The Habits Kill You Not The Treats

Diabetes On The Wrong Side Of 40

I’ve got diabetes, but I don’t like to talk about it.  I don’t avoid it because I feel guilty: I feel fine.  I don’t avoid it because I’d prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist: it’s as much a part of my life as my shaving; my showering; my worrying about my children and my getting up for work.

I don’t talk about it much because, for the vast majority of people, it would be boring.  There are some excellent blogs about diabetes out there and I’m not going to print a list of them here.  Maybe I will one day, but not today.

Today, I’m not going to talk about what it’s like to live with diabetes. Nor am I going to share with you how it affects my day-to-day life (not right muchly).  Instead, I’m going to share with you my mantra for living, which has served me well through almost 20 years of insulin-dependant diabetes:

It’s The Habits That Kill You, Not The Treats

Over 20 years or so, I’ve used this phrase with every friend who’s ever told me about their diets, their lifestyle choice du jour or their inability to improve themselves in some small but frustrating way.  Life is about choices, but the most important choice as far as I see it is the one you make about your day-to-day existence.

I love cake.  You love cake too.  You know you do, you love it, you do.  Love it!  But we don’t eat it every day.  Well, I can’t speak for you but I don’t.  Last night I had a massive plateful of cottage pie, then at bedtime I had some cheesecake.  A cake made of cheese which was delicious.  This sort of thing doesn’t happen every day.  If it did, I’d be a right fatty.  As it is, I’m a skinny bloke with a little pot belly.  I can live with the little pot belly.

It is not the superfoods you occasionally eat; not the meal you skip once a day for a fortnight; not the meal replacement shakes you persist with until they run out and you can’t face re-filling your cupboards; not the frenetic jog aound the park on a sunny afternoon when the kids are being looked after.

It is your day-to-day routine; your habits that you live your life by.  These are the things that are more likely to make you what you are.  For “what you are“, you might be thinking… healthy; happy; quick on a bike; capable of that 10k run.  I hope you are.

If you’re thinking… overweight; unsatisfied; too slow; unfit… then have a think about your day-to-day routine.

Most of the people who read this blog are a lot fitter than me.  You ride faster and further; you run faster and further.  I like that.  I read your blogs because they help inspire me to become fitter myself, quite aside from making me laugh and keeping my feet firmly on the ground.

As far as the diabetes goes, it’s helped me to give a big reason for trying to live my life right.  I don’t want to go blind and have my kidneys fail; or to have my feet amputated.  But the same goes for us all: if you look after yourselves, the chances are much higher that you will live long and prosper.  To you, that might be earning loads; it might be doing that marathon or that massive ride.

To me, it’s watching my children grow into what I’ve started to make them, and what they’ll decide to be.

Just look after yourselves. 🙂

Share this page:

29 comments on “The Habits Kill You Not The Treats

  1. Phill

    Ha ha, thanks lads, Joby does have a sincere side and we seem to have caught him on “nice Joby week”. Been mulling these thoughts over and coudn’t decide on a structure, so I just went for it at lunch. Appreciate the nice words.

  2. Joby

    I have a sincere side when the posts are sincere and heart felt – when they are just self indulgent nonsense – then I start being a bitch 😉

    Only kidding.

    You are spot on – and that is the sort of advice should be passed on to everybody who visits a doctor about being unable to lose weight – I’d pass it on in this way though…

    “Get off your lazy arse and do something about it. Then, after you have ACTUALLY tried and are still struggling – then and only then will we do something for you. Other than that – got f*ck yourself”.

    Of course, you ain’t just posting about weight – but thats something that I can relate to. I mean – look at Gaz… He got off his fat lazy ass and did something about it and didn’t take the easy option like that lazy 24 stone lady who made it onto GMTV by having a gastric band and losing 8 stone in a year.

    Big whoop – wanna fight about it.

    You get my point anyway and I got your point. I like your point.

    I’m going to retweet it too – after I’ve unlocked my profile from twitter.

  3. Phill

    Thanks for that mate, I’m glad it’s not just me. Call us intolerant of failure (ahem) but it is really about taking control of yourself, the easiest choice in the world because you don’t fight back. Weight is a good case in point but it applies equally to so much else. I meet and talk to so many “victims” who just haven’t made the decision to sort themselves out. I want them to, and I really would like to see them do it and to feel the benefits they’ll enjoy.

    Gaz is a fantastic example, much better than me, my little pot belly and my autoimmune-induced condition.

    I’ll do the star! 🙂

  4. Carrie

    yup, I have to admit to struggling this week. The hardest habit to break for me is comfort eating but each day now I dont sit where I can stand, I don’t walk where I can run and I feel happier, fitter and free-er. Genetics has made me a ticking type 2 timebomb and I have no wish to go through for the rest of my life what I went through while I was pregnant ( I had gestational diabetes). It’s certainly about changing how you get from morning to night and not about the latest fad and the more people we can force to understand that the better.

  5. Emma Rush

    So does this mean I can eat cake now? It’s not a habit.

    True what you say.

    My bad habits involve working too much, which makes me stressed, which makes me eat too much and sit on my arse all day. Need to sort that out. That’s my habit that got me in this mess in the first place. I need to learn when to say no.

  6. Les

    I av to go and av a blood test every 6 months to check my Blood sugar levels coz levels r a bit high, so I made a conscious decision to lose weight and take up exercise so far it has paid off but got another blood test Monday.

    I must admit wen I took up cycling 6months ago I thought I cud eat wot I liked now, but it dnt work like that my weight now is about 11st 3lbs , I was 11st, but originaly wen I worked for Royal mail I was nearly 13st

    Great post Phill wivout this post I wouldnt said all this

    very cathartic m8

  7. Lee Cunningham

    Very nice post Phill. I’ve been writing a lot lately about delaying the gratification so I was really interested in your post.

    I have to confess there is more cake in my bread bin than bread. Currently Chorley cakes, Madera, Tate & Lyle Treacle Ginger. No, seriously, there is.

    I run >3 times weekly because I adore the sweet more than the savoury and, as I approach 40 the ‘cake dont shake’ so easily any more…

    I think I also run because it balances the rather damaging lifestyle I like to think I led in my twenties! I like that I can stay looking 60-ish for longer.

    (Still as you saw on my short addiction video – I have always been addicted to one thing or another. Refreshers, Love Hearts, Galaxy, Bounty…Just shoving it in there!)


  8. Phill

    I was initially worried that I might offend a few, so I’m glad of the feedback so far. And yes, Emma, you can have cake. Just not all of it, all of the time. 🙂

  9. Emma Rush

    I’m actually quite good at not eating cake/bad stuff until I am stressed/titsed off. I find that what I do best is to give up something for a while. Which I did with sugar and I realised what a crazy amount we all eat just out of habit.
    I know it’s all about small changes and being sensible, but sometimes I require a hoof up the ass to realise what I’m doing wrong. We do eat so much sugar nowadays, I’m surprised we’re not all dead. Anywhere you go they have massive pieces of cake as big as your head (starbucks, costa et al). So I think that people just start to eat like that out of habit. Wait a minute, where am I going with this…
    Oh yes, habit. And the fact that we’re sold massive slabs of cake as if that’s fine.
    Well, it isn’t. Listen to Phill. Have a massive piece of cake the size of a fat child. But do so once in a blue moon. Just because they sell stuff, doesn’t make it ok to eat. They do not have your welfare in mind. Only you do.

  10. Carrie

    yup, they want money, sugar is addictive, they sell sugar… um, I had a point. Oh yeah, my annual check is due. Am curious to see how that turns out.

    Although my weakness has always been savoury crunchy foods, crisps, pastry and such. I’ve noticed when I put in a lot of miles I really really crave the sugar, be it biscuits, cake or a sweet coffee. hmm.

  11. Phill

    Emma, you’re spot on about the hoof up the ass. With me it was a big one 20 years ago, but smaller reminders as time goes on are good motivators. Mine more recently was hitting 12 and a half stone without realising, prompting me to make a bit more of an effort in the food & exercise departments. And yes, sugar is everywhere, it’s difficult sometimes to get “healthy” food that’s not laced with sugar. Low fat seems to mean high sugar in most foods, because as a nation we seem to enjoy foods with either loads of fat (smooth and tasty) or loads of sugar (zingy & tasty with a nice sugar rush).
    Carrie, I reckon the cravings are just to replace the blood sugars you use in sustained exercise – you shouldn’t deny your body its fuel or you’ll crash and the cravings won’t go away.
    There are some excellent sources of information on exercise nutrition around. We make apple crumble smoothies before or immediately after family rides to keep everyone going: 1 or 2 pints milk; good handful oats; a banana; 3 apples peeled & chopped – blend it all and glugluglug. Yummy. Apparently milk is a better recovery drink than many isotonic drinks, according to recent research.

  12. Joby

    I crave chocolate at least 7 nights a week. I give in about 3 nights a week.

    its done me no harm.

    As Phil says – it replaces everything that I shouldn’t have lost during the week – sugars, salt etc.

  13. Emma Rush

    Re. Unhealthy foods everywhere from people peddling addictive sugar+fat laden cakes, even the “healthy” stuff is unhealthy. The flapjack things are nice but have a look how much sugar and butter is in ’em. No wonder we keep going back.

    Ooooh those apple crumble smoothies sound delish. Going to make me one of those after I’ve had a run this morning.

  14. Phill

    Yeah, those cravings don’t go away after exercise. If you starve, you crash & feel like poo, then you eat anyway but too late to replace the fuel you need.

    If you get some food in you soon after exercise, you rbody rebuilds in the right way and you feel good. Choc treats are cool when you get home. I mean, Joby rides to and from work, plus some, so he needs some sugary salty goodness inside him. Not in THAT way. 😉

  15. Emma Rush

    I had a thought:

    Sugar – addictive, habit forming, makes you fat
    Heroin – addictive, habit forming, makes you thin

    This could be where I’m going wrong. I’ll have to see if they sell any at the co-op. Maybe they have some good 3 for 2 offers on.

    I could then write a bestselling diet book called the H plan, and would become wealthy beyond my wildest dreams. And this would be all because of this blog post. But I’ve shared my idea already. Don’t steal my ideas now people!

  16. Emma Rush

    Obviously, you’d need to be treatwise with the heroin. A little and in moderation, like everything.

  17. Phill

    Taking your idea Emma, lots of sugar and lots of herion would maintain stasis. I like that idea. Perhaps you should look into any potential other effects (but I’m sure it’ll be fine) before launching the H plan.
    I’d recommend an online launch, primarily to Americans who are active in the MLM arena. Because they’re stupid enough. 😉

  18. Carrie

    I dont know, I go away for five minutes and you guys descend into sillyness. :p.

    I think you are right Phill about the sugar, don’t worry, I’m fuelling carefully. I’d just like it noted that I hates cow juice though.

    Being of a chequered past I can admit to trying the alcohol (sugar!)& amphetamine diet and it is great for weight loss, side effect is that you often end up black and blue and completely mental then as soon as you sober up for more than a couple of days at a time you start getting fat. 🙂

  19. Phill

    I think Emma might have a rival to her H Plan Diet with Carrie’s A&A Diet. I wonder who will get their e-book to the markets first? The chapters on mitigating the trackmark scars and/or black & blue mentalism will be fascinating.

    Silliness? Noooooo…

  20. Carrie

    What do you say Emma, a collaborative effort maybe? we could compare and contrast the diets, have a “what is your body type” quiz so people could be directed to the most suitable diet for them. We’d make a killing!!!

  21. Joby

    I’ve been Hunting High And Low for a good comeback to your comment Rooley but my Train of Thought is being ruined by The Blue Sky.

    I think they are all just Living A Boys Adventure Tale TBH.

  22. Phill

    I’m loving this! 🙂 Can’t wait for the collaboration. If it doesn’t happen I’ll be guitted. Can I be in the sleeve notes? We can negotiate the royalties later.

    Joby, What made you do the discography? Did Anyone Approach You? I’m trying to avoid changing the subject too much though, I prefer to Stay On These Roads, until later when I can Lie Down In Darkness at The Foot Of The Mountain, because Dark Is The Night since Summer Moved On.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Where is your business growing to?

Find out how Phill Connell Marketing Solutions can accelerate your business growth. Practical, realistic steps to improve your revenue generation.

%d bloggers like this: