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respect my health

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SarabandPositive changes

I was just thinking about the changes I’ve made so far – great and small – that I hope are beneficial. They certainly feel beneficial! Logging them here as a reminder to myself.

  • keep daily carb intake below 50g
  • walk regularly: aim for minimum of 10 miles per week, joined walking group to help with this
  • walk steadily as well as vigorously to get maximum benefits
  • keep blood sugar on waking between 4.5 and 6 – ideally under 5.5
  • no caffeine after 3pm
  • limit red wine to 1 glass an evening ideally and not more than 2
  • no other alcohol
  • avoid food and alcohol after 9pm
  • meditate for 10 mins daily
  • stretch for 5 mins daily
  • daily plank for however long I can hold it (not long!)
  • power nap when necessary
  • supplements: black cohosh, magnesium, cinnamon
Awaiting introduction:
  • other supplements to be explored: kerela, DHEA, MSM
  • lift heavy things
  • high-intensity training
  • increase meditation time 5 days ago

SarabandUpdated test results

My GP agreed to run 6 monthly blood tests at my request: it’s a good motivator. I expected that this latest batch would show an increase on fasting blood glucose levels; it’s been a struggle to get my morning test down to the levels it was 6 months ago. But no – it’s still going down – hurrah!

The cholesterol results confuse me somewhat: overall it’s gone up which is not good. But the HDL (the good stuff) has increased – it’s apparently just above the normal range. So I’m thinking I need to work on reducing the LDL (the bad stuff). The ratio between the two is fine though I think so it’s not something I’ll worry about.

For the record:

Since March 13

Weight lost: approx 19lb

Fasting bg from 7.7 to 6.0 to 5.6

For future ref:

Hbac1: 5.6% (38%)

Cholesterol: 5.7
HDL: 2.7
LDL: 2.7
Trig: .55 1 week ago


SarabandUntitled

So far this year it’s been a real struggle trying to stabilize blood sugar levels. Careful eating and exercise haven’t had the same effects as they had for much of last year. I find it very frustrating. My guess is that this is linked to the ongoing reduction in HRT and consequent increase in stress levels. I know for a fact that’s what caused significant problems a few days back.

Everything is interconnected. I’m trying – without much success at the moment – to just let it be: there’s only so much I can do. And although I was tempted to postpone the imminent blood tests, I’ve made the appointment for next week which is when the next half-yearly review is due. I don’t expect to see any improvements but we’ll see.

It’s probably worth noting too that this morning’s fasting blood result was the best for weeks. It coincides with a reduction in stress levels but also with a change of eating habits. With the longer days, increasing light levels and higher temperatures I’m switching naturally back to eating lighter food. The calorie and carb intakes are unchanged but I’m eating more raw food and less meat. Too soon to draw any conclusions from this but it’s encouraging :) 1 month ago


SarabandAnd some figures: Nov 13

Since March 2013

Weight lost: 2 st

Fasting bg from 7.7 to 6.0

For future ref:

Hbac1: 5.7% (39)

Cholesterol: 5.1
HDL: 2.2
LDL: 2.7
Trig: .57

Not bad and heading in the right direction. Looking for further improvements next March :) 5 months ago


SarabandChanges

I’m feeling a bit bleh today. I’m feeling old. Tired. My joints ache; I feel heavy – not as in literal weight but in the degree of effort it takes to move myself around. My vision is blurred and my brain fogged. My mood is low. I feel sad, lethargic, almost tearful and the prospect of sliding dolefully into a pool of self-pity is rather tempting.

But I won’t be doing that ;)

I have just scanned through the previous entries under this goal. Scanned and sighed… So many pointers there: so many half-hearted attempts to improve things but very little to show for it. I’d even invested in a blood glucose meter… Perhaps things had to get worse before they could get better, but they have got better. Maybe not today, but overall – there have been enormous improvements. Hurrah!!

What I describe in that opening paragraph had become the norm by the beginning of this year. I’d more or less resigned myself to it remaining the norm; I felt like I was fifty-something going on eighty. The catalyst was a pre-diabetes diagnosis in March. It wasn’t a surprise: we have diabetes in the family. Statistically one of Dad’s daughters was earmarked to contract diabetes purely on genetic grounds. Add lifestyle and a history of hormonal idiosyncrasies into the equation and the odds tipped heavily towards me.

So although the diagnosis brought with it a heaviness of heart and a degree of self-recrimination it also brought validation: I felt bad for a reason. It was a red flag, an early warning, a wake-up call and it was the motivation I needed.

Things have improved since then :)

My current weekly target for exercise is not too onerous and still focuses on walking though it’s evolved over the months and no doubt will do so again. For now I aim at 3 gym sessions on the treadmill using a hill-climbing programme and 2 brisk outdoor walks. At some stage I should probably add some variety and some strength training but for now it’s enough.

Diet too has undergone some significant changes over the past 6 months. The initial, and standard, UK advice for diabetics is to eat low GI. That was easy enough to achieve but had little impact beyond some weight loss. There was little change in fasting blood glucose readings, and continual, (rather scary) spikes after eating. Going low-carb has been the key. Stable fasting bg readings, minimal changes throughout the day, no spikes. All good in itself – but the remarkable thing for me has been the disappearance of all those symptoms I described in my first paragraph. Within days they had vanished!

The effects were immediate and revelatory: I feel hugely better if I limit my carbohydrate intake. I have energy. Nothing aches. My brain works. My vision clears. My mood stabilises. Amazing difference! The change in mood was totally unexpected. It’s hard to describe this as it’s such an internal thing but I know there has been a dramatic internal shift; it’s not just down to external events and life being good in general.

And this is further reinforced at the moment because I’ve lost that internal stability and there are absolutely no external life events which could be contributing to this unwelcome change. All that has happened is that I’ve let the dietary and exercise lifestyle lapse for a few days over the weekend – which itself followed a lapse while we were away barely a week previously.

So – returning to the opening paragraph – right now I have all the old symptoms back with a vengeance including the low mood. And it’s dawning on me once more that these changes really must be for life – which is a bit of blow with Christmas looming. I do love mince pies… Christmas pudding …. chocolate….

But I have a choice and there’s a price to pay if I give in and take the easy road. How I feel today is a reminder of that :) 5 months ago


SarabandAugust

July was the ‘perfect’ month in terms of living it almost entirely on my terms: I could easily schedule exercise, quiet time, good food and the rest of life slipped effortlessly into place around that. As July faded I knew that August would be different and initially it bothered me. E has required more support and has had some worrying situations to face; B was ending one contract and starting another; I restarted (albeit briefly) my now-aborted life coaching course. Exercise in particular found itself squeezed out of one day after another. Especially frustrating because I really want to do it and it just wasn’t happening. Now I accept that there will be times when I have to prioritise and I can’t expect life to be always laid out for my benefit. Once I stopped feeling tense about seeing my precious exercise habit fading away quietly I felt much better. I know I can get it back when life permits – and I shall!

Physical Health

Diet I’m still keeping a note of what I’m eating and I find it does help me to remain aware. Overall I know I’ve not eaten as well this month but the slips are small and short-lived. Onward :)

Exercise I am really missing what had become a daily part of my routine. I get back to it when I can and I’m hoping to manage more regular sessions again next month.

Cognitive Health

Still using Lumosity when time permits, although I do feel I’m going backwards rather than forwards at the moment. Interesting to observe the detrimental effects of external events on my ability to play these games.

Emotional & Spiritual Health

I think this area has seen the most improvement this month. Still working on resilience and accountability; still working on negative thought patterns and seeing improvements in all areas. I’m also finding a strong pull to a daily meditation session. I really want to do this and am finding that when I do, it’s very helpful regardless of how ‘successful’ I’ve been in clearing my thoughts. In fact that is probably the key achievement this month: real progress in acceptance and mindfulness :) 2 years ago


SarabandThus far

this goal has largely sat on my list taking up space. But this month has seen a change.

Physical Health

Diet I have been noting down what I eat each day. No calorie counting; not denying myself everything, just staying aware. The result? I’m making better choices; if I eat something “bad” it’s because I have chosen to do so and I enjoy it. There’s no guilt or recrimination. This month I have eaten consciously and it feels good.

Exercise I have become a devotee of Wii Fit. I love it! I’m having no problem making time to use it almost every day and I can really feel the benefits.

Cognitive Health
Lumosity is tough! But fun! And I’m improving all the time :D

Emotional & Spiritual Health
Lots of inner work this month. Not as much meditation as I might have expected but I haven’t felt as much need for it lately. Plenty of CBT work, enlightening reading and self-acceptance :)

I’ve lost 5lbs this month and feel better physically and mentally than I’ve felt in a long while but it was never really about weight loss or targets. The impetus was a conscious choice to take back control and make small changes so that I felt I was achieving. I just achieved more than I anticipated ;) 2 years ago


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