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T2 newly diagnosed? Don't worry, don't panic. We got you....

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by IronLioness, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    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. :)
     
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    #1 IronLioness, Feb 23, 2019 at 3:05 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  2. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    What a lovely post!!

    Can I just add for people new to reduced carb eating that it's so much easier (and far less depressing) to focus on the range of lovely foods we can eat rather than to be forever morning the loss of the foods that aren't good for us anymore.
     
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  3. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Fab post and congrats on your success! I agree it's all about finding your level that works for you long term,
     
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  4. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Cheers lovely. :) I know it's a lifelong situation now, but it honestly feels like maybe possibly the diagnosis has actually saved me, in more ways than one. It's forced me to take control of my lifestyle and it was today I noticed it properly - a Saturday night and I no longer have the same ol' habits. Feels like I'm taking steps in the right direction. Baby steps though :)
     
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  5. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It does take a while but eventually it becomes our new normal.

    Did you notice how much faster it is to get round a supermarket now there several aisles we don't need stuff from?
     
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  6. Grandma5

    Grandma5 · Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your post IronLioness... I am still in that “pity party” and desperately want to get beyond it. Only been diagnosed for a couple of weeks, met the DN who assured me I have great feet, that I need to cut carbs, take metformin and get my blood sugars down - see you in a few months.... So now I am trying to research, and eat well and find my new path. So seeing your post and the positives in it has given me the boost I need to really find out what I need to know and not just flap about panicking!

    Looking forward to learning and looking after myself....
     
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  7. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh my gosh, yes!!! :) - Honestly Chook, I literally now just avoid the sweet and crisp aisles - they don't have anything I need anymore so I just don't go down them - also keeps me away from temptation hehe... When I was on holiday in the USA in December doing food shopping, I compared it to my trip there last June when I ate pretty much ALL the carbs and US sweet treats I found, doh! - This time around I cut out the carbs heavy foods and sweets, then stocked up on protein and protein bars whilst there. I did have BBQ still (not the stuff covered in sweet sauces though) but I noticed it when I got home. I just thought to myself "well fancy that! You did it!" Every mini-win I'm just trying to give myself a pat on the back and build new habits. :)
     
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  8. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Hello and welcome.
     
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  9. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Big hugs to you, Grandma5. Honestly, go easy on yourself, it's a big bit of news to take on board and I totally understand how it can be overwhelming. My anxiety was through the roof at diagnosis, I cried, I blamed myself and yup, definitely a pity party went on - but have a read of all the forums - they helped me immensely, probably much more than the surgery information and the Desmond course thing I went on. The main thing is try not to think of it as a diet, it's a lifestyle change but it doesn't have to be drastic, one step at a time. For the food, think about all the foods you *can* have - all the lovely proteins available, and carbs/breads/potatoes don't need to be the devil and binned - as I originally thought. A good starting point is to use a blood glucose monitor to see what foods affect your BG ratings. Then work out a food pattern from then. What I've found is that if a food is higher in carbs it needs to have low sugar for my BG not to be affected. If its high in carbs and high in sugar it pushes my BG right up. Also, if you find you have high BG ratings a 10-15 minute walk in your living room can help. I know that sounds odd but a walk outside is great, but if you're at home, just walk on the spot for 10 minutes. I found Leslie Sansom 'Walk at Home' videos on YouTube and literally after dinner I'll do one of those. It *really* helps. I also get in cardio too, but every little bit helps.

    Keep strong, you're in a good place and this is totally manageable. :)
     
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  10. PenguinMum

    PenguinMum Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @IronLioness your post should be compulsary reading for everyone on dx of T2. It could replace the Desmond course and give people hope instead while saving the NHS money.
    “.try not to think about the past, think of your future and all the power you have in your hands right now.” You have no idea how that has helped me with a problem not related to Diabetes, so thank you.
     
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  11. Debandez

    Debandez Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Such a positive post. A great read. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  12. Debandez

    Debandez Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    You have come to the right place. You are going to be just fine. For many of us our diagnosis has been a blessing in disguise.

    Check out this link. It will help. Keep your chin up.

    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/category/success-stories-and-testimonials.43/
     
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  13. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks :) I just had a 'moment' at the tills when I looked at the shopping I'd done and thought "yeah, this is another step" - because the weekends were always a time when my good food habits would crash and burn and I'd undo all the week day goodness. Baby steps. Another trick I realised early on is the way I talk about diabetes to myself. The more I said "ohhh, I can't eat ....... now" (*sad face*), the more I found it was making me feel deprived. So I changed my language to see if it helped. It really does. Instead of saying "I can't eat that", I now say to myself "I choose not to eat that". And it can be applied to anything, food, or any other decision or circumstance. The difference is, it gives you the power and puts you back in control. It's not a case of we can't (eat those foods), we can, of course. But we're all actively choosing not to. That's epic. I also apply that mentality to decisions and life in general. For example - does (insert whatever the problem is) benefit me? If the answer is no, then I say to myself "I choose *not* to do that". I feel in control, because I'm choosing me. :)
     
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  14. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Great post @IronLioness. In addition may I add the perspective from someone that doesn’t need to lose weight. My diagnosis was a shock. In slim and even my doc was horrified . A whopping Hba1c 112. I don’t have a sweet tooth and I was vegetarian on a plant based diet with little dairy as never been a fan (think Deliciously Ella type eating). However with hindsight it was more carbs than my meaty diet of years ago. A carb is a carb after all be it sugar, flour, sweet potatoes, lentils or carrots. I always have this nagging feeling what if I hadn’t turned veggie..... Anyway just wanted to add this for those reading your OP that maybe don’t identify with it re weight/diet and ‘one is to blame for their own diagnosis’ because they had a reasonably good diet. Many of us did. No one is to blame as after all, we were told low GI was good for us. I can’t tolerate even low GI carbs now and have to stick to less than 20g a day and yes, it can be a struggle but oh boy, it’s worth it to see results. Everyone and every body is different but as a group (wonderful amazing group) we can help each other, share tips and conquer this. Life goes on. Stay strong. X
     
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  15. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good perspective Flora123. Interesting to hear, too. I probably didn’t hit the nail on the head with the post, it’s a personal reflection and if some folk can relate, super, hopefully it helps. It was meant in less 'food blame-game', but if someone relates, it's more about just being honest and real with ourselves, it’s about accountability and ownership on overall lifestyles, rather than just being food focused, although that's an important factor. As you said, a carb is a carb, it doesn’t matter if you’re fat, thin, young, old, super fit or not so super fit, or in between, if the body's taking in more carbs than it can handle, as well as other wellbeing contributing factors (stress etc) alas this can be the outcome. For some it's just down to body mechanics. But if the overall lifestyle is out of whack it usually manifests in the body. I had blood tests after an accident last year, as precaution they gave me a BG test too, I wasn’t even in a pre-diabetic zone. It was finally triggered by whatever I did between March to Oct after a huge period of deep anxiety. Openly I’m a size 20, a regular gym goer and weightlifter, but after speaking with my Doctor at diagnosis he felt it was brought on by my overall lifestyle in that period, not just size and weight – I just stopped looking after myself - health and wellbeing - the prolonged intense work related anxiety (was through the roof), much reduced exercise for that 6 months work project, then of course the wavering diet in that time where I admittedly just totally carb and sugar loaded. But ownership of my overall lifestyle was needed and that’s where I think the power of the diagnosis lies – it doesn’t matter what your background is, diabetes can target any weight, size or age, it's lifestyle on the whole to consider too. I guess from what I’ve heard and read, the key to get diabetes under control is an overall lifestyle change. But I do think that owning that is a powerful starter for ten in managing diabetes. Ownership is power. :)
     
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    #15 IronLioness, Feb 23, 2019 at 6:41 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  16. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    So much about type two diabetes focuses on lifestyle, but I really think it is the 'healthy' diet we are all pushed to eat non stop from all directions.
    I have only changed my diet in a bid to overcome diabetes, but in effect it changed everything.
    Not everyone would wish to feel the need to buy a drum, lots of ribbons, and a melodeon, learn the tunes, acquire a top hat, dress in tatters and venture out to play for the morris in all weathers (though practice was cancelled when we had that snow storm, we aren't that mad.)
    I have gone back to work as I found that I could once more handle the servicing of 16 knitting machines in three days including the lifting and moving about, which when not on low carb I did not have the physical strength to do, nor the mental stamina to check all the components.
     
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  17. IronLioness

    IronLioness Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree Resurgam. The Desmond course I went to focused on the healthy diet, and not much else. I honestly think it's more than food, it's overall lifestyle, not just what we put into our bodies but how we're treating it in general. Life is life and I honestly think that the T2 was triggered by my body literally shutting down on me and kind of saying "nope, it's time you start looking after me" - I wasn't treating it right. It's when I took a step back to re-evaluate the whole lifestyle that things started to look better, and it's showing on my BG levels, it's reducing, woohoo :)

    How are you feeling now you've changed your food up?
     
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  18. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Another great post. I was a bit confused when diagnosed as it was all about weight loss. As a size 10-12 (now 8-10-12 ) and 5’8” I couldn’t identify with many posts. As you said it’s all about lifestyle change and what works for OUR body and our body mechanics.

    I do feel the tide is turning on what nutritional info we are “fed”. I have a friend (who doesn’t know my diagnosis - another story) who preaches to me about veganism but it is all carbs, carbs, carbs. Her family are diabetic and this is what she is telling them to eat. Not getting involved but very LCHF speaks for itself to me 112 to 36 in three months and no meds. Love this forum xx
     
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  19. Numan

    Numan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Great post, thanks IronLioness, I’m a few months behind you but totally agree with everything you say, 1 thing I would definitely say is to prioritise yourself at work. For years I have wolfed food down at 11 am tea break so I could work through lunch, now after reducing carbs, I take my morning tea break at 1pm, go straight into lunch, then have my afternoon break straight after that. Having a whole hour to enjoy my lunch and eat it at a gentle pace allows me to maintain low stress levels. I see my work as a contributing factor to my lifestyle, which I had to change, like you I have the power to improve my situation, and I feel in control, and that gives me a great feeling
     
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  20. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I changed my food back to what I have always tried to eat.
    I worked on what would become known as the Cambridge diet back in the 1970s - on the making and packaging of the various meal replacements - one reason I use a lot of sugar free jelly and gelatine is from back then, I was disappointed that the diet sold to the public did not include the set desserts in the end, but people wanted instant, so the shakes were chosen.
    Since then, all my adult life I have always felt better eating low carb. I have always been told that it is wrong - yet on low fat high carb I always felt unwell and became weaker in constitution and less physically robust.
    I used to walk to work and went through a park where there was a suspended horizontal ladder. I used to go across it swinging by my hands from rung to rung both on my way to work and coming home again - apparently few women in their 20s have the upper body strength to do that. I read a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs as a child, and we had a lot of trees in the garden....
     
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