Despite All of These Changes, I Still Have Diabetes!

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, which I’m paraphrasing here, for everything you gain you lose something and for everything you lose you gain something?

Well, that’s how I feel about my diabetes. Of course I would prefer not to have diabetes, but since I do, I’m looking at the silver lining. Okay, let me begin to count the ways. For starters, I’m much healthier these days, though I still have diabetes. Come again? I’ll explain.

Years ago, before I was diagnosed with diabetes, my food choices were pretty bad. I wasn’t overweight; in fact, I was pretty thin and I ate typical meals, but I ate a lot of added carbs in the form of sugary desserts and milk chocolate candy bars. It wasn’t unusual for me to eat up to five full-sized chocolate candy bars in a day! This started when I was a teenager. I didn’t think much of it, because as I said, I was underweight.

Over the years, I began to gain a bit of weight as is typical for most women. Not a tremendous amount of weight, but I did go up a few dress sizes. I wasn’t mad about this, because I started filling out my clothes much more nicely.

Many years later, while attending culinary school to become a pastry chef, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with diabetes. Devastated, once released from the hospital, I went home and decided to work on my existing dessert recipes to make them more diabetic-friendly. This is when I developed a formula to take most any dessert recipe I came across and with a few changes could turn it into a diabetic-friendly version that actually tasted good. During this time, I also started my blog and wrote and published my cookbook, The Diabetic Pastry Chef. None of this would have happened for me had it not been for diabetes.

Once I was diagnosed with diabetes, I started to eat a bit better. I had recently lost my mother to diabetes complications, so I began to take things seriously. The first thing I did was to drop all sugar-sweetened drinks. The Atkins Diet was becoming popular around that time, so I purchased several of the Atkins’ books and began to haphazardly follow the diet. I found the diet to be a bit too restrictive, therefore, I didn’t stay on it for long. Next, I went onto The Zone Diet; but there again, I had trouble consistently following the restrictions. Over the years, I’ve experimented a lot with different diets before finally coming to the conclusion that I’m unable to adhere to a particular diet, but I am able to modify my eating habits to a level that is much more beneficial to me.

Comparing myself to others in my close circle, I am the healthiest eater. My meals consist of a lot of meats, fish, poultry and seafood, whole grains, eggs, salads, green veggies, nuts and berries. Most of my desserts are made by me and are diabetic-friendly. I’m proud of the fact that I now eat very healthy, but much to my chagrin, I still have diabetes.

Movement is very important to keeping blood sugar levels down. My favorite form of exercise is dance. I’m up there in age, but I still get up and dance and prance around my house to upbeat music, just like I did when I was young and going to nightclubs. Lol! This has kept me more limber and youthful. I have no aches and pains. But again, despite all this movement, I still have diabetes.

When I was attending culinary school, my instructor told us baking would age our skin standing over hot ovens all day. Then when I was doing research on diabetes, I came across an article on Google stating diabetes would age me further by several years. Then, lo and behold, here comes Ozempic Face! referring to patients who are taking semaglutides and tirzepatides like Ozempic and Mounjaro, doing a number on the face and skin causing noticeable sagging and aging.

I’m presently taking Mounjaro. Over the years, I’ve been purposely able to stave off premature aging with targeted skincare and health and beauty supplements, but I guess it might be time now to give it up and let nature take its course. You can only fight aging but so much and for so long. I don’t know, should I now bow out gracefully? It’s not like anyone is checking for me at this stage in life anyhow. Lol!

In conclusion, because of diabetes, I take better care of myself and eat healthier these days. Diabetes has given me a newfound purpose and a second career, and it is responsible for my anti-aging regimen that seems to have been working for me thus far. Hence, I can’t say diabetes has been 100% bad for me. There have been a number of positive changes, but at the end of the day, despite all of these positive changes to my lifestyle, I still have diabetes. It is better controlled, yes, but I still have diabetes.