I’ve written before about how much I’ve been inspired by my Great Aunt Jokie’s dietary discipline. At 89, she still eats as if her quality of life depends on the choices she makes, and it does.
As a Type 2 diabetic, she knows poor choices could doom her to spend her remaining years increasingly hobbled by blindness or worse. From her vantage point in an assisted living facility, she sees how that plays out all the time. One lady, the daughter of a diabetic cousin who “went to her grave with two legs off,” was worried she might have to get a toe amputated.
“But here she got real sick and died before they could take her toe off,” Jokie told me last week when I went to visit.
I’d brought her a box of sugar-free chocolates. But it turns out all that dietary discipline has paid off: Jokie’s doctor told her recently that her blood sugar is back to normal.
“He said I’m not really diabetic anymore,” she said.
Which doesn’t mean she plans to abandon her strict diet. She gave up bread, pasta, potatoes and all desserts — except for a weekly dish of ice cream — when she got diagnosed at age 80.
A lot of that stuff, “my body doesn’t like it anymore,” she says. “Bread and potatoes, they look good, but it doesn’t bother me anymore” to go without.
The only thing she’s really changed since she got the news is adding one weekend slice of pie to her normal routine.
Now that’s willpower.