Susan’s Blog: Disease, Resolve, and a New Way of Eating

Susan revealed something very personal, and frightening to me during our last coaching session. I’ll let her tell you.  We’ve already designed a plant based diet for her that’s 80% vegetarian, which studies show can reverse her “disease”.  This is serious stuff folks, but she is already on her way to reversing this condition. She will be fine, there is no other option that is acceptible.


After a year of reading these blogs, I think it’s safe to assume that you all know I have some pretty bad habits- the proverbial “monkeys on my back” that I have been trying to shake off for over 20 plus years.  I am overweight and I smoke.  I don’t exercise enough, I don’t typically get the proper amount of sleep, and I handle stress poorly. Some weeks I have a better grip on reality and make great strides toward better health; and then of course, there are the weeks that I don’t.  For as long as I have had all these “bad” habits, I have also heard all the warnings that come with them.  And like many of us, I have ignored most of them.  I am old enough to remember a world without bike helmets, car seats, and being allowed to “trick-or-treat” on Halloween without being accompanied by a parent; the tons of rules we now have to keep our kids safe didn’t apply to my generation growing up.  Yes, bad stuff could theoretically happen, but generally not, and certainly not to us.  Perhaps I haven’t fully shaken off the ignorance of youth- that sense of invincibility, or maybe it’s that I just tend to exist in a constant state of denial.  In any case, “You reap what you sow…” or so the saying goes; meaning, everything that you do has repercussions. Is that saying a little too stuffy for you?  In simpler terms, “Keep doing that, and it will come back to bite you in the ass.”

A few weeks back I was complaining about being forced into getting some blood work done in order to have my blood pressure medications refilled. To make a very long story short, the blighted crops have been harvested, or, all my bad choices have finally come back to bite me in the ass in a major way- pick whatever proverb you like.  My blood glucose levels were off; I have the Type 2 Diabetes that everyone warns WILL occur if you don’t CONSISTENTLY eat right and exercise ENOUGH. I can now add that little gem to my growing list of medical issues- high blood pressure and smoking related asthma.  All of these illnesses are a direct result of the unhealthy lifestyle choices I have made over the years. I was pretty annoyed at my Dr’s office for giving me a hassle about that blood work and delaying my prescription refills.  I think I called the guy an idiot right here in this blog and blamed him for my case of “kankles” when my prescription ran out.  I owe him an apology as well as a huge thank you for catching this new issue before I do irreparable harm to my body.

I have to admit that the news floored me.  To put it more precisely, it scared the hell out of me.  The only person I ever knew as a kid that had Diabetes was my Aunt Marilyn.  She was short and plump- put her in a red dress with a white fur collar and she could have been Mrs. Claus’s twin. Many of my memories of her as a kid center around pool parties and BBQ’s where there was always tons of Paula Deen type food etc…  Nobody ever left my Aunt’s house hungry- she would have considered it a travesty if you turned down 3rd helpings. One of the nicest ladies you’d ever meet- she spent her final years chained to a dialysis machine and we lost her many years before her time.  I hear the word Diabetes and several words spring to mind: Heart Disease, Stroke, Dialysis, Blindness, and Amputation are but a few.

I have come a long way; I have made significant progress and made much better choices over the last year- I am a healthier person today than I was when I tipped the scales at 331 pounds.  To be honest with you, my blood sugar may have been off for a very long time, I never let the doctor run routine blood work on me because I was too afraid to find out the results. I wouldn’t have to address it if I didn’t know, or so the twisted logic went. But now, I KNOW, and I have choices to make.  I have been given a gift, it’s not too late for me to turn this situation around and avoid the fate of my beloved Aunt and so many others.  Peter and my doctor both assure me that with proper diet and exercise on a CONSISTENT basis, my health concerns are reversible.  I have a whole new eating plan that we put together based on my new dietary restrictions. I survived the first 2 days of the new regime and haven’t wavered- my resolve is strong.  I even told a few kids about my new goals regarding eating to help keep me honest.

Dealing with stress and time management have historically been my stumbling points, the things that have tripped me up in the past.  I am actively trying to identify stressors and modify my behavior accordingly.  I need to remember that it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you interpret it and respond.  Hope everyone has a terrific week…

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