I find the folks with the hardest time making changes to their diet and fitness routines are those over 50. They may have aches and pains. They may be overweight. They may be perfectly content with how they look and feel. They are definitely set in their ways.
My parents fall into this category of over 50, seemingly content with how they look and feel, and definitely set in their ways. None of which is bad, by the way, until my dad had his annual doctor’s visit this past spring. (dun dun duuuuuun…)
At this visit he was told by his doctor that he was borderline diabetic. I admit that the dietitian in me never cared for that phrase “borderline diabetic”. It was like being a little pregnant. You either are diabetic or you aren’t. Well, his blood sugars were not in the good range all the time but sometimes they were fine. Hence the borderline.
Upon getting this diagnosis, he chose to call me.
Since he paid for 5 years of my college to get a degree in dietetics, it kinda made sense. He might have hesitated though because I don’t always say things sweetly. No beating around the bush.
I told him to lose some weight.
Plain and simple. Start with losing weight.
For most diabetics it can get a bit overwhelming when health professionals start talking about glucose and sugars and starches, oh my!
So we made it easy–stop eating second servings, stop drinking soda and no more nightly desserts.
My mom is a wonderful baker/cook so it wasn’t a problem with eating out, it was eating too much at home.
And daily desserts weren’t helping.
Well, I tell you. He took my advice and did it. It took him a while to put the plan into action (remember that “set in their ways” part?), but he actually did what I recommended! How cool is that? Hold on. It gets better.
Fast forward 3 months.
He’s eliminated his daily Pepsi, limited his sweets and sometimes cuts back on his portions (old habits are hard to break).
He lost 15 pounds and 3 pant sizes.
His blood sugars are stabilized and normal.
His Hgb A1C (which tests blood sugars over a long period of time) is in the normal range.
He is feeling dy-no-mite.
I love talking with him about it because you can see the excitement and pride in his accomplishment.
And my mom? She even lost weight too and has lost her taste for soda without even trying to follow dad’s plan.
Good things abound.
What’s the next step for my daddy-o?
We are going to work on eliminating all the processed crap in their pantry. I was just there at their house and whoa–cracker city! Snacks galore! Time to purge the pantry.
Part of getting well is getting rid of foods that are tempting so that don’t sabotage our efforts. So that will be next.
And maybe a 30 day trial of Shakeology.
I have already sent him an email telling him about limiting the bagged/boxed foods. There was no reply.
Crickets were chirping, people.
We will talk again at Christmas.
And we’ll get him started on a workout program. Maybe P90.
Baby steps. From me to him.
And in case I wasn’t obvious, let me just say that I think my dad is the bomb dot com. If he can do this, you can. I bet you are the bomb dot com to someone and making a change would mean the world to them, too.