No, not Maxine! But … Do you know the name of the disease that is referred to as “The Silent Killer”? It is called Diabetes. Our special guest speaker for this evening was Maxine Phillips, who represents the American Diabetes Association as a Diabetes Coach. She is intimately familiar with this disease because not only does she have it herself (type 2) but she also lost her husband of 35 years to it following complications from ketoacidosis. To celebrate his 60th birthday they joined the Step Out walk and not long after that he died. So she has continued with her involvement with Step Out ever since.
When Maxine herself was first diagnosed her A1C was 16.0 which is far above the normal value of 5.0. She knew she needed to change her lifestyle but this is not an easy thing to do for anyone. So she decided that the best approach would be to make one lifestyle change at a time. She shared so many possibilities with us. These included things like eating smaller meals and eating more often so you never get hungry or feel full, using guidelines to understand the composition of what a meal should include , and exercising.
The “Plate Method” is one way to plan meals. Using this method half of the plate should consist of green leafy vegetables, one quarter for protein and one quarter for grains and starchy vegetables. You can read more about this at www.diabetes.org/Nutrition You should also drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. So if you weigh 180 lbs you should drink 90 oz of water every day! And lemon infused water is even better as it has the effect of lowering your blood acidity.
Regarding exercising it does not all need to be done at one time. So if you get 10 minutes of exercise in the morning, 10 minutes during the day and then 10 minutes in the evening you have still done the recommended 30 minutes that day – neat trick for those who do not like to exercise! Sleep and stress can also affect blood sugar levels. Not getting enough sleep or too much stress are not good for you.
Using these techniques and some others Maxine has dropped 6 dress sizes and gotten her blood sugar under control. Her recommendation is to “know your body better than your doctor does”. She says this because your doctor will often make a diagnosis based on what you tell him or her in the office. So if you are not providing good information to work with the diagnosis will not be as good as it could be.
Incidentally, Diabetes is often called the silent killer because of its easy-to-miss symptoms and because of the many ways damage can be done before it is detected and diagnosed.