Starting Anew in 2002
Welcome to the New Year!
You are holding a historic issue of our magazine. This is the last Diabetes Health that will be printed in its large format. Next month, we will be housing all our great diabetes information in a smaller package—the same size as a regular magazine. We will also have more pages.
This change is an effort to better meet your needs in the coming year. In 2002, we want to anticipate your concerns and address them in a thorough, timely and thought-provoking way.
So what are some of your most important needs?
For starters, those of us living with diabetes want to have better control of our blood glucose with less work. We want to be healthy and feel good—with plenty of "get-up-and-go."
I've been working on these goals in my own life.
Better Control of Blood Glucose
In the search for better blood-glucose control, I've just started taking Lantus, the new 24-hour insulin. Here in the newsroom, we've received many kudos about this insulin, and it does seem to live up to the hype—only one shot a day of this basal insulin, combined with bolus doses to cover meals, keeps my glucose levels stable.
I've also started taking the new Novolog insulin for my fast-acting insulin needs. Humalog appeared to wear out too quickly for me, and Novolog seems to be lasting a little longer. We should all be open to trying new tools to see what works best for our control.
I've been happily married for 15 years. In that time, however, I've given my wife 20 more pounds of me to love. I've wanted to get rid of this excess weight but have been unable to do so.
Until October 2001, that is, when I joined Weight Watchers with a buddy who also wanted to shed some excess weight.
When I attended my first meeting, I was shocked to weigh in at 192 pounds. Their chart showed my ideal weight as 165 pounds. As of the middle of December 2001, I'd lost eight pounds.
It isn't your parents' Weight Watchers any more! The program offers a variety of food choices to suit any taste. I like the flexibility: you can follow Weight Watchers whether you're on a high-carbohydrate—or a low-carbohydrate—diet.
And there's a certain anxiety about going in for the weekly weigh-in. It's much more exciting then getting to see your A1C or your average blood glucose. My whole week gets measured on that scale. When the pounds fall, it's a beautiful feeling. When you gain weight, they don't call it "failure," they call it "feedback."
Weight Watchers won't control your blood-glucose levels—you have to do that yourself—but it will help you control food intake. And controlling food intake can go a long way in helping to control your blood glucose.
The Buddy System
Just as it is with diabetes, it's helpful to have a buddy—somebody who's struggling with the same issues and changes when trying to lose weight.
My family is helping me, too. My eight-year-old son, Spencer, for example, prods me to go bike-riding with him. The more I exercise, the more food I get to eat, according to the Weight Watchers plan. Weight Watchers assigns a point value to foods. Without exercise, I can have 25 points worth of food per day. Walking for 35 minutes gets me three more points, and jogging for 35 minutes earns me an extra six points worth of food. Foods with high fiber don't have as many points, which encourages me to eat more fiber.
My family is eating healthier, too. Before, I couldn't get the children to eat salad. Now that I toss the greens with a teaspoon of olive oil and a splash of seasoned rice vinegar, they love it. Spencer likes it so much that I have to stop him from licking the plate when the salad is gone. They're getting vegetables from another source, too: the pot of "free" soup I keep on the stove. I can have as many bowls as I want.
Check With Your Healthcare Provider First
If you decide to join Weight Watchers, check with your healthcare team first. Weight Watchers reminds people that its basic meal plans are designed to meet the nutritional needs of healthy people. Individuals with diabetes—and people on any kind of medication—are asked to show their Weight Watchers meal plan to their healthcare provider for review and to follow any recommended revisions.
I recommend Weight Watchers to anyone who wants to shed a few pounds.
Here's to a great New Year—and to living healthfully with diabetes.
27 Years with Diabetes