Hi all, (bear with, it's a long post, but I hope it helps) I just wanted to give a quick shout out for any and all those that have been newly diagnosed with T2 diabetes – DO NOT PANIC, IT’S GOING TO BE OK…..honest! I'm not preaching, I'm not 'fixed' and I know I can't get rid of T2, but I hope this might help anyone who might feel overwhelmed with their diagnosis, as I did back in October when I got diagnosed with an HbA1c reading of 49. It was like the world ending on food habits, I felt overwhelmed, confused about the next steps, and generally like a rabbit caught in headlights not knowing where to turn. It’s OK, you’ve made your way here to the forums, you’re in good hands now…. I’m dropping these words because I’ve just come back from doing my weekly shop in Morrison’s, as you do, but the thing which has encouraged me to write this is because today I compared my (shopping and eating) habits with those I had pre diagnosis and the changes I’ve made in the past 4 months. I’m hoping this gives hope for likeminded souls…. It seems scary, you think of the extremes you’ve heard about losing limbs or eyesight, and you’re used to eating whatever you wanted, yeah you eat good food but there’s also the take-aways, carbs, cakes, sweets, treats, whatever your ‘fancy’ was…. Plus also stress. My work life balance was SEVERELY out of whack. But, it’s not the primary culprit. If I’m honest, and I think it’s needed when newly diagnosed, I hold my hands up to accountability - my diet was messed up. Badly messed up. It didn’t matter that I’d been going to the gym for the past 15 years and lifting weights, cardio etc, my diet was poor. You cannot out train a bad diet. And I lacked consistency. With both. Being diagnosed can really stop you in your tracks, it did me. I got the call from my Doctor to tell me my results of a blood test, and it was like being smashed in stomach (ironic, eh!), I was speechless. But it wasn’t a surprise, I admit that now. And immediately after that call I stopped eating carbs. All carbs. Not a good idea, at all. I had no idea what I was doing but I thought that’s what ‘having diabetes’ meant. It doesn't. Carbs aren't evil. More about that later. My behaviour changed. I got sad, kinda depressed and I could feel the anxiety creeping back in. And then I found this wonderful resource and ALL the fabulously helpful folk on these forums. They are nothing less than pure angels! Anyway, back to the subject at hand. If you’re newly diagnosed, please don’t panic too much, it’s not a final sentence, it’s totally manageable, but, and here comes the big but – no pun intended as there’s nowt wrong with having big buns! - but be honest with yourself. Now is the time you can take back the control. There’s a choice and it’s a powerful one, it puts YOU back in control, rather than the food, or the excuses, or the habits that were formed from early years. I know, I feel ya, I had it too, I'm 40 and I used every excuse in the book when I was diagnosed “it’s not my fault”, “my family are big boned” “it’s hereditary” “I work long hours and don’t have time to cook all the while” etc etc. Whatever. And then I realised I had a choice. I either continue my old eating habits and I could end up like my Dad (also has T2 but is on insulin because he didn’t change his habits and had to have half a foot amputated – not meaning to scare anyone, but that’s literally what happened). OR, I could own up to the things that got me to where I am and choose ME over ‘my lifestyle’, ‘my eating habits’, ‘my excuses’, ‘my internal battles’. I chose me. It takes baby steps; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t be hard on yourself. Small changes, often, will start making a difference. You don’t have to cut all carbs out like I did. I paid for those four days afterwards when I had a kind of phantom hypo and went all woozy. Turns out the body DOES need carbs to thrive. It just doesn’t need me cramming them all down in one go, in lots of varieties of food like I used to do. But I did make changes. What’s changed in the last 4 months then? I read up and reduced my carb intake to less than 100g a day and swapped out sweets and rubbish food for ‘real food’ which was high protein and low in carbs. I also made sure that I stayed consistent with the gym – even if I can’t make it to the gym I use my TV at home to do home workouts – there’s bazillions online. It doesn’t need to be all ‘gung-ho’ hardcore. Just 20-30 mins will get the blood moving and help things inside do what they need to do. In 4 months, just by tweaking my diet and adding in those home workouts I’m down by 3.5 stone – I’m not advocating anything – it’s whatever works for you, it just so happens my body reacted well to the food changes. On the food changes, look at your own diet, do what works for you, work out a plan. Don’t feel pressured or forced to do something you know won’t work for your daily routine, but there are tweaks that can be made everywhere. I no longer eat ‘sweets’ – I haven’t touched them since 4th October. I swapped them out for protein bars if I need a sweet fix – lower cabs and sugar and high in protein. I also look at the packaging on EVERYTHING I buy. I look at carb and sugar content, and also calories and fats and protein of course. It sounds OTT but if you’re dedicated to this, you can totally do it. I also bought myself a BG monitor which has been fabulous for me to know what foods will and won’t change my blood glucose levels, and by how much. I also downloaded an app which tracks that, and it has made me more accountable. I feel in control. In fact, that’s the upside to being diagnosed. You’re in control of this. It’s a powerful thought. But, I'm not gonna lie, I *did* have a bit of a pity-party for one right after being diagnosed. Then after I’d been on the forums a week or so, reading stuff, asking stuff, the general message was 'you can manage this yourself if you want to'. And there it is - "if you want to". I got my head around that thought. “I-AM-IN-CONTROL-OF-THIS”…. I can't undo the past, BUT I get to take action and help myself. It’s easy to let the worry get to you, but try to think of it like this – you can’t change your past, but you CAN change your future. You’re in the driving seat now…You get to own your life and make the choices which are best for you. Anyway, sorry for the longgggggggg post, it was triggered because at the tills I looked at my trolley and without realising it I had been around the whole store and it was full of good stuff – unlike my shopping trips pre-diagnosis when it was (admittedly) loaded full of naughty (and nice) foods – but mainly high sugar stuffs…. In four months I’ve gone from having a full on panic in the aisles about “but whaaaaat can I eat tho?” to being able to do a weekly shop and not even think about what I’m buying because buying stuffs that are good for my body is now natural to me. It was a slow and ongoing process, but if you’re consistent it’s totally doable. Don’t worry, folks. This is not the end of the world. You’ll have days when you think “oh **** it” and you’ll want to eat, like, ALL the carbs (and maybe the sugars too!), but if you do, try not to be hard on yourselves – baby steps. If you have a food bonanza, get back on the wagon as soon as you can. And try not to think about the past, think of your future and all the power you have in your hands right now. Stay strong, folks.