ARE YOU KIDDING ME..?

…I said to myself, this morning.

I hate it when people say, “Life just got in the way…”  Nonsense! I LET it drag me in other directions. It’s called PROCRASTINATION. I could make excuses all day long, but in the end, procrastination reigned.

Why would I put off writing my blog? I LOVE to write! I HATE diabetes, though, so writing about it, became an issue. I asked myself,  Why? I’ve been doing it for years! Does the “WHY” really matter at this point? I’ve decided that, “NO, it does NOT matter.” I’m moving on.I’m back to being “one” with my T2D. I let my routines get out of hand and of course you know what that means. (Dive into a vat of chocolate!)

I have the best doctor on the planet — she’s amazing! I went a couple of weeks ago for my 3-month diabetes check up. She looked at my numbers, and said, “WHAT have you been doing?” I responded, “eating.” She gave me that over the glasses look. “Well, I’ve been eating everything that’s not nailed down. I actually walked into a bakery — ME in a bakery! It wasn’t pretty.” She had a one word response: “Why?” I told her that, “evidently, I’m a stress eater.” She rolled her eyes, letting me know that — we knew that. Stress has always been a trigger.  We talked about what was stressing me out,and how to best handle the issue. What she didn’t do was make me feel worse. Instead, she encouraged me to get back on track, write what I’m eating, and note my blood sugar before and after meals, and WALK. “You can do this,” were her parting words. I left her office feeling better.

I was in a funk, so my new found optimism was rapidly sliding down. The good news is I didn’t let it take control. I went food shopping WITH a list, went home and promised myself that the funk will not take control again. I am addicted to sugar, so one of the first things I did when I got home, was to make some sugar-free Raspberry Jello. It helps when the craving gets bad. I’d bought fish — flounder stuffed with crabmeat, swordfish, and salmon. I love fresh lemon squeezed over the fish. I divided my treasure into portions and froze them. I’ll be fine — One Day at a Time.

The most important step that I took, was getting back to writing my blog. Writing is cathartic and when I get responses, I feel uplifted.

photography of chimpanzee
Photo by Yigithan Bal on Pexels.com

Oh! Humor is good too. It gets those endorphins pumping. 🙂

Good luck with your diabetic journey. You’ll be hearing from me soon. XOXO to all of you who are working hard and sending good vibes to those of you who are not. We’ve all been there,

 

 

 

 

All About Attitude…

Seriously — I walk, I don’t walk.

"WALKING BUDDY"
Exercise = IMPORTANT

 

I read the labels, I don’t read the labels,

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I eat, I don’t eat.

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I care, I don’t care.IMG_2323

IMG_3214            …and TODAY, mine stinks!

At an appointment with my doctor on Friday, she reviewed my blood work and was thrilled — my A1C was 6.1, down from 6.6 three months ago. I was disappointed, “I just want to see 5. something!”  [I know! I know! There are people who would kill for my numbers.] My reality is that I REALLY want to get off the Metformin. I’ve gone from three pills to two per day — I want NONE! Is that realistic? Well, when I asked my doctor (about six months ago), if she thought it was possible, her response was, “You’ve done it before.” NOT a huge vote of confidence but, she didn’t say it wasn’t likely. She loves my motivation — today is NOT one of those days. I’m allowed to have a miserable day, aren’t I? 😦

This T2D will keep moving on. I’ll walk this afternoon, make the right decision for dinner and start all over again — One day at a time.

I’ll have a MUCH more positive attitude tomorrow.

I swear I will! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Dr. Visit…

Ugh. I’ve not been looking forward to this.

Last week I went for my blood work so my doctor would have it prior to my visit. Friday was my appointment.

She was thrilled. My blood work was great. A1C = 6.6. She was happy, I was disappointed, actually, amazed!  “If you saw what I’ve been eating, you’d never believe that’s accurate.” Dr. G responded, “It will catch up to you, you know that.”  Yeah, yeah. I didn’t respond — she’s ALWAYS right.

For awhile now, I’ve been taking two Metformin instead of three. My goal is to get off them completely. The ONLY way to do that is to stay on track — no diversions. Lately, I’ve been the Queen of Diversions! 

A little over a week ago denial crept in (with a vengeance). I actually ate potato chips and onion dip. 😦  It didn’t kill me, but what a stupid decision. And then there was the pie…cookies… Yes, I didn’t fall off the “wagon” I took a deep-dive plunge. Ugh.

The good news is, I’m back to healthy choices. If I have to have desserts, I’ll be heading to my sugar free Jello or small portions of fresh fruit.

Just remember there is such a thing as TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING (fruit can fall right into that category!)

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Monitor glucose regularly

Obviously, I didn’t do too much damage, or 6.6 would have been WAY higher. I absolutely do NOT want to go back to 3 Metformin/day, so I’m re-committing myself again to staying on track — DAMN IT! It’s all about accountability, as always. There’s no hiding those numbers and not taking my blood sugar, is just plain irresponsible. I’m determined.

I know that when I’m dedicated and determined, I get involved in a project using my hands. I know when I do the artsy/craftsy thing, I won’t snack/eat the wrong foods.

I know that when I sit and watch TV, I’m putting myself at risk. Gigunda risk!!! I become bored and troll the cabinets for something “bad.” Rarely do I find anything, because I don’t buy the foods/snacks that I know I shouldn’t be eating. I wish I could tell you that I give up and go back to watching the tube. That would not be true. There are times when I cave. I’ve walked and driven to the corner store or the gas station for a candy bar to “tide me over.”  (I sound like a drug addict. Well, sugar IS a drug!) .

Diabetes sucks. Yes, it does. BUT, there are worse diseases, that’s for sure! So, I’ll be grateful and get back on the bike and do the right thing — one day at a time.

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This disease is one heck of a roller-coaster, that’s for sure. Better days ahead.

Back to DAY #1!

 

Day #2, 2017! 5 Steps to Keeping on Track

Can you believe it? 2017!

It’s so cliché, but time REALLY does fly. My plan is to make the most — on EVERY level — of 2017. This T2D will beat the hell out of her A1C.  🙂

Cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer is how I started my day. Then, I moved on to food shopping to be sure my cupboards are filled with healthy choices. NO excuses!

I made a batch of sugar-free raspberry Jello, in an effort to be prepared when the sugar beast invades my brain! Sugar-free jello seems to calm “him” down.

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“SUGAR BEAST”

I have visions of him “dancing in my head” — NOT “sugar-plum fairies,” the Sugar BEAST! But, it’s okay. I’m prepared to “take care of him” in 2017. BRING IT ON, BEAST!  🙂

Next on my agenda is to create a pot of piping hot Vegetable Barley Soup. It’s threatening to get colder here in the Northeast, and I’ll be ready.  I love to make soup and freeze individual portions. It just makes life easier, and the individual portions help to keep my blood sugar levels in check.

"WALKING BUDDY"
Exercise = IMPORTANT

My walking buddy and I conferred and we’re starting 2017 off on the “right foot” (pun intended)!  We’ll have to walk the mall, but it really doesn’t matter as long as one foot is planted firmly in front of the other! Walking is the #1 way to lower my blood sugar — works EVERY time.

Monitoring my blood sugar has to be at the top of my list, even though it’s a ROYAL pain in the butt. The bottom line is that I know when I write it down (my definition of “monitoring”), I have a MUCH better chance of staying on track.

 

So, here’s how 2017 is shaking out thus far. I will be keeping on track by following these 5 STEPS:

  1.  Keeping diabetes-friendly foods, not just in the cabinets but, prepared to eat at any time.
  2. Maintaining awareness of the SUGAR BEAST lurking around every corner.
  3. Preparing and freezing individual portions of foods. Portion control is imperative, if I am to succeed on this journey.
  4. Exercising: God bless my “walking buddy,” Maureen,  — she keeps me accountable. You too can have one — ask around!
  5. Monitoring my blood sugar.

There are MANY PATHS we can take on this journey

with lots twists and turns and forks in the road but, with the support of other Type 2 Diabetics, I believe we can make healthy choices and be successful.

There are a multitude of  choices — let’s take the right path towards a healthy diabetic life!

GOOD LUCK in 2017, folks!

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition Counseling with a Registered Dietitian– Defined as: One who is trained or expert in the field of food and nutrition and…

— who advises on matters of foods and their impact on one’s health. A registered dietitian promotes good health through proper eating. That’s what I need, I told myself, and off to The Diabetes Education Center I went!  I had an appointment with one of their dietitians and it was wonderful.

Diabetes is a disease and I needed/wanted a health specialist. It was an outstanding visit. (I’ve been there before, over the years; sometimes you just need a tune-up.  This was one of those times.)  I AM dedicated and determined, that’s for sure.

I’m trying desperately to get off the Metformin — and attempting to be realistic at the same time. Maggie, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, helped me step back into reality. Reviewing my file, she complimented me on my A1C and pointed out that we were having a conversation similar to some we’d had years ago, when I first started.  Oh NO!  

I have this (flawed) theory that less is better. In other words, less food (carbs, etc.) will help to keep me on track. Thus, I’m probably not eating enough!  Then, when hunger strikes, guess what happens?  IMG_4375

CRAVING ATTACKS!  She’s right, of course. That evil sugar beast  creeps into my head and won’t leave until I cave. An attack on my blood sugar levels!!! Ugh… If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

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We talked about alternatives that will help the cravings to subside (I still use my Grapefruit Oil, which provides laughs for my friends. But, guess what? It helps me! See post dated: Nov. 21, 2015). This was a suggestion from a friend and guru of all things alternative.

Maggie helped me sort out a multitude of food choices that will get/keep me on track. I’ll get back to you with a TON of information that she gave me; tomorrow, if possible.  But for now — it’s dinnertime, and I have to move on with some healthy choices.  🙂

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Keep the faith, fellow T2D’s!  …and to Maggie, THANKS A MILLION!!!

IMPORTANT:  Check with your physician before making ANY changes to your diabetic treatment plan.

Bringing Down My A1C in the BIG APPLE!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Aside from the obvious (eating appropriately), NOTHING brings down this T2D’s blood sugar level faster than WALKING!  It never fails. Never.

I may have taken it JUST A TAD over the top on Tuesday night. It was a gorgeous night in the city, the sky was “Starry Night” clear, just a slight breeze and in the low 70’s. Perfect for walking in the “Big Apple.”

A friend and I went into NYC to see the preview of a unique show called “The Flatiron Hex.” The New York Times gave it a great review (at the time of the Times review, it was being performed in a different space). Last Tuesday night’s preview was at the Henson Carriage House.

It was a long walk from Penn Station (33d and 7th) to 67th and 3d Avenue. Whoa, baby, my feet were cursing at me. BIG TIME! But it was a gorgeous night and the rest of me didn’t mind at all. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pennsylvania+Station,+New+York,+NY/3rd+Avenue+%26+East+67th+Street,+New+York,+NY+10065/@40.7584233,-73.9957349,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c259ae15b2adcb:0x7955420634fd7eba!2m2!1d-73.993519!2d40.750568!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c258e97a456739:0x61d13a67f652353a!2m2!1d-73.9629317!2d40.7665612!3e2

I’m a lowly blogger and not a writer of reviews for the NY Times, but I recognize an unparalleled presentation when I see one. BY THE WAY,  it’s beyond me how ANYONE can execute a one-person performance — kudos to James Godwin! Bravo and best of luck to all the members of The Flatiron Hex, an exceptional, one-of-a-kind group of artists.

Back to Type 2 Diabetes and the benefits of walking:  After the preview of Flatiron Hex, we revised our route and hoofed it back to Penn, via 5th Avenue — window shopping MAY have slowed us down a bit but, all-in-all, it was a good 5 miles + walk and worth every step. My blood glucose was happy, as was my A1C.

So, here’s what I did for Kathy:

  • I brought down my blood glucose, by simply walking.  "WALKING BUDDY"This is a good thing because, let’s face it, this body is never going to see the inside of a gym again (Being realistic.)  Again? ??  LOL!
  • My A1C will benefit from my “hike.” That miserable test is the truth-teller. It shows all!!! Every freakin’ 3 months — it’s like a computer that spits out the details of your (diabetic) behavior. My doctor loves it. 🙂
  • I was good to my heart.  (It’s thrilled when I walk my brains out!)  IMG_4358
  • I passed each and every bakery, patisserie, and au bon pain on the route. (More bonus points for my blood sugar and my heart.) THAT wasn’t easy!  😦
  • Slept like a rock — exercise will do that…

Me?  I’m a happy camper to have spent a spectacular night walking the sidewalks of my beloved NYC    (I ❤ NY)   and, seeing an outstanding preview! What could be better?

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It’s in the ATTITUDE!

 

“Choose Wisely”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

“Choose wisely” were

…words my parents repeated on a regular basis to each of their four children. They were talking about our friends and my father managed to get his point across, usually with a simple phrase or two — and that look over his glasses. Oooooo,  that deep, penetrating, look. There was no mistaking his intent. This man was serious!

The value of friendship was second only to that of family, in the heart and minds of my parents. They taught us well and the message was incessant, particularly during those important teenage years. There’s one phrase (among many) that stands out in my mind. “Kathy, water seeks its own level.”  My dad would say it (in that tone), then pause, look me straight in the eye, turn and walk away, leaving me to contemplate what he’d just said. I knew, the “friend” I’d brought home that day had been given the “stamp of disapproval.”  No argument, no criticism. But, the point was always made, and  it was clear.  Do the right thing — choose wisely.  Mom and dad were right; their instincts good. We learned early on the difference between friends and acquaintances. As a result of their guidance, the four of us have always had excellent friends and we’ve had them for a long time.  My parents were outstanding role models — they’d tell us, “To HAVE a good friend, you need to BE a good friend.” Those words served each of us well.

WHY ARE YOU DISCUSSING FRIENDSHIP, you ask?  Because the people with whom we break bread can be as important as the morsels that pass through our lips. I, for one, need all the help I can get in managing my T2D, and I do look to my friends for support — I admit it.

For the purpose of this T2D blog, I’ll be integrating the choice of foods, along with those with whom we share it.

A few days ago, I met some friends for lunch — this can be a nightmare OR sheer heaven for me, depending on where we decide to “dine.” I made the choice this time and we went to The Wild Fig — Mediterranean Grill. Why was that my choice?  (GRILL is the operative word, and helpful to diabetics.)  The menu is enormous (see link) and filled with a multitude of healthy choices.  

The grilled veggies were mouthwatering,  IMG_4432complimented the stuffed fish, AND did great things for my blood sugar. The entree I chose included two portions of stuffed flounder. One selection on the menu was filled with crabmeat and another with spinach and feta — a friend and I shared, so we had one of each! (Is this becoming a tradition, Gerry?)  My confession: French fries (it’s an addiction, I know). BUT, in the name of justification, we split those too, so we each had some fries and some grilled vegetables. My A1C will be happy. NO dessert — it was a beautiful thing.

“Choosing wisely” is easy in this restaurant and, selecting this group of friends was a wise decision. I’m blessed. These ” Ladies Who Lunch” are no less than divine!  We share a strong belief in the “Sisterhood,” and this group is as supportive as it gets. ❤

Tell me — What could be better than sharing a delicious, healthy lunch and wonderful conversation with a delightful group of friends?

Bottom line = monitor those morsels carefully to keep your numbers at a healthy level  and — just as carefully — choose your friends wisely!   🙂   There will be no regrets!

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Thank you ladies, and WELCOME to our newest member!   

PORTION CONTROL — Name of the Game —

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It’s the name of the game in “beating” my Type 2 Diabetes, and I seem to be mastering it. I’m working on controlling my “portions” of everything;  probably why I’m so focused.

Because I’m downsizing and purging my house, I’m constantly evaluating what I NEED and don’t need. I’ve been in this house for 37 years so, trust me, that’s a LOT of stuff! Thanks to tips from minimalist, Billy from Simple Living Over 50, I’m progressing. His blog is amazing  — check it out, you won’t regret it.

So, basically, what I’m doing is controlling my “portions” in terms of what I really need (things), along with food. Watching what and how much I’m eating has gone a long way to lowering my A1C. It’s helping and I’m hoping that I can hang on to this discipline. This is the balance that I need in my life. Managing my diabetes and my environment will certainly help to achieve the balance that I yearn for. I’m following this path now, and this T2D is dedicated and determined to live a balanced and minimalistic life. IMG_4435

I’m reading, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing), by Marie Kondo. 🙂  I have a shelf packed with books on decluttering (they’re going!), but this one is unique — she has a completely different method of decluttering and I’m taking it on!  Attacking my kitchen cabinets is next. I know there are LOTS of items that are well past their dates — OUT they go. I can’t wait to have room in the cabinets that I WILL NOT FILL! I’m going to leave room for the food to “breathe.”  🙂

Seriously, I’m so thrilled that I’ve finally discovered that less really IS more — it gives ME room to breathe.  I’m on a roll, wish me luck!

PORTION CONTROL — the name of the game!

 

REVERSING Diabetes? Progress!

August 26, 2016, Friday

The goal of this Type 2 Diabetic has been to GET OFF THE MEDICATION!!! Yes, I AM screaming — at myself.  My frustration level when my doctor increased the dosage of Metformin to three a day, was overwhelming. I did this to myself kept popping through my head, and it was true!  I had been playing games — how much can one piece of cake hurt?  The answer is…PLENTY!

FINALLY, I’ve been making progress. It is due in part to my “dental dilemma” — hard to gain wait, if you can’t chew.  The problem is that during that time period, I realized that cake’s easy to chew. 🙂

Bottom line is that I was determined to get my act together.  I worked on eating healthy foods, portion control (MOST important), and exercise.  Don’t get excited. In my world, exercise does NOT include going a gym.  Get a grip. No, there will be no sweating, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. NO, no, no — I walk.  That’s it — just walk. But, guess what?  It works!  Try it. Take your blood sugar prior to walking and then again when you return.  It’s pretty amazing. It’s been brutally hot here in the

"WALKING BUDDY"
Exercise = IMPORTANT

northeast, which gave me a great excuse to stop hoofing it. However, I let my conscience be my guide and got back on track. I’m not a 5-days a week yet, but I’m building my way back up. Truth is, I live near a mall which is air conditioned. It’s a perfect place to walk in the difficult weather of both winter and summer — so there is NO excuse.

When I’m truly determined to do something, I can move mountains — and believe me, I was determined. Here’s what happened:  I went to my doctor last week who was ecstatic. Why? My A1C was 5.8!!!! I practically jumped off the table, I was so excited. She shared my joy. She asked how I did it, and I told her. (Not wanting to take all the credit for my disciplined behavior, I explained the effect my dental dilemma had on my appetite.) She was thrilled. I explained that I had lowered the dosage of Metformin from 3/day to two, because the three, along with what I was doing, was too much and I wasn’t feeling well. For the most part, I was taking just two. She told me to continue consistently with two and, if that became too much (I’d know it), decrease it to one. In three months we’ll see where I am and what the next step will be. Here were her words, and they were MUSIC TO MY EARS — “At this moment, you are in a non-diabetic state.” Did she say non-diabetic?  YES, she did!

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not a diabetic — it simply means that the blood work indicated those results at that moment. What did this do for me? It made me even more MOTIVATED! Now I’m really on a roll. The thought that there’s a real possibility that I may be able to get off the medication, brings tears to my eyes. I have been working hard to hear those words, but I’ll be working even harder now.

Wish me luck!

 

What’s on Your Plate?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

“PLATE” #1

Do you live for a buffet/smorgasbord dinner? NOOOOoooooo! My conscience screams, DON’T do it! If you have issues with portion control, that kind of dining can be a downfall.

I read a great article in Everyday Healththe title was, “Sizing Up Your Plate: Why Portion Control Matters.”

Everyday Health does a great job in its discussion of diabetes and this T2D “listens” very carefully when they “talk.”  D. Wolter-Nitta, RD, CDE, nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, was quoted on the topic of portion control. For the Type 2 Diabetic, who may be overweight, losing some pounds can lead to better blood sugar control and “possibly” less need for medication. Some of the information noted in the article will be familiar to you and some will seem like common sense. I read everything diabetes related. Truth is, there’s always more to learn and, if nothing else, reading the info will put it in the forefront of my mind. Can’t hurt, right? Everyday Health noted that Jill Weisenberger, RD, CDE, and writer, out of Yorktown, VA, stressed that “not eating proper carbs at a meal can lead to higher or lower blood sugars,” and we know what that can produce. Problems.

She, along with others, had some good points:

  • Weigh and Measure your food. LOL — right!  We’ll see about that.  🙂    Okay, I’ve never been thrilled with doing “the scale thing,” but she’s right. It’s really difficult to guess how much food is the right amount, and we know that portion control is imperative. That’s why…
  • Visual Aids are so important! I was having difficulty awhile back in my T2D journey, and I went to a diabetes educator for help. I thought I had portion control down pat but was stunned to learn that the fact that I was eating apples the size of a softball didn’t make the grade. She tossed me a tennis ball and informed me that THIS was the size I should have been consuming. “Really?” I queried, while looking at the small ball that seemed to be lost in my hand. I realized that the difference in size meant that I was eating what would be considered two apples at each sitting. AAArrrggghhh! That explained my weight gain.                 IMG_3716By the way, when shopping for apples, TRUST ME, the ones that come packaged in the plastic bags are the size you should be eating.   It’s called SMALL! At first, I was saddened by the fact that my beloved apple snack had just shrunken to about one-third of its size.  Here’s what helped a LOT:  I sliced the apple into very thin slices — VERY thin!  During that same appointment, the Diabetes Educator shocked me into realizing that I’d been overeating just about everything — without even knowing it. She showed me a plastic hamburger to demonstrate the portion that we should be eating.  It seemed so small and alone on the plate — probably one-third of the size I’d been scoffing down. Next on her agenda was the “deck of cards” — another visual aid to slap me silly into “getting” the world of portion control.  WHAT??? How many of us eat a portion of chicken, fish or beef that takes up one-third to half of the dinner plate? Well, get a grip! The deck of cards it is.
  • Read Food Labels!   Besides the obvious — carbs, protein, fiber, it’s important to check out the food labels for the SERVING SIZE.  You may be surprised to learn that a can or package contains more than one serving per person.
  • Use Smaller Plates.  This is an easy one. Substitute a luncheon-sized plate for a regular dinner plate. This tricks your eye, because it looks like you have a lot of food on your plate when, in fact, your plate is smaller.    🙂
  • Beverages. Again, read those labels. You may be surprised to see that the serving size information will force you to make a different decision. Drinking is the fastest way to get carbs into your system; therefore, for better blood glucose management, it’s better to eat your carbs than drink them.
  • SNACK, SNACK, SNACK! Tim Harlan, M.D. and Medical Director of Tulane University Group in New Orleans, states (in Everyday Health) that snacking is important for the diabetic. He says that snacking “controls overeating, controls cravings, and keeps blood sugar stable.” MAKES SENSE!  🙂
  • WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Another common sense tip. Keeping a food log is important when managing blood glucose levels. Simply put, it keeps us on track and holds us accountable. Not a big deal.

    “PLATE” #2 — continued in next post — will focus on eating out and will include social events such as weddings!

So folks, WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE???