About fifteen years ago, I went to a doctor in Israel because my body was behaving oddly. I was thirsty all the time and found myself constantly needing to go to the bathroom. Often right after I just got out!
Now, if you’re a decent doctor, or you’re very familiar with situations like mine, you’ve already figured out where this story is going. We’re staring right at Diabetes. But me? I had no idea at the time. I knew enough to be concerned. I just didn’t know how concerned I needed to be.
The doctor was very confident he knew what was going on, and told me I needed to take a blood test. And that’s when I heard a term I was unfamiliar with: Prediabetic.
A Hop Away from Diabetes
Essentially, I had neglected my body long enough, and now I had to deal with the consequences. I put enough sugar in my system that my body forgot how to handle it, and now I was just a hop away from full-blown Diabetes, if I didn’t get my act together and make some serious changes in my life.
I didn’t really understand what Diabetes was. To be honest, I’m still fully trying to wrap my head around it (I recommend this book). This stuff is by no means simple. But I knew a few things. I was responsible for getting myself here. I didn’t want this, but I was stuck. And I was terrified. And I knew that it was critical for me to make intelligent decisions moving forward, or I was going to be in dire straits soon enough. Being thirsty would soon be the least of my problems.
And the terror worsened as I learned that severe complications with Diabetes could lead to blindness, foot amputation, and even death. I did not have an easy road ahead of me. And my complete ignorance did not make the matter any better.
The Blessing of Diabetes
But, as strange as this may sound, I’ve come to look at my Diabetes as one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s unpleasant. And it’s daunting. In the world of health, there’s often talk of a “cheat meal”. I’m not a big fan of the concept in general. At least not as a universally good idea. But for me, there is no cheat meal. There’s no break. I crossed a certain threshold. So now, if I decide to spend an evening drinking cocktails and downing donuts, my blood sugar will spike beyond recognition.
I’ve already felt the sting of complications. I fainted once in the middle of the school day. My blood sugar spiked, causing me to dehydrate, and the next thing I knew, my head was on the floor.
But I’m lucky. One bad spike can cause a reaction that might leave me permanently blind in an eye. No, I’ve made my mistakes, and that’s behind me. Now I need to move forward without causing myself any more harm. There’s too much at stake. I have too many people relying on me.
So, it’s a horrifying illness. And the consequences of screwing up are worse than any I’ve experienced before. Yet I still think of it as one of the best things that ever happened to me!
How is that possible?As strange as this may sound, I've come to look at my Diabetes as one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Click To Tweet
A Slap in the Face
I think in life we get a few slaps in the face. A few moments in which the universe tells us we’re doing something terribly wrong. But those moments end up being giant turning points in our actions and attitudes. And they end up forming the backbone of the person we become.
The first obvious one in my life was when I was attacked as a teenager. Six pieces of garbage left me quivering in an emergency room… and I can literally trace everything about my life to the changes I made resulting from that fateful evening. It was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. Yet I wouldn’t take it back in a million years.
Yes, it was tragic. But it was part of an intelligent and elaborate puzzle, an essential piece that was needed to get me where I needed to be.
And the same is true for the first moment the doctor handed me my Diabetes diagnosis. It was sad. Devastating. Heartbreaking knowing that my lackadaisical attitude about my wellbeing really did have meaning. It really did have consequences.
But I was then able to push that aside and start a brand new process in my life. And where has that led me? To a life that centers around health.
I went from being the type of person who could eat Twinkies and Oreos all day long, never tiring of their sugary goodness, to someone who can’t get enough of trying to figure out a system that will ultimately lead to perfect health. I read articles all the time. I watch videos. I experiment with new ideas every day. And a day I make it to the gym is almost always a good day. And a day I need to skip is a day I mourn. A day that is lacking, no matter how much has happened, good or bad.
My #1 Priority
Several years ago, when I was considering getting back into dating again, and people asked what I was looking for, I would say first and foremost, someone who believes in having a healthy household. Someone who believes in filling the home with nourishing and wholesome foods. Someone who advocates for an active lifestyle. And someone who wants an environment free of stress and conflict.
That’s what was important to me. More than anything else I could possibly name.
And it all started because I found out my life of mistakes led me on an inevitable road to a nasty health condition.
So I am who I am because, once again, something went drastically wrong.
My Guiding Philosophy
I have a guiding philosophy that I refer back to all time. Life is filled with only two types of realities: Things are either obviously good, or ones that are not good yet.
But their time will come!
The only thing separating them from their innate goodness is time. If you don’t see the good, you haven’t waited long enough.
But it’s there. It’s obscured, but it’s there.
Finding out about my health issues was miserable. And I’m such a better person because of it!