I started doing P90X at the beginning of January. For those of you who do not know what that is it’s a series of workout dvd’s that you do in a particular sequence for 90 days. I got inspired to do it, because I like to workout at home and some friends of mine had done it and had fantastic results. I am not a big girl by any means, but I have never been in shape. Today was the start of my fourth week of the program. When I began I weighed 152.3 lbs. I am 5’9 and my ultimate goal is to be toned and around 135 lbs. by the end of the program. The DVD for today was titled Yoga X. It is about an hour and a half long with easy, mild and intense moves. During the workout it dawned on me that diabetes management is a lot like yoga! Now I know you are thinking how the hell is diabetes management similar to yoga?!?
When you first start practicing yoga you learn that the five key principles are: relaxation, exercise, breathing, diet, and positive thinking/meditation. When you first become diagnosed with diabetes you learn that the key principles to proper diabetes management are: diet, exercise, testing, dosing, and routine doctors visits. Seems very cyclical, and routine, right? Nonetheless, these principles practiced together help to provide a harmonious balance. The result is a healthier and happier you!
When I first started doing my workout this evening I got very frustrated after the first twenty minutes. I was sore, I was agitated and I wanted to quit more than anything. I have had these feelings before about having diabetes. I wish I could just wake up one day and life would be back to normal. No more carb counting, testing, insulin injections, none of it. However, I want to live a healthy and long life, so if that means that I have to deal with all of the emotions, annoyances, and symptoms that come along with it, then so be it!
I got over my urge to quit doing the yoga, just as I have fought the urge to give up all together on maintaining proper diabetes control. Some of the moves today were absolutely ridiculous and I must have looked even more ridiculous attempting to do them. The important thing is that I tried and I did not give up. Even better I will try again, and I hope to be better each time, because I know that my body and my mind are learning. I can’t expect to be perfect and to hit every yoga pose the first few times. I stumbled and I fell, but I got back up. Just as I can’t expect to be perfect when it comes to managing my disease. I will have highs and lows figuratively and literally speaking.
All I know is that I have been working hard on not only getting in shape, but in getting my diabetes under control. I am a little bit of late bloomer, but I believe that it is never too late to start over. Just be prepared to give your all when you do. In the last few months my blood sugars have been much more stable. I am officially down to 147.7 lbs. and more than anything I feel great! I am more relaxed and my thinking is much more positive. I go in to see my endocrinologist on February 9th to get my 3-4 month check up and to find out my latest A1c results. I hope all my hard work has paid off, and that I get positive feedback from the doctor! Until next time know that…
My pancreas may be broken, but my will is not!
I miss the days of going out with just my chap stick, i.d. and funds for the evening. Now I am always the girl with the purse with me at all times. I have to admit I get a little jealous that I have to lug a purse around everywhere I go and my girlfriends don’t have to. However, I guess you could say I am starting to get used to it. I think I need to start adding bags to my collection! I mean if I have to carry one every where I go I might as well get more to add some variety to my wardrobe, right?
I think tonight I will be bringing my thin black clutch. I am going out tonight to a bar to see The White Buffalo. If you have not heard his music you should take a listen, because he has a fantastic voice. I am looking forward to getting cute and going out for a night on the town with my hubby and friends. I will be packing that little clutch of mine with the necessities: testing kit, Starburst (I loathe the taste of glucose tablets) and my other miscellaneous items. Here is hoping for a night of fun, no High or Low blood sugars, and no incidental injuries where I accidentally prick myself while digging through my bag, because the cap on my finger pricker device decided pop off on a whim.
If you see me with my little purse know that it is not your typical purse. Don’t give me stares if you happen to catch a glance of my oh so cute hot pink testing meter. Though I may be just your average woman, I carry not-so-typical things with me. I have these things with me to ensure my safety and because I want to be in charge of my condition at all times while still leading a normal life. If you give me a stare because you catch a glimpse of the Starbursts I have in my bag, then no worries because I always carry extra to share.
Okay I have a confession to make… I am and always have been a sweets lover. Kind of ironic wouldn’t you say since I am now diabetic… Life sure has a funny sense of humor. In the beginning it was hard to say no to a lot of desserts. I was used to eating a cookie or brownie or whatever without even giving it a thought. Since being diagnosed I definitely have cut back on the sweets and I am aware of everything I put into my body. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still indulge within reason from time to time. When I get the craving I try to avoid any store bought sweets and stick to coming up with my own low carb, sugar free dishes at home. This gives you complete control because you have all of the nutritional labels at your disposal.
I have been working out hard lately. My blood sugars have been the steadiest they have ever been. After my workout I had a huge craving for something sweet. While looking through my kitchen I decided that those ugly, black and yellow bananas are not going to get eaten any time soon, and I really do not want to throw them away, so why not make homemade Banana Bread. Here is my favorite recipe. It is quick, easy, affordable and great for someone with diabetes.
Ingredients you will need:
- 3-4 Ripe Bananas
- 1/3 cup of melted butter
- 1 cup Splenda
- 1 Egg Beaten
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- A pinch of Salt
- 1 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Spray your loaf pan with some cooking spray
Mash the Bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add in the melted butter. Mix together.
Add in the: Splenda, beaten egg, and vanilla. Mix together
Add in the: Baking soda, throw in a pinch of salt. Mix together
Add the flour and mix well.
Pour mixture into your loaf pan. I like to grab both ends and slam it a couple times on the counter, so the mixture smooths out evenly.
Bake for 1 hour exactly.
My Estimates put the entire loaf of bread at 194-218 carbs. You should be able to get at least 20 slices out of the loaf, so per piece you are looking at about 10-11 carbs per slice.
If you or a loved one were recently diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus I am sure there are a million different questions racing through your mind. The one that raced through my mind was where do I go from here?!? The days and weeks following my diagnosis I was in complete distress. I did not know what to eat, what not to eat, what I could do and what I couldn’t do. I hardly ate in fear my blood sugars would get out of control. I can remember going to a restaurant and just ordering water with my family because I was so scared to eat anything. The feelings you are going through can be overwhelming, but know that you are not alone in your struggles.
Here are 10 things I know now, that I wish I would have know then:
1.) Go ahead and cry! This may sound silly, but I am serious when I say cry. Let it all out! You just got news that has forever altered your life. You will be facing a lot of doctors who for the most part will maintain a very professional, emotionless response to your questions and emotions. You are fragile and you will eventually begin to grip the information coming your way, but in the beginning go ahead and embrace the emotions.
I held in my emotions in the beginning because I was trying to be strong. I recall sitting in my appointment with my RN, BSN, CDE Sue Milchovich. She could tell that I was on the verge of a breakdown. We had been meeting for a few days and I looked like a wreck. I had not been sleeping or eating. She was in the middle of educating me about something when I just started to tear up. She got up from her desk, walked over to me and told me it was okay to cry and she gave me a big hug. I cried like a baby for at least ten minutes straight and after I was done I felt a lot better. Once I got my emotions under control I was ready to get to work!
2.) Build your diabetes medical support team. It should include appointments with your primary doctor, an endocrinologist and a certified diabetes educator. These will be your big 3 in the beginning. Ask as many questions as you can, because it will help build a relationship between you and your doctors, and it will help you become more comfortable as you acquire more knowledge about your condition. They will teach you how to use your blood glucose meter, and what the readings mean. They will teach how to administer insulin to yourself and how to determine how much you will need per day and per meal. Everyone starts out typically the same and the more they monitor your condition the more they begin to make specific changes to meet your individual needs.
3.) Attend a nutrition class in your area. Ask for a referral from your certified diabetes educator. This was my ultimate life saver. I attended classes for about a month. These are group classes typically and they teach you what you should and should not be eating. They also teach you about portion control, carbohydrate counting and many other things. It is very informative and its almost like a type of group therapy because you will find yourself sharing your story with other people going through the same thing.
4.) Think positive! Stay away from searching things like “Can I die from diabetes, or Side effects of diabetes.” This may sound morbid, but I remember searching these things in the beginning. If you do this the news will not be good, and you more than likely will become depressed. Keep things in perspective. These are potential side effects. You are not going to go blind, lose a limb or die overnight from diabetes. Start educating yourself early on, so you can prevent having to suffer any of these side effects.
5.) Educate yourself! Search the web, buy some books, attend classes, etc. A book that really helped me was actually co-authored by my Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator. It is titled, “Diabetes Mellitus A Practical Handbook.” By: Sue K. Milchovich and Barbara Dunn-Long.
6.) Educate you friends, co-workers and family. A lot of people do not know very much about diabetics. They just think we prick our fingers, give ourselves shots and we have to avoid sweets. Bless their hearts for knowing that much, but please feel free to expand their horizon on your condition. Teach your closest circle what you learn, because it will come in handy at some point in time. My closest friends and family have had to help me on more than one occasion. They know what to do when I am low and what to do when I am high and more importantly what to do in an emergency.
7.) Inform your employer, school and teachers. They to need to know in case anything happens to you. If you are a college student you may qualify for priority registration to ensure you have a schedule that permits you enough meal and snacking times. I am not sure how it works for K thru 12th Grades, since I was diagnosed after that period in my life. However, check with your child’s school regarding what their protocol is.
8.) Find out what your insurance covers. If you do not have insurance see what local programs/assistance you can qualify for. Diabetes is an expensive disease to manage. I test my blood sugar 6 to 8 times a day. The out of pocket expense for test strips is approximately $1 per strip. Needless to say it adds up!
9.) Ask your doctor to hook it up! You may need more insulin and test strips one month and less the next. If you ask your doctor to bulk up your prescription it will help you save money and it will generate an emergency stash.
10.) Finally always remember that…
“You have diabetes, Diabetes DOES NOT have you!”
Exercising can be a little tricky for someone with diabetes. We have to take extra precautions, because we never quite know how our bodies will react. Today my cousin in law and good friend decided to tackle an intense hike with me that was 2.4 miles round trip and about 1,100 ft. uphill. I prepared accordingly by packing water, snacks, candy for low blood sugars, my testing kit and a few other things.
I started out my morning with a hearty breakfast. My blood glucose reading before breakfast was 73 and I ate approximately 50 carbs. I was taught to always eat before a workout, and to only bolus for half of the carbohydrates consumed, because the exercise can dramatically lower ones blood glucose. However, some recent articles I have read have also indicated that sometimes exercise can have the opposite effect on someones blood sugar. Sometimes exercise can raise someones blood sugar, because the body releases adrenaline which is a hormone that causes glucose levels to rise. I think I might have experienced this today on my hike.
About half way through the hike we stopped to catch our breaths, get a drink of water and check my blood sugar. I was expecting to see a low number or at least a number within my ideal range which is typically 70 to 150 post meals. Much to my surprise my blood sugar reading was 229. Once we reached the top of the trail it had come down to 191. The next time I take on the Garcia trail I will bolus for 3/4 of the carbs I consume and see how my diabetes reacts.
It took us 1 1/2 hours to complete this hike. I had a great time and I felt fantastic once we completed it. It was unfortunate that my blood sugar did not cooperate as well as I would have wanted it to, but there is always next time to try something different. Sometimes I feel like a scientist constantly carrying out experiments on myself. I guess that the only way to be “normal” is to find alternative ways to get to the same conclusions.
On another note can I just say that it was a BEAUTIFUL day in Southern California. I hope we are blessed with similar weather next weekend, so we can take on another trail! Thanks Denise for accompanying me!
Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life.
Last night I had a ladies night out with some really close friends of mine. We kept it simple with dinner and a movie. I had to start fasting at 11:00 p.m. for my A1C test this morning at 11:00 a.m. With that being said I probably over indulged last night, because about three hours after dinner my blood sugar readings were at 260! It got me thinking what was wrong with my dinner last night that my blood glucose was so high? Did I not bolus correctly, did I not count the carbs right? Then it dawned on me I am in carb denial!
What I mean by this is subconsciously I know I am overindulging in the carb department, but when I go to bolus I count up to the maximum I think I had, when in actuality I am way off! I bolus lets say for 60 carbs, but I actually had 90. Since I am in denial I end up under counting and under bolusing and viola my blood sugar is high. For example, last night I had chips, salsa and guacamole as an appetizer. For dinner I had french fries and a chicken, guacamole, bacon burger on a wheat bun. I definitely ended up under counting how many chips and french fries I ate. I should have skipped the appetizer and opted for veggies or a salad instead of french fries.
Which leads me to my next realization… I am still stuck in the mind set that I can eat whatever I want and it won’t effect my blood sugar, because I can just give myself insulin. The problem is that no matter how much insulin I give myself it doesn’t mean that my blood sugars are going to be as steady as I would want them to be. I have come to the conclusion that there are some foods and drinks that I have to learn to live without, because they are not worth the unstable effects they have on my blood sugar.
Here is my list of five foods that I am saying farewell to as a result of being diabetic:
1.) White Rice… I used to love white rice. We are now mortal enemies. After I eat white rice my blood sugars are on a roller coaster ride from hell. I am high, then low, then high, then low again.
My proposed substitute: Brown Rice. This is a good carb alternative, because it is lower in carbohydrates and it has a better impact on my blood sugar.
2.) Pasta… I LOVE PASTA, so needless to say this was/is the hardest thing for me to learn to give up. I personally loathe the taste of Wheat pasta. It is too chalky and the taste turns me off.
My proposed substitute: Dreamfield’s Pasta. It tends to be a little more expensive than regular pasta at $2.99 per box in your local grocery stores. However, the pasta tastes just like regular pasta, except that their are 5 net carbs per serving. My husband and I buy from their website because they have more variety than our local grocery stores. http://www.dreamfieldsfoods.com
3.) French Fries… These are so tasty, but they do cause my blood sugar to fluctuate and they do not have any real nutritional value.
My proposed substitute: Sweet Potatoe fries. These fries are lower in carbs and higher in nutritional value.
4.) Pizza… I love pizza…my body and diabetes loathes the pizza dough.
My proposed substitute: Whole wheat pizza dough. If you want pizza many companies and stores now offer wheat crusts as an option. It may not taste as good, but I can assure you that your blood sugars will be much more stable.
5.) Mixed drinks: i.e. Pina coladas, Margaritas, etc. Before being diagnosed my drink of choice was a Malibu Bay Breeze. It is part malibu rum, pineapple juice and cranberry juice. It is a no- no for me now, because it is just filled with copius amounts of sugar and carbs and I am on an instant sugar rush after I drink it.
My proposed substitute: Light beer, or a liquor mixed with diet soda, or wine (preferably red). These don’t cause my blood sugar to go up. However, I do have to be careful as do all diabetics, because alcohol causes are blood sugars to decrease.
If anyone has any suggestions on foods you have learned to live without, and any substitutes you have found I sure would like to hear about them.