Doing Something Hard — Or How Diabetes Changed Our Lives

Birthday Breakfast
As you can see, Rob had a lemon filled donut too.

When my husband, Rob, was diagnosed with type 1 adult onset diabetes, his life turned upside down. Mine wasn’t as affected because my diet was healthier than his.

He had a lot of adjusting to do.

As for me, I approached this diagnosis with curiosity. What changes would we have to make? How would our diet have to change? What could we expect?

If you know anything about diabetes, you know just how frightening a disease it is. The more proactive you can be, the better. (In other words, if you’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, please don’t wait to have diabetes before doing anything. Act now!) I felt somewhat overwhelmed with all the complications that could come with this disease.

My husband, in the meantime, after an initial digging in his heels, approached the diagnosis with surprising ease. I had read that most people will go into denial or even rebel against the diagnosis; not my husband. Don’t get me wrong. He wasn’t happy about it. He had grown up watching his father having to do insulin and watch his diet closely. Rob wasn’t thrilled but he wasn’t going to hide from the reality.

Instead, he embraced the diagnosis (after a few weeks of being none-too-happy) as a challenge. Instead of thinking about the things he couldn’t do anymore, he decided to think of ways he could have his cake and eat it too. Literally. We made a list of our favorite recipes and started tweaking them to make them healthier. Before too long we had a chocolate-chip cookie recipe that is so good, people ask us for our recipe. We added vegetables to our favorite casseroles to replace some of the starchier ingredients.

I confess, we were having a lot of fun. It sounds crazy, I know, but we really enjoyed finding ways to eat better without compromising on flavor. And he hasn’t given up anything! He just doesn’t have some things as frequently as before. In fact, just last week, was his birthday and, as we do every year, we went to Dunkin’ Donuts to have his favorite: French Crullers. Before the diagnosis, he probably didn’t go an entire month without having some. Now, he indulges once a year.

Is it just me or do some things taste even better when you can’t have them all of the time?

When people ask me how I got into nutrition coaching, I realize that it kinda began with my husband being diagnosed with diabetes. Yes, I was more nutritionally aware even before the diagnosis. I taught my husband a lot of things along the way and one time he even told me that I am his inspiration for eating better. Wow, right? I mean, how could I not find this flattering? Guess what? He’s my inspiration too. If I am faced with a challenge, all I have to do is think of him and how he approached his lifestyle change and how could I not find all the motivation I need to do the hard stuff?

Today I am inviting you to do something hard, something you’ve been avoiding. It may not be easy but it will be worth it. In the comments, tell me what you did that maybe wasn’t easy. I’ll write a post about a challenge I took on, something super scary for me, so you will know you are not alone.

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