By wone Latest Reply 2010-12-17 11:15:37 -0600
Started 2010-12-08 22:22:11 -0600

newly diagnosed but not really news to me. i am a pretty obese mid 50s guy and havent a clue how to reign myself in here. i over eat - and dont make the best food choices, smoke, exercise minimally and cant seem to motivate myself every day. i'm in pretty good shape in spite of myself but as my MD tells me it isn't long before it all hits the fan. i've been very lucky so far for sure.
i am retired and have the time to do the right thing but i cant seem to motivate myself. anyone have any hints at how to get this weight loss, non smoking, regular exercise party started?

8 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2010-12-17 11:15:37 -0600 Report


I can certainly sympathize with you here. Eating and other lifestyle habits are deeply ingrained -- hardwired into out minds and our daily routines. Habits provide a sense of comfort and familiarity in a chaotic world. So while a medical diagnosis raises alarms about how important it is to do an about face on the way we have been living our lives, habits don't just go away simply because they need to.

As others have said, taking baby steps is a good start. Set small goals. You might want to start with your diet, since that has the greatest impact on your diabetes. Talk to a dietician and come up with a diet that you can work with, and set up a plan to get started. Phase in heathier foods while you phase out the unhealthy. Make sure that your diet includes substitutes for foods that you most enjoy, as much as possible, and that will support your treatment regimen.

As for exercise, choose a few activities that you enjoy. Taking walks outside or at a shopping mall (far away from the food court), exercising at home, whatever gets you moving. Talik to your physician or a CDE about the best way to exercise, based on your age, preferences, etc. Set small goals and gradually increase them.

Again, work closely with your healthcare team on this. Talk to them about your smoking, and how you might get that under control. Most likely, they will have some sound advice for you.

Get support during this process. Choose people who can encourage you, and not judge or criticize you, and ask them to be on your cheerleading squad. Let them know what they can do to help you stay on the path.

Watch your own self-talk. Remind yourself how important it is to stay healthy, the things you want to do in the future, and being there for the people you want to do them with. Pat yourself on the back when you meet one of your goals. Again, keep the goals "bite size" (no pun intended) and not big swallows.

You might also want to talk to a coach or a mental health professional about how to take care of yourself emotionally, and to talk about any self-esteem issues that might be getting in the way of your progress.

Stick close to your friends here on Diabetic Connect! We are also on your team!

tomecom 2010-12-11 09:43:49 -0600 Report

I would recommend what I did. Download two programs "Diabetes Primer" and the "Desperation Diet" from They are free, and very powerful programs for diabetics. Just type the names of the programs into the search box of the website and download them.
They both have glycemic index tables and explain how to use them for meal planning. Both are very excellent learning tools for us diabetics.

Brenda_B 2010-12-10 14:46:15 -0600 Report

Hi… this is a great site you will love coming here. The people here will motivate you. I love the advice change one step at a time and dancing/music is a great way to exercise that is fun… The thing that really helped me was checking my blood sugar a LOT. It because a game. Oops blood sugar up too much… how can I change what I’m eating? Oh this is what low BS feels like…don’t like that at all. Eat a little to make it go to better level, but not too high. It becomes a game! And like any game winning is the most fun… by winning I mean keeping the number level and I’m losing weight! YAY… fun.

realsis77 2010-12-10 11:30:03 -0600 Report

Hi and welcome to dc. Its great to have you here! Just take one step at a time. Baby steps really work! I know you can do it! Work on making better choices for yourself each day. Did your doc give you meds or insulin to help lower your blood gluclose numbers? I was really struggling with very high numbers until I got put on insulin. That has been a God send for me! I feel sooo much better and my numbers are under control now! You might want to talk to your doc about adding a pill or insulin to help you out! There are choices out there for you and not everyone can do it with diet alone I couldn't. I tried. I also tried the pills and they didn't work at all for me but everyone is different just know your options. If you continue to struggle with high numbers talk to your doc because first you want to get those numbers under control! There are some great cookbooks out there for diabetics and that's a good start . I got some cookbooks to help me out they have great recipies in them and they are healthy for you. I got mine cheap on ebay and amazon only a few bucks each! Start slow walk a little each day. It will all fall into place! I wish I had tips on quiting smoking but I smoke. I've got to work on that one! Take those baby steps and you will see progress! I wish the best to you and keep us posted on how your doing ok?

wone 2010-12-09 16:35:33 -0600 Report

hey harlen - thanks so much for responding. what you say makes sense and i wll keep your methods in mind. you have some good ideas and i intend to make the most of your help and suggestions.

Harlen 2010-12-09 08:58:11 -0600 Report

WOW your me 5 years ago
I was there did that it was hard but take it one step at a time
First I had to know what I cant have much of like bread,rice,pasta and spuds.
Yep all the foods I like best and there was no way I was going to give it all up !
But I did need to do something so I gave up one thing after a month it was not so bad so I gave up one thing more till now I have very little of them .
I would right down what my #s where before I ate and how much insulin I needed to cover for it,then what my BS #s where two hr after .
This let me see just how well I was doing and the more a cut back on the carbs the less insulin I had to take ,When you see just how it afects you it makes you want to do better You Know that you can do it and it will make life better for you .
Best wishes Frend I feel I know you lol

jayabee52 2010-12-09 01:48:00 -0600 Report

Howdy wone!

A hint on how to get "the party" started. to use a illustration, HOW do you eat an elephant? You eat him bite by bite.

The Blood glucose numbers ("BG#s") need to be controlled. you need to quit smoking, and exercise regularly. That's a lot of elephant to eat.

You don't mention what your BG#s are, but if you see the need to make better food choices, I guess you're getting high readings. You do have the choice of which bite of the elephant you start on, but please make a start.

If I were choosing, I'd work on learning to manage my Diabetes ("DM"). Once I got a pretty (not perfect) good handle on managing my DM, then I'd perhaps work on regular excercise.

You don't have to do anything more strenuous than walking. Start slowly and gradually work up to lomger walks. You can add other excercises to it as you wish, You'll find that the excercise helps to control your BG#s also.

[I exercised by dancing, doing some more vigorous dances like a square dance, or east coast swing. I got exercise for my body and my brain (remembering the patterns), and my social life improved too (something i also needed). And it was so much fun for me that it didn't seem like I was exercising.]

Then I'd work on my smoking. (fortunately for me I never started - so that's easy for me to say).

If you'd like some "scared straight" motivation, I can tell you about what happened to me and what I go through and suffer today because I was in denial of my DM and didn't take care of myself. But that's another topic which I won't share with you unless you ask.

So get out your knife and fork and take your first bite of the elephant. I believe you'll be glad you did.

Blessings to you and yours


wone 2010-12-09 16:38:47 -0600 Report

hi james - thanks so much for takng the time to write to me and offering your suggestions. i am so new to all of this and it wil help me along the way for sure. clearly i need to make some serious life changes. i have recently retired so the timing is right to start a new path all the way around for my daily life. this will certainly be an interesting process.
regards, wone