This week, I am reminding myself that minor setbacks are minor. I gained a couple of pounds after losing for a few weeks in a row. It is going to happen, and that is a fact of life. Fluids are going to be retained, no matter what plan you are on.
I am writing today to let you all know that I am still on the right path, even if I slipped a little. Some junk food made it into the house, and I am certain it is what caused this minor setback. It is okay, as long as I make a recovery plan.
It is summer. Ice cream.
I am human, and I will sometimes go for the ice cream. The trick is to make it a treat, and not an everyday event. I got bagels and cream cheese. I do like bagels and cream cheese and want them from time to time. It is better for the budget to buy them at the grocery store than at a cafe. I will do this from time to time. It is okay.
What isn’t okay is throwing my hands up into the air in a sign of defeat.
We all have those moments. The days when everything is going wrong and all you want to do is go get some fast food to make one thing easier on ourselves. Guess what? It isn’t true. If you give in, you are giving up on yourself when it becomes a pattern. If you get fast food every time things are not going well, it is going to become a bad habit, with some nasty side effects.
You will feel bloated, and you will retain fluid. Then you will get on the scale, and see it went up. What a nasty cycle of negativity.
One reason why I do not weigh myself every day is that I would become obsessed with my weight. It is not a healthy obsession, for me. It can cause a spiral of events that would have terrible side effects. Always wearing black clothes, and avoiding social events. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you want to hide. In case you haven’t learned this about me yet, hiding is not something I want to excel at.
While it is okay to have that treat once in a while, it is not okay to have treats every day, or more than once a day. Unless that treat is a salad. Fill up on healthy foods, and more than once a day is acceptable for healthy food choices.
What is working
I have been drinking a lot less pop, or for the south of the border readers, soda. I still have one every so often, but I am getting it less frequently than ever before. We are drinking more water, and of course, I am drinking coffee. I sometimes have a cold-brewed coffee or an iced coffee, and these beverages can be sugar-free. If I choose iced tea, it may or may not have sugar, depending on which one I choose.
I have cooked a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts today.
When I bake them in the oven, with greek and feta salad dressing, there are a variety of ways to make meals with chicken. I can then add it to a garden or pasta salad, casseroles( my favourite recipe is here) or make my own version of Buffalo chicken nachos. Not being a fan of anything super spicy, I add a smoky or hickory BBQ sauce and blue cheese dressing in place of the salsa and sour cream. Of course, I add chicken, tomato and green onion, but you can adapt nachos to include whatever options you prefer. It makes a nice change from ordinary nachos, and I haven’t made them often lately, but I do love my nachos. As long as they are mild.
When it comes to making casseroles, I stick to the Trim Healthy Mama recipes. They are found on their website, but if you search for them, many bloggers make their own THM recipes, and they are really great. I do need to focus more on cooking at home, and I have started.
What can you do?
It all goes back to doing what works for you. If you don’t know what that is yet, it might be time to try something new. I recommend checking with your doctor before making any serious dietary changes, to be on the safe side. Keto is really popular right now, but as a type 2 diabetic, I cannot eliminate carbs. That is exactly why THM is working for me, it is low carb, not no carb. I do not buy their products, except for the first book, I bought a while ago. I would buy all of their cookbooks before ordering their products. They do sell high-quality products, and I have no qualms about them. My reasons are that if I can find similar products locally, I will try to go that route first.
If you can make your meals at home, from scratch, it will make a difference in your health. I do enjoy cooking. The cleanup, not so much. Certain foods are optimal to batch cook to have leftovers, such as the chicken I cooked today. It will help me make better meal choices because it is ready to use. If I prepare food and have it ready to grab when I need it, I make healthier choices, and I do see results. If you aren’t a fan of buying chicken breasts in bulk, you can buy a whole chicken, and roast it in your oven or slow cooker with this recipe.
Start with one meal a day.
With THM, they recommend you start with breakfast. I am currently eating a smoothie bowl breakfast almost every day. A small container of yogurt, a small container of unsweetened applesauce and a raisin, nuts and seeds mix all together. I have been adding 20 almonds as well since we had bought some on sale and I want to use them up. There are plenty of other options out there, I also like eggs and avocado for breakfast. When I have too many meals in a row without carbs, I do notice a difference. So, I mix them up, to make things balance better for me. I choose to eat Silver Hills sprouted wheat bread. It is not on the plan, but I still use it. I like it, and that is important, too.
What changes can you implement to start your path or add variety to your journey to become a healthier version of yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious, and always looking for new ideas.
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.
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!
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.