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It’s a Big Blue World Diabetes Day! November 14, 2009

Today is World Diabetes Day! Last year on this day, I had no idea what this meant. I had no idea that I had pre-diabetes at the time, and I surely did. I knew nothing. This year is so different.

Today I participated in The Big Blue Test, which consisted of diabetics the world over simultaneously testing their blood sugar at 2:00pm, then exercising for 14 minutes (because it’s November 14th!) and then re-testing. I happen to be out of town this weekend. I also happened to have left my blood testing meter at home (bad me). But this was really important to me so I slipped out of the retreat I’m attending and went home to test, exercise, test. It was about an hour after I had eaten lunch so I thought it would be pretty high. But happy surprise, it wasn’t. It was 118 at 2:00pm, which is pretty darned good. Then I jumped rope for a while, did some lunges with weights for a while, and rowed on the rowing machine, until I had totalled about 14 minutes. Tested again: 76!!!!!!!! I was floored!

This was  real eye opener for me. I know that exercise is really good and beneficial for one’s blood sugar. But I had now idea HOW effective, and how IMMEDIATE it is. I mean, wow. It made me feel really happy. And also really sheepish that I have been rather slackish about testing my blood. It’s been generally really really good, so I figured, it must always be really good.  But I’m planning on testing at least once or twice a day, promise.

The American Diabetes Association has introduced a new site called Diabetes Act Now. It’s got some great features:

·         A virtual diabetes health care professional who explains why people with diabetes need to know their ABCs (A1C – a measure of average glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol).

·         A personal dashboard where users can track their progress and select action plans.

·         A library of videos designed to help users make easy lifestyle changes to improve their diabetes numbers.

·         A new interactive widget provides users with diabetes-related content and resources that can be accessed directly on their personal desktops.

·         You can check out the PSA’s for the campaign on YouTube here:  English / Spanish

·         There’s also an official Twitter account for the campaign at http://www.twitter.com/diabetesactnow.

It’s a cool animated site designed to increase awareness and easy actions. Do YOU know what your blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting blood glucose numbers are? It’s a good idea to get them checked even if you think are super healthy. Just to be sure.

 

Assessment: Two Months Today March 17, 2009

Two months ago today, on January 17th, I got my wake-up call and thus began my… what? My New Life? My Healthy Journey? I keep trying to think of how to describe it. I think I shall call it my Turnaround. Also Turnover. I began turning over all of my old habits, thoughts, fears, activities (and lack of) and really trying to examine what got me to that point. It’s been a very busy two months.

Here’s my little self-assessment after two months have passed. In the tradition of the maddening “narrative progress reports” that my kids used to bring home from school, because the poor little darlings were’t thought to have enough self esteem for letter grades:

What’s Going Well:

  • Well, I’ve actually lost 16 lbs! That’s no small potatoes. And I intend to keep going. I’ve been through a plateau or two, and a day or two of discouragement, but the trend is steadily downward. And that can’t help be encouraging.
  • I haven’t had a major bout of Emotional Eating since Jan 17th. I can’t even describe how shocked, incredulous and frankly moved I am by this. Previously I would not have thought this possible. I truly have found ways in which to ride out the emotions, write them out or talk them through. And they have passed. In the many times that I’ve dieted in the past, THIS part was never really addressed. So it’s huge. HUGE, I tell you.
  • I am pretty happy most hours of most days. Which I can say has not been true for YEARS. I mean, I used to have some happy moments in what were either “regular” blah or downright bad-feeling days. NOW, I have moments of absolute ECSTASY within days that are mostly happy or at least content, with little blasts of unhappiness now and then. I don’t know whether to attribute this to the endorphins from exercising, to the fact that it just feels comfortable and nicer to be smaller and fitter, or the fact that I am channeling my emotions properly rather than using food. Probably ALL of the above.
  • Most importantly, I think I am improving my health. I have been able to discontinue my blood pressure medication that I have been on for over five years. I think I’m going to have more improvements when I next see my doctor in April. I’m moving in the right direction.

What is Going Better But Could Be Improved:

  • Low-level anxiety that This Cannot Possibly Last.
  • Insecure in my new habits (this is echo of first point)
  • Probably too much focus on the scale

What Needs Major Improvement:

  • Eating breakfast. I’m getting tired of eggs, not wild about many other breakfast foods, etc. I KNOW it is the most important meal and that it jump starts your metabolism and all that! I really need to work on this one. I am going to experiment with eating lunchy/dinnerish foods in the morning and see if that helps any.
  • (more echo of point one) “Breakfast like a queen, lunch like a duchess and dinner like a pauper.” This is what I’ve read repeatedly but still dinner is THE MAIN EVENT around our house. I wonder how much it would help if I could actually implement this style of eating. We did eat like this in Latin America, where the main meal is at noon, then dinner was more like what we’d call a “snack.” And I did lose 26 lbs while living in Central America, but that was probably the hard labor and turista. :-)

Conclusion: All in all, things are going shockingly well. I have to say that I am cautiously optimistic. But nervous, you know, because I’ve never done this before.

 

 
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