Planning a life journey without a compass, GPS

The beginning of a journey usually entails pulling out roadmaps so you can plan a course and get your bearings along the way.
But what kind of map helps you to plan a life transformation?

I’m looking at 2013 as the year I will do just that, and frankly I’m daunted at the prospect. My starting point is as a 53-year-old woman with eight years’ experience managing type  2 diabetes. I weighed 150 at diagnosis, but with the help of insulin have ballooned up to 180. That gain occurred over the past two to three years.

Don’t get me wrong. Insulin is amazing and I begged to go on it when oral meds were ineffective and debilitating (Metformin is a staple med for diabetes but it has an unfortunate side-effect that I never got under control – diarrhea. Tough for someone who has a 1 hour commute to work each day.)

Insulin immediately got my blood glucose in check but it did result in weight gain. A common thing, say medical professionals. Annoying, when people with diabetes are urged to keep their weight under control.
I tend to be pear-shaped, like my mom. (She’s on the left in the photo of the old apple press.)
Mom struggled with her weight too but today she’s remarkably healthy at age 89. My dad died in 2008 at age 87. Neither had diabetes.
So if I too want to be healthy into my 80s, it’s imperitive I get to a healthy weight and stay there. Exercise is a great ally for diabetics, because it’s a quick way to burn up blood glucose and stabilize it for a time.
So I’m staring down the long road and wondering what the journey will be like. I’m fortunate to have been selected for the Times Colonist Health Challenge – a 3-month program with fitness trainers, nutritionists and physiologists. I’ll be telling the stories of five other folks who will be taking the same road trip to better health and hopefully, a feeling that we have control over our weight and our destiny.

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