Longer Life Or Happier Life…

There’s a particular trend that seems to take place where people usually fall under two groups: those who take their health and fitness in hand in order to be healthier and live a longer life and those who claim to only live once and they’d rather spend a short time being happy, enjoying the many indulgences of life. Although the latter would seem like the easier way to go, it doesn’t necessarily equate a happier life; especially when you’ve been “living” your happy life and time and health has caught up to you…

I’m a big fan of the occasional indulgence. Many of you may have read about my occasional meal that contains enough carbohydrates to kill a small army. Although I make an effort to control my carbohydrate intake, sometimes a person’s just gotta have their damn burger! But outside of wolfing down a patty of meat with cheese, toppings and a soft, toasted bun (great, now I’m hungry) I try to focus on lean proteins and salads in order to help control my overall weight, energy and blood sugar levels.

Having enough discipline to maintain ones health is not always an easy thing. But uncontrolled Diabetes can lead to a host of very unpleasant and debilitating conditions that will make your shorter, “happier” life more torturous than it needs to be. When you consider blindness, loss of limbs, organ failure, not least of which includes the kidneys (you may have heard that you can’t live without these) circulatory and heart issues, it rather seems as though throwing caution to the wind is an unreasonable way to live.

I used to have a friend back home… I say “used to” because I haven’t spoken with him in almost 20 years and if I’m being honest, I don’t even know if he’s alive. But I remember he used to take really bad care of himself, eating sugary goods with abandon and never testing his blood sugars. He was in his 20’s and had been diagnosed as Type-1 early in his teens. I’ve seen this trend a lot; where a diagnosis late in life can be more difficult since the person has already developed bad habits.

I was diagnosed when I was 4 years old and my household was already pretty limited diet-wise, due to my brother. So I can see where he was coming from. But I was the manager of a local pharmacy back home and we had a special on soda products (I’m sure you know where I’m referring to). He walked in and grabbed a cart. He grabbed four, 2-litre bottles of sugared cola and added them to his cart. I walked over to say hi and asked him if a family member had sent him out on an errand. He replied that no, the soda was for him.

Free choice is also an important aspect to a happy life, folks. And I hate feeling the need to ask a question of someone that borders on being intrusive. But a once-over of my friend showed him to be pale, sweating profusely and looked as though he hadn’t slept well in weeks. He had his hair cropped close enough to his scalp that I could see scar tissues from the bed sores he developed from his many Diabetic comas. Based on his current condition, I could tell he was running extremely high.

I asked him if he felt he should really be drinking that stuff, to which he replied, “It’s all good, man. Just gotta take more insulin.” Oy vey… Are you serious? I totally get that one should be able to eat what they want in relation to taking insulin. After all, that’s kind of the point. And that’s what a non-Diabetic body does. But what about miscalculations? What about consumable products that may not necessarily match up with the carb levels indicated on their nutritional labels? There’s a HUGE margin for error.

Not least of which is the aspect that all of this can be aggravated if you have a shitty or non-existent control of your blood sugars. That was the case with my friend. He had no control over his blood sugar levels and was always running high. I can’t imagine the pain he was in and the uncomfortable existence he was in. Maybe in his mind, since he was suffering anyway, his indulgences were his only little form of happiness. But it’s kind of a “chicken and the egg” scenario…

They say we only have one life to live. The problem is that no one knows for sure. That being said, a person owes it to themselves to try and take the best care of themselves and their health as possible. Not only do you deserve a long, happy life but there are ways to be happy without letting go of your fitness and eating like a trash receptacle. Enjoy the “occasional” treat and know how to bolus properly for it. Exercise consistently but don’t look at it as a chore. Do something physical that you enjoy. I LOVE cycling. And it’s excellent cardio and exercise. It doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to break the cycle of apathy.

Diabetes doesn’t discriminate. And while you may lie on your death bed claiming you got to enjoy yourself for the short period you lived, wouldn’t it make more sense to live twice as long AND be able to say you enjoyed yourself? Even controlled Diabetes will still shorten your lifespan. If you give Diabetes an open door, it’ll squeeze its way in and mess you up. And like the image above says, not only will it kill you, it will hurt the whole time you’re dying. Take care of yourselves. ☯️

Published by

Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s