When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age of 21, I had not given first thought to living a healthy diabetic lifestyle. As far as I was concerned, a healthy lifestyle was reserved only for fitness junkies and overweight moms.
I didn't know squat about benefits and overall happiness a healthy lifestyle would lead to. I was perfectly content eating frozen pizza, smoking cigarettes, and binge drinking on a regular basis. After I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had a lengthy discussion with my doctor that resulted in an epiphany, "Everything I love is killing me!"
First, we'll define what I mean by healthy lifestyle. When I asked question, "What is a healthy lifestyle?” common answer seemed to be, "Don't smoke, don't drink, eat only vegetables and protein, and make sure to exercise every day."
My first thought was, "You can give that crap right back to birds." I was 21, loved to party, and absolutely chock full of testosterone.
The ideas, practices, and benefits a healthy lifestyle provided sounded great for managing my diabetes, but I sure didn't like idea of my social life falling off face of planet. Believing in power of moderation, I made some compromises with my disease:
I quit smoking cigarettes and only smoked cigars on special occasions such as bachelor parties, Super Bowls, or birth of my first child. That last part was a joke. After many years of searching, special occasions are only reason I can find to put nicotine or smoke of any kind in your body.
For me, this was a big one. I'm not really type of guy that likes to meet girls at church, and school was not really an option for me, but drinking was all my friends and I did. As a result, drinking alcohol (sadly enough) was a major component of my social life. From that day forward, I laid down some basic rules.