Healthy Nudges

Tonight’s Design for Health class at Stanford focused on health design in the workplace. Listening to examples of how Google provides, but doesn’t force, healthy eating options for its employees was particularly exciting because all of the examples cited could (should?) be implemented at companies that aren’t worth billions of dollars.

Yes, eating healthier costs more than eating for convenience. Yes, eating healthier will take more time than eating for convenience. But it’s worth it, right?

The idea is not to enact radical, sweeping change at a moment’s notice – those types of efforts are difficult to maintain. But if you try to nudge your habits and tendencies in a healthier direction, there’s going to be a better chance of sticking with them in the long run.

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A Bit of Fit

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Hello there. #fitbit

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The theory I’m operating on is that seeing and feeling this thing on my wrist every day will provide the external motivation I need to take my health more seriously. I’m not going to run a marathon tomorrow, but I’m hoping this will be a sufficient reminder that I need to get off the couch more.

Ironically, I should already be in tune to the fact that a healthy lifestyle requires more than simply acknowledging that exercise is good. I wear a Dexcom sensor on my arm for weeks on end. I take insulin injections for meals and basal coverage. I’m testing my blood glucose by poking my fingers all the time. Diabetes is an ever-present reminder that being healthy requires active participation and constant engagement. There are no days off with diabetes.

Among my problems right now is the fact that there has not been a documented detriment to my A1c. I want to believe that if things got out of hand with that one number, I’d find a way to turn the page and get back on the path to a better me. But I don’t want to wait for things to get that bad. This is my attempt find my way before I reach an ultimatum.

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Imagine a World

I dreamt of a world where I went to the gym every morning during the week, targeting different muscle groups for a well-rounded approach to physical fitness. Every evening I spent an episode of Breaking Bad on the elliptical machine or searching for zen with a yoga session. In this world, I kept better track of my physical activity and ate responsibly.

I checked my blood glucose at least 6 times a day. I took my insulin Lantus at 11pm and 11am every day. I took my Humalog at least 15 minutes before eating. I took my Synthroid and Lisinopril every day.

I dreamt of a world where I was in complete control.

Then I woke up and realized that world doesn’t exist.

But I can try to make that dream a reality.

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Food Problems

I suppose the thing to do in, or before the new year is to make resolutions with the hopes of becoming a better person. Spiritually, physically, mentally, diabetically, whateverly. The biggest problem with the physically (or diabetically) is that this stuff isn’t easy. It’s not that I want to go to Burger King every night, but properly preparing a healthy meal takes time. And more often than not, I don’t have the time or the energy to do things the right way.

Roasting potatoes takes 30-40 minutes in the oven.

Ham takes 15-20 minutes per pound.

Turkey takes time.

Vegetables require cleaning and chopping, at minimum.

A Vegetable Medley

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Eating Habits

In the spirit of continuing my recent tradition of short and sweet posts, today’s post is about food. As you may have read, I’ve been a bit slow, but steady in my reception to actual vegetables (since romaine lettuce isn’t exactly something to write home about). While they may not be part of every meal, their frequency has been increasing over the past few months, and that’s good. Because I can’t have peanut butter and jelly every night, I had to expand my options for the rest of the dinner plate too.

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Dilated Peoples

My eyes checked out okay. According to Doctor such and such, “the best compliment I can give to my diabetic patients is, ‘by looking at your eyes, I can’t tell you’re diabetic.'” I think that’s a good thing. All I know is that you shouldn’t post to twitter, on your cell phone, while your eyes are dilated. (I wonder if that’s what life looks like through a drunk person’s eyes.)

But eye digress.

See you in a year doctor!

Eye See You

In case you haven’t heard, people with diabetes have to deal with more than just their failed pancreata. While I haven’t been neglecting these other issues, it’s pretty safe to say that I have been focusing solely on the diabetes management part of my managing diabetes. Feet, kidneys, eyes, the list goes on. While I can’t turn into a fully-functional health-awareness machine in an instant, I can certainly start acting like a better person with diabetes and pay attention to other areas of my health that need to be properly maintained.

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