Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All I Have To Do is...

So I have diabetes, type 2, meaning that I am not insulin dependent, nor will I have to stick myself in the arm two or three times a day to gauge my sugar level. It’s a common enough disease; some 24 million people in America have it, or roughly eight percent of the population. Another 57 million are pre-diabetic, which means it’s a pretty safe bet they will get it as well, unless they are willing to make some pretty drastic changes in their diet, exercise and leisure.

Basically, it’s a lifestyle disease, a chronic condition in the way I (and all the other millions) metabolize sugar.  If not diagnosed and treated, type 2 diabetes can lead to other nasty things such as cardiovascular issues, nerve damage, eye problems and kidney evils. Blurred vision, fatigue, cuts that don’t heal quickly and frequent infections are also typical symptoms.

This being said, all the people I have dealt with in the medical field—and sometimes not—are in agreement. This is something that can be dealt with. All I have to do is lose weight.

All I have to do is lose weight…. To me, this is the equivalent of “all I have to do is sprout wings on my butt so I can fly to France.” I have weighed the same for the past decade and have tried dozens of times to lose weight. I exercise more and eat less, to no avail. I switch diet and forego carbohydrates. I give up sugar. I only drink diet whatever. I stop drinking diet whatever because I am told the artificial sweetener in such drinks impedes fat loss. I eat several small meals. I eat one large meal. I get completely divergent advice from different sources. Someone tells me eating cabbage will do it. I eat enough cabbage to feel like a Russian peasant. Someone else suggests hard-boiled eggs. I don’t do that one because I remember my beloved late sister Florence trying it in Paris and cursing all things chicken-related.

What it comes down to is that I really can hold a resentment against people who say all I have to do is lose weight. It’s silly, foolish, useless. It reminds me of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign to curb drug addiction, which at the time—and to this day—has about as much chance to succeed as telling a manic depressive to have a nice day.

This being said, I know people who have dropped more than 100 pounds. One of my favorite persons in the world dropped eighty. It’s doable.

And just for the record, that’s not me in the picture….

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