Crikey, It’s Only Ten Pounds!

Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Horrified, I opened the door into this disease to understand it. I learned, for starters, that I had to begin eating differently and that I had to exercise regularly. In time I would examine the other dis-eases in my life that, if they had a volume button between 1 and 10, would have sounded out at 20. Hello! Wake up call! You are a mess, girl! I hung my head. Well, yes, I was.

I was deeply stressed at work, (running through MacDonald’s for a quick lunch most days), in the throes of a devastating personal crisis, and had recently separated from my spouse after we agreed our marriage had sadly, dismally deteriorated. It was beyond time to wake up.

I do urge you to be compassionate with diabetics. (Well, I urge everyone to be compassionate at all times.) It’s hard to learn how to eat properly if you’ve never studied this science. Do you know that all carbohydrates transform into sugar, the diabetic’s worst enemy? Or that ½ cup of rice or pasta or potatoes is the maximum amount to eat in one meal if you’re diabetic? Or, how about this: since healthy fruits and juices contain a high level of sugar, ½ banana or apple or ½ cup of orange juice is all you should eat or drink in a meal.


You may know all this. Back in 1996, I did not. I sat with paper and pencil so many evenings, agonizing over portion sizes, daily meal plans, what food to take to work, and shopping lists. It was laborious yet, in the end, I transformed my eating habits from horrible to healthy. When I re-committed to exercising regularly, I realized how worn out I felt on days I didn’t exercise. I changed my lifestyle as well as other aspects in my life that were suffering.

It was such an awakening to understand how much control I had over my health; I’ve never forgotten that. For the next twenty years I managed my diabetes with diet and exercise.Not long ago I was telling a friend about this.

I can give you many reasons for why the following happened last winter, but I won’t: simply, I slacked off on exercising and got lax with those freshly-made local tortilla chips most evenings. By early spring I’d gained ten pounds. I didn’t like my expanded waistline but there it was.

When I went for my six-month health check recently, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was stunned. My A1C, the six-month average for blood sugar measurement, had climbed to an unacceptable level and my doctor prescribed diabetic medication twice a day. I was so frustrated with myself for backsliding that badly. I drove home determined to lose those ten pounds and more by the time I see my primary care provider next time. To date, I’ve lost 9 pounds. How? By walking 10,000 steps/3-4 miles a day and decreasing portion sizes. Well, okay, I stopped ordering those chips too. No new fad diet, just common sense.

My goal is to end my diabetic medication regime. I have to add, too, that I’m feeling a lot less sluggish these days…. Crikey, what a difference nine pounds less makes!

About Mary Jo Doig

Mary Jo Doig was the first in her family to attend college and graduated from the State University at Oneonta in New York’s Catskill Mountains with a degree in Secondary English Education/Educational Psychology. There she fell in love with rural life, remained, and eventually transitioned from city girl to country woman when she married a dairy farmer and raised their three children on their small family farm. A life-long lover of reading and writing, Mary Jo has for nearly twenty years been a member of the Story Circle Network. There she has been an editor, a women’s writing circle facilitator, a book reviewer, and life-writing enthusiast, working extensively with women writing their life-stories while writing her own memoir. Presently, she is a three-time Program Chair for SCNs national Stories from the Heart conference and a board member. She also facilitates Older Women’s Legacy workshops and a women’s life-writing circle in her area communities. Her stories have appeared in Kitchen Table Stories anthology, Story Circle Annual Anthologies, and most recently her story “I Can’t Breathe” was published in the Anthology, Inside and Out: Women’s Truths, Women’s Stories. Her work also appears in varied blogs and periodicals, on her blog Musings from a Patchwork Quilt Life (, Facebook, and Twitter. Her son and two daughters grown, Mary Jo presently treasures her country life in Virginia’s Central Shenandoah Valley. She loves cooking (and eating!) healthy food, reading, writing, quilting, hiking, and spending quality time with her rescue cats, Button and Xena, and beagle, Addie, who each dream of being only children. Her first book, Patchwork: A Memoir of Love and Loss, will be published in October, 2018 by She Writes Press.
This entry was posted in Aging, Change, Compassion, Grace, Health, In the Kitchen. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Crikey, It’s Only Ten Pounds!

  1. Crikey. It’s my new favorite word. Thank you for the other good words too. My sister has had type 2 diabetes for 15 years. It’s good to be reminded to be supportive of her dietary needs. I would sure like to lose 9 pounds, or 14. Thank you for inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so easy to slip back into old habits. Glad you found your way out. Wish my husband would try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Jo Doig says:

      It’s hard to get started losing weight but, for me, once I’m a few days in, it becomes self-sustaining because I feel so much better. Hope your husband can discover that sometimes. Or maybe he already knows…. Wake up calls always get me back on track. Thanks for visiting, Margie.


  3. Learning from this one. Thank you!


  4. Susan/s says:

    Though my health issues don’t include diabetes, my mother and siblings had/have it, and I know what a radical lifestyle change you have made, Mary Jo! A little backslide after twenty years is not a vector, and your immediate response is just right, to return to exercise and healthy eating. And already you’re having success. I admire the self-discipline, and the kindness toward your self. You will be back to an even keel soon, I’m sure. This is an important topic, so thank you for sharing. Hugs from Colorado…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Jo Doig says:

      Hi Pamela,
      Not sure what’s going on. I had trouble linking the story to FB but it eventually appeared. I’ll see if I can friend you on FB and you can see me there. Thanks for reading my blog! (I’m still smiling about your description of fabric covering the Catskills with such stunning words.)
      Mary Jo


    • Mary Jo Doig says:

      Thank you, Susan. Your words are always so kind and supportive everywhere I meet you, so that it’s always a pleasure to visit with you. You said something here that was a new insight that I loved, about being kind to myself. xo


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