A Passion for Diabetes

Hear a word about finding your passion from my friend and fellow diabetic David Mendosa.  David is the Author of one of the most recognized, helpful, and prolific diabetes information websites in the world www.mendosa.com.  David has found his passion and can help you find yours too!

Jerry Munden   Life-Health-Hope

A Passion for Diabetes

Written by  David Mendosa – December 14, 2011

Picture of David Mendosa
David Mendosa

If someone you care for has lost his or her enthusiasm, you can give the gift of inspiration this holiday season. And it’s free.

We all need a passion as a reason to live. Mine is a passion for diabetes. More precisely, I have a passion for helping people with diabetes.

My passion rebounds to help me as much as it does the people I try to help manage this terrible disease. Trying to set an example for others who have diabetes means that I have to walk the walk.

That’s because it leads me to get the exercise I need through my secondary passion to hike out in nature. In turn, a third-level passion for photography gets me out on the trail.

It’s also because my passion has led me to eat a very low-carb diet that helps keep off the pounds and thereby keep my A1C in the low normal range. A few years ago I weighed 312 pounds, exactly twice what I weigh today. My A1C ranges from 5.0 to 5.2.

I hope that you and your loved ones also find a way to help others while you are helping yourself. Any time when you teach or mentor other people much of the reward comes back to you.

Now, you can give yourself and your friends an e-book that is all about passion — including mine. Jenny Pavich and Jannick Kjaer have just published “The Passionate Life: 16 Stories of People Who Dared to Risk.” This is a collection of interviews with 16 people who ranged in age from 20 to 75. I was the 75-year-old when they interviewed me, although I am now a year older. You can read their interview with me on pages 86-90. A bonus (so to speak) is three photographs that other people took of me, including one taken before I controlled my weight and my diabetes. This is one ugly photo!

To read “The Passionate Life” you do not need to have an e-book reader or spend any money. It is a PDF at http://www.juliossol.com/books that you can download and read on your computer or print out and send out to others by email. Jenny and Jannick are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, and they encourage us to share their work.

A street urchin in Guatamala named Julio inspired them with his love and generosity. Julio triggered something in Jenny and Jannick. You can continue to pass on his gift when you pay it forward.

Life with a Passion . . . Diabetes Can be a Blessing!

The diabetes count is growing more and more across North Carolina. In 2011 the North Carolina Diabetes Prevention and Control statistics showed that 788,000 or 10.9% of the adult population were diagnosed with diabetes, 227,000 had undiagnosed diabetes, and over 512,000 had pre-diabetes. These statistics demonstrate that 1.53 million adults or over 21% of the adult population of North Carolina is impacted in a personal way with diabetes! That includes one in five people over the age of 55 having diabetes and one in four people over the age of 65 having diabetes.

I too am one of these “statistics”; having grown up in North Carolina and being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of 16 – 40 years ago. My experience, living with diabetes, is that I would not choose to have it, but I do, so what can I do about it? I have endeavored to embrace diabetes with a good attitude and use it as a constant reminder/motivator to stay on target making healthy life choices. I think it has actually helped me to live a fuller and healthier life than I would probably have chosen otherwise. Diabetes is with me every day, 24/7, as a constant reminder/motivator to prompt me to make wise health choices.

I have a passion to learn all that I can about diabetes, embrace a healthy lifestyle, and help others to do likewise. I believe that with the right attitude we all can live a full, grateful, and healthy life . . . even with diabetes!

A friend of mine, David Mendosa, has authored a treasure chest of helpful diabetes information (www.mendosa.com) and is an amazing success story himself. David was one of the most highly regarded diabetes authors in the country while in his early 70s but still, like many Type IIs, was inactive and weighed 312 pounds. He has an inspirational story of finding his passion, nature photography, to motivate him to grab his digital camera and go for a walk. As he had fun taking pictures of wildlife and landscape scenes he found that the “effort” of walking was worth it to get his prized pictures. As his passion for nature photography grew his weight shrunk. David, now 78, is a fireball of energy and enthusiasm as he grabs his camera, hiking boots, snowshoes, bicycle or whatever his mode of transportation for the day is and gets his 156 pound body outside and moving to do what he loves doing … taking nature photos!

Jerry holding up a fish he caught.I’d like to encourage you to find your passion and pursue it. Some of my favorite “Walkabout” activities include: fishing, hiking, trail running, nature photography, relic hunting, kayaking, disc golfing, cycling, and Walkabout prayer. If you currently don’t have a favorite activity, you may enjoy some of the same things I do or maybe you’d enjoy gardening, golf, shopping, tennis, going Walkabout with your spouse, child, dog, or friends, etc. Whatever it might be, pursue it, start with small regular steps and remember, with the right attitude, we all can live full, grateful, and healthy lives . . . even with diabetes!