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Getting Deep #31: Food Cravings, Long Distance Relationships, Diabetes

Q&A with Dr. Dorothy: Your tough questions answered

dorothy ratusny
Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy.

I’m trying really hard to get in shape for the start of school (planning ahead, I know) and it’s been going pretty well. I got involved in some sports this summer at the community centre and I’m also running three times a week. But now I am starving all the time and I can’t stop eating, so I feel like it’s pretty much cancelling out any benefit of being this active. What can I do to stop the cravings?!

Fall Running

It’s quite natural for the body to require more calories when you first begin an exercise program. No wonder you feel more hungry than usual— you’re burning more calories so your body wants to take in more! In order to continue seeing the gains from your new workout regime, it’s important that you pay attention to how much food you consume—otherwise your net difference won’t be quite what you’re looking for. Consider spacing out your meals every 2 ½–3 hours so you keep your blood sugar levels constant and you have energy throughout the day. Make sure that you have a balanced ratio of protein, carbs and fats with each meal, as that will help curb your appetite. High-fibre foods (fibre is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the same foods that provide us with many of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health) go a long way to helping keep you satiated since they fill your stomach faster and can also delay the time it takes for your stomach to empty. And of course, drinking plenty of water is important! Finally, slow down the rate at which you eat. It will take your brain about 20 minutes to realize that your body is full. Eating slower will allow your brain to start sending signals to your body that you need to stop eating. Not to worry, after a few weeks, your body should be used to the new routine it’s on and you will likely notice that your appetite starts to balance itself out.

I just found out that my mom has diabetes. She seems to be dealing with it okay, but I’m really scared for her, and also for me, does this automatically mean that I will have it too?

While the underlying cause of diabetes is genetic, there are a number of heredity factors and environmental conditions that will play into if someone develops diabetes. More than 80% of diabetics who are diagnosed each year have at least one family member with the disease. That being said, most relatives of diabetics never develop the disease. This is because the allele (one of two or more forms of the DNA sequence of a particular gene) that causes diabetes is a recessive trait. That means that someone must receive two copies, one from each parent, to become susceptible to the disease. If a person receives only one ‘bad’ allele, they will not develop the disease.

While diabetes is caused by a genetic disorder, symptoms rarely develop before middle age. While nearly 21% of the population will develop diabetes, less than 0.05% will develop juvenile diabetes.

Do long distance relationships ever work? My boyfriend and his family are moving to a town about four hours away from me and we both want to try to make it work. We’ve been dating for a while and have said “I love you” and everything, but neither of us can drive yet, so it’s going to be hard. Are there any ways to make it easier to be apart?

Long distance relationships have their own unique set of challenges. Fortunately, you will just be four hours away! Likely there are means of transportation that will get you both back and forth for visits fairly often. And of course, you can connect with each other daily thanks to the many forms of modern communication! The most important thing is to make the effort to try and communicate “live” (hearing one another’s voice is the best) as often as possible and to continue sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings. Hopefully, you’ll both get to see each other more than you think!

Long Distance Relationships

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