As I may have mentioned, I LOVE the new york times. Living on the west coast, I receive an email message every night, late night, with the next day's headlines and I am a pretty avid follower of it. LAST night, I didn't read it but TODAY! I am aghast!
So I click on to "CYBERFAMILIAS: How to Live Longer Without Really Trying" and immediately learn there's a new book out (“The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest” (National Geographic, 2008)) about common sense tips to live longer. Not only that, I can go to www.bluezones.com to take the test to see what my "real" age is versus how old I really am. Mmmmm. I usually LOVE online stuff like this but I approach it warily. Shoot, I think. Some algorithm is going to find out I have diabetes and then take off points!!!
Although I would not wish diabetes on anyone, I actually think it can make people much MUCH more healthy than they otherwise would be because they figure out how to take care of themselves much more than they would otherwise! Look at me right now! I'm sitting here eating berries, drinking decaf, getting ready to go for a walk. I don't always do this (in fact I know I would also be very downgraded for not exercising every day like my superstar husband does ...)
So I go to the website and approach the test warily. Vitality compass - I click on it! I go through all the easy stuff, and then I get to the health question, and eventually I do have to click that I have diabetes, and I figure that it will all ruin my score.
Alas! I guess probably because there are only 35 questions and my answers to a lot of them very positively (I love my work, I love my husband, I eat a lot of fruit, I eat nuts every day, and I don't get angry (does indignant count?)), I get a score that says I will live to 93. Well!!! That is FAR higher than I thought it would say. It also says it seems like I am 34, and I like that too.
BUT GET THIS! They also give you a score that says "this is how long you will be healthy" -- and mine said 40! But that is how old I am! WHAT?!
Oh I get it. They say 40 because that's how long I will be able to go without getting diabetes or cancer or a couple of scary sounding things.
Well, I don't like that! I think I AM healthy and I want to stay as healthy as possible as long as I can. As Dr. Bill Polonsky says, "Well controlled diabetes is the leading cause of nothing."
But this online program says I am not healthy! I don't like that!!!
This goes back to the question I have posed before, whether diabetes is a condition or a disease. There are a LOT of challenging things about it, that is for sure, but I don't see it as a disease. I don't look at diabetes as something to "beat." I look at it as, it's bad luck to have it, and so what's the best way to move through it.
Tsk tsk tsk.
Anyway, I did completely fall for the test, because it got me thinking about how I could exercise more (I need it!) and eat more whole grains....so good for the test ... but don't tell me I don't have any chance not to be healthy. That is remarkably off target for all of those out there with diabetes ... we CAN do it.
The NY Times link if you would like to read the piece is right here! Have a fabulous day ...