Five days ago, Sally, a friend I hadn’t spoken to or seen in about six months, called me. When I asked how she was, she said, “Not very well. I have Type 2 diabetes, high-blood pressure, high-cholesterol and I’m very depressed.” She went on to explain that she spent most of her days just monitoring her many illnesses.
“You can change all that,” I said to Sally. You can start exercising and eating a healthy diet of fruits, whole grains, vegetables and nuts. “You’re in a life-threatening situation now. Type 2 Diabetes is nothing to play around with.”
“But you know me”, Sally replied. “I’ve never liked to exercise.”
“Well, you better start convincing yourself that you love it now,” I said, “Do you know the complications associated with Type 2 Diabetes? There’s blindness, foot numbness that can lead to amputations, skin infections, hearing loss, heart disease and who knows what else!”
I wasn’t surprised to hear about Sally’s Type 2 Diabetes. For years I had seen Sally’s health deteriorate as her weight increased. I knew about the high-blood pressure and high-cholesterol, but this was the first time I was hearing about the Type 2 Diabetes.
I had always encouraged Sally to exercise, but her answer was always the same, “I don’t like to exercise.”
Sally had always abhorred exercise and eaten anything she pleased. She loved to cook gourmet foods and ate a very rich diet of beef, pork, sausage, bacon and duck.
At one time before I changed my own diet and began to exercise, we both enjoyed rich foods. But, after my divorce and the unraveling of my old life, I stopped eating what up until then had been the mainstays of my unhealthy diet: meat, cheese, dairy and butter.
A few days after our conversation I visited Sally. She dozed as we spoke. She told me how sleepy she felt most of the time. “That’s because of your sedentary lifestyle, I explained. Your body needs to move, you need oxygen in your system. Go outside and walk around the block.”
Three days later Sally called to tell me she had done as I recommended. She was now up to 3 times around the block and she was actually enjoying it.
I pray she continues. With daily exercise and a change in diet she can reverse her condition. She’s too young to be so sick.
I will let you know how Sally is doing in a future blog. I think maybe this time she got it.
(Two months later.)
I recently had another call from Sally. She thanked me for encouraging her to get out, to walk in nature and to breathe deeply. She was now up to double the distance of her first walk. And, she had visited her doctor who said her health was much improved. He encouraged her to continue whatever she was doing.
It’s amazing what daily, consistent exercise can do.