better life. So can you!!!
My next blog I will talk about how a setback can be a good wake up call!!!