November is National Diabetes month. As a health and fitness professional, I see my share of Type 2 diabetes clients. I also see my share of those as risk of diabetes. This disease is something we can prevent, there’s almost NO EXCUSE for people to become diabetic if they are willing to change their lifestyle. Small steps can have a profound affect, and if we all work together to educate and motivate maybe we can eradicate!
More than 76 millions Americans are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But the biggest point of all is that IT’S PREVENTABLE! A few weeks ago, a family friend was home doing some work and dropped a box on his leg, leaving a rather nasty wound. Within a week, that wound got worse and wasn’t healing. He wasn’t feeling well, chronically tired. After 3 weeks, the wound still not healing, I encouraged him to go to the doctor. I knew what it was, he didn’t have a clue. The doctor concluded that he was severely diabetic, and he had been for at least 5 years!
My friend loves junk food; he rarely eats at home and never, ever drinks water, only soda. He’s not overweight, but extremely sedentary. When he went to the doctor his blood sugar level was 532! Normal blood sugar should be around 100 mg. Bottom line, his lifestyle and not taking care of his health, led him to this point. He has been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks and they are still trying to get his blood sugar to normal levels.
The reason that I’m sharing this with you is because type 2 diabetes has tripled in the last 20 years. Why? Because, lifestyles have changed dramatically. We sit more than we move, we eat more than we should and the food that we’re eating is typically processed and loaded with “stuff” that does not serve our body well. All of these things are fertilizer for type 2 diabetes.
You see, exercise and eating right is more than just about weight loss; it’s about keeping the quality of your life in check. There is no reason in the world you should be at risk of type 2 diabetes if you’re taking the steps necessary to care for your health.
Simple changes including exercise a few days a week, monitoring your food by opting for healthier fare including more fruits and veggies, eating out less and learning to prepare more healthful dishes. These simple steps can prevent type 2 diabetes. There are some amazing diabetic cookbooks (you can even go online for diabetic recipes). I like diabetic resources, although I don’t have diabetes, the recipes are foods everyone should be eating. Another favorite of mine is The Simple Art of Eating Well, Eating Well for Diabetes and Mark Bittmans’ The Food Matters Cookbook.
I’m very fortunate to work in the industry that I do. Every single day, I have the opportunity to help educate people about the value of living healthy. I have come to learn, over the years, that weight loss is not always the best motivator to change one’s lifestyle; rather it’s the byproducts of weight loss that can be the real motivator. So, why not take action today, to prevent type 2 diabetes which is gaining strength and threatening the well-being of our country. I’m passionate about this subject, and hope that if you know someone or if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, knowing that making small lifestyle changes can be the difference between living a life rich with potential or living a life sidelined by diabetes. Your choice, your health.