I live in a condominium complex so when I go outside there is a good chance I will run into a neighbor or two. Today I passed by a couple of women who were talking about their weight. Somehow I got sucked into their conversation. One was complaining about her back and how her doctor told her if she lost 100 pounds, she would feel better and wouldn’t need to take pain meds. The other one told us her doctor suggested if she lost weight her diabetes would be under control. Both laughed about their doctors suggestions and agreed they were not about to lose any weight.
That’s fine. I believe we are free to make the eating choices that we want. But one of the women, exclaimed, “Inge doesn’t have to worry about her weight. She is lucky. She was born that way.”
That’s when I spoke up. This was not the first time a woman suggested I was just born to be skinny.
First off, I told them I weigh what I weigh because I eat healthy. I make food choices that make me feel good. There is no “luck” involved. I have to do the work. I eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I keep my body moving, even if it’s only walking around the complex a few times a day.
Don’t get me wrong. I know we are all built differently. Not everyone will be skinny BUT living in constant pain and having to pop addicting pain meds to get through the day or taking several different diabetes meds, when there could be an alternative, to me sounds nuts!
Our bodies talk to us all the time. If we are in pain, it means something is wrong. If it were me and my doctor told me to lose weight to feel better, I would do it. Why not at least try to see if it helps?
If I can regulate my blood sugar by losing some weight, then why not? Diabetes medications are hard on the kidneys, so why not change what I’m eating (at least for three months) to see if it helps?
I knew a woman last year who had one leg, she was missing three fingers and was legally blind, all from complications from type I diabetes. I knew her only a few months but when I came to visit her I noticed she always had sugary snacks around. She loved to eat cookies and junk food. She wore an insulin pump around her neck to constantly check her blood sugar. I don’t know how many times she told me stories of how her friends checked in on her and found her in a “sugar” coma; her blood sugar was so low she had to be transported to a hospital by ambulance.
She also asked me how I stayed healthy and when I told her, she laughed it off and said she could never eat that “health-food crap.” She died a few months after I met her. She was forty-nine.
What if she ate healthy food instead of sugary junk foods? Would she have lost her leg? Would she have lost her eyesight? Would she have had ten fingers? Would she still be alive? Who knows, but if it were me, I would have made different food choices to at least try to keep my blood sugar in balance.
We all get to decide what foods we want to eat. We live in a country where we have a zillion food choices, but we also need to take responsibility for our choices and not depend on doctors and medications to make us well. They are doctors, not miracle workers.
I hope my neighbor’s back feels better. I hope my other neighbor’s blood sugar stabilizes. I wish them both wellness and hope the time will come when they have the courage to try something new and take their doctors advice.