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Month

March 2011

Still Diabetic

When I first went to my diabetes-education class, two years ago, there was a woman there who was coming back for a “refresher” because she’d slipped up. I was less than a week into my diagnosis, and I was like the STAR STUDENT. I was checking my blood glucose level 5 times a day, I was exercising, I was doing it all. This woman, probably about ten or fifteen years older than me, looked at me and sighed, “I used to be like you, back in the beginning.” I felt sad for her and thought, I’m never coming back to this class! I’m never going to stop doing what I need to do!

Well.

In the spirit of getting back on track, I started testing my blood sugars again this week. And I have to say, the news hasn’t been so pretty. But it’s giving me information. Like the delicious new Lemon Mousse 2-point bars from WW are really not so diabetes friendly. Over the past six months or so, my testing has slipped down. Like I said in the tracking post, it started with the “I got this!” attitude. I’d been testing and testing, and it was always the same – my numbers were good – and the little testing strips are so darn expensive – and I thought – I must have this DOWN. I know what I’m doing. I am fine. I don’t need to test so much. And soon it turned into just testing in the morning and then I went away and the testing kit was in my suitcase and I came home and somehow just never unpacked it. Um.

I have an endocrinologist appointment coming up in a few weeks and I have the sinking feeling that I’m not going to be getting a huge glowing report card and congratulatory letter about my stellar blood labs this time. But it’s good. I need to know this. I need to stay on top of these things and remember.

 

Back on Track

photo credit: the Library of Congress, via Flickr

It used to be, not long ago, that I was tracking EVERYthing: my weight, my blood glucose, my activity, and of course my food. But little by little those things fell away and recently I realized I was tracking NOTHING. And that was not working well. At all.

People stop tracking for different reasons, but two of the most common are:

  1. “I got this.” Overconfidence and feeling like, I don’t need to because I’ve internalized this and I’m going to be all intuitive about it. Because I know what I’m doing. Sometimes people truly DO know what they’re doing based on some internal cues, but I think most people challenged with weight and fitness issues – not so much. Which is why they (we) came to have problems in the first place.
  2. “I don’t want to know.” ie, avoidance, denial and the like. The ostrich approach.

I think for me, it started out as #1 and then slid inexorably into #2. And then there I was, trackless and floundering. I started having grumpy thoughts about how TIME consuming it was to track. (photo blogging, yes, it still is, but I’d love to get back to it) But that’s just, you know, a big old excuse.

Today I pulled out my blood glucose meter. Tested. Recorded it in my blood-glucose tracking app on my phone. I think it took a total of 20 seconds. I weighed myself. Recorded it in LoseIt! app. All this week I have been tracking my activity on DailyMile or RunKeeper and Fitocracy. Really, it takes less than a minute for each of those.

It makes such a difference. It really does.  Tonight I ran 4.3 miles in one hour. It was a beautiful run along the Oakland waterfront and it felt so good. It was a great way to cap off my 7th 30+ minute workout of the week. I am now ready to tackle the #14Day chip, one day at a time.

Project Consistency

This 2011 has not, thus far, been a stellar year for consistency. First there was the Long Bad Cold. Then there was the Stressful, Horrible, No-Good February. By the end of last month I was fast becoming a weekend athlete, meaning NOTHING was happening at all during the week, and I was trying to cram in ridiculous marathon sessions of exercise on the weekends. It felt very unbalanced and bad. Finally at the end of last week, which was really a peak of stress and misery, I looked at myself and realized that I was going 5-6 days or more between workouts. And I was feeling it.

At the very same time, I happened upon this brief little video of wisdomness from one of my favorite online buddies EVER, MizFit (aka Carla Birnberg). She spoke some big truth about “no more fits and starts” and I could not stop thinking about it. In other words, consistency is KEY to long term success. The absolute key. And I realized how extremely inconsistent I was getting. Here’s the video so you can see for yourself above. (it’s SUPER SHORT! and to the point)

The next thing that happened is that I was seeing people getting their #7day chips from the awesome Brad Gansberg. Brad is relatively new to the health/fitness blogging community but he has been making a HUGE difference in so many peoples’ lives already, by encouraging them and giving them big kudos for making their goals either 7 or 30 days straight. It is amazing how motivating this has been to so many. I’ve been mulling over the many various things I could “chip” about, and which ones were I willing to commit to and try to accomplish for 7 or 30 or more days in a row? (believe me there are many options I could choose from!)

Then I took a look at the charts from my DirectLife activity monitor. I did not like what I saw; ie weekdays that were barely little blips of light green shag carpet, not even CLOSE to my daily activity goals, followed by huge peaks on the weekends, like 160% of goal. It just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.

The MizFit video about fits and starts, the visual reminder from my DirectLife reports and then the #7day chip all came together. I decided that I would try to chip together a week’s worth of at least 30 minutes of exercise. I think I had gotten myself into the mindset of believing that I HAD to work out for an hour or more. But often, if I was going to work out an hour, and add transportation and a shower, it could be a 2 hour chunk of time that I just don’t have right now. So I’d do without and that SUCKED.

I decided to commit to 30 minutes a day. I started 5 days ago. And every day since then I have climbed onto the (until now mostly used by Mr. McBody only) elliptical machine in our garage, put in my earbuds, set the iPod on shuffle and GONE. It’s been amazing – some days it’s been a virtual stroll and other days like this morning I really kicked it. Once I got all carried away and went for an hour. But every time it made SUCH a difference in how I felt. I’m going for that 7 day chip!! I want one!

This was a really important lesson to learn. That a little something is so much better than a lot of nothing. My thanks go out to MizFitOnline, Brad Gansberg and DirectLife for the nudgy reminders.

 

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