by Tish MacWebber | Feb 1, 2020 | Trust Your Gut
I have written before about emotional eating. I do it, and I am trying to change my relationship with food. It is not easy to change, but I am working on it, and I am making progress. Little by little, I am making changes and seeing results. Not too long ago, I wasn’t aware of how much I let food rule my world.
Living with type 2 diabetes; food is something that I can obsess about. It is easy to go for a quick and easy meal or snack when I tell myself I am stopping my blood sugars from dropping. Without testing, it is very hard to know whether the blood sugars are high or low. I know what to watch for, but it doesn’t mean that I can always tell.
I am working on taking my health more seriously this year. Since I have been testing my blood sugars more frequently, they are finally getting back to normal ranges. I am paying more attention, and my efforts are paying off. If I am going to do this, I need to remember to take my medications. It is good to be able to write that I am back on track with this.
On Being Kind To Myself
Choosing to prioritize my own health care IS being kind to myself. Making poor choices or slacking off is not. I saw the result of that over the holidays, and it was not pretty. Implementing changes like keeping track of taking my medicine or checking my sugars is a huge accomplishment.
In the fall, I bought myself some new clothes. Two new dresses, one casual and one for a special occasion. As I was in need of new dressier boots, I found a new pair and a new pair of casual shoes too. I don’t go shopping for clothes frequently, and there are times I go out and come home with nothing. When I find good sales on clothes or footwear, I usually get what I can; when the odds are in my favour.
Making a pointed effort to not go out and buy clothing regularly is telling myself that I am not worth the effort of going to shop for myself. While I can’t afford to buy new clothes every month, I should make an effort when I am in need.
How About My Dance More Goal?
I did Zumba at home 2 times last week. I have fallen behind on cleaning at home. Sometimes I switch it in when I need to get some cleaning done in place of the dancing. Recently I worked on switching the makeup area in my master suite by moving two storage shelving options around.
Dancing is the goal, but I needed to adapt it a bit to allow for any movement that is being done on purpose. Running errands, window shopping, even doing laundry and putting it away (not my favourite thing to do) is moving on purpose. Any activity is an extra activity for me now.
Being aware of the need to be more active means nothing if I am not actually making changes. It is not easy. Neither is shoveling snow, but it is necessary for the winter where I live. I also count it as an activity.
How Do I Stay Motivated?
One thing I learned a while ago when I was feeling bad about the state of my house is that if I watched the shows on TLC about Hoarders, it can inspire me to do more cleaning in my home. I am a packrat, not a hoarder. I can purge and throw things out or donate them. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done. I do need to be in the mood to tackle cleaning my home, and watching this show helps. It shows how bad things can get if you do not clean your home and consequently, it does make me feel like cleaning around here more frequently.
Some other shows I have been watching lately are My 600 Pound Life, and another one called The 1000 Pound Sisters. I am watching to learn how to help myself, with the same thought process behind it. I don’t want my weight to ever be that high. Watching the show is how I can learn about what not to do. The doctors on these shows have to be tough, and the people who are looking for the surgery have to commit to their health before they will get approved. I see their struggles, and I recognize some of the traits I have in common with the people on the show.
Emotional eating is a problem I admit to having.
Not in the same way the people on the show do, though. I have seen some really bad habits. Eating take out and going to more than one restaurant in a row, just ordering food, eating in the car, and going to the next drive-thru is something I have never done. Not for full meals. If I want things from different places to make up a meal, maybe, but this is a rarity for me.
One thing which really stood out to me is that more than one person relates their food to be their only friend. Not only does it make me sad to think that there are people out there who genuinely feel this way,l but it is something I have never had to deal with. I eat my feelings, but I do not rely on food to comfort me the way a friend would. It is not the same for me.
The good news is that some of those people succeed. It gives me hope that when I get serious with myself, I can make the changes needed to be healthier.
by Tish MacWebber | Mar 14, 2019 | Trust Your Gut
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.
by Tish MacWebber | May 11, 2017 | Trust Your Gut
The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.
Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 12
Sometimes I am scared to eat. I know; a morbidly obese person is not expected to write those words. I am so overweight that it could kill me, and I certainly didn’t end up weighing this much by not eating, that is for sure. But there is this thing I have called type 2 diabetes.
Let’s get it straight. I am a person that has type 2 diabetes. The same way I am a person that has thyroid disease. The same way I am morbidly obese. The same way I have allergies. All of these descriptive phrases contribute to different parts of me, but they do not define me. I think that it is the time that we all take a look at that and really think about it. Because saying that someone is a diabetic is almost the same as saying they are not a person, because of how you say it. I am a person that has diabetes. I am a woman that has blue eyes. The colour of my eyes does not define me, but it is a part of many things that contribute to me, the person as a whole. In a world where people are way too quick to label people and judge them, I think it is time to stop doing this. The world is changing all the time, and people are trying to be more politically correct. If we all think of each other as people that have many adjectives to describe them, it is a good place to start. We all have our good qualities and we all have our issues. Mine are not the same as yours, but we all have issues and good qualities. That is the common ground we all have together.
Back to being scared to eat. I am learning how to treat blood sugar lows. I have learned to drink a juice box, and have a sucker or a candy, and wait. I then check my sugars again. If they are responding to the treatment, I stop panicking and move on with my day. If they don’t, I may go overboard and eat too much candy to get my sugars up, and then I have to figure out what to do to bring them down again. If I overreact and they are high, it means I am not panicking about them being too low anymore, but that means they are too high. This is one scenario similar to what I am writing about, except there is another time when I am really scared to eat. When my blood sugars are high, and I don’t know why.
I am starting to learn what I should eat to bring my blood sugars down. It is not an easy thing to figure out. I take insulin, and if you take too much, it is possible to die from an overdose. I am very scared that this could happen to me. So I am careful if I have to take more insulin than a regular dose when my sugars are higher than normal. But how much is too much? Some days I don’t even know how much I should take. On those days I either play it safe by not taking too much which is usually not enough, or I check my sugars every couple of hours to make sure I am not dropping if I take that larger than normal dose.
If my sugars are high and I am not able to get them to a normal level with insulin, that is uncharted territory. I am fighting with them a lot this week. I am worried that there is a reason behind them being so high, and for why it seems so hard to get them back under control. It can be a sign that something else is going on in my body like it is fighting an infection. I will be honest here, I have never seen them as high as they were this past Sunday night. I took insulin. Got up the next morning, and they were down, but still high. I took 2 doses of insulin that were quite high when I added them together, because of how close the doses were taken. Only after the second dose did I see a change, and it wasn’t drastic, and I didn’t crash with a blood sugar low. I went to Zumba Monday night, and they were almost within normal range. I have not had a spike in high blood sugar like that today, but I am STILL fighting to get them under control and keep them within normal range. (I am writing this on Tuesday evening).
When this is happening, I am scared to eat. I am scared that anything I put into my mouth will cause my sugars to go even higher. It is not a weight thing. I am worried that my blood sugars will just keep climbing and I won’t be able to get them back under control. I know I need to eat. I know that if I make healthy choices, things will have to change, it is just a matter of time. But delaying that meal can be detrimental to what could happen.
Let’s say I just don’t eat. My sugars might spike as my body tries to keep sugar in my bloodstream without the addition of food. Eventually, the sugars will drop. I then become a little desperate, hangry, and indecisive. That combination will eventually lead to my blood sugars dropping. This is not productive and does lead to a panic when I realize that my sugars are starting to drop. It is at that time that I reach for an easy meal or snack that may not be the healthiest thing for me to eat, and the roller coaster has fuel to continue.
What I have learned is that if I wake up with a pattern of high blood sugars, I do need to increase my long-acting insulin dose. A little at a time, until I have normal fasting blood sugars in the morning. Then I can ease it off. Protein is supposed to help with this also, and I am trying to find a bedtime snack that does more good than harm. Throughout the day I have to test frequently, to help sort out what is causing the blood sugars to be high and not normal. This may cause me to skip a snack because of the level I see when I test. It also may cause me to delay eating because I am scared that it is only going to make things worse.
And then it happens. The insulin starts working again, and I am not having blood sugar highs anymore because I am now fighting blood sugar lows. This is a byproduct of getting them back under control. When my body decides to accept the insulin, it does it suddenly, and I am scrambling again to get my sugars within normal levels. If I am not monitoring them constantly during this time, I risk them staying too high if I am not taking enough insulin, or having to lower my doses because my body is responding and I am taking too much insulin. It is difficult at times to try and outsmart this diabetes that I have, and that is why I am scared to eat sometimes.