Monday, August 31, 2015

Number THREE!

I've been wearing a FitBit for quite a while now.  I used to hate the thing because everyone I knew was racking up WAY more steps than I was.  I was really starting to have an inferiority complex.  My job is at a desk and it's not unusual for me to sit down and not move for most of the day. 

I have stairs at home, so I usually do pretty well on the stairs, but the steps were a real challenge for me.  I'd get tired or sore or just not feel like walking - and the numbers showed it. 

As I've been feeling pretty good for a little while though, I've been up-ping my walking, either walking the dogs before going to work, or taking a walk during my lunch break or early before I even sit down to start my day at the desk. 

Every week, FitBit sends me a "progress report", which sums up what I've been up to for the week, which I've always kind of dreaded opening up (but I always do.)  In that report, my performance is compared to my friends' performances.  I have some pretty serious walkers as FitBit friends and I'm usually somewhere down at the bottom of the list (5 or 6) unless someone's lost their FitBit or their battery died or they forgot to take it off before swimming.

 So maybe you can appreciate how excited I was when I opened my report today and saw this:
(Chala and Lisa are still kicking my butt, but I'm getting better at this!  Don't pay attention to the calories or weight category - I don't update the parts that make that up very often.)

Hi Sayre, here are your weekly stats.
Aug 24, 2015 to Aug 30, 2015
WEEK'S MOST ACTIVE DAY
Tue, Aug 25

WEEK'S LEAST ACTIVE DAY
Sat, Aug 29
TOTAL STEPS
49,625
DAILY AVERAGE
7,089 steps
BEST DAY
14,082 steps

TOTAL DISTANCE
20.75 miles
DAILY AVERAGE
2.96 miles
BEST DAY
5.89 miles

TOTAL FLOORS CLIMBED
44
DAILY AVERAGE
6 floors
BEST DAY
10 floors

TOTAL CALS BURNED
16,172
DAILY AVERAGE
2,310 cals
BEST DAY
2,705 cals

CALORIES IN VS OUT
-7529
WEEKLY TOTAL
16175 cals burned
3396 cals eaten
-5250 plan deficit

WEIGHT CHANGE
0.1 lb
LIGHTEST
236.4 lb
HEAVIEST
236.5 lb

AVG SLEEP DURATION
6 hrs 42 min
AVG TIMES AWAKENED
13
AVG TIME TO FALL ASLEEP
0hrs 8min

Last week's step winners
1 Chala F.
150,204 steps
2 lisaschaos
141,241 steps
3 Sayre
49,625 steps
See current leaderboard
Last week's badges
See all of my badges
What's the buzz?
  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I am the Tortoise

I've been walking the dogs a lot lately.   Every other day or so, I get up early and start, taking them one at a time around the neighborhood for about a half hour each.  3 dogs = 1.5 hours of walking.  Some days, like today, I can't seem to get it together afterwards to speedily get to work.  That's why I do it on days when I know I don't have meetings or conference calls to worry about.  Today, I'm taking a half day of annual because it's taking me a while to cool down.

This morning, I needed to jog a little to get out of the way of a car backing out of its driveway.  It occurred to me that I don't leave the ground easily anymore.  There's an uncomfortable heaving and bouncing and thudding that happens when I have to move quickly like that. 

I like to walk.  One foot in front of the other, plodding away the steps and the time in a regular, steady fashion.  I don't bounce, but I do move.  By the time I finish the first half-hour lap, I'm sweating and the dog is panting.  Switch to a new dog and we start over again.  When I get home from that lap, I'm breathing pretty hard and my clothes are clinging to me.
As I finish the final lap with the third dog, they're all grinning like maniacs and I suspect I might be too, since the end is finally here.  I am dripping with sweat and radiating heat.  A shower at this point would be useless, as I'd still be sweating when I got out.  So I allow myself to cool down - drink a lot of water, maybe check email and facebook.  And when I'm finally no longer actively sweating, I shower and head for work.

I don't like exercise.  I really don't.  It's hot and messy and uncomfortable - but I'm doing it.  I can't see any results yet, but I can feel them.  I'm a little happier.  A little more productive.  I'm eating better and choosing my food more wisely.  I take my vitamins and supplements and keep track of my blood sugar and all of these things are pointing to a healthier me. 

I wish I were a hare - quick results with little effort...  but I'm not.  I have to try.  Hard.  And it takes me a long, long time to get anywhere.  But I will get there.  Maybe not in a year, but I'll be well on my way by then because I STARTED now.  I'll get there and I WILL win this race to get my health back.

I am the Tortoise. 

The Tortoise and the Hare
an Aesop Fable  (from StoryIt.com)


        One day a hare was bragging about how fast he could run. He bragged and bragged and even laughed at the tortoise, who was so slow. The tortoise stretched out his long neck and challenged the hare to a race, which, of course, made the hare laugh. 

      "My, my, what a joke!" thought the hare.


     "A race, indeed, a race. Oh! what fun! My, my! a race, of course, Mr. Tortoise, we shall race!" said the hare.

 
     The forest animals met and mapped out the course. The race begun, and the hare, being such a swift runner, soon left the tortoise far behind. About halfway through the course, it occurred to the hare that he had plenty of time to beat the slow trodden tortoise.

 
       "Oh, my!" thought the hare, "I have plenty of time to play in the meadow here."


     And so he did.

 
     After the hare finished playing, he decided that he had time to take a little nap.


     "I have plenty of time to beat that tortoise," he thought. And he cuddle up against a tree and dozed.

 
     The tortoise, in the meantime, continued to plod on, albeit, it ever so slowly. He never stopped, but took one good step after another.


 
    The hare finally woke from his nap. "Time to get going," he thought. And off he went faster than he had ever run before! He dashed as quickly as anyone ever could up to the finish line, where he met the tortoise, who was patiently awaiting his arrival.



The moral of the story?  Slow and steady wins the race.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Simplifying My Days

This particular subject is something I have struggled with, and still do as new priorities take the place of old ones. For me, a perfect day looks like this:

– Wake up with plenty of time to have a relaxed and not rushed morning

– Breakfast a half hour after I wake up
– Make walking or some other form of exercise a priority and do it early in the day so I won’t stress about it later.
– Go to work and do what needs to be done, one thing at a time. Don’t let other people’s stresses become MY stresses. I have enough of those on my own. I enjoy my job and the people I work with,
but sometimes they do get over-wound. I try not to let that be me.
– Spend time with my son and my husband, even if we’re not doing anything, face-time and talking-time is important.
– Go to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep before the next day starts the cycle again.
Doing these things consciously has made a huge difference in how I feel about my life!


This post was inspired by THIS post from Mark and Angel Hack Lifehttp://www.marcandangel.com/2015/08/23/9-ways-to-make-your-days-simple-again/comment-page-1/#comment-13132908

I've been a huge fan of this website for several years.  I don't visit it often, but whenever I do, I always find something that speaks directly to me.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

NINETY-TWO

Ninety-two...  this is not the temperature outside.  This is not the number of dollars in my wallet.  This is not the age at which I plan to expire. 

Ninety-two was my blood glucose reading this morning!!!!

For those of you who know little to nothing about diabetes, this is big news - especially for me.  My diabetes has been out of control for a while.  The medication I was taking made me so sick that I'd decided to stop taking it and I was leery of trying something new because my mother, who is also diabetic, had such a severe reaction to a new diabetes medication that it nearly killed her (finally, a dermatologist was able to figure out what was wrong).  I take after her in that way - if there is a rare but serious side effect to a drug, it usually shows up in me.  This is just one of the reasons I want to get off prescription drugs as soon as possible.

Anyway, back to that ninety-two...  My doctor started me on a new diabetes drug called Glipizide.  I checked my body every day for side effects.  I did find a black spot on the bottom of one foot, which I watched.  It never opened up and faded away after a week, so this new medication seems good to go.  In the next week, I watched my numbers start to drop, but my morning fasting numbers, while dropping, were still high.  I have a little note taped to the inside of my testing kit that tells me what my blood sugar levels SHOULD be (for a normal person) and the fasting numbers are 80-120.  That 120 is actually a little high for a type 2 diabetic - my doctor told me to aim for 100 or less.  Still, I was seeing 125 to 145 on a regular basis while fasting. 

I've been doing my AdvoCare, which regulated my eating and provided me lots of vitamin support and exercising pretty hard every other day (I have to work up to this - my body's not used to it!), and I'd get the occasional 110 or even 107, but still, as a rule, I was 125+ in the morning.

After my endocrinologist got my blood work back, she called and said my A1C was at 8, which is still too high but I did a happy dance anyway because the last time I had that tested it was at 8.5 - so I saw that as progress.  She also said she wanted me to start taking the Glipizide at night, which I started doing about a week ago, while continuing my eating and exercise regimen.

And this morning - 92!  Numbers rarely mean much to me, but I cried this morning.  I actually did.  It's been so long since I've made progress in anything health-wise, and I know I really need to fix my health if I want to live a life uncomplicated by blindness or kidney failure or amputation.  Obesity is a major complication in and of itself with the heart issues and stroke possibilities (which run in my family - almost all of my mother's side family dies of heart/stroke).  If I can fix my health, there is longevity on both sides that I'd love to take advantage of.  It feels like I'm making progress.

For those of you who are curious, these are the numbers on my little blood sugar levels note in my testing kit:

On waking up (before eating breakfast)    80-120
Before meals                                              80-120
2 hours after meals                                    160 or less
At bedtime                                                 100-140

I usually fall somewhere in those numbers at the appropriate times now that my morning reading is on track.  My previous meter readings were in the mid-200s!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

End of the Challenge

I've been doing the 24-Day Challenge from AdvoCare...  It starts with a 10 day cleanse, then the Max phase which is 14 days.  Lots of people have dropped a lot of weight - but I'm not one of them.  I've dropped a little, though it's hard to pin down.  I drink so much water during the day that my weight fluctuates by five pounds or so throughout the day.

What I CAN tell you is that I put on my not-so-fat jeans and they were very comfortable.  A bit loose, in fact!  I can't remember when those jeans have been at all comfortable.  I might have been able to zip them up in the past, but only after a major suck-in.  This time, the zipper went right up without me even thinking about it.

While I didn't stick to the Challenge rigidly, I was fairly close and I learned a few things about my eating habits:

1)  I need to eat about every 2.5 to 3 hours to maintain my blood sugar levels or they go too low (!).
2)  It is possible to be satisfied with a smallish piece of meat (chicken breast/pork chop/hamburger-no bun) and some steamed vegetables for dinner.  If I need a bit of "sweet", a piece of fruit is lovely.
3)  When I take vitamins and eat reasonably, my body wants to move!  I've been walking the dogs in the mornings when it's cool and it makes my body so much happier...  My head too.
4)  I don't need coffee - or even tea.  I'm not slowing my body down with food, so after a good night's sleep, it's ready to get up and go.  No stimulants needed.  I'm pretty much drinking water now and that's it.
5)  Speaking of sleep, I'm doing that better too.  My fitbit monitors my sleep and I've had much fewer wakings and restless episodes.  I do wake up a couple of times to pee - a side effect of all that water I'm drinking.

I can say this - I like what AdvoCare puts out.  It helps me eat in a much more reasonable manner and now that my body is in the repairing process, I expect to be dropping more weight soon.  In fact, I liked this challenge and how I feel so much that I decided to become a distributor!  For me, that's saying something.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sugar

I think my body is starting to adjust.  I just have to remember to eat to keep my blood sugar from going too low.  Other than that, I'm feeling pretty good!  One day, I'll have to remember to take my "before" pictures so I can actually see my progress one day.

I've been avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners for a little more than a month now.  Very little bread or pasta.  I think that's part of the reason things are evening out a little.  One thing that surprised me though is how awful sugary things taste now.  We had a baby shower at work and I was such a good girl - I passed up the bread (it was a luncheon-thing) and ate fruit and veggies and a bit of egg salad and chicken salad.  There was also a cake and mini-cupcakes.  I decided to try one of the mini-cupcakes - how bad could it be?

Awful, as it turned out.  I just had a little bite of one and threw it away.  The taste was just terrible.  All around me people were commenting on how yummy the cakes were and I couldn't stand them!  I actually take this as a good sign though.  That means my body doesn't want or crave sugar anymore.

I do have a tiny bit from time to time.  Usually baked into something else but it's a token amount.  Last night, I brought my husband a chocolate mousse from the bookstore.  I adore chocolate mousse, but I didn't want to ruin all my hard work and sacrifice, so I asked him if I could have a tiny bite of his.  He was skeptical that it would end there, but the tiny bite was enough for me.  I rather liked that mousse - not sugary at all, but excellent on the chocolaty-ness.  And one tiny bite satisfied.  It was AWESOME to feel that kind of control over my eating.  I want to keep going!



Friday, August 7, 2015

How low can it go?

This morning, I had blood work done, then went home for breakfast before going to get a new driver's license.  By the time I got to work, I knew I had to have a snack, so I did (1/2 c. cottage cheese and a carrot).  That was around 10am.  That should have been good to hold me until lunch around 12:30 or so, but at 11:30 I was feeling a bit wobbly and checked my blood sugar.

63.

Seriously????  How can that be?  I think I'd better find out how low it can go before I need to seek help - in the 50s?  40s? 

Just looked - apparently anything under 60 is pretty dangerous (passing out, coma).  I need to read more about that.  I just don't know why it went that low.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Progress!!!

I went to see an endocrinologist yesterday.  My doctor recommended it because my diabetes was getting out of hand.  A month passed between the time I saw my doctor and my endocrinologist appointment and in that time, I pretty much cut out sugar and artificial sweeteners (still use a little here and there).  I also started doing the AdvoCare 24 day challenge and was on day 7 when I went in.

They weighed me and pricked my finger to test my sugar.  Then they took me into a little room and did my blood pressure (108/63) and told me to take my shoes and socks off.

After a bit, the endocrinologist (Dr. H) came in.  She's been checking my meter readings and looking over my paperwork.  She was quite impressed with what I'd managed to accomplish in a month and asked me to go get lab work done this week so we could have a more recent reading of how I'm doing.

My last A1C was 8.5 (bad!), but she seems to think I might come in right around 7.0 this time.  We'll do it again in another 2 months (for my GP) and she'll see what kind of progress has been made in that time.

She also poked my feet and was pleased that I could feel everything.  I am hoping that by seriously addressing this now, I can avoid most, if not all, complications of having diabetes.  I go back to see her again in November.

I'm feeling most encouraged.