Diabetes – it’s a scary word . As we get older, our bodies definitely change in many different ways. As our bodies hit 40, 50 we get high blood pressure, diabetes and pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. and any number of conditions typically related to aging. But 2 years ago, I was told I had pre-diabetes. My doctor threatened me to get it under control or she was going to put me on medication.
I immediately envisioned being stuck with needles and since I pass out when they draw blood it was a very, effective threat! Panic attack and fainting is not fun!
I told my original story here on how I worked to get my A1C levels down. Now I can tell you the step by step journey to get from a low pre-diabetic state at 6.7 down to a non-diabetic state of 5.8.
Well, I got the news on Friday, March 28th, 2015 that my A1C level was at 5.8. I was super, super proud of myself! Thank God!
A recent 2016 CDC from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention documented “that more than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, and 86 million are living with pre-diabetes” , a serious health condition that increases a person’s risk of type Diabetes 2. ” Type 1 is when a person can’t produce the insulin effectively in their body. The insulin helps the body absorb sugar in our blood. People who usually have Diabetes Type 1 are born with it.
Diabetes 2 develops for various reasons. Diabetes, Type 2 usually develops and runs prevalent in people with certain conditions that occur in the body. People are more prone to develop -diabetes if someone:
- Is over the age of 50.
- Has a history of diabetes in the family.
- Is African American or other people of color.
- Had gestational diabetes when pregnant.
- Is overweight.
I wanted to tell my story because diabetes is an epidemic. I had all of the above pre-cursors and that was enough for me to start eating differently. Exercise is also a critical part of bringing your A1C level down, but I didn’t have any problem with exercising as a dancer.
Many people think that once you’re diagnosed you’ll be on medication or insulin forever. I’m saying it does not have to be that way. My husband, at 63, developed full-blown diabetes 2, just recently, and after a very short time with diet and medication, he is no longer taking medication AND he has come off of insulin.
The focus for him now is to stay off insulin and control the diabetes with diet, exercise and medication. The two of us worked together to get both under control.
Here are the 5 things we’ve done:
1. Eliminate Sugar and Carbs To Prevent Diabetes
This is a big one for everyone! I made changes in our diet. In 2016, I lost about 12 lbs as I cut back on carbs and sugar. Carbs converts to sugar so you’re getting more than you think. As I do like my tea, I used Splenda (yes I know that’s not the best either), but carbs was my biggest issue.
I think many people think that cutting out the sugar will be dramatic as most people have a sweet tooth. Many nutritionist have varying opinions on substitute sugars so you may want to look into the one that will be best for you.
2. Eat Lots of Vegetables
At lunch and dinner I ate more veggies; at least two types with each meal and I ate until I was completely full.
A lot of salad and a regular vegetable was pretty much a part of my every day schedule for two meals a day.
3. Eat More Protein
I ate more protein, not necessarily meat, but even items like cheese and nuts have protein. I have some particular nut allergies so watch out for allergies if you’re dealing with nuts. Meat, eggs, protein shakes, yogurt etc. are all good sources of protein.
4. Do Not Use Portion Control
I did NOT practice portion control. I ate meat and veggies for every meal until I was full. I ate low carbs, so I could have a potato or a small bowl of ice cream at the end of the day. About 6 meals a day- 3 main meals, and protein snacks (meals) throughout the day. This definitely helped me keep control of overeating. I was always full. Not knocking portion control diets, but they didn’t work for me in the past and this diet worked amazingly well.
One thing I found is that it was definitely A LOT of food if you watch and count your carbs and eat meat and veggies until you’re full for 3 meals a day and 3 protein or low-carb snacks a day.
If you have any questions about this program, let me know. Leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in.
5. Exercised and Bought A Fitbit
I bought a Fitbit and started tracking my steps and activity everyday. Many people have them nowadays but only use the device as a fad. If you’re just wearing it around your wrist and doing nothing else, it’s a waste of money. I’ve met so many people who basically look at the Fitbit as a trendy toy and occasionally check their steps.
But it can be used for so much more (calorie counts, if you do that sort of thing, sleeping patterns, which I track, how much water you drink, track your food (including your proteins, etc.) The app is on the phone so it’s everywhere you go. A very neat little device which being on my arm keeps me thinking about my walking, dancing and exercise regularly.
Without effort, on a regular day I walked (just doing life stuff, going to work, cleaning, walking around the house), about 4300 steps a day). That is little to no effort at all. I eventually upped it to 10,000 a day and then I started seeing weight loss. Did you know that you can get over 5,000 just walking around the house cleaning or gardening? It’s easy if we just move! By the way, I can do 4.2 miles in about 45 to 50 minutes now!
Success Can Be Yours
So now, I no longer have pre-diabetes. My last A1C level was 5.8 and I’m super proud of myself. My first A1C count in February 2015 was 6.7 and 6 months later it was 5.8.
The recent good news is that my husband who has full-blown diabetes and was on insulin has lowered his A1C levels as well. He is on a low carb diet and with exercise he is losing weight and has been taken off of insulin!
I urge you if you have any of the pre-cursors above, go and see a doctor. You can become non-diabetic without medication or insulin so get yourself checked out. I get regular check-ups every 3 months.
Do you know if you have pre-diabetes? Do you know of anyone, a loved one, that is pre-diabetic? Get checked and learn how to control it.
You can always reach out to me if you have any questions. Get checked to ensure your healthy success. 🙂
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