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Real Patients: Type 2 Diabetes Lifestyle


The biggest thing is I want to say lifestyle change. ‘Cause lifestyle change is the one, the end all of it.

Don’t wait, okay? Get on board as soon as you can with managing the disease with your diabetes team no matter where you are.

What I’ve learned is that you really have to start as soon as you find out that you have the disease. That go ahead and start working on your physical fitness training program that will assist you for the long-term.

You have to be more active. You have to move around.

Once I left the service I really didn’t want to do exercise anymore. I had done that essentially everyday of my life for 28 plus years.

Prior to diabetes I was an active person. Matter of fact sometimes too active because you know people always would say you’re like the energizer bunny. You’re always going, going, going.

So I essentially stopped for about two years almost doing anything, okay? Then I have had to start slowly again is what happened. I started walking.

It’s little things, it’s baby steps. And that’s what you know, what helps you make that lifestyle change. It’s not one quick fix that’ll do it for you.

And I know that people hate exercising but I can tell you just from my experience blood sugar is 150 before I go and run. When I finish the run or the walk my blood sugar has come down 30 to 50.

I’m working on 10,000 steps a day. That’s why I bought my little wristband so it kind of tells me how much walking I’m doing.

And then I essentially did the walk and then run and now I’m up to two miles again so that’s the good news.

And so I should exercise more but that’s what I do right now for exercise. I do a lot of walking.

Well the changes I made to my life were really drastic for me and that was to watch what I ate. Watch what I ate. I mean read those labels. You’d be surprised at the things you’d find in those labels.

With my diet, the things that I did differently first and foremost is the portion size of what I eat.

I’m starting to see food differently. It’s not a no, it’s just not all now. And if you start, if you get a picture in your mind of your pancreas and your kidneys and your liver and they’re all struggling, it’s like you know, be kind to yourself.

When I feel myself getting full, I stop. And I try to drink a lot of water also too. Stay away from sodas and I was a big soda drinker. Very big.

Stop eating too many starches, too many carbohydrates.

Things like pasta, which cause your blood sugar to go up real high, there are vegetables that you can shred easy or you can buy them that way. So you heat that up and you put Italian sauce on it and a little bit of Parmesan cheese and it taste the same to me.

Therefore it became an issue for me as an individual to start looking at what I’m eating and what I’m doing.

I believe I can avoid many of the consequences of the diabetes. As long as I continue the wise choices that I’ve made with my lifestyle.

I can’t control my age. I can’t control family history. I can’t control any of that. But I can control what I eat, how much of it, the exercise. I can control which is the basis, which guides everything. I can control all that. And I think sometimes that’s what we feel is that I have no control anymore. I’m going to die and I’m going to die in a very ugly way. No, it’s not that way. It doesn’t have to be that way.