As a tomboy growing up with two brothers in a fairly rural part of Southern California, I loved being my dad’s sidekick when he rebuilt engines in the garage and driveway of my childhood home. I was fascinated by the insides of an engine and how all the parts worked together. Feeling important, I learned how to identify and hand him his tools, anticipating what he might need at a fairly young age.
I believe being my dad’s sidekick in the garage was the very first experience that moved me towards my nursing career.
With that background, it isn’t a far stretch for me to see similarities in cars and humans. Fuel, performance, and maintenance are similar concepts whether discussing a top of the line 1954 Chevy Corvette or a 54 year old body.
Your body is your Maserati
This is one of the sayings I have in my diabetes education class. After the giggles subside, I explain how our amazing body performs well with high performance food as fuel and what we need to check under our own hoods.
In car maintenance, it’s easy to see that a car would not make it to 200,000 miles without regular care, yet we often forgo our own health maintenance tune-ups. It’s those little actions over time that equal the Maserati or Yugo type performance in our health.
Yugo- Or You Don’t
I use a comparison of a car that’s not so hip and well put together as a Maserati to illustrate what happens with health neglect. I refer to a body that is not well cared for like a Yugo. If you were born after 1985, you may not have ever actually seen a Yugo. They had a reputation for being absolutely awful both mechanically and aesthetically. Frequently the subject of jokes in the 1980s, the 3 cylinder Yugo actually garnered a spot in a Time’s magazine piece titled “The 50 Worst Cars of All Time”. Personally, I have nothing against Yugos, but I think you see my point. Maintenance, fuel, and how a body (or a car) is cared for makes a huge difference.
Diabetes is often called the silent disease because it causes damage way before you even know you have it. Statistically, people with Type 2 diabetes have the disease for about 2 years before they are diagnosed. One way to keep ahead of a chronic disease like diabetes is to first find out where you stand, then become educated with expert clinicians. The AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors or the “Magnificent 7” as I like to call them, are tools for managing diabetes and part of the classes we offer. Heritage Health Education has classes and resources to give you the tools to tune up your own “Maserati”.
Why not check out the Heritage webpage and find out what you can learn about pre-diabetes or diabetes? The class topics are the AADE7 and include things like Healthy Eating and Being Active. You can see our current calendar and access lots of good resources right here.
When I see you in class, you can let me know whether you are a Yugo or a Maserati, or somewhere in between.
Rebekah Curtis is the head of Health Education at Heritage. She is also a mother of two high school students and one college graduate. As a registered nurse and member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Rebekah conducts regular training and classes. She is available for one-on-one consultations in a private setting for any other condition not provided by training or classes. Read her full bio here.