Mindfulness! …or not.

Sometimes we just get involved in doing whatever nonsense we’re doing. In other words, not paying attention to what’s important (good health, for instance). I was just online, checking my e-mails, Facebook, listening to a TED Talk, etc., etc.  NOT doing more important things — like making dinner for instance.

All of a sudden, I felt like garbage — you know the feeling, if you’re diabetic. When I got up from the table, my legs felt heavy. I looked at the clock — 7:30. When was lunch? Did I eat lunch? Ugh. Of course, I checked my blood sugar immediately because, like any long-term diabetic, I knew where it was. The glucometer read 68! Now, for many of you, that sounds great, right? For me, when I go below 100, I feel crummy — weak, clammy. I couldn’t care less what the “norm” is. I know what’s right for me. Low blood sugar is no joke.

I don’t know when the last time was that I had orange juice in my refrigerator. WAY too high in sugar. However, I bought it last week because I had a hankering for Chicken a l’orange. The remaining OJ has been sitting in there ever since. So, I drank a glass and almost immediately I felt like myself again.

As soon as my glucose level rose, I cooked dinner — salmon, spinach and beets. I’m back to “normal.”  🙂

The topic of this post is MINDFULNESS for a reason. Not being mindful about what I’m doing is usually what gets me in trouble. We all do it — misplacing things, losing track of time. The importance of mindfulness, I’ve learned, can’t be stressed enough. Focusing is imperative. I’ve learned that being aware — acutely aware — makes for a more balanced life.

IMG_4371

That lack of mindfulness is what caused my blood sugar to drop. NO excuse for that. The good news is that, because it happened, I’m reminded to pay strict attention and be mindful in EVERY area of my life. Scheduling healthy meals and staying on track HAS to be uppermost in my thoughts. Get with it, Kathy!

Gotta go — my salmon’s ready! Yummmmm.

 

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“Slipped” on the ice…

O.K., maybe not on the ice.  I “slipped” on some cookies  😦

I went to the doctor for my 3-month Diabetes checkup today.  Everything was great. No surprise to me — I’ve been eating correctly, monitoring my blood sugar, and walking.  Things have been looking up!  She was happy, I was happy.

So, why is it that when I went to the store to get ice melt (FREEZING here in the northeast),  I came out with JUNK?  Why, why, why?  AND, why didn’t I take out my Grapefruit Oil and smell it, in an effort to avoid the craving.  WHY?????

UGH, SO frustrating.

Driving home, I never gave a thought as to what I’d purchased.  When I started to put the items away, that’s when the realization smacked me RIGHT IN THE FACE!  I was really upset and disappointed in myself.  But evidently, not enough to toss the cookies and those cheddar crackers that I like so much into the garbage.  Nope — I had 4 — count ’em, 4 chocolate chip cookies and a small bowl of the crackers.  Truth? They tasted great!  That was around three o’clock. By 4, the carb coma took over, and I had a “nap.”   When I woke up, dinner time was approaching, and naturally I wasn’t hungry. The rest of the night brought misery — you know the deal.  Remorse, embarrassment, anger, blah, blah, blah.

“Get a grip, Kathy!” I yelled at myself.  That’s when I tossed “Satan’s food” into the garbage.  Guilt:  “There are people starving in this world, and you’re throwing out food?” Phrases such as this ran through my head.  Thankfully, my answer was a resounding YES!  Guilt is a wasted emotion, negative and hurtful. There’s no positive purpose in feeling guilty. I’m over it!

It’s kind of interesting how the brain works.  I seem to crave sugar if I’m down, bored, hungry; but also, when I’m “up,” — like today.  I was happy that all was well in my diabetes realm, so I guess I let my guard down.  Lesson Learned!

It’s 11 p.m. now, and I’ll be going to bed soon with the knowledge that tomorrow will be another Day One.  I’ll get up, eat breakfast, go to the mall — and walk, walk, walk. The good news is that I’m confident that tomorrow will be a good day.  I’ve already written two post-its that I’m going to put on the dashboard of my car.  One is a reminder; it simply says, GRAPEFRUIT! to remind me not to “slip,” and to use the tools I have.  Written on the other post-it is one word:  NO! Also, a simple reminder.

At the end of each day, I reflect on what took place during the course of my day that was positive and what was negative.  I’ll review my “slip,” learn from it, and then I’ll let it go. Tomorrow’s another day in the life of this dedicated diabetic, and it’s going to be a GOOD one.

 

The Blame Game

The “Blame Game”

Hmmm. Responsibility?

It’s not my fault, I’m diabetic, is it?

I blame my forefathers!

Search that family tree — I’ll bet there’s diabetes hanging from those branches somewhere.

I picture myself in the “family forest,” (pic. below) reaching up and pushing away the leaves. “They’re in there somewhere, I just know it.” I walk for miles, climbing trees, shaking branches, hoping those diabetic family members will fall out onto the ground, make themselves known to me and accept their responsibility for MY dilemma, MY disease.

Did I say “MY?” Hmmm, I think I did. Could it be that it’s not their fault? Could I have done this to myself? I consider this premise — but only for a moment. Denial creeps in. No way! Back to the forest. I review my family tree: Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Nana? Nope. I continue on my journey, in search of the culprit(s). Aunts, Uncles? C’mon! Cousins, somebody? Where are you?

The "Family" Tree...
                  (The “Family” Tree)

Then, right in front of me, on one of the newer, lower branches, I see someone. He’s got the “D” tattooed on his shoulder. It’s my brother! Sure enough, there’s my genetic link. He has diabetes. Somehow, I feel better. But, why? What difference does it make? He didn’t do this to me. He didn’t give me diabetes. The reality is, even if there are more of them, way up on the higher branches (and I’ll bet there are), it doesn’t matter. It’s time to accept responsibility for my own life.

The “Blame Game” just doesn’t fit into my story of diabetes. Blaming genetics is a waste of time. I have it. Period. I accept it. Now, if I don’t do what’s best for me, who do I have to blame?
ME!

Time to move on, accept responsibility for my life and do the best I can to help my body fight the diabetes. Eat right, exercise, monitor my blood sugar. Do the RIGHT thing.

Here I go (again) — One day at a time.
I’m counting EVERY day as Day #1.

Wish me luck, and H E L P! [please…]
🙂

“Dining Out v.s. Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“Dining Out  v.s.  Eating Out — How to Deal With It”

Is there a difference? Absolutely — at least to me there is.

“Eating Out” in my book means grabbing something to eat and moving along with the day. Often, no real thought goes into this. If I eat in a rush or because I’m hungry or it’s time, and I’ve got things to do and places to go, I’m usually in for a mistake.

Example: The #1 Meal at Nathan’s, a hot dog, fries, and a soda. There’s nothing healthy on that tray. (OMG, I love those dogs! Sorry, but it’s true.)

I’ve found that other fast-food places usually pose the same difficult choices for me. (Disclaimer: Some DO have a healthy choice or two and some even indicate the calories for each item — that’s a help). Do I make good choices when I’m there? No. My bad, I admit it. The smell of the fries overtakes my senses, my mouth begins to water, my breathing accelerates and a bad decision is usually ahead. Allowing that ‘rush’ to overcome my brain is frustrating! Do I cave? Sometimes. No one ever said diabetes was easy, but they did say it can be controlled.

My answer to this dilemma? DON’T go in. For me, I’m aware that eating in a fast-food restaurant will lead to disaster. I need to think about what I’m doing to my body. Slow down. Make a healthy decision. What would Spock do? “Live long and prosper,” of course. Now THAT sounds like a wise decision.

O.K., here’s the other end of the spectrum — “Dining Out.”
If I’m going to lunch or dinner with friends, or breakfast too, for that matter, my first line of defense is the Internet. I enter the name of the restaurant, pull up the menu, check out the choices and determine what the best decision for me might be. It’s easy to make the right choice ahead of time, sticking to it is the difficult part.

I’ve found that there are tools to help me follow through with my healthy choice:

1. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water, prior to leaving for the restaurant.

2. Consume a healthy snack an hour before going.

3. Remember that, even though there’s a menu, you can usually get any of the items on it grilled. Just ask.

4. Avoid the prix fixed choices. They may be a good deal money wise, but they usually include an appetizer and dessert. Do you really need that? NO, and try not to convince yourself that you ‘deserve’ it — you deserve to be healthy.

5. IMPORTANT:  If at all possible, be the FIRST to order, and then hand your menu to the waiter. It’s not spiritual reading; no need to hold onto it. Consider your decision complete. Done! Finito!

6. Stick to your guns; don’t let anyone sabotage your decision. Here’s an answer to:

“You’re not having an appetizer?”
Ans: “No. Saving room for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. I don’t want to spoil my appetite.”

What, no dessert?”
Ans: “Are you kidding? I couldn’t eat another thing. Dinner was deeeelicious!”

Believe it or not, you will survive without an appetizer and dessert, and your friends will get used to you making healthy choices. With any luck, they’ll follow your lead!

The payoff at the end of the meal is that you will have made good decisions that will lead to a healthy life. Isn’t that all that matters?

Hey! Let me know the tools that you use to make healthy choices
–OR– Having difficulties? Want to share..?