Juggling Wellness and Diabetes

Guest Post Sally Marchini, Dietitian

I’m writing this personal kind of blog on a Saturday. I love Saturdays. They encompass lots of things I love to do which all contribute to my wellbeing.  This morning I was out on my run and because it’s Saturday and lovely Spring weather lots of my neighbours were also out and about. Nearly everyone I ‘ran’ into made the comment about how well I looked.  I had at least 3 such comments this morning and they inspired me to share with you what I believe to be the key to being well with diabetes, or what works for me anyway.

This is important to me because I have diabetes and I’m turning 50 next year, so I know that if I don’t focus on being well myself I’m in a higher risk group to lose my wellness that is so important to me. I want to do all I can to hold onto it for as long as I can, so I can enjoy more of this wonderful life. I’m also passionate about helping others to be well too to the best of their ability, so here goes!

Sleep

Every Saturday I get to sleep in. Yay! To catch up on a few hours I may have missed through the busyness of my week. Time to give my body a chance to repair and relax. I usually get to sleep in until around 8am, which is a big improvement on my 6-6.30am starts on other days of the week. The only thing that stops me from doing this is waking early with a hypo, but this morning my BGLs behaved themselves. 🙂  This week I found an awesome article in The Conversation on the importance of sleep which I encourage you to read. It’s just so important for our wellbeing, and especially so for us with diabetes.

Eating Well

As a dietitian you would know that I am particularly passionate on this topic! This is the only topic in today’s blog that I’m qualified to talk about as a health professional, and it’s such an important one! The Australian Dietary Guidelines that we follow actually makes the comment, “Diet is arguably the single most important behavioural risk factor that can be improved to have a significant impact on health.”  It is something that I think about, read up on and focus on every day.

Today I started with my fibre rich, low-GI and high nutrient breakfast, a combination of two cereals that enjoy eating together topped with skim milk. I had a banana for morning tea and a delicious bowl of vegetable and low-GI carb rich Minestrone soup. This afternoon I’ll probably have a snack of a handful of nuts and another piece of fruit. We have a delicious lean meat and vegetable rich stir-fry planned which we’ll serve with plain Basmati rice, and I’ve marked out my favourite Black Cherry yogurt for dessert.

 

I know that I’m getting the nutrients I need to be well each day, and I’m sure it must also reflect in my outward appearance when I’m out on my run, makeup free in my daggy running shorts too lol

Regular Exercise

Nice segway to the exercise! Also lots of evidence here to support wellbeing, reducing inflammation, improving mental health and keeping our BGLs more stable. You may know that I’m a golfer. I try to play 18 holes in a comp twice a week, and 9 holes if I have time as a break in my day on a Friday. On the days I’m not golfing I do my best to get in at least the minimum recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity. Usually I try for 45 minutes. Since I’ve been doing this I have noticed a big improvement in the stability of my glycemic control as my fitness has improved. It’s so worth the effort even when you don’t really feel like it!

 

Family Time/Love

I’m incredibly fortunate to have so much love and support from my family, but I guess it works both ways in that I also love and support them! I believe that love and giving love is an important part of wellbeing. We hug each other a lot in our household, and in the wider family too. Have you hugged someone today and told them you love them?

 

Being sociable

Although I was out on my run, I enjoy stopping along the way on a Saturday as I have more time available to me to chat with my lovely neighbours in the suburb I live in. I chat with the children, and the parents, and the older people, and the neighbours who are my friends. To me this is important as I feel loved within my community too, and I know that I’m helping some of these people to feel loved too <3

Hard Work

I enjoy working. It keeps my brain active. It gives me a purpose and keeps me inspired each day to stay well and make the most of my life.  The lovely Helen Wilde called me a workaholic this week, which made me think. You know I probably am a workaholic, but that’s because I love what I do and it makes me happy to help other people to be well. But I honestly try very hard to keep a balance with the other important factors in my life.

For those of you who are lucky to be retired or not have to ‘work’ as such I would encourage some kind of volunteer role as it can really be so rewarding and contribute to your wellness.

Keeping the Balance

Of course, being Saturday, I also have household chores to do, preparation cooking for the week ahead, and I might even fit in a quiet hour of reading a book. It’s always a good day, and means I really relax and enjoy myself on my day of rest (and golf) Sunday. 🙂

If you try to imagine all these aspects (including any others you may have yourself) as a number of balls that you’re juggling, I believe that remaining well is all about keeping a balance amongst them. Sometimes you need to drop one ball to keep the others going smoothly, but don’t forget it and go back to collect it as soon as you can.  I don’t see diabetes as one of those balls – it’s just part of me and often influences how I manage some of those balls/aspects.

Hopefully some of this will inspire you to focus on keeping your balls in the juggle, and know where you can make some positive changes to improve your own wellness.

You know we’re here to help. With love, Sally.

Sally is owner of her private practice (Marchini Nutrition), and has had type 1 diabetes for close to 40 years and coeliac disease for many years too. 

 

Share your thoughts