Matters of the Heart with Diabetes

Nutrition

Matters of the Heart with Diabetes

"Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you." -Mary Tyler Moore

I cried last night (when I learned the news of MTM). Numerous times actually. Never before have I been so taken back when an icon and public name had passed. Mary Tyler Moore was and is different. She was dynamite; she was a force to be reckoned with and a voice for raising money and awareness for type 1 diabetes. She was beautiful inside and out, and I am not the only one saying this. She made an impression on millions, including Oprah.

With Mary's passing I am reminded what it means to have diabetes. Pain does nourish courage, and every day we are brave to carry on what we do. Those of us with diabetes wear many hats. We are consumers, scientist, nutritionist and humans wrapped into one. Yes, there are some scare tactics with this disease, but on the flip side, diabetes is a reminder to embrace my body and health. I am constantly consciously and subconsciously asking myself how I feel and if I need to take action to improve my blood sugar. Diabetes is a daily reminder to live in the moment and to make the day count. 

For the last few years, especially since I was welcomed to motherhood, I remind myself to ease up, be brave and to focus on the blessings:
  • I am alive, and thriving after 25 years of being diagnosed with diabetes. This is a miracle compared to those diagnosed before insulin was discovered, let alone made in a lab.
  • I have children. When I was diagnosed on my eighth birthday, I always toyed with the idea that I would have to adopt to have kids.
  • I am so in love with my profession, as a dietitian. I am driven to be the best health coach out there. Diabetes has helped me be in tune with my body, and understand the power of nutrition. It's given me my drive, my empathy, my passion.

This is a small list, but there is a positive having diabetes. Furthermore, I strive, and recommend others to have grace, build confidence in your choices, and to be in charge of your lifestyle. Doing so, you can put our best foot forward to feel your best, and have the best day of your ability, which plays into the best possible life.

To get the ball rolling, we need to be motivated, and that can come from many different areas. Take a moment and ask yourself where you can get such inspiration. Maybe here on this website?

This week, I picked up a new podcast, Colorful Eats, hosted by a fellow type 1, Caroline. In a recent episode, she really spelled out the meaning of giving grace. The definition is along the lines as a smooth and pleasing way of moving, or a polite and thoughtful way of behaving.

Focusing on the latter part, it's so easy to get busy in our modern world, regardless of having diabetes, BUT it's important to slow down, grab life by the horns, breath and notice things, be polite to yourself, your diabetes and be more thoughtful with your actions. No doubt, I more than get it. Managing my health can be frustrating, but trust me: thank your body for what it does and make lifestyle choices that your body appreciates. Something as big or small as the following:

  • End every day by drinking hot tea, and an occasional hot bath,
  • Drink water upon rising, and eat breakfast shortly after,
  • Eat more food from the earth, not a package,
  • Don't fear healthy fats and have high quality protein at each meal,
  • Measure your carbs, and assess what amount of carbs at each meal allows you to feel your best,
  • Aim to eat more vegetables, and even try to tackle 8-10 cups a day,
  • Be consistent with your medication and blood sugar monitoring regime,
  • Relax, take more small breaks,
  • Be confident with your food choices, and be consistent, 

Above all, give grace to what makes you happy and don't judge setbacks. Move on, learn what you can and surround yourself with positive people you love.

Mary Tyler Moore was more than just a beloved American role model, she really did turn the world on with her smile and has highlighted how tough and brave we are with diabetes.