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My First Blog Post

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

PREdiabetes = PREVENTdiabetes

You may have noticed that I keep spelling the word “prediabetes” as “PREdiabetes”. It’s not some wierd spelling issue (though I do have a real problem with spelling…its a long story & I am very thankful for the invention of spellcheck.) I keep spelling it as “PREdiabetes” to keep reminding myself that my diagnosis is not a life sentence yet. I have the opportunity to reverse and PREVENT diabetes with each action I take each day!

The positive step I took today was to continue my quest to learn everything I can about PREdiabetes. Today I came across the Center For Disease Control (CDC) website. According the the CDC approximately 84 million American adults have prediabetes, and 90% of those with prediabetes don’t know they have it and, therefore, don’t get the opportunity to make lifestyle changes until after they have full-blown diabetes. Based on that information, it’s clear I should to be thankful to have gotten diagnosed now. Because I got diagnosed, I am getting a chance to make lifestyle changes to PREvent getting full-blown diabetes. I have to take the most of this opportunity!

I also stumbled upon the University of Utah website, which has even better resources about PREdiabetes, including a video series that explains exactly what PREdiabetes is and helps with goal-setting so you make healthful lifestyle changes. The “videos” appear to really be PowerPoint presentations with audio, so they are not exciting, but they are jam-packed with good information. I only had the time to watch two of the videos, but plan to go back to the University of Utah website many times.

Finally, I hope you like this motivational quote I found as much as I do. I will be adopting this mantra for the duration of my accountability countdown. I cannot believe I have never heard or seen this one before!

How To Make Progress When Your Busy?

Baby Steps Count Too!

Today went sideways on me, and I failed to accomplish half the things I had hoped to accomplish. That sucks, but it happens. I know I need to stay positive and stay focused on the end goal: reverse my PREdiabetes diagnosis.

What I did accomplish today was writing down everything I ate. I also did some surfing on the internet (do people say that anymore?) and found a cool website with healthy diabetic-friendly recipes and tools for better meal planning: https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/ The site allows you to browse recipes, create grocery lists and has informative articles. I also checked out The American Diabetes Association website which has some excellent resources, such as their section on understanding food labels: https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-food-labels

The more I know about PREdiabetes the better equipped I will be to beat it (and hopefully you will too!)

If you remember this logo, you should check out a rad article about the history of “The More You Know”

Sunday Stats

For many, Sunday is the day of rest. For others, it’s all about Football or their Fantasy Football stats. For me, Sunday is partially a day of rest, in that I don’t run errands or do much in the way of household chores, but it’s also my day of organization and preparation for the upcoming week. I review my weekly work schedule, make my lunches for the week, wash the bed linens (I love getting into a freshly made bed on Sunday nights), do my nails, talk to my family on the phone, etc… Sundays, therefore, will also help me beat PREdiabetes if, and only if, I find ways to prepare for a healthful week.

As I previously stated, Prediabetes: A Complete Guide emphasizes record-keeping so you know where you are at health-wise, which in turn will keep you on track to reach your goals for reversing a PREdiabetes diagnosis. Accordingly, today I spent time deciding what to track, based on my decision to first focus on weight-loss, exercise and sleep hygiene. Here is what I plan to monitor:

  • Weight & BMI (weekly)
  • Waist Measurement (weekly)
  • Food/Caloric Intake (daily)
  • Water Intake (daily)
  • Exercise (daily)
  • Sleep (daily)
  • Bowel Movements (daily)

Hopefully, my decisions regarding what to track makes sense to you, but I am guessing a few of the above-referenced items might not make sense to you, yet. Let me explain. The three items I plan to track that might not make sense to you are: my waist measurement, sleep and bowel movements. According to Prediabetes: A Complete Guide, healthcare professionals typically assess a person’s weight using two measurements: your body mass index (BMI) and your waist measurements. If that is how my doctor will assess my weight, I should assess myself that way too. It’s that simple. The book also indicates that good sleep hygiene is essential to healthy living, and preventing diabetes. I have long struggled with getting enough sleep, so this is something I know I need to record. Finally, It sounds crazy to track bowel movements, but based on my research, a person’s bowel movements are a good indicator of how they are doing with nutrition, water intake and even whether they are getting enough exercise, so it seems to make sense to pay attention to aspect of my life too, since it will give me real feedback on how I am doing in other aspects of my life, (even if its kinda gross!)

Since Sundays are going to be my day to prepare for the upcoming week so I can make the most healthful decisions and progress towards my goal of beating PREdiabetes, consistency is key, Accordingly, I decided Sunday will also be my day to record my weight, BMI and waist measurement. I don’t expect my BMI to change weekly, but as I lose weight, I will occasionally check my BMI so I know my numbers. The author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide recommends using the Baylor College of Medicine Adult Energy Needs & BMI Calculator available at: http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc-apps/caloriesneed.cfm.

I thought hard about whether to share my “Sunday Stats” publicly on this blog, and ultimately decided I will. While the idea of sharing these measurements with my husband, friends or family, is absolutely cringeworthy, I know that sharing my stats is part of personal accountability. “Cringe-worthy” is really just another phrase for feeling embarrassed, ashamed or akward. The rational side of my brain also knows that those are feelings that will not help me face where I am at right now and they will not help me overcome my PREdiabetes diagnosis….therefore, I am going to put it all out there….

Today’s Sunday Stats (09/15/2019):

  • Weight = 184.00 lbs
  • BMI = 34.7 (this number puts me in the “obese” category & should be 25 or below)
  • Waist Measurement = 36.5 (this number should be less than 35 according to, well, everyone)
Learn how to properly measure your waist here: www.wikihow.com/Measure-Your-Waist

https://www.wikihow.com/Measure-Your-Waist

My First Weekend With PREdiabetes

Part 2

After spending the morning deciding to tackle my PREdiabetes diagnosis by first focusing on weight-loss, exercise and sleep hygiene, I split the rest of my day doing my normal weekend chores and errands, and trying to implement a healthier lifestyle. Overall the day was good, but I definitely experienced a couple of “Oh Shit!” and pity party moments centered around food. I was also visited by Aunt Erma today, so that did not help my emotional state. (If you don’t know Aunt Erma, I strongly recommend you check out Season 1, Episode 6 of The IT Crowd.)

My pity-party moment struck when The Hubby asked me to pick up “some ginger snaps and potato chips” when I went to the grocery store. I immediately had thoughts bouncing around in my head like “Oh Shit, I’m never going to be able to eat potato chips again! And no more french onion dip!” Clearly, the irrational side of my brain (and Aunt Erma) were in charge at that moment. The rational side of my brain knows that is not so. I will be able to occasionally enjoy potato chips and french onion dip, but I will have to do it in moderation, and probably shouldn’t indulge in that sort of treat for the next three months or so. Once I get my weight down and have established healthier habits, I should be able to indulge once in a great while, right?

Perhaps the next time I experience a snack attack, maybe I can overcome it by some color therapy like the coloring page above or better yet, a non-food related coloring page….

As for implementing a healthier lifestyle: I took a walk at my favorite park in late afternoon, got super hungry. I called The Hubby to find out when he planned to make dinner. He told me dinner would be at least an hour, so I made my way to a local grocery store to research healthier snack options…(man, we Americans have easy access to food.) Before I entered the grocery store I grudgingly googled “healthy snacks for diabetics.” Which caused my second pity-party moment of the day. The lists I found included things like: boiled eggs, veggies and hummus, cottage cheese, cheese and other marginally enticing foods. I don’t mean to sound negative, but those are not snacks! Snacks are decadent, salty, sweet, gooey, crunchy and, well….delicious foods! Ultimately, I settled on my first-ever container of cottage cheese, a wedge of gruyere and two different types of organic popcorn (lime and olive oil).

Yesterday, I also did something else; I called three of my best friends and told them about my diagnosis. I shared my PREdiabetes diagnosis with them because, right or wrong, I care what others think of me. I know that if other people know I have PREdiabetes I will be more likely to make healthier choices when I around them…because they know, and I don’t want them to think I am being a schmuck who doesn’t take care of myself. I also told them, so that they understand why I may say no to their amazing homemade cheesecake or don’t stay at book club for 3 hours, because I also want to go for a walk in the park. I also know they will encourage me when I am feeling down. (I have great friends and hope you do to!)

My First Weekend w/PREdiabetes

Part 1

As I shared yesterday, Thursday evening I was super excited to get my very own (used) copy of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide, Your Lifestyle Reset to Stop Prediabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses from Amazon. While I had checked out the exact same book from the library, I am a bibliophile that believes distressed books are good thing, so I prefer to have my own copy of books I plan to reread. A worn book means a book has been read, studied, lugged around everywhere- and loved. Having my own copy of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide means I can highlight it, write notes in it, take it everywhere with me, with the end result being that I absorb all the useful information and reverse my PREdiabetes diagnosis.

As a result of my enthusiasm, I spent my Friday the 13th evening reading, reflecting on the bad choices that got me to this stage and deciding what changes I could start making (and watching some Murder She Wrote). I also set up a pretty rad countdown clock, (scroll down to see it), so I have a visual reminder of my deadline to a healthier me!

I am writing this post on Saturday morning (my absolute favorite time of the week) and while I have not read the whole book yet, I have already learned a lot. Per the author, a winning strategy for diabetes prevention includes:

  • Monitoring your weight regularly
  • Keep track of physical activity
  • Reducing calorie intake
  • Eat a wholesome, balanced diet
  • Record food intake
  • Manage stress
  • Focus on stopping unhelpful, negative thoughts
  • Develop problem-solving skills (e.g. become personally accountable to yourself & change)
  • Maintain motivation

To me, that is a pretty long list of To-Dos…. Its overwhelming and don’t think I can start doing everything today and be successful in the long-term. I did, however, notice a common theme in the list: record, keep track, monitor. In other words, I need to start paying attention to myself. I have to really become aware of my habits and lifestyle choices, and then I can tackle making positive changes. Accordingly, I have decided I will start my lifestyle reset by monitoring three of the above-mentioned items, focus on making improvements to those aspects of my life and then move on to the other items on the list. The aspects of my life I have decided to focus on now are: weight-loss, living a more physically active life and getting more sleep.

The Bad News: If I am honest with myself, I’ve known those aspects of my life were “a concern” for quite a while.

The Good News: I’ve known those aspects of my life where a concerns for quite a while, have been open to changing those aspects of my life and I have been trying to address them already (albeit in a wishy-washy, inconsistent manner).

The Great News: Per the author, losing as little as 5-7% of my weight will dramatically cut my risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Also, losing weight, exercising more and sleeping more will enhance my life in other ways and will allow me to avoid medication and reverse PREdiabetes!

Hope!

A Transitive Verb: To Desire With Expectation Of Obtainment Or Fulfillment

Today the rational side of my brain was in control most of the day. Considering it is Friday the 13th today and PREdiabetes is a nightmare diagnosis, I’d say being rational most of the day is a win. My other wins was coming how to find that one of the books I ordered from Amazon about PREdiabetes already came in!

My weekend reading will be the American Diabetes Association book Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. Your Lifestyle Reset to Stop Prediabetes and OTher Chronic Illnesses by Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND. The book is broken up into 13 (how appropriate) chapters, covering what prediabetes is, weight loss strategies, shopping tips, exercise suggestions, sleep hygiene, healthy habit building and much, much more. I am super excited to learn more about my metabolic disorder and strategies to…just beat it, beat it, beat it!

If you have any suggestions for helpful and informative books on prediabetes, please send me post a comment here and lets learn together!

Yesterday Was No Good.

Yesterday a nurse called me with my lab results from my annual physical/blood test, and in an oh-so-professional and matter-of-fact way told me that I am PREdiabetic. Yesterday was not a good day.

At that precise moment, my brain split in two. The rational side of my brain slowed down, attempted to process the information she was telling me and ask concise, pertinentant questions. The other half of my brain went into hyper drive and barreled into the inky abyss of the future screaming, “NO! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! I am going to have my foot amputated and then die!”

Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point and are thinking I am being a total drama queen. I understand the impulse to think that and you would be correct- well, sort of. As it happens, I have “risk factors.” I am obese, or as my mom likes to call it “big boned.” I am “older in age,” i.e. in my 40s (which is the oldest I ever have been before! Ha!) Some might say I lead a somewhat sedentary lifestyle (though I feel it’s more active than many my age.) AND most importantly, I have a “family history” of diabetes. My grandmother actually did have her foot amputated as a result of diabetes, and did eventually die (of old age), therefore, I feel my immediate irrational fears is actually somewhat justified.

The next thing I did was to google and print half of the articles on the World Wide Web that had anything to do with Prediabetes. I also broke the news to my husband and mom, checked out books from the library about prediabetes, called my insurance company to inquire about weight-loss assistance, silently made some bargains with God, ordered more books from Amazon, and well….ate chocolate! Chocolate is, or rather was a totally appropriate tool for handling a crisis…don’t you think?

The rational side of my brain understands that yesterday I was experiencing some classic signs/stages of grief…. you know: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression…and Acceptance. The rational side of my brain also understands that my actions (or inactions) and bad choices got me in this predicament. The irrational side of my brain, however, is still moping and mucking about with the stages of grief and will for some time- and I accept that!

My doctor has given me three months to reverse my PREdiabetes diagnosis through weight-loss and lifestyle changes before we discuss medication. I am not sure which side of my brain is responsible for the optimism I am feeling today, but I am thankful for it. I know that I can beat this diagnosis and embark on a permanently healthier lifestyle. I am worth it, damn it and I won’t settle for less!

Please join me on my adventures in personal accountability….and the inevitable f@#k ups that go hand-in-hand with real life.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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