Diabetic depression and obesity create a mountain that makes you feel hopeless. How do you fight them? Can you have the desire and then succeed in defeating them? The answer is yes.
Type 2 diabetic depression and obesity make a three-headed monster that you may wake up to every day.
The three conditions of diabetes, obesity and depression feed off of each other, sapping your will to change. It is why some give up before they have begun to fight.
Obesity is a problem in four out of five type 2 diabetics. Studies show that depression is very high among diabetics.
Some blame this on the stress from having a chronic long-term condition that brings pain and other complications.
Others think there is a link between depression and the chemical changes caused by type 2 diabetes.
Depression and eating disorders often start with childhood mental and physical abuse.
There are also genetic issues and family habits, like poor food choices and parents who do not exercise. All of this predisposes to obesity.
You can blame depression on obesity, or turn it around and blame obesity on depression. Diabetes can be blamed on both obesity and depression.
But today the causes of diabetic depression and obesity are less important than what you will do about them.
After being diagnosed it is too easy to slip into a kind of emotional and spiritual numbness.
Depression makes taking care of type 2 diabetes a chore, and you may let your blood sugar get out of control. I know how easy that is to do.
Depression always makes diabetic complications worse. Then what happens? The complications of a chronic condition reinforce depression.
The desire to change gets lost in a swamp of hopelessness. Under those conditions, obesity is only going to get worse.
If you were already using food for comfort or some kind of emotional control, depression reinforces it.
Without a very strong desire to change, this cycle of diabetic depression and obesity will not be broken.
Have you seen a picture of a snake eating its own tail? That is what happens in diabetic depression and obesity.
To break the cycle you begin with the desire to change, a desire that is strong and sustained.
But emotions are like a roller coaster, going up and down. So you might do well for a while and then slip back into old habits. Change cannot come this way.
Chop off the monster's head and the cycle is broken. That head is depression.
Whatever it takes to end hopelessness is what you must do.
Without hope you will not take any real steps to change. Exercise and a healthy diet take energy that you do not have if you are depressed.
Depression smothers you with feelings of defeat. Those sap your will, and you need a strong will to fight diabetic depression and obesity.
In the classic tale of Pilgrim's Progress, the hero gets caught by an ogre who imprisons him and beats him every day. He despairs of ever getting out.
After months of this he remembers the key hanging around his neck. All the time he was in prison he had the key to his cell, but depression made him forget.
Hope is the key that unlocks the prison. You need hope, the inner knowing that you can change, that type 2 diabetes can be fought.
You are able to lose weight and feel better but until you believe that, you will not do anything about it.
Faith, hope and love are three wonderful gifts from God. But hope is the one that fights depression. You might have true faith and be convinced that others love you, but without hope you will not change.
Hope opens the door out of hopelessness.
Hope for type 2 diabetic depression and obesity started for me with my family. They accepted me but never stopped encouraging me to change.
When they started talking about The Biggest Loser TV show it got my attention.
There were so many success stories of contestants with type 2 diabetes who got off their medications by the end of each season. I couldn't ignore that.
Another ray of hope came as I finished my first and second books. The process of creating something pushed depression aside for a while.
That is why I encourage you to find an outlet for your creative gift, whatever it is. You have one - we all do.
I remember when I decided I was ready to change and not go back. It meant choosing every day to exercise and stay with the food choices I had decided on.
It also meant not feeling sorry for myself for saying "no" to something I used to eat before I knew I was diabetic.
The great thing about hope is that when you accept it and begin your journey, hope gets stronger day by day.
Small successes like losing a few pounds or walking through a parking lot without leg and hip pain - those feed hope.
But there still must be a daily decision to do the things that improve diabetic depression and obesity. It helps to see my insulin use drop and to know that soon the days of taking blood pressure and cholesterol medication will be over.
If taking insulin continues in spite of all the changes, I won't feel I've failed. Living the rest of my life without diabetic depression and obesity will be enough.
First, you need to see depression and confront it. That is not something you can do alone.
You need family or friends who are willing to tell you the truth and hope for you when you have no hope of your own. If you need professional support, do not hesitate to get it.
If you ignore depression, it will sabotage all your best intentions. Whatever it takes to get out of that dark place, do it.
You may need a doctor for this. He might find a physical reason for your depression and give a prescription to lift you out.
Then obesity can be faced and beaten a day at a time. I have found that having a weight loss program I share with others keeps me on track.
MyFitnessPal.com is free, but there are also Weight Watchers and others that may work better for you.
Just as you need help with depression, you cannot fight obesity alone. You need a community, even if it is only one or two people. You are going on a long journey, and your hope needs to be shared and encouraged.
Type 2 diabetes will be with us for the rest of our lives. You may get to the place of controlling it with diet and exercise, and that is a wonderful thing.
But you will have to remain watchful because diabetes is sneaky. However, a condition that makes you stay active and eat healthy is not a bad thing.
It is never too late to make the decision to fight type 2 diabetic depression and obesity. You may be an old grandma like me, but you can change. Once you accept the gift of hope, do not let it go.
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