"Nothing satisfies like a meal of french fries, cheeseburgers and Snickers bars. It’s an indulgently fast fix," writes Darlene McCarthy Butterfield. *File photo
"Nothing satisfies like a meal of french fries, cheeseburgers and Snickers bars. It’s an indulgently fast fix," writes Darlene McCarthy Butterfield. *File photo
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Two months into 2013, I have finally initiated my New Year’s resolution to stop kidding myself.

As I lusted after a hot dog on the 9th hole at Mid-Ocean Golf Club, I practiced newfound restraint and rejected the bun the dog was nestled in. That might seem uneventful to you but I am a girl who loves food and has always enjoyed a brown and white diet. That is, meat surrounded by white stuff. Bread, pasta, potatoes, rice. The bigger the carbo load the better. Not an ideal diet for someone recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Although in denial for one year about my condition, it had become clear that eating the same way I had always done would never result in an acceptable blood sugar level or even a dropped pound. Both of which are vital to maintaining good health for those who suffer from sugar problems. It is fate, then, that I learned of this medical issue while living in Bermuda because there are a lot of other people with exactly the same condition who must also be living in the same state of delusion.

Alarming statistics

The Bermuda Diabetes Association offers a stunning wake-up call regarding the growing diabetic problem in Bermuda.

 It’s website states: “Diabetes now affects 371 million people worldwide... There have been 4 four deaths from diabetes while you were reading this.” A sobering statistic.

“The centers for disease control predicts one in three people will develop diabetes in their lifetimes,” says Sara McKittrick, who is the education director for the BDA. And despite the gruesome stories about untreated diabetes resulting in everything from limb amputations to coronaries, she continues to see younger and younger Bermudians developing the disease. “It’s an epidemic,” says Ms McKittrick because “no one will say you’re fat. They tip toe around (the subject) here.”  McKittrick adds that “there is a direct correlation between the rise in childhood diabetes and childhood obesity,” but it is such a sensitive subject parents and medical professionals shy away from addressing it. 

To help bring attention to the need for diabetes diagnosis and treatment the BDA is holding diabetes health screenings in conjunction with the Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty Home Show this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 15 and 16) at CedarBridge Academy.

Lifestyle changes are hard. That’s why most folks stay the same. I have been off carbs (except chardonnay, of course) for a week now. I have lost three pounds. Perhaps as a challenge to my fortitude, my husband then asked me to make this fantastic Irish Soda Bread. I made two loaves. I have abstained. Not happily though. To repeat: I love food. So much so that I actually distrust people who don’t. They seem to lack the sensual appreciation of a lovely culinary experience.

Cheeseburgers

Nothing satisfies like a meal of french fries, cheeseburgers and Snickers bars. It’s an indulgently fast fix.

 On the other hand, eating healthily seems dull and time consuming. Imagine trying to dash off to work but first having to peel the veggies, scramble the eggs and unlid the yogurt.

The very busy chairman of a very prestigious insurance company on Bermuda gave me some interesting food for thought after I defended my resistance to nutritious eating. “It takes so much time to eat healthily,” I moaned. He said: “I work and you don’t. And if I can find time to be responsible about what I eat, so can you.”

The subtle admonishment stung, but also hit home.

Self-help guru Anthony Robbins makes a brilliant point in one of his books about success.  He interviewed dozens of CEOs from top Fortune 500 companies. Despite the fact that all of those high achieving men and women were uniquely different, they all shared a common characteristic: They could make decisions. By that I mean, if they decided to, let’s say, lose weight, then every subsequent decision supported their initial promise.

So, no fattening foods, lots of exercise, no excuses and no kidding themselves... ever.