"In my food world, there is no fear or guilt, only joy and balance. So no ingredient is ever off limits. Rather, all of the recipes here follow my usually... sometimes... rarely philosophy. Notice there is no NEVER."
~Ellie Krieger, The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes For A Healthy Life
As my About.com newsletter pointed out yesterday, it was World Diabetes Day! I knew that the whole month of November was dedicated to diabetes awareness, but I hadn't realized that there was one particular day in November that was observed as a special day. You see, I have been backsliding a bit when it comes to my diabetes, which isn't very bright of me! When I was first diagnosed, back in the summer of 2007, I really took the whole situation as a kind of fun challenge for myself. I wanted to start taking my health more serious, and Alan decided to join me in the adventure! Together we were amazing! He toned up. He lowered his cholesterol numbers, and we coached each other in being more physically active. It was fun!
And then we both went through some heavy stress times...
Elvis got cancer, and died a few months later!
Alan's brother, Darrell, passed away, suddenly, at the age of 50.
Governor Schwarzenegger put a financial noose around our necks, when he decided to impose a 3 day forced furlough on state workers.
Our brand new Saturn cars began to fall apart, exactly 13 months to the date of purchase. Go look up all the problems Saturn cars experienced during that time. The troubles ranged from the minor annoyance... to the downright dangerous. But they were never deemed a lemon. Make no mistake, any owner of a Saturn ION from years 2002 -2009, will tell you, they might as well have been Corvairs!
Then there was the case of the neighbors from HELL, Donny and Nina (not their real names).
And finally, two of my major coping mechanisms, All My Children and One Life To Live, were MURDERED by that cad, Brian Frons. Which, by the way, have both been shelved, yet again! Grrrr.
I know. I do.
But hear me out. When I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I was sad. I felt like I was a failure! I thought I had done things right over the years! I had watched what I ate. As far as my other numbers went, I was doing pretty good. My cholesterol was perfect, much to my doctor's delight. My blood pressure was fine, at least it was, it has since become a cause for mild concern, but back in 2007 I did what I thought was right, and I got diabetes anyway! I guess I took some things for granted. It happens. Right? So, instead of beating myself up over my folly, I got proactive, and dropped my A1C drastically within 3 months, and I did it without giving anything up! I did it by educating myself on nutrition!
I ate scheduled meals.
I portioned out a proper serving, and didn't go back for seconds.
I set a total caloric intake number for myself daily, and stuck to it!
I ate what I wanted, but learned which foods gave me the best value, in terms of satisfying my appetite and not affecting my blood sugar.
I made sure I spent no longer than 30 minutes eating. 20 was ideal.
I read labels. I learned what was in the food I was eating.
I went back to taking long walks with Alan. It was as good for our bodies, as it was for our marriage.
I checked my blood sugar, to learn about how different foods affected my blood sugar.
I learned that when it comes to blood sugar levels, stress also plays a factor.
And by the way, stress is stress. Any extreme, will affect my blood sugar. Some time ask me about how high my blood sugar went when I was watching Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine!
I ate what I wanted, only I was eating it with the proper perspective about what food is! Food isn't a blanket, the purpose of food is to nourish the body. Yes, it's great, but it's not healthy to let it replace the real needs we have.
I knew all this! I had learned it for myself. And I still backslid. My A1C as of this last Tuesday was...
Standard range is... 4.6 - 6.0
Not bad enough to require medication, but if left unaddressed, it's the road to daily shots of insulin, possible blindness, loss of limb, increased chance of kidney failure, and other assorted badness!
I am smarter than that! So what happened? Well, there are no good excuses, but there were plenty of reasons. Some of which I explained above! But really, why did I let myself give up so easily? Why did I hand Donny that victory? Why did I let him get to me to the point I gave up? When Darrell passed away, why did I stop taking care of myself? He wouldn't have been really upset about that! He loved me, and would have been the first one to have said... "Hey dummy, what are you doing?" When Elvis died also, it was almost more than I could take. I was devastated watching him slowly lose his zest for life. I have never seen anyone, human or feline alike, who lived life quite as full as Elvis did! He loved me, which meant that he would have wanted me to be the best person I could be!
Looking back, I know all the reasons, and excuses, and again I am doing a full assessment of how to, once again, begin again. Like last time, I am giving respect to the mistakes, and owning them, but I am not beating myself up over it. That is a waste of time. Instead I asked my doctor to schedule me another round of blood tests in 3 months, so I can have a focus point to look forward to. A goal. You see, I have set a reasonable goal. I just want to see that 6.6 A1C measure, become a 5.9 measure. It's perfectly reasonable. I did it the first time! When I was first diagnosed, back in 2007 my A1C was...
On July 23rd, 2007, my A1C was 6.7, but by November 14th, it was ( 5.9 ).
Life is an adventure... right? I had a blast inventing new recipes, and taking a scientific approach to not just my experience with diabetes, but indeed, life in general. At the time I blamed my diagnosis on George W. Bush, and in truth, he did kind of play a roll in that he was such an irritating little beast! And now, we have the likes of Sarah Palin, and the obnoxious Tea Party, and Gun worshippers, but I plan to take the ire I feel, and turn it into power walking, and meal planning. LOL. It can work. I know from experience... It will work! but just for the sake of releasing just a bit of tension...
Mr. Frons, wherever you are, I still hope you never work again! Poophead!
Even if you don't have Diabetes, it might be a good idea to educated yourself on it. If not for you, than someone you love. Diabetes can be managed, I am living proof of that! Please click the link below to visit the Center For Disease Control Website, and the American Diabetes Association.
(CDC) Center For Disease Control: Prevent Diabetes
Wish me luck, okay? I will report on my progress on February 14th 2014, just in time for American Heart Month!