Living with diabetes: Taking the next step to keep improving
There’s one thing I have finally realized with this whole diabetes thing – it’s a lifelong battle.
See, when I was first told I was a borderline diabetic, I didn’t take it seriously, which is probably why it continued to escalate. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be where I am even if I had done something, but at the same time, who knows?
But I kind of laughed it off. It wasn’t full-blown, I told myself. And, despite going to a workshop of sorts and meeting a few people who didn’t take care of it and what it could do (one guy also taking the class, to learn how and eat better, had said he once went as high as like 600 on his blood reading and was blind – yes blind – for a few days), I still thought I had it under control.
I was younger and dumber then. In fact, I don’t even know when that was, but it was after college, so I was probably right about 30 or so, give or take.
Checking blood was done sometimes, but I often shook it off. Or I said I had, and I hadn’t. I was completely stupid about it and I’m probably quite lucky nothing major happened.
Let’s fast-forward a few years to current day. I’d love to be able to go back and time and swat myself in the face and say to take it seriously. I’m really lucky that I don’t have any serious complications right now with how I let things go. I’ve written about how things have gone and how I’m getting back on track.
From medication to watching my diet to seeing what other things do to me and to adding in more exercise, I’m starting to push forward.
However, it’s time to take the next step.
See, diet and such can work for a while. But you need to be active. There’s no secret that I’m not in the best shape in the world. So I need to move to the next level and start doing more to make sure I keep improving.
What’s that mean?
First, in regard to diet, I need to now start watching calories and things like that. As I’ve gotten things under control, I have watched what I eat and what it does. And though I’ve slowly cut some calories away, I probably haven’t been doing as much. But, I’ve also noticed I don’t feel the need to snack as much.
That’s a start – making sure I am eating right and also making sure my portions continue to shrink as I’ve slowly been doing. That will help as I keep looking to shed some pounds.
One thing I also have to realize is though the weight isn’t always coming off, sometimes the fat portion of the body is. I’ve definitely lost some inches (my pants don’t fit as well anymore) during this span, but the weight comes off slower.
Then, there’s the exercise factor.
For starters, softball season is ending soon. That takes away twice a week where I get out and am moving more than other days. So I need to replace that with something, as well as add more items.
Going to the gym, as of now, isn’t an option for me. I buy a membership, go for a little whole and then piss away the money because I never use it. So I have to find ways to do things without the gym. (Honestly, the winter is what scares me, because if it’s cold, I don’t want to really venture outside to exercise).
Therefore, I’ve come up with these goals, which I am slowly starting to implement:
- Walk more (which is going to mean starting to add in strolls at times I usually might not, such as at night etc.)
- Start riding my bike again (I can go out for an hour-long ride, cover several miles and burn a lot of calories)
- Getting back into disc golf (a truly great sport where you are moving a lot of the time and always walking)
- Geocaching more in areas where I can go on small hikes
- Trying to get out and find places to take photos, where, again, walking is better.
The activities part of this is just making it so I get out and go. Things like disc golf aren’t easy because there isn’t a course too close. This will likely be my replacement for softball when the season ends. I’d like to get to a weekly league a friend runs. That’s about an hour or so from where I work on Tuesdays, so it’s possible to pull off if I plan right.
With the walking aspect, I have a hard time just going for a walk – so I need to make sure I have things to do when walking. Maybe it’s taking some photos. Maybe it’s running errands.
For example, I am going to be getting some of my personalized postcards made again and get back into Postcrossing. It’s truly a fun hobby. How does that help? If I send a postcard out each day or two and force myself to walk to the Post Office to mail the card, it gives me a reason to get out and walk.
I’m also trying to find some spots around my areas with some trails where I can go and place some geocaches. The idea, of course, would be so I can get out, hike and hide and then maintain the caches. There are some trails and public lands around, so I just need to find the best spots for them. I have plenty of containers, too, so I am ready to go.
In the end, it’s fully up to me to make sure this continues going in the right direction. Hopefully these ideas will help me do just that.
Since my last report, I’ve been pretty steady on my readings. I had two or three spikes, which, of course, dropped my 100 percent in-range readings down (I was at 96 percent during that time). But, that changed in the last day or so as I’m now back in the 100 percent range. Those spikes, too, weren’t too crazy, but enough to pretty much piss me off as I’ve worked hard. But, I realize there will be setbacks.
I’ve had a couple of lows, once being a 76 at one point over the weekend. I think the key to maintaining is making sure I have that eating six times a day thing under control and making sure I actually do it. It’s hard during the weekends, sometimes, as I attempt to sleep in a bit more and that sometimes messes up my schedule. I need to learn to adjust it some so I don’t go extended times without something.
Here’s one thing I’ve noticed, too: my fasting levels were kind of higher. I finally figured it out. I know the amount of carb servings I’m allowed and thought I was in that. However, one of the proteins I was adding also had nearly a full carb serving, so I was basically having an additional serving each time. Now that I’ve adjusted that, the numbers (for the most part) are coming down even more. Score one for me!
In the end, I can’t complain. Compared to where I was a few months ago, this has been nothing short of amazing in my eyes. I meet with the diabetes educator again at the end of August, so hopefully I’ll have a better snapshot and ideas of other things I can do to make sure I keep moving in the right direction.
This is part of an ongoing series of posts about me living with diabetes and what I am doing to try and improve my situation. I’ll try to post these updates once or twice per month. You can read past posts about this by clicking here.
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