Good things are happening for me, and for some friends of mine. I started a small beta group to support people like me with regards to weight loss. It has been running for a while now, and I have asked for feedback to make it better for the users, and as my own research to prepare for the option of expanding to a paid membership group. I haven’t fully decided on what to do next, to be honest. I’m going to share a bit about the good things which are happening.
We are more of an accountability & support group. There is no plan we all follow, we each are responsible for our own choices in that manner. We are working on daily step count totals, and I have kind of fallen behind in our weekly totals. We are also working o water intake and healthy recipes. I post tips with articles once a week. Recipes are shared, and there is a weigh-in day, a non-scale victory day and feedback on Fridays. Other days allow for a spa day to treat yourself, and prep cooking meal planning prompts.
I create more graphics, which I did as a result of feedback, and I think the group likes them. Every so often, I make new ones. Scheduling the posts keeps them consistent. I can forget things when I am busy.
We had some milestones in June.
One member is in ‘onederland’ which is below 200 lbs, and two members are in ‘twoville’ which is below 300 lbs. For us, these are huge goals, and I celebrated their victories with them. I am not sharing their names, as it is not what matters here. The important thing to note is that we are holding each other accountable, and providing support to each other. With success!
I had a scare last week when I got on the scale at the doctor’s office. I was not amused. It weighed me at 330 lbs. I have never been that high, and I was quietly very upset by that number. I told Roy that I should have only celery for supper.
It was awful, even though I knew it was a different scale, a different time of day, and I had clothing on. It was still a nasty number to see.
Wednesday rolled around this week, and I prepared to step on my scale.
I was not 330 lbs. I weighed in at 320.8 lbs. What a difference! I had actually lost weight in two weeks. Things are not as bad as they appear to be, even if I am not at one of the major milestones, yet.
I am working towards that first milestone, twoville, myself. When people ask me if I lost weight, I really want to be able to say, yes. Some still ask. My answer is honest. I am moving more, and I am trying to make healthier choices. This week I feel like I did something right because I was down about 4 lbs in 2 weeks. However, I won’t feel like it is enough to talk about until I start hitting some major milestones.
I am waiting for my body to adjust to the highest dose of Victoza. The doctor recently increased it, and when I adjust, I start needing to lower both of my insulin injections. It is the reason to take this new injection, to lower the number of insulin injections. As a type 2 diabetic, my body still makes insulin but doesn’t make enough, or it isn’t being used properly. Taking less means my body is using its own insulin more effectively. It is another good thing. I was worried about nausea with the Victoza, but it only affected me for a couple of days when I started it a few months ago.
Hard work pays off, especially when you have accountability and a support system.
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.
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.
Trust Your Gut this week is going to focus a little on Type 2 Diabetes. Sometimes, I don’t feel well. When that happens, I take a guess at what is going on.
Let’s take today, for an example. I stayed a little later after work to run to the grocery store and to get some wine. Then I got a ride home. I shovelled the driveway, steps and walkway. There wasn’t a lot of snow, it wasn’t heavy, and it wasn’t too cold or windy. Half an hour later, I come inside. I take off my layers and am I glistening. Yay me for doing some exercise. Then I noticed that I was perspiring from my scalp.
That is not good. I had a reason, but from my scalp usually means a low. So I was going to treat it, but I thought, well I should know how low it is so I know how to treat it.
It is a good thing that I Trust My Gut. I wasn’t having a low, my blood sugar was high! I was surprised and glad that I checked. I knew I didn’t feel confused. I wasn’t weak, or faint. I was a little out of breath from exercising with the snow and shovel.
The lesson this week is that it is ALWAYS better to check first. I could have been adding to the problem, instead of solving it. I did have carbs at lunch, and that was what was going on. So it makes sense, even though I thought that it was the opposite. I had been exercising, and I was overdressed, so I was really warm.
Tonight I am going to make burgers. I am craving burgers, and this way I can control what I am eating. There is no extra junk in a burger if you make it at home, just a tasty meal that helps to avoid the lazy route of getting fast food. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still working on the plan, but sometimes it is good to have a regular meal. I got some buns, and cheese slices. I haven’t made homemade burgers in a while. I also grabbed frozen fish burgers last week, and I will keep 2 buns for the last 2 fish burgers. Just to have something different to eat.
Cheeseburger pie and Big Mac Salad will always be in my meal rotation, now. I have decided to make taco salad for SuperBowl Sunday. We ate chili last week, and I suspect the Nacho Queen (yours truly) will make some nachos over the weekend. I love to have a plate of nachos as a meal. When I don’t know what I want, there had better be nachos I can make. I am eating the blue corn nacho chips these days, sometimes even the organic ones if they are on sale. They are great with an avocado dip I get as a treat sometimes. I go on kicks and eat them every other day sometimes, and other times I go a month or two without them. When I have all the ingredients, it is an easy, filling meal to make.
Well, I am off to make supper, Roy will be home soon. I want to get ahead of the prep cooking someday and get some cheeseburger pie in the freezer. It is a really good idea to have it ready for that next burger craving when you don’t want to go off the plan…