When it comes to food & health, the overly responsible person will prioritize everyone else’s needs above her own, leaving no time to care for herself. She makes food to suit other people’s tastes, she spend time and money on other people’s hobbies, and she forgoes exercise in favor of taking care of other people’s needs. She then feels as if she has failed because she didn’t achieve the perfect diet, the perfect body, or the perfect weight, and she begins to resent the people to whom she gives so much. What started out as giving turns into regret.
This is a question I’m asked all the time, by people with and without diabetes. Recently, a study was done to try to figure out the answer for the average person who does not have diabetes. Researchers used two very long-running trials that followed a combined total of about 115,000 people. Study participants were asked detailed questions about their eating habits numerous times over a period of years, and they were also followed for years afterward. Researchers determined that two or more sugary beverages consumed in a day increased a person’s risk of death by heart disease. They also found that the more sugary beverages people drank, the higher the risk of death by heart disease.
For much of my younger life, I made decisions based not on what I really wanted, but on what outcomes I feared least. I was afraid to be alone, so I married a man who was not a good match for me. Deep down I knew better while I hoped for the best. Years later, I was afraid for my family’s financial security, so I accepted a position that required me to travel overnight away from my children, even though what I wanted most was to stay with them every minute. Most of my adult life, I was afraid that I would fail as an entrepreneur, so I didn’t take the risk that was required. In each of these situations, I chose against what would make me happy as I chose what I hoped would keep me safe. I was afraid to fly, so I didn’t unfold my proverbial wings. It seemed safer on the ground.