Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 64 | Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 64 | Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes

Please Note: As a Type 2 Diabetic, I can only write this article based on my own personal experiences. Some of what I am sharing may apply to Type 1 Diabetes, but I am not able to confirm this myself. There are many complications of diabetes which are very well documented with scientific and medical proof, but this post is one I have been thinking about for a while, so I am going to go for it.

The epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity is a well documented topic. There are many campaigns to encourage healthier eating around the world. They are only effective, however, if they are based in medicine and science. The other factor is if they are actually followed as guidelines or not.

The Canada Food Guide has recently made some changes.

In 2019, Canadians were shocked when the old Canada Food Guide was replaced by the NEW Canada Food Guide. It is supporting a more Mediterranean based diet. More lentils, fruits, vegetables, protein and water are the basics to build on. While it is likely a healthier diet to follow, the dairy sector seems to be less emphasized in the new food guide. It is not on the landing page. It was a main food group in the previous versions.

In contrast to the lower focus on dairy products, the only one I have eliminated is milk. These days, I drink unsweetened cashew milk, with or without vanilla. I am not lactose intolerant. I do have cheese, cream cheese, plain greek yogurt and sometimes ice cream to make sure I have calcium in my diet.

The new food guide seems like a drastic change, but it can also be useful.

When I was first diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic, there was a panic.

The only thing I was scared of was the needles. I didn’t want to take insulin injections. Consequently, I put them off for as long as I could, and now I am taking 5 needles a day. When I am making the effort to take care of myself. On days when I sleep in, I don’t eat breakfast early enough to have the 3 meals, and the 5 needles. Sometimes my suppertime insulin doses are forgotten until bedtime. Some days and I am not wanting to scare my family or friends who might read this, but I forget to take it at all.

In reference to the title of this blog, Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes; it is a vicious cycle to fall into, but it exists. Furthermore, it is real, and it is something I am struggling with. I forget to test my blood sugars. I forget to take my insulin. As an imperfect human by design, I am a human with type 2 diabetes. I need to take control again.

I certainly do take responsibility for what I put into my own mouth. It is easy to blame a situation, or what someone is offering as a way to happiness through food. I do eat my feelings, at times. This means I am owning what I am doing to myself by the choices I make, but not taking control of my type 2 diabetes, and therefore my life.

The experts talk about protecting your liver, kidneys, eyes, heart and feet.

The experts have used these complications in their medical scare tactics for years. I have heard all about them, and sometimes my brain wanders while I am supposed to be paying attention. Other times I think not me, I am not going to be affected by this disease in those ways. What I should be doing is everything possible to avoid these complications now, because as a result of not taking control with better choices, when they happen, it may be too late to fix the complications.

This is the most important point I need to make here. I do know what I should do. Making better choices for myself, and taking control of my own life should be the most important priority for my health. I should listen to the warnings, and take them seriously, and more importantly, I should take better care of myself. Here comes the head trip.

It isn’t easy to always make your health your number one focus in your life when it requires a constant effort to do so. When I choose the easy way, or the lazy way, that too is a choice I am making. Should I exercise every day, for at least 20 minutes? Yes. Do I? No. That is a choice. It is easier to not think about these things, therefore avoiding them, than it is to focus on them and remain committed to a healthier lifestyle.

I have seen the positive results in my life when I do take control and make better choices.

So why can’t I do this all of the time? You may think it is a form of depression, which is also one of those complications the experts warn about. It isn’t what I am referring to, at least in terms of my own experience. Some days I do really well, other days not so much. It is not consistent with me at all. I might have a good plan, then three hours later realize I never bothered to try to get any of it done.

When left to my own devices, I will slack off to doing nothing about my health. It is a fact, I have proven to myself time and time again. I know what I should be doing, and I just don’t make the effort. My mind games involve my own feelings of self worth. I know I have self esteem issues. I know that I can overcome them. Again, we are back to choices and control. Without making the right choices, and taking control of my own health, I am leaving myself open for further complications. Consequently, this also opens the door to more medications to try and slow the damage I am doing to myself.

I am driven to succeed. I am striving to be fearless. The season is changing, and I am taking vitamin D, when I remember, to help me find a way out of what appears to be seasonal depression. I know what I need to do. I need to change my mind, for good. It is time to make more changes in my life. At this point, the list will unfurl to be a scroll which goes the full length of the mini home I am living in, and then some.

As a result of the mind games, I am starting to see what happens when I let them win.

Today I feel like I am really out of shape. I am having muscle pains in odd areas. My chin size increased. I am not able to move as quickly as I would like to, nor am I able to find the energy to do things. These symptoms have led me to the realization that the mind games have to stop. I need to take control, get a routine, and make some positive habits.

When you have spent your whole life being too hard on yourself, and become an all or nothing person, it is incredibly difficult to change the path you are on. Since I have come to the decision to start making some new changes, I need to take the time and write them down. If I just think about things, it is not as likely for me to take action. I need to create a new game for my mind. Only then can I truly win.

As always, please leave comments if you have any at the end of this post. I am working on something new for the website, relating to the Trust your Gut series, and your feedback may help me to find better ways to help other people with weight issues. If you would like to share your own story in this category, it is always open to submissions.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 64 | Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 62 Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Happy Valentine’s Day! It seemed rather appropriate to write about the heart today. Heart health is important and should not be ignored. This post is not going to be one which is full of facts, spouting all the do and don’t guidelines for the organ’s health. Consequently, you are wondering, what am I going to write about?

The heart for me is a complicated topic. As a creative, I am very in tune with my emotions, which also relate to my heart. Every single beat of my heart wants to spread love and positivity far and wide. I have a strong heart, I am lucky. It can take a lot of use in its various functions, traditional and non-traditional. Let’s explore what I am writing about.

Traditional Use

The heart pumps blood to every cell in your body and back in an impressively short amount of time. Constantly. When your heart is physically healthy, it is powerful. I like to think of mine as strong. I have had concerns, especially since I am morbidly obese. As a result of my concerns, I do have it checked when something feels wrong. I have been assured that my heart is not the source of any medical concern when I do get it checked. This tells me it is strong, physically.

Regular exercise is something I have been slack – a- lacking on in the last few months. Several, if I am being totally honest with you. I used to go to Zumba on a regular schedule, twice a week. The location has moved, and with my previous work schedules, it wasn’t always possible to make it in time for the class. The summer was very hot and humid, the price of gas was another reason, and I just stopped going. Once in a blue moon, I would have all the stars align to allow me to go, but it was painfully clear that I am now really out of shape again. I may be in the worst shape of my life as I write this.

It’s not like I don’t know what I have to do. I have to actually do it.

I have to stop making excuses, and just exercise. Last week a good friend encouraged me to walk 20 minutes a day. I countered with a plan to dance in my living room instead. Then I didn’t take action. That is on me. I let one excuse become two and then I had seven days of excuses, with maybe five minutes of dancing in the bathroom the other day. I play music when I am in the shower. It helps to keep me on track, and starts my day off a little happier because I add in music. My feet don’t move when I dance in the tub, for safety reasons. Before I get into the shower, however, I may be moved to dance to a whole song.

My husband even gave me a deadline to get the living room cleaned, which I have held in my mind but not really acted on yet. I have started. I have puttered at it. But it is still an excuse. So I need to take action on this also. Any movement at all counts right now. I know it is important. It is time to change the tune inside my head, to maintain the healthy heart I have. It works hard, so I need to honour it by taking better care of it.

Non-Traditional Use

The emotional side of me is all heart. I want to help people, I want people around me to be happy. When I am working on this and focusing on the needs of others, rather than on my own, it can be exhausting. This is the type of person I am, and I am learning that I need to also be a protector of my own heart, so it stays strong, emotionally. It might sound odd from a scientific point of view, but it is my truth. My heart is connected to me, and to everything around me.

I have been known to go above and beyond what is required on a project. I am an overachiever. It is in my nature to put the needs of others ahead of my own. This is a common issue for me and for many other people. We want to make sure everyone else is taken care of before taking care of ourselves. This can cause me to lose sleep, and become difficult to be around if you are not the person I am working on the project for. When this happens, I should stop and take a break. If there is a deadline, even a self – imposed one, I am not always able to stop.

I need to be more aware of this so I am giving my best all of the time, instead of focusing it on one project and letting the other areas of my life fall aside; as if they are not important. As if I am not important.

My creative interpretation of a photo challenge prompt. Something she wore.

She wears her heart on her sleeve

One thing about being in touch with your emotions and embracing them means that if you are a heart-centered person like myself, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. I took red lipstick and black eyeliner to drew the heart on my arm to give a visual representation to what I know is my truth. I successfully completed the challenge, and have some remarkable photos I am very proud of taking as a result of participating.

This leads me to my final thoughts, back to emotions. I have been working on myself, and I am starting to see some positive results from the changes I am making. From the very heart of my being, I know I need to do more. It isn’t easy. If it was, we would all be healthy, active, emotionally balanced people. I embrace all of my emotions, and I need the full spectrum of what that means. I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

People look at me and assume that because I am morbidly obese, I am eating all the time, and lazy. I will admit to the laziness, I am working on overcoming it, in relation to my physical activity levels. This doesn’t mean I am not a hard worker, though. I give my all to everything I do work on.

Morbidly obese people who have issues don’t eat all of the time, however, we can eat our feelings.

It is not healthy, and I have done this to avoid facing my feelings. This is one very real thing that has contributed to my weight. It is not the defining factor, though. For me, it comes down to choices. I choose whether or not to be active. Choosing to eat a whole box of chocolates or a large bag of chips to eat my feelings away, instead of facing them. As a result of that choice, I may feel full, or even not well because of it, but I am not facing what is really going on in my life. Choosing fast food instead of taking an hour to cook. These choices add up. To one very important realization.

I am choosing the easy way because I do not feel like I am important enough to choose the better option. It is easier to avoid the issue rather than face feelings and deal with them. Choosing to do better is something I am working on. It is hard. There are so many choices available to me now that I am going to make the wrong ones sometimes. What do I need to do? Start taking action, by making better choices. This is truly the heart of the matter.

Let’s help each other to make better choices. How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? How are you showing yourself that you are important? Please, let me know in the comments.

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