Diabetes: Hyperglycemia as the Elephant in the Room

Diabetes is not an easy disease to control.  Your blood sugar will be up, it will be down.  If you’re stressed or sick you could eat a salad for lunch your blood sugar may still be at 300.  It’s annoying and frustrating.  My dad says (and pardon the language, but the honesty is key) that diabetes is a “Goddamn guessing game.”  There will be times when you want to throw your meter across the room and where it feels like anything you try is futile.  Doing something is better for you then simply giving up.  Remember,  the blood sugar is important to protect your organs, so doing something is better than giving up and doing nothing at all.

The biggest struggle that most diabetics have is with high blood sugar and there are two schools of thought.  One school says that you can eat whatever you want and just cover with insulin and medication.  I think this is mostly bogus.  Eating whatever we want is what has gotten us into this epidemic in the first place.  Non-diabetics shouldn’t even eat whatever they want, whenever they want.  I’m tossing that school into the trash.  The other school of thought says that you should modify your life to match your blood sugar.  If your blood sugar is high at lunch time it just makes more sense to have a salad or some soup instead of a sandwich.  If your blood sugar is high at dinner, maybe dessert really isn’t the best idea.  Okay, stop it.  I can feel you glaring at me.  I am not saying you can never have dessert or your favorite sandwich.  Having a slice of your best friends birthday cake is a-okay in my book.  It’s life and you are allowed to have fun, but fun comes at a cost, whether you’re a diabetic or not.  If you eat simple carbs your blood sugar will go up.  That is just how it is.  Now, you’re pouting.  Stop it, it isn’t the end of the world and there is something you can do.

Exercise is so important.  Life is busy and exhausting and there are so many excuses to not exercise.  Trust me, I’ve used them all, but it’s about putting yourself first.  The goal is to exercise 30 minutes five times a week.  That’s the GOAL, but, remember, 20 minutes is better than 0 minutes.  You don’t need to go to the gym.  You don’t even need workout equipment.  Go into your kitchen and grab some soup cans.  Do some bicep curls!  Do something.  Walk around the couch while you’re watching tv and then step it up a notch!  Do some jump roping or jumping jacks.  Exercise makes your blood sugar go down.  As long as you have some insulin in your system your body will suck up those carbs up like a 6 year old on a Mountain Dew.  What does that mean?  Lower blood sugar means that your body isn’t getting maimed by sugar crystals and it means you can afford to have a little fun!  Yum!

Most diabetics have the hardest time with their blood sugars in the morning.  That means that whatever you ate the night before isn’t getting worked off.  There are a few things that could be going on there.  First, you could be eating and then sitting around before going to bed.  That is SOOO relaxing, but very naughty for the blood sugar (Yoga is also relaxing… just saying 😉 ).  The other thing that could be happening is that you could be eating too many carbs with your meals.  It is fairly normal in our American culture to have multiple carbs with our meals.  As a diabetic it is so important to try to limit the carbohydrates to a single serving and to attempt to make sure that the carbohydrates are high in fiber (these are complex carbs and your best friend).  Instead of potatoes and a slice of bread with dinner, why not try some long grain wild rice (or jasmine rice is lovely), which is much higher in fiber and amazingly easy to season.  Yum!  Try switching to whole wheat pasta and skipping the garlic bread.  What about garlic chicken instead?  Delicious! 

Hyperglycemia is the awkward elephant in the room.  It is frustrating and often makes you feel defeat you.  Don’t let it defeat you.  Take that frustrated energy and move it into something positive and active.  Hell, take that anger and do some shadow boxing.  Do some kick boxing.  Go for a walk.  Put your favorite song on your stereo and dance  until you can’t dance anymore.  You’re worth it.  Diabetes doesn’t have to be Hell.  It doesn’t have to be a death sentence.  You can be diabetic AND fabulous.  Just don’t be afraid to try.

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