A PLAN OF ACTION

When you have health problems, sometimes you need to create a plan of action to help manage or prevent the issue. There are plans for types of treatments, plans for changing eating habits, plans for increasing exercise, and so on. Even with mental illness, you need a plan to work towards recovery. When you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you are given a plan of treatment and things you can do on your own to help. Action plans come in handy with many other illnesses like prediabetes, and diabetes.

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I wrote last week about being told I have prediabetes, and this week I’m going to write about my plan to prevent diabetes. I know my blog is mainly about breast cancer and mental illness, but I found that my plan is also helping with those, too. My plan is to lose weight, change how I eat, and exercise more. Eating healthy and exercising are also suggested to help fight mental illness and breast cancer.

It’s too easy to get depressed and eat comfort foods like ice cream, cake, and cookies. In the end, do these foods really give you comfort? I mean, you eat them and gain weight. Then you feel bad about yourself and how you look. I have felt bad about my weight for a long time. I hate to look at my round belly and pudgy cheeks in the mirror. I kept telling myself I needed to lose weight, and I tried and failed. I just couldn’t give up my so called comfort foods. I just hated myself for being fat, yet I didn’t put enough determination into changing that.

Being told I have prediabetes awakened the determination I used to fight so many other challenges. I refuse to get diabetes. I refuse to have another illness to fight and overcome. I have had too many health problems, and I will not let myself have another one. So I came up with an action plan with the help of my friend Denise and my hubby.

My friend Denise and I have been working out this week. Three times this week I have gotten up at 8:30 am and Denise comes over around 9 am. We walk around the neighborhoods I live in or near. We also jog. On a bike rack near the elementary school, we do pushups and leg stretches. In the alley behind my home, we do stretches, lift weights, and other exercises. On Friday we walked around the blocks near my house, and we jogged. At the nursing home next door, we did steps up on a parking block, pushups on a picnic table, and I squat down onto the bench and stood up. By the time I was done, I was sweating.

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Denise is very encouraging. When I feel like I can’t take another step, she tells me, “Come on, you can do it. Push through, just a little bit further.”

I push and I make it and then she says, “Let’s go a little further.”

I hurt in places I never thought I could hurt, but I feel proud of what I have accomplished. I feel confident that I can lose weight. I also noticed my spirits have lifted. I feel better about myself. I feel confident in my ability to lose weight and prevent diabetes. Instead of calling myself a fat pig, I’m thinking of how great I’ll look when I shed the pounds.

I’m not just exercising; I’m also changing the way I’m eating. My cousin told me of an App called Lose It. It keeps track of your calories and exercise. It’s hard to cut down on how much I eat and what I eat. I’m craving the things that are not good for me, and I’m always hungry, but in the end it will be worth it.

I bought some cookbooks to help me. The books are Diabetes and Heart Health Meals for Two by the American Diabetes Association, The Prediabtes Action Plan and Cookbook by Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD and The Everything Guide To Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes by Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDN, CDE. I’m trying out recipes on my husband. I made a tuna casserole from one of the books that was delicious. I’m gathering ingredients for other recipes.

I bought fruits to snack on when I’m feeling down, and I’m adding vegetables to my meals. No more comfort food; now it’s healthy foods. I am eating sugar free candy in moderation. I don’t consider myself on a diet. Instead, I’m just changing the way I eat. Fruits and vegetables can also boost your mental health. Green leafy vegetables can help fight breast cancer. It’s cheaper to buy unhealthy foods, but more expensive when it comes to health problems. Healthy foods are more expensive, but cheaper when it comes to less doctor visits.

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If you’re struggling with mental illness, breast cancer, or fighting off prediabetes, come up with an action plan. Becoming a healthier and stronger you will help you feel better. It’s hard work to get there, but you can do it. Do it for you. Do it to feel stronger, do it for good health, and do it to help you feel better about yourself. If I can do it, you can, too.

I’m still in the beginning stages of my action plan, but I am determined to follow it through. Because of my determination, I will prevent diabetes and continue to stand in the light as a stronger, healthier person.

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