In the last couple of weeks, I have slipped a little on what I have been working on. As a result, I have had to do some serious thinking. I am not losing the battle. I am human, and I have slacked off a little in keeping up with the food journal. It does take effort, and commitment to keep up with it, among all of the other things I am currently struggling to accomplish. I am up to the task, but sometimes you have to find easier ways to attack the numerous responsibilities in your life. I am thinking about starting to use my fitness pal, an app on the tablet I was given by a friend.
Earlier in this series, I wrote about the little spark of light within myself. The part of me that needs to shine, so much brighter than the darkness it is enshrouded in. I have done some reflection on this, and I think it is time for a new perspective.
Stay with me here.
I still believe in me. I still believe in you. And most importantly, I still believe in letting my little light shine brighter than the sun.
What if the reason we struggle within ourselves is because we imagine there are opposing forces?
What if the answer is not to fight so hard? The light will shine from your heart if you let it. It will overcome the darkness. Why do we focus so hard on making things harder than they have to be?
It is in our nature. Everything we experience in life which is worth the outcome is derived from a struggle. For some, it is getting out of bed and dressed every day. Other people fight to get through the weekday hustle to find rest in the weekend. Addiction afflicts many people, more than the individuals who have this issue, it can reach further to attack families and friends. People like me struggle to become more active and lose weight, second-guessing every bite of food they put into their mouth. Others, at the opposite end of the scale, obsess about that bite of food so much that they may not even eat it. Or they appear to be eating regularly but they hide how they remove the food from their body when they are alone.
There has to be an easier way.
When it comes to my approach to everything in life, I am not a quitter. I push and fight. I dig in my heels, yell, and cry. Sometimes, all the effort pays off. I accomplish my goal. But at what cost?
This is what I am getting at. If it is so hard to get to the desired result, maybe I shouldn’t be pushing so hard. What if instead of trying to use my inner light to just be. Let it sparkle and twinkle until it is existing in harmony with the darkness. It is in there, it is inside all of us. We need to believe it can be seen and more importantly, that it should be seen.
When we focus on the struggle, we are expending time and valuable energy on the wrong thing. It is something else when you stop fighting. When you do, don’t let the darkness take over. Let the little light inside reach out to the world.
When you stop fighting so hard, you can believe in yourself fiercely.
It isn’t easy to just change your perspective. I am working on this constantly. There are good times and bad times, just the same as with other parts of life. You need to experience both to learn and grow. One cannot happen without the other. I am here to tell you that you can change the way you think about yourself, and find the confidence you need to make conscious choices every day to make this possible.
There is no war inside your heart. Not if you don’t create it. There is only you. And you, my friends, are meant to step aside with the darkness, so that the world can see the beautiful glow from within. It is there. I am learning to trust in it. You can too.
Let me know how this post or any in this category have helped you. I started writing to help people, and I am still writing with that purpose in mind. Is it working?
When I wrote Trust Your Gut part 64, I was struggling. Immensely. I was having difficulty with managing my day to day life, and with controlling my type 2 diabetes. Since then, I have worked really hard and made some positive changes.
I have been unemployed for two months, and I was feeling lost, in many areas of my life, health included. I have had blood work, and the monthly average had gone up again. It was over 10 in the last 3 months, and that is considered high. The three-month average should be under 7 or lower, to be considered as under good control.
I was falling further and further out of control. This had me in such a state that I almost went into full panic mode. I knew I had to make some drastic changes or things would continue getting worse and worse. The complications of diabetes are well documented, and poor blood sugar control only exacerbates the issues.
I made a decision.
I had another appointment at the Diabetes clinic, that is when I found out that my blood sugars went up again. The first thing I did was talk about medications. I have had a prescription for a new medication since the last time I saw my doctor in January. With the job loss, and my husband in a new job, we did not have medical coverage for the new medication, and it was expensive. I had to wait before I could start it.
Meanwhile, my doctor is now aware of the increased 3 month average of my blood sugars. She may not know that I lost my job, and asa result of seeing my last blood work results, I will bet she will be planning to give me a stern talking to when I see her. I hope to distract her with the proof I have been doing much better since I was finally able to start the new medication this past Saturday.
I started to take Victoza. It is an injectable drug, taken once daily. At the diabetes clinic, I was asked if it would be better for me to take it once a week, which required a different prescription for a different drug, or if once a day would be manageable. I decided to stick with the once a day option, as I know myself too well. If I picked Monday for the once a week, and forgot, then as a result, I wouldn’t know what to do. I have been doing really well remembering to take it once a day, with the new system I have had some help to set up at the clinic.
In less than a week, things are SO much better!
Today, I had to call the clinic, only 5 days after starting the new medicine. I have had a blood sugar low, and this means that the new medicine is working SO well, that I have to lower my insulin amounts to compensate. Hallelujah! Progress in the right direction! What a relief!
There are side effects of the new medicine. They are not as bad as they were when I started it. My stomach is settling down, as there were a few upset days. I am hoping that I continue to tolerate it well because my sugars are stabilizing.
What else am I working on?
Furthermore, I asked at the clinic for help to keep track of what I am eating, and my medicine intake. Since I have 2 agendas, I am now using the larger one as a food/water/medicine intake journal. I have kept up with it, and it is helping me to stay accountable. Really, I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that I have proof to bring to my next doctor’s appointment. Sometimes it is okay to ask for help, as long as you are willing to do the work once you get it.
Until this year, I have been asking for help and not getting the right kind of support for my health. I have tried things and been told that I am doing fine, and the appointments would be less frequent, or just stop, so I am pushing harder for the help this time. It is still up to me to do the work, but it feels like I am going to have the right kind of support this time. I just need a little help, to figure out the best way for me to take control of my health. I am happy to say that having a plan, finally, is just what the doctor ordered.
Most importantly, I am working on a lot of things right now. I am not only working on my health, but I am also learning how to organize my days, to have more structure. I needed help with that. Next week I will be seeing a dietitian. I hope things keep going well. For now, I am celebrating a little bit. Something is working, and as a result, it seems like I am going to be able to keep progressing in the right direction for a change.
Have you asked for help and been let down?
Don’t give up. Keep asking. Maybe like me, you haven’t found the right person to help you yet. It only took me 20 years. Sometimes it pays to be stubborn.
Please Note: As a Type 2 Diabetic, I can only write this article based on my own personal experiences. Some of what I am sharing may apply to Type 1 Diabetes, but I am not able to confirm this myself. There are many complications of diabetes which are very well documented with scientific and medical proof, but this post is one I have been thinking about for a while, so I am going to go for it.
The epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity is a well documented topic. There are many campaigns to encourage healthier eating around the world. They are only effective, however, if they are based in medicine and science. The other factor is if they are actually followed as guidelines or not.
The Canada Food Guide has recently made some changes.
In 2019, Canadians were shocked when the old Canada Food Guide was replaced by the NEW Canada Food Guide. It is supporting a more Mediterranean based diet. More lentils, fruits, vegetables, protein and water are the basics to build on. While it is likely a healthier diet to follow, the dairy sector seems to be less emphasized in the new food guide. It is not on the landing page. It was a main food group in the previous versions.
In contrast to the lower focus on dairy products, the only one I have eliminated is milk. These days, I drink unsweetened cashew milk, with or without vanilla. I am not lactose intolerant. I do have cheese, cream cheese, plain greek yogurt and sometimes ice cream to make sure I have calcium in my diet.
The new food guide seems like a drastic change, but it can also be useful.
When I was first diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic, there was a panic.
The only thing I was scared of was the needles. I didn’t want to take insulin injections. Consequently, I put them off for as long as I could, and now I am taking 5 needles a day. When I am making the effort to take care of myself. On days when I sleep in, I don’t eat breakfast early enough to have the 3 meals, and the 5 needles. Sometimes my suppertime insulin doses are forgotten until bedtime. Some days and I am not wanting to scare my family or friends who might read this, but I forget to take it at all.
In reference to the title of this blog, Mind Games are a Complication of Type 2 Diabetes; it is a vicious cycle to fall into, but it exists. Furthermore, it is real, and it is something I am struggling with. I forget to test my blood sugars. I forget to take my insulin. As an imperfect human by design, I am a human with type 2 diabetes. I need to take control again.
I certainly do take responsibility for what I put into my own mouth. It is easy to blame a situation, or what someone is offering as a way to happiness through food. I do eat my feelings, at times. This means I am owning what I am doing to myself by the choices I make, but not taking control of my type 2 diabetes, and therefore my life.
The experts talk about protecting your liver, kidneys, eyes, heart and feet.
The experts have used these complications in their medical scare tactics for years. I have heard all about them, and sometimes my brain wanders while I am supposed to be paying attention. Other times I think not me, I am not going to be affected by this disease in those ways. What I should be doing is everything possible to avoid these complications now, because as a result of not taking control with better choices, when they happen, it may be too late to fix the complications.
This is the most important point I need to make here. I do know what I should do. Making better choices for myself, and taking control of my own life should be the most important priority for my health. I should listen to the warnings, and take them seriously, and more importantly, I should take better care of myself. Here comes the head trip.
It isn’t easy to always make your health your number one focus in your life when it requires a constant effort to do so. When I choose the easy way, or the lazy way, that too is a choice I am making. Should I exercise every day, for at least 20 minutes? Yes. Do I? No. That is a choice. It is easier to not think about these things, therefore avoiding them, than it is to focus on them and remain committed to a healthier lifestyle.
I have seen the positive results in my life when I do take control and make better choices.
So why can’t I do this all of the time? You may think it is a form of depression, which is also one of those complications the experts warn about. It isn’t what I am referring to, at least in terms of my own experience. Some days I do really well, other days not so much. It is not consistent with me at all. I might have a good plan, then three hours later realize I never bothered to try to get any of it done.
When left to my own devices, I will slack off to doing nothing about my health. It is a fact, I have proven to myself time and time again. I know what I should be doing, and I just don’t make the effort. My mind games involve my own feelings of self worth. I know I have self esteem issues. I know that I can overcome them. Again, we are back to choices and control. Without making the right choices, and taking control of my own health, I am leaving myself open for further complications. Consequently, this also opens the door to more medications to try and slow the damage I am doing to myself.
I am driven to succeed. I am striving to be fearless. The season is changing, and I am taking vitamin D, when I remember, to help me find a way out of what appears to be seasonal depression. I know what I need to do. I need to change my mind, for good. It is time to make more changes in my life. At this point, the list will unfurl to be a scroll which goes the full length of the mini home I am living in, and then some.
As a result of the mind games, I am starting to see what happens when I let them win.
Today I feel like I am really out of shape. I am having muscle pains in odd areas. My chin size increased. I am not able to move as quickly as I would like to, nor am I able to find the energy to do things. These symptoms have led me to the realization that the mind games have to stop. I need to take control, get a routine, and make some positive habits.
When you have spent your whole life being too hard on yourself, and become an all or nothing person, it is incredibly difficult to change the path you are on. Since I have come to the decision to start making some new changes, I need to take the time and write them down. If I just think about things, it is not as likely for me to take action. I need to create a new game for my mind. Only then can I truly win.
As always, please leave comments if you have any at the end of this post. I am working on something new for the website, relating to the Trust your Gut series, and your feedback may help me to find better ways to help other people with weight issues. If you would like to share your own story in this category, it is always open to submissions.
We have all heard this phrase at one time or another in our lives. First, it is a good way to reflect on failures, whether they are epic or tiny since it allows for the failure not to be the end, but rather a lesson. Every day is a struggle, for everyone on earth. We all have different issues, but we all have this in common. How can I be so sure? Nobody on this planet is perfect. Therefore, whether the struggle is internal or external, everyone is struggling with something. The degree of difficulty varies, but the similarity of the common thread we all share is evident.
Yesterday, I spent an hour writing a different post for Trust Your Gut this week. When I looked at the Yoast editor, I was thrilled, because I only had one issue to resolve, and it was not those troubling transition words. After a rough editing session on Wednesday, I was elated. I started working on the corrections, and then it happened. A writer’s worst nightmare. It was gone. All of my work, that beautiful post which will now be read by nobody, other than yours truly. I didn’t have a complete concept when I started writing however, I made it work. Until it disappeared.
Oh, how I wish I could make other things disappear so quickly
I wish I could type it up and delete my excess body fat for good. Wouldn’t that be amazing? What about being out of shape? Click of the mouse and I am an athlete. Wow! Wouldn’t that be super?
Or would it? Taking the easy way out of a struggle is quite possibly a dream which I share with millions of people. We are always looking for that one easy way to solve our problems. Above all, the truth is, if it was easy, it would not be an issue any more, because everyone would already be taking advantage of their own easy solution. So what is stopping us from making everything easy to do?
Consequences. There is always a catch. No matter what your struggle is about, the easy way always has one little thing which makes you think twice about going for it. The reason could be the cost, the maintenance effort, or it could be immoral. Everything has a price, and it isn’t always a monetary value.
Don’t forget about the lessons in life
No matter what you struggle with, being overweight or underweight, there are always takeaways from our journey that do not fit in a to go box. There is no one size fits all solution for people who struggle with their weight. Everyone has their own issues, and we all have to find our best way to be the healthiest version of ourselves that we can be. It isn’t about what society dictates, or the number on the scale. It isn’t about the clothes you wear to try and camouflage your imperfections.
Likewise, another thing we all have in common is the largest organ on our bodies. Our skin. No matter the colour, blemishes, freckles or imperfections, we all have skin. Thick or thin, it is essential for keeping us together; preventing us from falling apart, both literally and figuratively. Being comfortable in your own skin today is important. Right now! Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are a wonderful, unique individual, and you should be celebrated today and every day. Age, like weight, is just a number. How you feel is what should matter most of all!
Mind over matter
In my own journey, throughout my life thus far, I have learned that when I make healthier choices for myself, I feel better. This SHOULD be the easy answer for me. It is not always so simple. When I decide to put myself first and make better choices, there is usually an effort required on my part to make these decisions work. They are not the least effort possible options. I have to get up and move around to exercise. I have to put an effort into making myself be more active.
When it comes to eating healthier, it is always the best choice however it is not always an easy one. Planning and prep time add up, which makes it more complicated. I have to plan the grocery list, find what I need on sale, go to five different stores to get the ingredients, and then set up the time to prepare the meals. In addition, I must have the kitchen clean, before and after cooking. This is an idea I have blurred the lines on. I do get tired after all of this, and as a result I will sometimes take shortcuts like buying pre-chopped veggies to help speed up the process. While it is less expensive to prep everything myself, as I wrote above, the cost is not always monetary.
Losing time and finding energy
I try to be productive every day. Some days I am super productive, and other days I get nothing accomplished and do not know where the day escaped to. It is not a secret that I drink coffee and take multivitamins. I credit my energy to those two things I do, most of the time. Once in a blue moon, I will be motivated to do something that has been set aside for a while. On the other hand. there are other days I have appointments and I am on the go because I have to be.
As much as I don’t like focusing on the clock, it does help to be aware of how much time it takes to get things accomplished. However, I go through cycles of activity, cleaning sprees, cooking healthy food and taking me days to rest. All of these are important, and affect my health. When I am looking at a long list of things to do, it can be discouraging. For example, I am looking at this list, being long, in many areas of my life. I am working on myself, my home, my employment opportunities, and making the most of the time I have to do all of this.
Whatever I can or cannot do on a given day, does not make me less than my best. In other words, when I am true to myself every day, I am enough.
Since I am an overachiever, I would rather go all in than do anything part way. While I am trying to make changes for the better, there are other items on several different lists, also waiting for me to address them. I need to decide to accept what I can do as enough. As a result, this is ultimately what we all have to conclude. To go a bit further with this thought, we are worth the effort of striving for a better life, and the best we can do is enough.
Most importantly, I am all I was ever meant to be up until this very moment, and I will be better with each moment I choose to believe in myself in my future. It is time to let that little light inside of me shine bright, to lead the way to my path. Sometimes, I will go astray, but in doing so I am learning, or finding a better path. It is all up to me. I am comfortable in my own skin. It is a good way to be, and with this knowledge, I am ready to face my struggles again.
I feel like even though I have had issues this week, I am getting back to blogging as I remember from when I was consistently working at it. I hope you can get a sense of that too when you are reading. The work is familiar, and I am finally finding my way again, even with the new approach for SEO editing. How can I be so sure? I only have one answer, at this time.
Happy Valentine’s Day! It seemed rather appropriate to write about the heart today. Heart health is important and should not be ignored. This post is not going to be one which is full of facts, spouting all the do and don’t guidelines for the organ’s health. Consequently, you are wondering, what am I going to write about?
The heart for me is a complicated topic. As a creative, I am very in tune with my emotions, which also relate to my heart. Every single beat of my heart wants to spread love and positivity far and wide. I have a strong heart, I am lucky. It can take a lot of use in its various functions, traditional and non-traditional. Let’s explore what I am writing about.
The heart pumps blood to every cell in your body and back in an impressively short amount of time. Constantly. When your heart is physically healthy, it is powerful. I like to think of mine as strong. I have had concerns, especially since I am morbidly obese. As a result of my concerns, I do have it checked when something feels wrong. I have been assured that my heart is not the source of any medical concern when I do get it checked. This tells me it is strong, physically.
Regular exercise is something I have been slack – a- lacking on in the last few months. Several, if I am being totally honest with you. I used to go to Zumba on a regular schedule, twice a week. The location has moved, and with my previous work schedules, it wasn’t always possible to make it in time for the class. The summer was very hot and humid, the price of gas was another reason, and I just stopped going. Once in a blue moon, I would have all the stars align to allow me to go, but it was painfully clear that I am now really out of shape again. I may be in the worst shape of my life as I write this.
It’s not like I don’t know what I have to do. I have to actually do it.
I have to stop making excuses, and just exercise. Last week a good friend encouraged me to walk 20 minutes a day. I countered with a plan to dance in my living room instead. Then I didn’t take action. That is on me. I let one excuse become two and then I had seven days of excuses, with maybe five minutes of dancing in the bathroom the other day. I play music when I am in the shower. It helps to keep me on track, and starts my day off a little happier because I add in music. My feet don’t move when I dance in the tub, for safety reasons. Before I get into the shower, however, I may be moved to dance to a whole song.
My husband even gave me a deadline to get the living room cleaned, which I have held in my mind but not really acted on yet. I have started. I have puttered at it. But it is still an excuse. So I need to take action on this also. Any movement at all counts right now. I know it is important. It is time to change the tune inside my head, to maintain the healthy heart I have. It works hard, so I need to honour it by taking better care of it.
The emotional side of me is all heart. I want to help people, I want people around me to be happy. When I am working on this and focusing on the needs of others, rather than on my own, it can be exhausting. This is the type of person I am, and I am learning that I need to also be a protector of my own heart, so it stays strong, emotionally. It might sound odd from a scientific point of view, but it is my truth. My heart is connected to me, and to everything around me.
I have been known to go above and beyond what is required on a project. I am an overachiever. It is in my nature to put the needs of others ahead of my own. This is a common issue for me and for many other people. We want to make sure everyone else is taken care of before taking care of ourselves. This can cause me to lose sleep, and become difficult to be around if you are not the person I am working on the project for. When this happens, I should stop and take a break. If there is a deadline, even a self – imposed one, I am not always able to stop.
I need to be more aware of this so I am giving my best all of the time, instead of focusing it on one project and letting the other areas of my life fall aside; as if they are not important. As if I am not important.
She wears her heart on her sleeve
One thing about being in touch with your emotions and embracing them means that if you are a heart-centered person like myself, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. I took red lipstick and black eyeliner to drew the heart on my arm to give a visual representation to what I know is my truth. I successfully completed the challenge, and have some remarkable photos I am very proud of taking as a result of participating.
This leads me to my final thoughts, back to emotions. I have been working on myself, and I am starting to see some positive results from the changes I am making. From the very heart of my being, I know I need to do more. It isn’t easy. If it was, we would all be healthy, active, emotionally balanced people. I embrace all of my emotions, and I need the full spectrum of what that means. I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
People look at me and assume that because I am morbidly obese, I am eating all the time, and lazy. I will admit to the laziness, I am working on overcoming it, in relation to my physical activity levels. This doesn’t mean I am not a hard worker, though. I give my all to everything I do work on.
Morbidly obese people who have issues don’t eat all of the time, however, we can eat our feelings.
It is not healthy, and I have done this to avoid facing my feelings. This is one very real thing that has contributed to my weight. It is not the defining factor, though. For me, it comes down to choices. I choose whether or not to be active. Choosing to eat a whole box of chocolates or a large bag of chips to eat my feelings away, instead of facing them. As a result of that choice, I may feel full, or even not well because of it, but I am not facing what is really going on in my life. Choosing fast food instead of taking an hour to cook. These choices add up. To one very important realization.
I am choosing the easy way because I do not feel like I am important enough to choose the better option. It is easier to avoid the issue rather than face feelings and deal with them. Choosing to do better is something I am working on. It is hard. There are so many choices available to me now that I am going to make the wrong ones sometimes. What do I need to do? Start taking action, by making better choices. This is truly the heart of the matter.
Let’s help each other to make better choices. How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? How are you showing yourself that you are important? Please, let me know in the comments.
I started a weight loss support group. It seemed like I was doing well at the start, with the weight loss. After the holidays, I gained more weight. I was very disappointed, but, I could only blame myself.
Things changed in my life around the same time. I changed jobs. I was a bundle of nerves, and I did it. After working at the same job for seven years, I took a chance. You can probably imagine how surprised I was to be unemployed three months later. Consequently, I am still adjusting. I am choosing to see this as an opportunity to write full time.
What I do have control over is what I eat. I have been unemployed for almost two weeks, and in that time I lost 10 pounds. I gained one back this week. My eating habits and my sleeping patterns need to be scheduled again. With a schedule, I will have more control.
I had an appointment with my doctor. She was expressing concern about my sugars. They were creeping back up again. One positive thing to note was my blood pressure was good we have been working to improve it. I was overwhelmed that day, and I told her I had nowhere to put the emotions I was fighting to hide.
I was having a hard time. There is no easy way to say it. I was struggling in many areas of my life, and I didn’t know how badly I needed help.
The doctor asked me if she could set up some appointments. With tears rolling down my face, I agreed. At the time, I was concerned about my work schedule. It is no longer an issue. I have had two of the appointments, and am working on the others. One is with the Diabetes Clinic. One is with a social worker. I did not know what to think about it.
The social worker was really nice. She explained that she meets with people to help them find the help they need, by connecting them with resources. If there is one thing I am learning, is that if you can use resources which are available to you. Use them to the fullest advantage.
We talked about the loss of my income. She recommended a community food program for fruits and vegetables. I am looking into it this week. She wants me to go to the career counselling center I had gone to about a year ago. In a few weeks, I will meet with her again.
An appointment with the health coach I had been working with back in the fall will be rescheduled. I had every intention to reschedule. Now I will make time. One would think that becoming unemployed unexpectedly would have left me with a lot of free time.
Why am I busier now?
I am working towards a freelance writing career. I am staying up too late and sleeping in. There is a need to make time for exercise. It will come. I need to catch up on chores. I am starting to work on them. We are eating more meals at home, as we have to be careful with our budget. Healthy eating will be a challenge on a tighter budget. I need to fight my way out of this to be able to take the next steps to managing my health, and my life.
I am making my own schedule. Today I went outside to shovel the snow. It was an attempt at a little fresh air and exercise. There had been a little snowfall today. I wanted to feel like I accomplished something.
Winter is hard on my mental health. I am susceptible to seasonal depression. I am adding vitamin D into my daily routine, to see if it helps. Today was a really hard day. I made myself get up, get dressed, and go outside. I didn’t want to get out of bed. Things will be easier in the spring. For now, I keep fighting.
This week, I accomplished a lot
I relaunched my website and I had some appointments. Today, I fought the winter blues and made my way outside. Tomorrow I am going to cook 2 healthy meal options for myself. I can keep working on my own goals, and stop being a victim of circumstances. I will. It might take some time to get things going in the right direction again. Once I make up my mind, things start happening. It is good to be blogging again. I think I need this part of my life to be active to help me to be accountable. Hopefully, this helps a reader one day too.
It’s hard to start over. How do you get things under control again? Let me know, maybe you can help me as I try to help you.
I was supposed to write this story last week, but time got away from me. I have a lot on the go, and sometimes I have to decide what to prioritize. I am going to try and catch you all up on what has been going on.
I have made some changes recently, in the hopes of improving my health.
I have all but eliminated pop from my beverage list. I will still allow it from time to time, but Roy started this a little while ago, and I am supporting him. Even though Zevia is on the plan. I will still have pop with pizza, and sometimes at home, but we have reduced our intake. He has lost some weight. I have had improvements in my blood sugars, with this and paying more attention to what I am eating and remembering to take my medicine. Little changes add up to big results. My 3-month average was starting to creep up to a bad number. It was 9.6; 6 months ago. The doctors want is under 7. I am happy to say that the latest bloodwork had it down to 8.8. Yes, it is not where we want it to be, but my doctor was so impressed that she said not to worry too much about that awfully high number you see in the cover pic. It was my weight not that long ago.
I was participating in a 10 day, 30 photo challenge online when I took it. The camera did add 2 pounds ( really, it did). I took to my Facebook wall and asked what colour should I choose ambiguously for the challenge that day. Hot pink or Legendary Red. Hot Pink won by a landslide. I painted my toenails in pink, dug up the feather boa, and stepped onto the scale for a pic. I knew it was really hard to do, and sharing it was brave. I was scared, but for me and my journey, I needed to share this pic.
It will soon be amongst the 29 + other pics I took over those 10 days in an album or graphic soon. I want to have them all together, to show others what I am capable of. Take note of that ending of the last sentence. to show others WHAT I AM CAPABLE OF! I am learning more about myself and what I can do every day!
My weight is a concern to me. It is the highest I have ever been to, and I know I need it to change. With that in mind, I decided to reach out to a Health Coach, who was recommended by my Diabetes Case manager. I had a few things to check out for our first appointment.
I have taken on the Wellness Wednesday Project (WWP) as the Ambassador. I am trying to help people at work with contests, prizes and information. My boss offered this as something I could do when I asked him if I could write a blog for our workplace. I was going to be at work early in the morning for a couple of months, and I thought writing would be something I could do at that time. I cannot access my book online to work on it, there is only wi-fi in the mall, not in the call centre I work at. I am not able to work on it there, unless it is old school, pen and paper, on my own time. When I am not working on WWP, I do take the paper copy of my book in and edit or write stories for the Kit Sora Flash Fiction with Engen Books. In the last one I entered, I placed second with my story. I placed third recently in another one. They are fun, and I am glad I can enter them.
Rabbit hole. Sorry, I get distracted sometimes.
There is a point, though. 😉
I was researching the Health Coach idea in light of my own need, asking about options for a friend, and checking on what might be available for work. There are workshops, and that may be something that happens in the future. For now, I have some information and I am working on my own goals with her. I am able to meet with her for appointments and we are working on my sleep habits, first. I am not able to change them yet, but I am conscious of what I am doing that delays bedtime on work nights, and I am trying to do better. We are now lowering the goal from 5 nights a week to 2 nights a week, to see if I can find ways to sleep longer. 5 or 6 hours a night is barely enough to be able to function. I am managing, but not feeling like my best when I am following this sleep-deprived schedule.
In talking with her at my appointments, we decided that sleep is important enough as a foundation for achieving my goals that it should be the right goal to start with. I need to put a little more importance in my health and sleep patterns to live a healthier lifestyle. It will trickle into other areas, and I will have the energy for things that I want to do but am too tired to do.
Something I realized is that I am putting a lot of things in the way of going to bed, and I need to treat myself to the same level of importance by getting enough sleep every night. I am working on it.
Even though the scale is not being nice to me right now, I am making progress in my blood sugars, which is very important for a diabetic. Once I start getting the right amount of sleep, the scale will be nicer. I just know it.
The other thing I have done was start a weight loss support group tied in with #Tishspiration. I am trying to hold myself accountable. I am working with a small group to help them and myself, to stay motivated. I am getting great feedback, which helps me to know I am on the right track. It is good to have a place where friends are in the same boat with you, or as I shared in a gif, all kittens in the same roller coaster ride. Since it is a small group and kept secret, the people in it feel safe sharing what is going on. I am finding their stories inspirational to me. It is a place to share our journey, and I do think it is going to help us all, in one way or another.
Like I wrote at the start, I am very busy these days. I am enjoying it as long as that is still a side effect, I will keep on keeping on!
This week’s Trust Your Gut is inspired by a recent challenge I participated in for 5 days. It was a Hydration Challenge. I shared a bit about it on my Facebook wall, which created quite a lot of comments. I shut down on commenting about it after it upset me about how vocally people were protesting how much water I was trying to drink to improve my health. For me, it felt like I was trying to do something healthy, and I was under attack. That is where the title is inspired by. #Watergate.
First of all, it brought to my attention how many people out there care about me, and are following my journey. Some of the people that commented rarely interact with me on a regular basis, but were alarmed at the goal I set for myself. I do appreciate all of the support I get with my online adventures, but I needed to take a step back to realize that people were not scolding me for doing something wrong, they were genuinely expressing their concern for my health.
My calculations were that I should e drinking 5 Litres of water a day to lose weight. I started working towards this goal right away. I actually never made it to the 5 Litres in one day. On the day of Relay for Life, it was hot, humid and I was participating in the Zumba on stage under the lights. On that day, I reached 4 Litres, and I was properly hydrated for the event. I was able to participate in the Zumba on stage, with no issues. I do believe that on that day, I needed the extra hydration. There were extraordinary circumstances.
Photo of a wave splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. Location Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Lisa Hill.
I took the concerns seriously and promised to check with medical professionals.
A person can drink too much water. The speed and volume of drinking water are factors in this being an issue. I am not drinking large volumes of water quickly, even on a Zumba day. My water bottle contains 750ml and I drink 2 of those in a Zumba class. One is mixed with a scoop of Biosteel, a sugar-free electrolyte booster. It’s like sugar-free Powerade or Gatorade. I drink it when I am working out, or feeling like I need an electrolyte boost. I buy it at GNC.
So on a Zumba day, I drink 1.5 Litres of water, but half of it is an electrolyte boosting drink. So the theory of too much water throwing my electrolytes off balance is not a concern when I am following this plan. I shared that I drink 3 cups of coffee a day, 3 Kcups in 4 runs on the Keurig. 3 full strength and one run through the second time. A litre of coffee a day. Coffee is a diuretic. I need more water to balance it. I drink 500 ml of water a day with my thyroid pill, as a requirement. I then drink my coffee. I then drink a 750 ml water jug. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
Your diet can also contribute to the volume of water you are ingesting on a daily basis. Certain foods contain a higher percentage of water than others. It is also important to keep this in mind if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.
I sent an email about this to my diabetes case manager. I have not had a response. I did, however, ask my doctor about this.
My doctor advised that I should drink 2.5 litres, and that would be a healthy amount. Half of what I was aiming for. The good news is, it is a more realistic and therefore more achievable goal.
I do want to thank the people that expressed their concern. I am still working on drinking more water, as since the challenge I slacked off a bit because of the concern people expressed. I do make mistakes, and I can be wrong. It is what makes me human like everyone else. I appreciate my friends. Thanks for making me research #Watergate.
In Trust Your Gut this week, I am going to explain how I am changing the way I think, in the hopes of helping you to change the way you think. The story starts at an appointment I had, about a week ago. I have started seeing a Diabetic Case Manager, and I was attending my second appointment. I like her. She has a no-nonsense attitude, backed up with a lot of valuable information.
When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it was November 1999. I remember the time because it was the day I found out that I was heading towards a path filled with needles and insulin. I tried to fight it as hard as I could. I now take 2 types of insulin, totalling 5 needles a day.
We talked about changing one type of insulin to a newer type of the same kind. It is made up of smaller molecules. This means that large doses, like what I take, will use less volume. It also has a longer range of activity. It works in the body longer than 24 hours, as a long-acting insulin. There would be no significant gap between doses. I am interested in trying this option.
Both she and my doctor want me to try another option. There are other injectables that help diabetics, and some help you to lose weight by suppressing your appetite. One of the side effects, nausea, has me concerned. I am not quite convinced about this option.
This discussion led to one about eating habits. This is when I learned about changing the way I think. I have written before about eating or drinking things when they are needed to get out of my house because they are bad for me. I was talking with my Diabetic Case Worker, and while we were having this conversation, I had an epiphany. Most people throw bad things out to get rid of them. My brain tells me to consume them before they go bad, and so that I am not wasting the food or drink. This is terrible, I know. I realized in the appointment that by consuming the harmful food or drink to get rid of it, I am effectively treating my body as a trash can.
Well. Another gremlin has appeared. It must be banished!
I have been working hard to change this way of thinking since the appointment. It is hard to deprogram what is in your genes (sorry Dad, this is the Scottish side of me not wanting to waste anything) to make yourself let go of foods that are garbage to your body. I have been consciously trying to not have junk food in the house because as I have written before if it is here, I will eat it. If it is not, sometimes the gremlins do make me think I miss it, but really, I don’t.
I challenged myself to stop dumping crap into my mouth. I also joined a 5-day hydration challenge. I have averaged 3 Litres and 3 cups of water a day since Monday. I will be trying to keep it up, as it is a good habit, drinking water. The chart said I need 5 Litres a day to lose weight. I am working my way up to it.
Lesson learned this week, my body is not a garbage can.