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"Of course, we're diabetic now." - Elf M. Sternberg
"Of course, we're diabetic now."
The other day I was in a used bookstore looking through the D&D section. The next set of shelves over contained the store's used DVDs, and through the shelf separating us I could hear a man talking with a married couple. He was giving advice to the couple about, now that they're retired, where they should go to enjoy their retirement. The conversation centered around casinos for a bit, and then the single man suggested the couple take the Napa Valley winery tour, or if they didn't want to go that far, at least spend the day visiting Columbia Valley wineries, taking the bus tour so they didn't have to drive themselves.

The husband said, "Oh, we'd like to, but we can't. Of course, we're diabetic now.."

Metabolic Syndrome is the name given to the rise of type II diabetes in the United States. Consensus among medical professionals is that the skyrocketing rates of type II diabetes is cause by the overwhelming amount of simple carbohydrates in our diet. Simple starches and carbohydrates such as flour (all purpose flour is 70% simple carbohydrate) and sugar causes the body to produce insulin, which in turn produces visceral fat. Your pancreas is already trying hard to balance out your sugar management, which the presence of so much fat makes difficult; eventually, your cells become resistant to the insulin, and diabetes emerges.

The more visceral fat you have, the more likely you are to develop metabolic syndrome. Although it is also more rare, you can also develop metabolic syndrome without much visceral fat if your body develops a resistance to insulin, which can happen if you do nothing but sit on your butt all day.

I know I seem to be on a kick about this, but I'm getting older and I'm seeing the consequences of a lifetime of this crap on myself. I'm fighting back: I'm lifting weights regularly, and knocking most carbohydrates out of my diet on the weekdays. I've stopped drinking calories. No more soda pop, iced tea, or fruit juice. I still can't stand coffee straight, but I've halved the amount of sugar I use, and now get maybe 30 calories of sugar -- a quarter of a can of soda -- from two cups of coffee each day.

There is no alternative to changing your diet in order to lose weight. I don't miss potatoes much, I don't miss rice at all. When I get down to 16% body fat, I'll think about adding those back to my diet. Right now, at about 23%, it's out of the question.

Despite my sedentary occupation, I don't want to someday have to say, "Of course, I'm diabetic now."

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: Deaf Shepherd, New Pa

8 comments or Leave a comment
jenk From: jenk Date: April 3rd, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exercise is indeed great for promoting health in general. I'm glad you're doing what makes you feel good.

Specifically about diabetes risk, if it's not too personal a question, do you have relatives with diabetes? Per the American Diabetes Association, family history and age are often overlooked risk factors. Also, most overweight people never develop diabetes.
alicephilippa From: alicephilippa Date: April 3rd, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nobody should be saying "Of course, I'm diabetic now," as if it is normal to be diabetic when one is older.

It just shows how society is changing that uncommon dideases are now becoming comman and people treat them as if it is normal to suffer from them.
shunra From: shunra Date: April 3rd, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm combating a lifetime of healthy food. I don't do sugar. I stay away from potatoes, anything-with-flour, and haven't sugared my coffee since well before this millennium.

I walk - a lot.

That's not enough to keep me from heading towards metabolic syndrome. I've lost 20 lbs. about four times in the past decade. And then gained them again, while continuing whichever diet/exercise regimen I used for losing them.

I think there's more to it than effort. I have not, personally, figured out a playable game when it comes to the whole metabolic syndrome issue.
blaisepascal From: blaisepascal Date: April 3rd, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
My maternal grandfather was an insulin-dependent diabetic for as long as I knew him, until his third heart attack ended his diabetes with his life. My paternal uncle developed diabetes in his mid-30's (in the 80's) and was insulin controlled. He was not obese at the time. I presume his diet and diabetes is still controlled. My father developed diabetes after I left home, in the 90s (in his 50s). His diet was poorly controlled.

Of course, I'm diabetic now. I suspect that, given my family history, I shouldn't have developed a gallon-a-day Coke habit in college.

(As a followup to a previous set of comments, I now have a copy of 4-Hour-Body from the library and am reading it).
memegarden From: memegarden Date: April 3rd, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have PCOS, which is an endocrine condition that involves insensitivity to insulin, so the body keeps producing extra, messing with various hormone balances. My doctor recommended a lower-carb diet, and I went with the Zone, which proved to work excellently, in that I lost weight steadily while not limiting quantity of food or eliminating anything entirely, and in that I was able to get pregnant, which had been the problem that led to the diagnosis. I think the Zone's pretty great, but it takes some work and getting used to, since you have to balance protein & carbs every time you eat.
zanfur From: zanfur Date: April 5th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Why is iced tea on your list of drinking calories? It's what I drink to avoid calories...
elfs From: elfs Date: April 5th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
My family insists on sugaring its iced tea. Although the sugar is significantly less than that of pop (about 35 calories per glass vs 160 or so), it's still sugar, and I'm still avoiding it.
bemused_leftist From: bemused_leftist Date: April 5th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I suppose you've tried stevia instead of sugar? A plant, not artificial.
8 comments or Leave a comment