Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 7

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 7

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

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 7

The importance of happiness is not something that should be ignored in dealing with weight issues.  If I am unhappy, I will eat my feelings, and not make healthy food choices.  When I am happy, I tend to be smarter and more conscious of what I am eating.  It is not always so straightforward, though.

Happiness is linked to positivity and optimism.  Energy is higher when I am happy. Happiness can, therefore, be linked with motivation.  When I have the motivation, nothing can stand in my way.  Except for dessert.  How do I stay motivated?  The first trick is to set reasonable goals.

I am not talking about the scale, although anyone that has weight issues has a love-hate relationship with the bathroom scale.  We love it when the number on the scale is favourable; we hate it when it is not.  It is best to not weigh yourself every day, but if the scale is right there, and you are just going to peek…that can be a depressing habit.  Because we all know that weight fluctuates.  If the scale shows a plateau or a change in the wrong direction, well there is a reason to just give up and go eat everything you want.  So if you avoid the scale completely, or weigh only once a week or once a month, it is sufficient, and the number on the scale does not become an unhealthy obsession.

I am talking about doing little things to make the journey worthwhile.  Allow yourself to buy something nice once in a while.  Not food.  That is not a productive treat unless is a healthy choice.  But you’re going to eat anyway, so food is not necessarily the correct reward for someone with weight issues.

A new tube of lipstick or a new nail polish is a way to treat yourself without worrying about size.  One size fits all gifts are perfect rewards for people like me because they do not have to be fit into.  It is great to find out that you are down a size when you need to go buy a new pair of jeans or a new dress, but it can be counter-productive because the size of clothing also impacts our self-image.  If it is a larger size or the same, it implies that what you are doing is not enough, and it can also make you want to stop trying.

Grab your favourite music and go for a walk.  Music makes me happy and motivates me.  I get so many more things accomplished when I listen to music.  Buy a new album and support your favourite artist.  If you listen to that album while exercising, you are benefiting from your treat, and it is helping you on your journey.  There are lots of ways to listen to your music now, but I still buy CDs from the bands I want to support.  I buy them at a live show if I can, they get a bigger slice of the pie that way.  Food analogy.  I can’t escape desserts no matter how hard I try.  There are no calories here, though.

Last Saturday I had an errand or two.  I wanted to get a clear plastic tablecloth. A protective cover for my pretty tablecloth and some new placemats.  I ‘ve purchased two new pieces of art (I found them at the dollar store a few months ago) for my kitchen, which I can hang up when I finish spring cleaning it.

I found the stainless steel straws I have been looking for,  (PLEASE IF YOU BUY THESE ONLY DRINK COLD BEVERAGES WITH THEM).  Hot drinks ingested quickly into the stomach…that can’t end well.  The straws would possibly increase that heat, and the only way I can think of treating a burn on the inside of your stomach is aloe vera juice.  I do not know if that would even work.

The reason I have been searching for the stainless steel straws was for a Trim Healthy Mama drink I make from the plan.  It calls for apple cider vinegar, which can be nasty to the enamel on your teeth.  It is good to help with weight loss.  So I am helping my weight loss, adding less waste to the environment by using straws that I can wash and use forever, and I am saving the enamel on my teeth.

I could not pass up the sale I found on coffee.  Keurig K-cups, 75% off.  That worked out to $3.00 a box.  I stocked up.  That is a treat for me that I can be happy about.  I drink 3 k-cups a day.  Black.  I am trying 3 new kinds of coffee, and if I don’t like it, I can give it to someone else and not feel like it was an expensive thing to give away.  I hope I like them because I plan to be drinking my bargain coffee for a while.

Soul food isn’t food.  It is what makes you feel good.  Music is my soul food.  I am glad I have it because it helps me snap out of a mood, and kick into high gear.  Which is what I need to continue on my not so straight and completely not narrow path.  Stop reaching for comfort food, and stock up on your soul food.  Find whatever makes you happy, and make it a part of your new routine.  Not your meal plan.

#TrustYourGut

 

 

 

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 7

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

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 6

When I first found out that I was a type 2 diabetic, I had experienced being at “goal weight” about 7 years before the diagnosis.  I successfully lost enough weight on the Weight Watchers program when I did it with my mom back in high school.  After that, I got sick and put on more weight than I had ever dealt with, and since then, I peaked at almost 320lbs.

I am hovering at the edge of “twoville” again, and really hoping that this is the year for me to find my way back to “onederland”.  Twoville is in the 200 lb range, and it starts at 299.99lbs.  Onederland is in the 100 lb range and starts at 199.99 lbs.  That would be an amazing accomplishment.  I can only imagine how that will feel, as it has been longer than a decade since I have weighed in at under 200 lbs.  I think it is a reasonable goal, for one year, and if I make it, fantastic, if not, I will keep fighting the good fight.  Because I believe I am worthy of living a healthier lifestyle, and I can do it if I just put in the effort.  A goal needs to be realistic, and if I put too much pressure on myself, I will fail and be crushed under the weight of that failure.

So I keep going to Zumba, twice a week.  I am preparing to start walking in my neighbourhood in the evenings.  That is also preparing for adopting a dog.  Part of the reason that I want to bring a dog home to live with me is that I know I will HAVE to go for walks more than once a day, EVERY day.  The dog will benefit from living in a loving home, and my health will have to benefit from all the walking.  It is a good plan, and I will have until next winter to prepare myself for walking in the snow and ice.  By then I will be in the habit of the daily walks, and I will be ready to tackle the bad weather walking as a healthier version of myself.

I am so looking forward to having a dog in my life again.  I have friends with dogs, and friends with cats.  I visit them when I can, but it’s not the same as having my own pet here all the time.  My house has been very quiet this winter, with no pitter patter of furry friends to come home to.  I needed time to mourn for my cats, and decided it was time to get a dog, in the spring.  We will be getting ready for that in the next couple of months, and when the right dog crosses our path, we will give it a furever home.

When I first found out I was pre-diabetic (there is no such thing, it is a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes; the doctors just break it to you gently by saying not yet, but really you are a type 2 diabetic).  I was told that I would have a chance of not needing medication for it if I removed sugar from my diet, and ate according to Canada’s Food Guide.  I tried.  I failed.  I was so tired all of the time.  I was drinking up to 2 litres of cola a day for the caffeine because I was so tired all the time.  The sugar was making me tired, so the caffeine was not keeping me awake.  I began drinking more cola for more caffeine, and it never worked for very long.  I know now what I was doing wrong.  Then I switched to diet pop.  Aspartame is something I have removed from my life since then.  I now choose stevia and erythritol for my sweeteners and drink very little pop.  I have one can a day, and not every single day.  I choose pop sweetened with stevia, and it took a bit to learn to like it.

I now drink my coffee black.  It is healthier this way, and now that I am used to it, I like it like this.  Less fuss to prepare it in the morning, and no worries about not wanting to drink it because there is nothing in it.  I sometimes drink green tea.  I sometimes drink oolong tea in one of my THM drinks.  I do not use cola as my main source of caffeine anymore.

I did not tell everyone about being a diabetic for a long time.  I feared the food police.  I learned this term from a diabetes educator.   They are those people who immediately point out what is wrong with everything you eat.  You are the person with diabetes, and everyone else thinks they are the expert.  It is embarrassing to be an adult and have someone tell you that you shouldn’t eat that because you are a diabetic.  Out loud.  In front of a room full of people.  Or to say that isn’t good for you, because it has sugar in it.  People don’t mean any harm, I know it is being said because, on some level, they care about me as a person, and want me to be healthy.  However,  I am an adult, and this type of criticism is not positive, and can have very negative effects on my self-esteem.

I am a lot tougher than I look.  Even if you find me bawling in a quiet place, it is not always because I am sad, it might be because I am SO ANGRY that I sprung a leak.  It is a self-defense mechanism that I have had for most of my life, and I hate it.  It is the quiet, private way to vent.

Other times I would eat my feelings.  I would go buy junk food and regular cola and binge eat.  How dare someone point at what I am eating when they are eating something just as unhealthy, or worse than what I am eating.  They eat whatever they want, well so will I.  The problem with that, other than me gaining weight, is that really I am only hurting myself.  That other person doesn’t even know that they did something wrong.  THEY THINK THEY ARE HELPING ME.  They mean well, but if I am having a sugar low, I might actually NEED that candy I am crunching as fast as I can because my sugars are dropping.  It can happen quite suddenly, and I now have juice boxes and suckers with me all of the time.  I don’t use them unless I need them.

Maybe I have made plans to take extra insulin because I wanted a treat.  I want to be normal, and eat like other people do.  I am not, and that is why I am trying SO HARD to change. I have learned that if I give in a little when I have a craving, I won’t be as likely to binge eat as I would if I suppress it.  So I do have things that are not on the diabetic diet.   I am human.  It is more convenient to grab something quick sometimes.  I am working on that, just like I am working on me.  Most of the time I make healthy choices.  So when you see me eating something that isn’t one of those choices, let me be.  I know the consequences of my actions, and I will recover to my sensibilities when I am ready.

Just like no person is the same as any other person, no person with diabetes is the same as every other person with diabetes, and no person has the exact same issues with weight that every other person has.  That is why it is important for me to write about how I feel, and to share the stories of other people and their issues with weight.  We all are experiencing life as a journey, but we still forge our own paths as individuals.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 7

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 2

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

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.

Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 2.

It seems fitting that in part 2, I write about Type 2.  I touched on it a little in the first part of my story, and now it is time to elaborate.  I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic in 1999.  At first, I was to eliminate sugar from my diet and try to follow the Canada Food Guide. Sugar is hidden in practically everything we eat and drink.  Especially in processed foods. Without medication, and struggling to understand the diagnosis, I failed to regain control of my blood sugars.  At first, I was constantly testing my blood sugars as high.  Not the highest they have been, but consistently high.

After failing round one, using diet and exercise for treatment, metformin was added to manage my blood sugars. It came with a cocktail of other medications.  As a diabetic, when you are diagnosed, some medical professionals consider preventative medications a  necessary part of the treatment.  They add in medicine that you would not be taking if you were not a diabetic, but because you are, they keep stricter than normal levels on things like blood pressure and cholesterol.  Soon I was taking 3 prescription medications, and not sure if I really needed 2 of them.

I have acid reflux.  Sometimes I forget about it because the medication I take for it keeps it under really good control.  There were a few different types I tried, and I am still taking one medication for this.  It works and keeps the heartburn and stomach acid at bay.  I don’t generally eat really spicy foods, but who knew bananas could cause heartburn?  So, this, like my thyroid medication is an acceptable one.  I did not agree with having to take the blood pressure and cholesterol medications, but these other medications were acceptable.

Now, with my weight being what it is, I am still on a blood pressure medication.  It has been higher than it used to be, and I am working on things with my plan.  I am not currently on a cholesterol medication.  I hope that I can control both my blood pressure and cholesterol, without medicine;  when I accomplish my goals of losing weight.  This will impact all areas of my health.  If I can be healthy enough to not have to take anything but the thyroid pill, that would be worth all the work.

Now that I am working on a plan for my health, I am eating less carbohydrates, and it is having a big effect on my blood sugars.  I am on a low carb;  not a no carb plan.  I am becoming very sensitive to both sugar, and my insulin.  I am having what feels like extreme highs, and more lows.  I am new to treating the lows and am learning not to panic and overtreat them.  So when I have a low, I have to reevaluate the amount of insulin I am taking.  It is on what is called a sliding scale.  I am not always sure I am taking the right amounts, but when my body responds positively to the food and insulin, I do feel better.

I used to feel very tired when my sugars were high.  I still do,  to a lesser extent.  Even when they are higher, it is not as easy as it used to be to figure it out.  I am not as sluggish when I take insulin.  I do have insulin resistance.  My body still makes it, but it is not being used properly, or there is not enough being produced by my pancreas.  That is why I am taking insulin.  My body needs the help.  There is a chance that I won’t need it someday if I keep working towards a healthier lifestyle.  That is something to strive for, and the fact that I have to lower my insulin doses tells me that it is a strong possibility.

I also have what is called Dawn Phenomenon.  Some diabetics have an increase in blood sugars overnight.  It is generally thought that it is the body’s way of preparing for the new day, and the extra sugar in the blood is to help you wake up.  In diabetics, it can put your sugars up before you even have anything to eat at the start of your day.  It is harder to be alert and to focus when your blood sugars are high.  I am now in the habit of testing my sugars more frequently, and this is helpful.  My doctor advised adjusting the long-acting insulin at nighttime as this may help to manage the higher sugars in the mornings.  I have a feeling that I am going to have to become a lot more serious about it and start a food, blood sugar and insulin diary to really get a handle on it.

When my sugars are low, it is still obvious to me.  I get shaky.  I get really confused, it is hard to think, it is like I am in panic mode.  I freak out a little. I sweat profusely out of my scalp, of all places, when I am awake.  At night I notice my legs are where I sweat when I am having a low.  Luckily, I wake up when it is happening.  Also, the frequent trips to the washroom usually have me up through the night.  So if I am up, and I feel off, I test to be sure about where my sugars are.  I have started keeping juice boxes with me at all times, and hard candy.  I am learning how to live with type 2 diabetes.  It is not an easy thing to figure out.  Not enough insulin allows my sugars to go high.  Too much can cause a low, and if my sugars get too low, that can be fatal.  I usually take a  lower dose of insulin if I am not sure how I am going to react to how much insulin I am taking.  I am cautious about taking large doses, but sometimes they are necessary.  Type 2 Diabetes is not an easy disease to live with it, but management is the key, and I am on the right track.

I am obsessed with food and addicted to sugar.  I am working on both of these issues and changing my habits along the way.  I was thinking about how to go about starting this series when I chose the name.  Yes, there are other meanings of the phrase Trust Your Gut, but to me, my world revolves around my emotions, food and my health.  They all tie together in my life, so when it comes to my health, I have to trust my gut.  Am I hungry or bored?  Will that affect my sugars if I eat it?  How much insulin do I need to take if I want to eat that?  All of these things factor into my decisions, and a lot of the time, I am guessing.  So, I go with my gut feelings a lot in my day.  Sometimes I listen, and sometimes I don’t.  I am the only one in control of what I eat, and how much of it I eat.  Sometimes I have the willpower to avoid bad choices.  Other times I give in and have what I want.  I used to feel like I shouldn’t eat at all if my sugars were high before I started taking insulin.  Now I can juggle the dose to accommodate for both good and poor choices in terms of food.  I hate having to think about the consequences of everything I eat, but it is a fact of my life, and I decide how I want to live it.  Working towards living a healthier lifestyle is something I am glad I decided to do.  I am still here, and my gut tells me to keep on this plan and it will work, so I am giving it my best shot.  Pun intended.
#TrustYourGut