Sunday Question – Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self?

Suffice it to say, many of us aren’t doing all that we can to get ourselves into optimal shape. I’m sure Aaron is probably doing well at it, but for the rest of us, we’re sorely lacking in almost all of these areas; someone tell me I’m wrong. 🙂

Most of you know I’m diabetic. Some of you know that I don’t always do well with it. I have had some good times when I’ve been able to fully control my diet, and if I can get myself to exercise more then I do better also, but I’m not the best at any of this.

Here are my issues. One, even I get sick of eating the same thing every day here and there, in which case I go off the eating plan. Two, when I’m depressed from the diabetes, which means I’m in an “I quit” mode, it’s hard to get out of because one doesn’t know they’re in that mode.

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Three, I hate exercise; plain and simple. Whenever I exercise, I end up feeling worse than I did when I began. I don’t mean the huffing and puffing; I can handle that. I mean physically my body hurts, my feet hurt, and all I feel is tired, not energized. I used to feel energized after playing sports, which I could do for hours on end, but exercise just doesn’t do it for me. That, plus now I’m having foot problems, and I’m fighting my instincts which tell me that sneakers shouldn’t cost $150, especially since I bought a pair for $50, but I might have to move up in quality to protect my feet, which is something else diabetics have to be careful of; sigh.

Four, I hate doing all of it alone. My wife is way beyond me; she’s doing that P90X program, or whatever it’s called, and says that when she works out with me she’s getting no benefit from it, including walking, because it’s not intense enough. Yeah, I could still take her if I needed to. lol

And five, I’ll own up to this, I have a sugar addiction, which isn’t a real addiction as far as I know, but I just can’t stay away from sweets. Okay, more chocolate than anything else, since I’m fairly picky about things I eat, including sweets, but still it counts.

So, those are the “buts”. Here’s what I have done, or try to do. I have cut way back on how much I eat, without seeing any results. I think it’s probably the result of the insulin, which I was told would encourage me to put on weight.

Though people don’t believe it because I talk about it all the time, I actually have cut down on how much dessert I eat. My wife helps greatly with that one when she’s around. When she’s not… well, I have good days and bad days. This past week, with her on a cruise and us not being able to talk to each other, has been challenging, but I haven’t overindulged. I won’t quit desserts, though.

I’ve pretty much cut pasta out of my diet. I may eat it once every couple of months, or if my wife is feeding a bunch of people for something and she makes it as the main meal because pasta can go a long way. Pasta shuts me down, and is actually worse than sugar. I’ve reduced my rice intake as well as breads. My friend Danny, the food doctor who answers nutritional questions, has actually created a pasta that reduces the carbohydrates by more than 1/3rd, which is a good thing, and is working on getting it marketed. He’s given me some samples, but I haven’t had the opportunity to test it yet, which I will.

As it’s starting to warm up, I’m starting to go for more walks. However, last Sunday I went for a walk at the lake, walked an hour, and my feet weren’t happy with me all week; hence the talk about new sneakers. I did get new inserts and have tested them on the trampoline, with lousy results; sigh.

And I’ve started my back stretching exercises to help alleviate some back pain I’ve been experiencing lately. It’s the residual from shoveling this winter instead of hiring someone else to do it; nope, not getting any younger.

Anyway, that’s how I’m taking my shots at working on my physical self. What about you?


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Diabetic Depression

By now, everyone’s heard about diabetes. This is a tough disease to deal with sometimes. There are some folks who think this is pretty easy to do; just change how you eat. Well, it turns out it’s not quite that easy to do permanently, and when you change up, sometimes bad things happen.

migrant mother, Dorthea Lange, for TFIF contest
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At least I know about it. I was reading a story a couple of days ago where a basketball player on the Georgetown team was just diagnosed with it. He was having stomach problems and finally went to the doctor about it, and there you go. Now they’re saying he might miss some games; how bad can it be if he has to miss some games?

This kid is in great physical condition and got it; how the heck is someone like me, out of shape and on insulin, supposed to control it all of the time?

Well, I could, and I do well from time to time. I’ve written about my eating plans and when I can stick to them they do work. When I don’t, though, things can start messing up in different ways.

One thing I go through here and there is something called diabetic depression. I seem to get it when my glucose levels are high for at least a couple of weeks. I don’t always know it immediately when it’s coming on, but probably should know that if my glucose level is high for at least a week it’s time to go back to the drastic eating plan.

What does high mean? Though there are mandated highs or standards by the government, each person has their range where they feel good or bad. The U.S. has a standard between 80 and 120; I feel good between 110 and 150. When I start getting under 110, I feel like I’m borderline dizzy, and when it gets below 100, I’m no good at all. Hitting 44 after a walk one day, when I couldn’t even drive home, was probably my scariest moment. By the way, as Sire once mentioned here, other countries have different numbers they use, and I guess if they stay under a 4 they’re considered as doing well; I don’t fully get it, but I just wanted to be somewhat clear.

This obviously means anything over 150 is high, no matter how you look at it. If I’m around 170 or so, I don’t panic at all. But when my readings get around 200 and stay there, or higher for awhile, there’s trouble a-brewin’.

In the last two weeks, since that’s the average a glucose monitor will give you, I’ve been averaging 219; no, that’s not good. Three days ago I awoke to a reading of 320, and that was after being awake 2 hours without eating anything.

The day I wrote my post on possibly giving up blogging, it was 244 after a couple of hours; nope, not good. I’ve had only two readings under 200 in the past two weeks, and both were afternoon readings, not morning readings. I’ve come close to 300 a few times; that’s not good either.

I tend to get depressed. When I get depressed, I want to quit some things and overdo others. I’m a dessert hound; I admit that.

But it’s not just desserts that drives up the numbers. Carbs is the monster. I’ve had pizza a few times. My wife made spaghetti on Sunday and I had some, then had some on both Monday and Tuesday. I’ve eaten a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches over the last week or so; yeah, that commercial got to me. I’ve had cake, cookies, and hot chocolate also, and I can’t say in moderation either. Once the numbers get high, you stop caring, and you go hog wild.

Luckily, my life has always been about coming to grips with something at a certain moment and deciding it’s time to get back on the straight and narrow. My wife is out of town this weekend, yet I’m working hard on being good. I can’t claim perfection, because I acknowledge that I do need her help, but I’ve gained a little bit of control, and hopefully by the middle of next week I’ll be back into the 150’s or lower.

I was talking to a friend of mine Wednesday night at a networking event. He was telling me his mother was diabetic, and he never realized how hard it was to plan meals and try to stick to an eating plan.

I’m not going to say this is harder than giving up cigarettes, but it’s different. You stop smoking, at least you have other things you can go to that you enjoy. Sure, you might overeat for awhile, but you’ll get used to that. With diabetes, supposedly you can never go back to eating what you like, or at least how you like, and there’s nothing to replace it. Well, there’s poker, but when I play poker I don’t tend to eat, and my wife wouldn’t like that any better than me playing poker every day. She’s like that. lol

Just thought I’d share that, so if every once in awhile you see an odd post or two, you might have an idea of where it might be coming from. Doesn’t mean I might not be thinking about something here and there, but at that moment the thought process might be influenced by something else. And, just for clarification, not everyone gets depressed. There are so many different symptoms people will exhibit. I’m lucky that my vision hasn’t been affected this time around.
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