How The Eating Plan Has Fared

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Starting A New Eating Plan. I knew it was time to do it because I had lost control over my diabetes numbers. The problem with diabetes isn’t one bad day; it’s many bad days in a row, because that’s when bad things start happening to your body.

Something I didn’t talk about in that previous post was where my numbers had been, compared to what I needed to shoot for. Here’s some figures for you. The American Diabetes Association says one’s glucose level should be between 80 – 120 mg/dl, or milligrams in a deciliter, which is 1/10th of a liter. Too much information? Well, let’s just stick with the numbers then. Anyway, the high figure used to be 140, and I like to try to shoot for between 110 and 140 because I just feel better in that range. When I start getting too close to 100, or lower than that, I start shaking or getting light headed; that’s never fun.

Anyway, the day I started on this new plan, which was two days after my diabetes clinic, the Joslin Center, had told me to increase the amount of insulin I needed to inject twice a day from 30 units to 40 units of 100 milliliters. That’s a bunch, because when I was first injecting, I was only at 15 units. My glucose figure had a 2-week average of 225. Just a few nights earlier, I had recorded a reading of 365; that kind of thing is scary, and it was after I’d eaten pasta earlier in the evening.

The eating and exercise plan started Monday the 26th. By the 29th, my afternoon reading was 110; 30th, my morning glucose reading was 130. I even lost two pounds. I felt pretty good going into the weekend, as my wife and I decided I get Friday nights and all day Saturdays off. After all, it’s hard to stick to a tight eating plan without a break here and there. I ate whatever I wanted last weekend, but I didn’t overeat, and I didn’t do much damage to myself, which was nice.

That Sunday, I went back on the plan, but I changed up some. Instead of straight chicken and mixed vegetables I added hamburger and salmon and spinach into the mix. I also added some ham slices for a sandwich instead of a full meal, and also allowed myself a quick snack, if I needed it, of a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter on it, and a much thinner layer than I would have had before the eating plan.

Last week my glucose numbers continued to fall, to the point where I had to cut back on my medication. One morning my reading was 110; phenomenal for me. Two days, though, my readings were under 100, once at 87, the other time at 97. Remember those shakes I mentioned earlier? I knew on those days that I needed to cut back on my medication, but I also had to eat sooner than 3 hours, and mix in some of the snacking I’d talked about. I didn’t lose any weight during the week, but as I said in my initial post, the goal really was about reducing my glucose levels. My average for the last two weeks had come down to 151, and I’m happy with that since my readings were a little higher over the weekend. But during the week, I only had one number over 140; wow!

So, this does prove that, when all the chips are down, one can modify their diet and bring down glucose levels. It also says that people can probably find some of their own maladies and, by changing their diets somewhat, modify some of their issues. Kind of like how, by changing my mother’s diet a few weeks ago, we were able to reduce her high blood pressure to almost normal.

Of course, I’m still not off the hook here. All I’ve done is given the medication a chance to work with me. But being able to reduce how much of the medication I’ve had to take, it means that my program is working, and probably if I decided to give up my fun nights, I could probably reduce it further. But I’ll never eliminate the medication completely, and if I gave up my one night, I’d probably have problems sticking to the plan as well. For now, I’m a happy guy.

By the way, notice I call it an eating plan rather than a diet? I think the terminology is important as well. People have problems sticking to diets, but having an eating plan, which includes some “free” days, makes it quite tolerable indeed. It may only be semantics to some, but I see dieting as something much different than what I’m trying to do. I may be crazy, but I’m getting the results I want, so it’s working for me.


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Starting A New Eating Plan

On Friday night, while my wife and I were having a general conversation, and I asked her if I could tell her something without her going too far one way or the other in her reaction. She said yes, knowing that, because it’s me, it wasn’t going to be anything overly dramatic, but that I was serious about something.

I told her that I hadn’t been feeling all that well lately. As a matter of fact, it’s probably been since just after my birthday in early September. I’m diabetic, and over the past couple of months I’ve struggled with my glucose. I had been okay, not great, but okay, until my mother got kind of ill, and I had to go take care of that. I’ll admit that I’m also under a lot of stress, and that certainly didn’t help things any.

So, no, I haven’t been feeling all that well. And I know why I haven’t been feeling well. See, there’s two things I have to do to feel well, and if I’m not doing both of them, then I don’t feel well at all. One is I have to eat right. The other is I have to exercise. Oddly enough, I can actually eat well and feel pretty good, but I don’t lose any weight. However, exercising doesn’t overcome feeling bad because I’m eating badly; that’s not fair, but that’s life.

We agreed that, starting today, I would go back to an eating plan, with caveats. Breakfast will be some kind of eggs. After that, every meal I eat, when I’m home, will be chicken and vegetables. And the amount of chicken has been measured. I know because I cooked everything Sunday and put it in containers. The plan is to eat every 3 hours or so, hoping I’ll be able to hold out at least that long before eating again. I’ve done this twice before in my life. Once, I lost a lot of weight. The last time, my glucose came down, but I didn’t lose any weight, even though I exercised twice a day. I’m thinking I can track it to the alfredo sauce, which is what I mixed the chicken with when I did this same eating plan in March of 2008.

One thing that hasn’t happened is that I haven’t gained any weight. But things are shifting, and I don’t feel good. What that means, from a diabetic, is that I feel my blood coursing through my body. You’re not supposed to feel that. You’re not supposed to feel the pounding of your blood when you try to go to sleep. That means your heart is working too hard to pump the blood through your body. When your glucose is up, your blood thickens, and thus it’s harder to push through. Also, if it’s high for a long time, that will start messing with other areas of your body. One day, back in July, my eyesight was affected when my glucose shot way up; that was scary.

So, here’s the eating plan. Sunday through Friday afternoon I stick to my eating plan. Friday night, since we usually do something, I get to come off it, but not to overdo anything. Same goes for Saturday; controlled behavior, but I can eat foods outside the norm. Then on Sunday, back to eggs for breakfast, and chicken and vegetables the rest of the day. That’s mixed veggies now; I don’t eat weird veggies now. And, at some point, I might have to mix some rice in there, for a little bit of carbs. We’re not supposed to totally take carbs out of our diet, though some of those mixed vegetables should count.

As for the exercise, the guarantee is to exercise at least once a day for at least 15 minutes. I have a trampoline, and if I watch one of my documentary DVDs, I can get it done. I put on the timer to make sure I get there. And, as I get used to it again, I should be able to do a bit longer after awhile. Actually, for me, it’s usually mental; just can’t wait to get back to work. But I’m going to follow my 4- week work plan, where I’ve given myself a special permission to take care of my health. It’s part of the Get Clients Now program by C. J. Hayden, but I’ve modified it to help me get other things done.

So, there you go. By the time you see this I’ll hopefully have eaten some breakfast, and I’ll be ready to start my trek towards feeling better. If the past is any indication, I should start feeling better by Thursday, and my glucose should start responding in a positive manner. I can do this; anyone want to join me?

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