Published On: Tue, Jan 1st, 2013

I Have To Stop Lying To Myself, So I Can Live Healthier

diabetes-illustrationSo as the clock struck 12 last night we collectively reflected on all aspects of our life. Between glasses of your drink of choice (mine was Coquito) we strategized on how we will make our lives better in some way shape or form. Some make resolutions or promises to themselves about what they are going to change, unfortunately these are not always realistic goals.

What I always find interesting are the moments that we negotiate what that these resolutions look like… and when our habits catch up with us, how we renegotiate again and again until we throw are hands up in the air, resigning to what we already knew we are hardwired to do.

With me, it is has been health. As many of you know I was hospitalized in December of 2010 with a near deadly bout of Pneumonia that changed my outlook on everything forever. Even though I know what is like to walk towards the light it does not mean that my health challenges have gotten any easier, instead I constantly have to think of ways to change the things I am naturally inclined to do. Let me explain…

At my biggest I was roughy 340 lbs but carried it well despite I was only 5ft 7in, before I got sick I led a pretty fast paced lifestyle and my weight did not seem to affect me at all. On the other hand… I liked being a bigger guy beacuse of what I looked like in my teens… at the age of 18 I was barely 100lbs… (un flaco malnutrido) the women in the neighborhood would call me. I hated being skinny and my weight gain was intentional during that time.

Early this year, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and I made a decision to change a few things about my life. I mean who wants to deal with possible amputation, blindness and even potential erectile dysfunction? I certainly don’t. So I made some changes and I must be clear my problem was never really overeating. Here is a list of the “bad” behaviors that got me here.

Besides the fact that like many Latinos, I am genetically pre-disposed to become diabetic… and like many how to live with diabetes was confusing to me.

  • I would not drink water, juices and sodas were my thirst quenchers.
  • I almost never ate breakfast, my first meal was at around 1pm
  • my portions were bigger than normal… because I was not eating regular meals.
  • My last meal was often before bedtime… which was not great for my sleep patterns
  • Many of my meals were fast food options with no real nutritional value.
  • Pizza… need I say more, it is one of the worst foods to eat in large quanities and it is my kryptonite.
  • I was not working out and I spent more time than ever sitting and working at my desk and rarely getting up for hours at a time. I would even eat lunch at my desk.

So to sum that all up, as much as I was eating, I was actually starving myself and my dehydrated body was reacting by taking those irregular meals and storing them so I would not ever become that 100lb wimp again. My body is hardwired to survive and that means making sure I stay big

Since then I have made changes that have made a difference

  • Drinking a healthy amount of water every day
  • Eating breakfast as early as possible to jump start my metabolism
  • Trying hard not to eat after 7pm (I am better at this but it is a work in progress)
  • I have learned to choose healthier options at some of my favorite fast food places.

These changes over the past 9 month have me at 280 lbs, 60 lbs lighter than I was but still about 60 lbs of where I have to be. I have also reduced my A1C from 11.6 to 6.9. My biggest challenge now is that I have been able to predict my sugar levels and pretty much fool my body to have some of the foods I love (but shouldn’t have) and I fear that cockiness will eventually hurt me and reverse some of my progress. I also have not gotten my schedule to the point in which I can really make quality time for the gym and really do what I need to get where I need to be… 220lbs. I do know that technically that is still overweight considering my height but in my recollection… that was my weight at the age of 25 and the best I have ever looked.

My remaining challenge is getting into Planet Fitness at least 4 times a week and (sign) Pizza… to see if I can jump start the second leg of my journey which goal is 220lbs and to be off of my diabetes meds. I am not resolving to do anything… I am just going to do it.

I say all this to say… You cannot lie to yourself about your health. Bad habits that are detrimental and they will catch up to you eventually. If you overeat, if you smoke, drink excessively… it will catch up to you and when it does it might be too late. Please take a moment to really evaluate the worst case scenario with your issue and trust me you know what they are and make the change you need to make today.

I will spend the next few days trying to find new ways to say #EFFDIABETES! I ask that you take a look in the proverbial mirror and figure out how you can stop lying to yourself about the things you need to fix and get on the road to a healthier lifestyle. 

We can do it!

Buen Provecho…

George Torres
The Urban Jibaro

Cultivando Cultura since 1997…
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I Have To Stop Lying To Myself, So I Can Live Healthier