I am no longer a diabetic.
I no longer have high blood pressure. Those are the two ailments that triggered my stroke nearly two years ago.
Doctors told me that the two diseases can be reversed and I was determined to prove them right.
More than 4,100 Americans will be diagnosed today with Type 2 diabetes. Most believe that it is a death sentence. It is not. Many of those 4,100 people will have a foot amputated or they will die from the disease.
That does not have to happen. You can get rid of diabetes. Most people do not know how you are diagnosed with Type 2. Here is the formula in a nutshell. Doctors take a blood sample and get a three month average of your blood sugar level called an A1C. If you are a 6.0 or above A1C you have diabetes. When I got sick my A1C was 10.1.
Doctors put me on 25 units of long lasting insulin. I changed my eating habits and worked out 60-90 minutes a day and within two months they reduced the insulin to 10 units a day. Last November they reduced it to six units and in January I was taken off of insulin.
Last week I was a little nervous because I had my first A1C test without medication. My reading was 5.3.
I do not tell you this to brag about what I’ve accomplished. I tell you this because more than a third of Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes and it does not have to lead to death or amputation. It could be the beginning of a new lifestyle.
When I got out of the hospital following my stroke, a friend named Scott invited me to lunch. He looked all slim and buffed. Then he shocked me by saying “I suffered a stroke while on a road trip six months ago.”
“I want you to tell people that they can overcome this,” He said. “You have a larger platform than me. I also want you to be the picture of health in a few months.”
His words helped and I lost 46 pounds through diet and exercise.
What do I eat? Grilled chicken and salmon, vegetables and fruit. My favorite meal is grilled chicken salad and instead of McDonalds for lunch I hit Panera because of the low sodium in its food.
Once a week I treat myself to a Panera pecan braid, which is a delicious pastry filled with sugar and cinnamon. It is close your eyes good.
I can never lose 45 pounds. But I could lose five pounds and once I lose that five pounds I could lose another. That is the approach I took. I looked for victories every week. If I didn’t lose five pounds I was happy going down one belt loop or watching my stomach shrink.
I gave up soda, which was more difficult than I thought. When I stopped drinking pop I felt like all the poisons and sugars were pouring from the top of my head. I felt like I was going through withdrawals.
The commercial is right. Food does taste better with a Coke Cola. It took a while but now I am used to finishing off meals with a couple glasses of ice water.
This is not easy but it is not as hard as you think. People always ask me if I am hungry. I am not starving myself although I do get cravings for certain foods. I ignore my cravings and enjoy a couple cheat meals on Friday.
People always say “If I can do it so can you.” It’s true. You just have to have a certain mindset that good health is better than anything you put in your mouth. Once you accomplish that you are home free and you can reverse certain diseases.