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Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King

Posted: November 23, 2010 04:53 PM

As I mentioned in my previous post, November is American Diabetes Month, which is why I'm taking some time to share my personal experiences with diabetes. When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about three years ago, I was presented with a challenge and like many athletes I wanted a total plan, taking in body, mind and soul. How was I going to beat this opponent?

I knew it would take a combination of diet and exercise to get my diabetes under control. The last 12 months have been challenging as I have just had double knee joint replacement. Being away from my normal exercise routine presented an entirely new set of challenges and taught me to modify things to fit the situation. Now that I'm back at 100%, I'm hitting tennis balls, back at the gym and for the first time in a long time, I take frequent walks in Central Park.

For me, managing my diabetes has been all about making smart food choices without depriving myself of the foods I love -- maintaining a healthy relationship with food. Eating provides critical fuel for our bodies and is meant to be pleasurable. I think it is important people relax, focus on choosing healthy foods, but most importantly, enjoy what you're eating.

What a perfect time to be talking about the importance of good food choices and portion control. With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, many of us throw common sense right out the window. This year, why not try to remind ourselves of the importance of responsible eating? When I'm playing tennis, the moment I see that ball flying at me across the net, I have a decision to make. I use the same approach to eating -- before I sit down to eat, I take a moment to plan my meal and ensure I'm making smart choices. I find that this moment of reflection often helps me to eat less, savor every bite, and make thoughtful choices.

Whether you have diabetes or not, we may need a little guidance to make wise food choices. For me, Nutrisystem gave me the guidance I needed. With their help, I lost 35 pounds, and always felt satisfied.

So, whether you have diabetes or you're trying to prevent it, I hope you'll take a moment to reflect before you sit down for your next meal. Enjoy what you're eating, but choose foods that are nourishing and provide much-needed fuel for your body. The causes of diabetes are often unclear. But we can all take a stand against diabetes by better managing our health and making good choices every day. Together, I believe we can win back good health and stop diabetes.