New IDS Weight Management Program – Downsizing with Diabetes
IDS Offers a New Program for Helping with Weight Loss
You Didn’t Pick Your Grandparents Very Well
I often hear people describe shame or blame themselves for having diabetes, having high cholesterol or blood pressure, having extra weight, having depression or other conditions. I tell my patients that “it isn’t your fault that you have diabetes but once you do, it is 100% your responsibility.”
We have come to understand that most disease(s) have a genetic component. We learn more each year about genetics and how even the food we eat influences how some genes get turned on and off (gene expression). So, the title is meant to tell you that “we get what we get” from our parents and grandparents but it is still up to us to “make the best of it or make the worst of it”. I vote for making the best of it (most of the time).
We can look at having diabetes as an inspiration to make healthy choices. Taking insulin actually gives us more freedom and flexibility to live as normally as possible since we can match our insulin to our food amounts and types. We can eat lunch at 11am one day and 1pm another day. We can exercise or eat a smaller meal and decrease our insulin. We can eat at a restaurant meal and increase our insulin and adjust the timing of it for size or fat/protein intake. Many people with diabetes must be stricter with the timing and the content of their meals since they are controlling it with nutrition, exercise, and possibly oral meds or weekly injections.
We know that diabetes increases our risk for heart attacks and strokes so we still want to make heart-healthy choices but insulin allows us to make adjustments at every meal. So, you can still have cake on your birthday – or whatever your special food is. Mine is chocolate. I try to make the healthiest choices for my heart 95% of the time but the other 5%, I eat dark chocolate. One tricky thing with insulin though is that the more we eat, the more we gain if we don’t burn it off. Insulin is a growth hormone and is necessary to allow glucose to enter our cells and give us energy. But if we eat more than we burn, insulin will allow our body to store our extra food as fat. If we eat too much carbohydrate, our body stores it as fat. If we eat too much protein, our body stores it as fat. And you guessed it, if we eat too much fat, our body stores it as fat.
On a daily basis, a person with diabetes may be faced with:
Having to eat certain amounts of food at certain times throughout the day
Treating low glucose with additional food
Having to eat extra carbs before, during and (maybe) after exercise
The stress of having to live with a chronic health condition
Just having to take insulin, which is known to contribute to weight gain over time
At times, it can feel like everyone in your life and on social media has opinions on the best way to reach your ideal weight. Although they may mean well, there is no “one size fits all” solution to weight and diabetes management. We know that each person with diabetes is different and deserves a customized program that takes your preferred approaches to nutrition, physical activity, glucose management, quality sleep, stress relief, medications and other health conditions into account.
For those of us who take insulin, losing weight can be a real challenge. Despite this, knowledge is power and being a lifelong learner can make you feel more successful and much less alone.
We are developing a comprehensive diabetes and weight management program specifically for insulin users called “Downsizing with Diabetes”.
During this 12-week program, you will benefit from a series of one-on-one sessions that provide individualized expert guidance (including insulin fine-tuning), interspersed with small group sessions that combine learning with positive peer support & interaction.
After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 33, Terri left her career as a chef and caterer to help other people with diabetes live life as healthy and normal as possible. She earned a bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and completed her internship at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. She then relocated to Kona, Hawaii where she built a successful private practice as a Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist. As she puts it, “When you live on an island, you become a specialist in everything.” She provided comprehensive diabetes care for every type of person with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) at every stage of their diabetes experience, including new diagnoses, pregnant women, kids, young adults and the elderly.