My Journey with Diabetes/Bringing It Down – #12 (December)


DOWN with the D (2)

I wanted to be sure to do one more update before I hit my one year mark which falls in mid January.  I haven’t accomplished all my goals since my October post but I feel okay with where I am at physically.  I  must credit my first visit with my new physician with helping me to feel good and #keepmovin!

After going to the same doctor since 1995 we decided to make the change to a new doctor.  The doctor didn’t do anything wrong, we just had our reasons for changing to a new doctor/hospital in another town.  We had debated this topic for two years and finally took the leap.

I know she was probably trying to “win me over” but I’m going with that she really really meant what she said! 🙂 After she spoke to her PA and heard my diabetes story she walks in and says the following.

“I hear you are my new poster child for Diabetes!”

I laughed. (me… really? that’s so funny!)

Apparently dropping from 7.2 on the AC1 test to 5.9 in six months is some kinda rock star action! 🙂 That was December 2016 and then July 2017.  My next test is a month from now.

But honestly, I needed to hear some encouraging words on that very day and she provided them!  Thank you Dr. D!   (Bonus, my hubs was present so he got to hear it too!)

Then Dr. D. said the following as I shared my thoughts and working on eating during this time of year.

“Give Yourself Some Grace This Month”

That’s what she said and I instantly felt a heaviness lifted from my shoulders.  I also repeat that to myself about 40 times a day now.  And not just in regards to eating.

“Give Yourself Some Grace”

When I think of grace I guess I primarily think of God giving it.  But it helps to think in terms that myself and others can do that as well.  Although without God I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

By the way diabetes isn’t going away.  The fact that I lost some weight, stay active, and eat healthier than I used to is why it’s in a “pre-diabetes” stage.  But at any given time it could change. I have an insulin resistance.  But the best thing I can do is stay pro-active.

Now that I’ve documented my rock star moment let’s move onto other stuff!

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People.  I’m telling you, literally writing my step count each morning,  two of my own emoji for how I’m feeling, and whether I ate out or not is a great tool.  I keep it in my bathroom, access, access, access!

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Reviewing at the end of the month is easy and right in front of me. OR I can see all of it together in a moment’s notice mid-month and get myself re-centered!

My November stats:

Eating out:  I average 10 to 11 times per month.  (I know, that’s really not healthy or financially smart, new goal 2018!)  Six months ago the case!  Time management & meal planning needed!

There were  6 days out of 30 that I got less than 10,000 steps in.

There were 4 days out of 30 that I got MORE than 10,000 steps in. (that is low actually from other months)

I also reviewed my little emoji’s.  I would log how I felt when I woke up and then by the end of the day.  I think this will be beneficial in the long run so I can see how I tie food intake and emotions together.

I also measured and weighted my body and reviewed my DiabetesM app information.  This is the app I use to log my blood sugars.  It helps me see where I need to work on my food intake and exercise to benefit my blood sugars. The first screen shows me what it thinks my AC1 level is at. AC1 levels is the test that reflects my blood sugars for the past 3 months.  I can tell you right now November was a month of not eating correctly at supper time!

On a side note, I am not posting as much on my personal social media about my daily exercise journey.  I kind of miss it but had taken Facebook app off my phone for awhile.  I also felt like me sharing positive and happy things in my life might bother someone else. If their life isn’t going smoothly or they are dealing with difficult things. I know I have found myself having feelings not so kind when scrolling.  My life isn’t any better than anyone elses, my hope when I share is it inspire.

I have other ways of communicating with others that have shown interest in my posts or told me I am helping them. (Snapchat, texting, and FB private group) It feels good to me that something that affected my life so much a year ago has come to help others.   I pray I can continue to get healthier and spend many years playing with my grandkids on the living room floor!

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment or ask questions!

Julie

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Relationships


I created this graphic after going through session five of the bible study Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply by Deb Burma.  You can purchase the study a few different places if you are interested.

Encouragement

Now that I am finished with it I would recommend it to anyone, even if you do not drink coffee.  It includes recipes, craft ideas, tidbits about coffee drinks, and a great many other things about God’s Word. Lucky for me I was able to walk through it with a group of other ladies but it could easily be done on your own!

Now back to that graphic and why I created it for myself.  I wanted to have easy access for a reminder from areas of the Bible.  Some of the relationships in my life are stagnet, not comfortable, flourishing, open, comfortable, or have just gone by the wayside. But today I’d like to talk about one of the most important relationships I have in my life.

The one with my spouse, my husband of 14 years.

When this session was presented before me it was a good thing.  At the time I wasn’t so sure because things were stressful in that very important relationship I mentioned before.  No need to air my dirty laundry or share more than my hubs is comfortable with.  Just know that reading through creating something in me to focus on changing my responses.  I’m still a work in progress and so is he.  To date, I have not been able to sit down and visit with him about this session.  The farmer is too busy and it’s okay, we will when time allows. I have it on the top of our “to do” list! 🙂 But I see the help it has given our relationship already, without him evening knowing what it’s about! 🙂

When I walked out of the Monday night bible study the night we did this session I saw things differently. One thing I realized is that it’s a duty as a Christian to have those difficult conversations with others.  Am I scared?  Yep.  Will I pray on it?  Yep.  Have I strayed from my faith before?  Yep.  Do I still struggle with things today?  Yep. Have I repented?  Yep. Am I forgiven?  Yep.

Psst….. you can too.  Jesus loves you.

Now, feel free to save the graphic or print it off for personal use.  I plan too.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

Bringing it Down – #11


DOWN with the D (2)

This post was to make it’s way published October 1st,  as you can tell I never did that.  I was busy and struggling to decide what I wanted to say. Here goes.

I know my eating isn’t exactly the way it should be.  Too many processed foods have entered the picture, or better yet my mouth on too many occasions.  My blood sugars are still really good.  I like to chalk that up to the walking routine and not over eating in most table settings.

I’d like to mention that there have been bouts of emotional stress during the past month.  Which was brought on by lack of sleep and quite possibly the depression that resides within me.  Although both should be manageable, at times they are not.

It’s just a cycle.  Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep = crankiness= eractic reactions=feelings of highs and major lows = eating mindlessly= feeling physically yucky = mental let down of oneself.

But come October 1st I found the determination to get on course and make some changes to my goals!  And so far so good!

I’m a visual person.  I like to actually SEE things to remind me and to really get the whole picture.  I am going back to a simple system.  I am using this calendar to log things daily. I still use my Garmin Connect and Samsung Health app but this is kept in my bathroom.

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I have started doing some indoor walking workouts from Leslie Sansone.  I am doing the ones that include hand weights. I feel at home with her if that makes sense, she doesn’t seem fake or pushy.   It’s not too hard either, although I know I walk faster doing her workouts than when alone outside. I know this is where a walking buddy would really help me when walking outdoors. Speed things up, if you know what I mean!

So my goals include the following:

10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days a week

Less processed foods intake.

Snack planning (meals too)

Strength training every other day.

Eat out no more than twice a week.

Look at my plate before starting to eat. Are vegetables half the plate?

 

That’s it. That’s where I am at.

Things I want to be able to look back in regards to  in this journey are….

I can feel a waist again. Just a little but it’s there.

The scale hovers at 199 and 200.   (Yes I really did just put my weight on the world wide web, it’s okay.  It’s a number.  Last month that drove me nuts, now it just makes me determined even more.  I want to be out of the 200’s and be far enough away to really celebrate it!

People are noticing a physical change.  I hope they notice the mental too. Thank you to those that have complimented me. It really is a help!

Winter is coming, that means my work is cut out for me.  It will be easy to be lazy, acknowledge the struggles and celebrate the successes, right!

It hasn’t been easy but in 10 months I’ve made a difference in ME.  I’ve moved forward.  I can continue this life change and in January when I meet with my diabetic educator feel proud of it all!

Until next time!

Julie

 

 

 

 

 I’m Sorry Friends


I have been pondering for a few days the friendships I have, and the state they are in. I’m not talking about the social media friends you don’t really know or see much of.  It’s the closest of closest gal pals I’m talking about. 

I feel compelled to apologize to those closest to me in the world of friendships. (you know who you are)

First, let me direct you to my post Friendships that I wrote October 1, 2014. Three whole years ago!  It was a coincidence for sure that this little nugget popped into my view today. Honestly,  I hadn’t given this post much thought, then WordPress decided to share with me someone had liked it today. I took a stroll down memory lane and read it. But I was actually pondering my friendship connections for a couple weeks now.

After three years I’ve come to realize that I am not nurturing my relationships with my closest girlfriends like I used to.  I realize now that this is a by product of my emotional roller coaster ride I jumped on back in 2014.  I have hidden away in the walls of my home verses sharing the hardest times with those who love me.  I haven’t joined the celebratory moments due to anxiety or feeling the weight of the world upon me.

I recall I used to send cards more often, make sure we had coffee or dinner dates, and even text more than we do now.  The relationships in my life have become…. stagnet. Is that it?

The point where the connection is where we click LIKE on a photo or comment GOOD LUCK to one of the people in your life that probably knows more than many others. The ones that would drop anything for you, if you just picked up the phone to call or text.  I must say, when I do click love, like, or type a comment, normally I am  wishing them so much goodness I can feel it.  I think to myself, when was the last time we saw each other?

The face to face interactions that bring forth the building one another up and you’re not alone right now strengths has faded to the back of the line.  The moments where you laugh till you cry, your heart literally aches in your chest at the words they have shared so willingly or you shake your head in agreement. Let’s not forget the  you rejoice at the success of the one across from you moments.  Are these all just faded memories?

Oh I know.  Our lives are busy and our families need us.  We don’t have the energy to go out and the comfy pj pants are more enjoyable than those jeans.  The stresses of the job, family, church, and kid’s activities are all weighing us down.  The fact that our marriage isn’t healthy or one of our kids is having some major issues keeps us from connecting in fear it will be found out! ( I know, I’ve been there on both those topics!)

The re-booting of ourselves in womanhood has been put on the back burner.

99% of the time after being with one or a group of friends I feel just that.

REBOOTED.  REFRESHED.  RELAXED.

I sometimes forget to laugh in my daily life. I know, it’s a sad thing.  But when I’m with a friend or two it just naturally happens.  Seriously. No Joke.  

So why have I distanced myself from the women God has placed in my life?

I guess I already answered that in previous paragraphs. 

I think I’m ready to move forward in my relationships.  To re-connect with my tribe of women friends.  

I guess this post was mostly to motivate me, put it out there, and make me accountable.  I don’t want to end up later in life wishing I had done more.  I love my women friends and I can’t wait to share all the moments before us!

Do you have a girlfriend that it’s been awhile since you hung out or talked with? Maybe it’s time to remedy that!

Until next time!

Julie

 

 

Bringing It Down – #10


Below is the post I shared on my personal Facebook page today.  There is more I’ve felt, accomplished, failed at, and shared but this is a good start.  I’m proud of where I am and can feel that I need to step up a few more things in my life.  I hope you enjoy today’s post.

DOWN with the D (2)

58 days ago I was motivated by another individual and their social media post.  He motivated me to get myself out of the 8,000 steps a day mode and kick it up a notch.  I am grateful for him and his posts on various aspects of his life.
To hold myself accountable I decided to post daily and possibly motivate others.  I post my fitness tracker progress throughout the day in comments as well.

It has helped me a great deal to stay accountable and keep moving.  I’ve also received feedback and support from people.  Thank you to all of you that have helped me.

In those 58 days….

I have missed reaching my goal 10 out of 58 days.

I have bounced back from times of depression quicker than usual.

If I do not get 5,000 steps before noon I’m probably in trouble.

I have lost less than one pound.

Taking 3 small walks a day is better than no walks.

I have clothes that fit better.

I’ve been frustrated.

I have gained support from old friends.

I’ve ate better but still need improvement.

I realized sleep is essential, power naps are okay.

Sunrises are pretty spectacular here in Kansas.

My knees and leg have hurt and I wonder why I even try.

Stretching is a must for this lady.

I am the only person that can really make myself care about me.

My hip hurts more if I don’t walk often.

My feelings still get hurt but I probably don’t blow it out of proportion as much.

It’s social media, if someone doesn’t like your post, they can unfollow you or scroll by, just do your thing.

My process  and progress is slow.

Support is really great, but you don’t always have it.

My blood sugar numbers are super good on average!

Guilt within yourself can be a tool to motivate.

Walking to the corner of my road and back can give me 1500 to 2000 steps in no time.  Quick as that!

It’s okay to still eat yummy sweet stuff or carbs… just don’t overload.

Pay attention to you. Mindless living doesn’t work in my situation.

A little girl is watching my every move.

My process is just that.  Mine.

10,000

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Homemade From the Heart – A Quilt Journey


About a year ago I took up quilting.  I had made a few with my mother for my older daughters but never really took to it.  Until now.  In the past year I have made 17 quilts and  I find myself often thinking of my mother while doing so.

mom and i quitl

While I was growing up she tended to do crafts, even before they were cool.  Frona would crochet, sew clothes, crosstitch, woodwork, and from my very young days at home Artex paints.  She was creative, even drawing and painting at times.  Our dining room table normally had stuff all over it.

I have done various crafts in my adult life as well.  Jumping from one to another periodically. Crosstitching to scrapbooks to chalky paint to embroidery and now quilting. I guess I did take after my Mom some.  🙂

I inherited tubs full of my mother’s fabric scraps, quilt blocks she started, even crochet thread and a partial tablecloth she was making. The thought that her hands touched this fabric to make quilt blocks makes it very meaningful when I made my two sisters their quilts recently.

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 My brothers quilt was one that she had use fabric paint on and was an eagle.

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There are still blocks left to make more quilts.  I will eventually get back to my mother’s blocks but I was not only thinking of her but my grandmothers too.

The woman my father considered his mother and us kids our grandmother made me a quilt when I was an older child.  I recall her asking what color I wanted it to be. Yellow.  Still my favorite color.  I love that quilt.  I can still see it on my twin size bed and I’d sleep under it every night. It was like a piece of sunshine during some dark times.

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Eventually it made it’s way packed away in the attic but I decided it was time to pull it out for this post.  Although coming apart in places it still gives me the feeling that I always had.  The feeling that someone loved me enough to make me something homemade. (and love me as if I were their flesh and blood.)  I have the quilt she made for my parents as well.

Then there is the very worn and tattered quilt that my mother’s mother made.  The blocks have embroidered birds for each state on it.  The white and blue quilt I recall seeing in our home over the years of growing up.  The soft material was so nice to touch, still is.  My mother gave me this quilt long before passed, it too has been packed away.

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Writing this post has taken me down memory lane.  It has re-connected me with feelings that re-kindles an appreciation for the homemade things in life.  While perhaps not physically daunting while creating but still a hard work to create.  From the finger pricks, to the seams to rip out, to the love that was poured into each stitch, and excitement to watch the person open the gift that came straight from the heart and hands.

I can only hope that my creations are at least half as good as the ones the women I’ve mentioned were.  Every crooked stitch, every binding uneven, every quilt block not square, just know that I made it with lots of love, just for you.

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And when years have passed and the seams are coming undone and it’s time to pack it away, think back to the feeling you had when you first opened it or used it.  I promise it will probably fill your chest with warmness and a smile across your face.

Julie

 

Mom- Still Thinking of Her – 2nd Ann.


Mom

The days leading up to where we find ourselves I honestly felt strong, for the most part.  I didn’t feel I was going to fall apart when it arrived.  I didn’t anticipate the tears streaming down my face the moment I read the caption on the sweet snapchat I received on my morning walk. Those tears needed to flow, they really did.  It’s okay and I’m grateful my dear friend touched base with me.

The back and forth moments of whether I should post on social media to recognize she isn’t forgotten.  If I do is that me not moving forward?  Will others feel obligated to acknowledge the loss of my mother, even though I don’t expect it?  Am I opening pain for my siblings and her grandchildren?

That’s why you find me writing on my blog.

Grief is a thing that is sometimes hard to grasp and even harder to control. It will smack you in the face or makes a suttle appearance, depending on it’s plan.

Words are not coming easily for me.  So here.

I miss my Mom.

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I had a pretty good day since I spent it with four of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  FAMILY.  Mom would have liked that. She always loved her family together.

Four of my most favorite humans ever!

I’m heading to work on a quilt and have some quiet time alone.  I’ll think of her I’m sure. Not only today but tomorrow and the next day and so forth.  I just have to keep moving forward.  Through the grief and through life. Better to have loved  than not have loved at all.

Until next time,
Julie

Bringing It Down – #9


It’s interesting that I was finally able to share this series on Facebook.  I was at a point where I felt confident (for two seconds) to hit post, so I went with it a couple weeks ago.  I still haven’t done it on my personal page but over on our farm blog page I did it.

Some things happened that I had to change my series title and that threw me into a place of disarray.  I have now composed myself (to some degree).  After a day or two I gathered my running thoughts and emotions and got down to business.  Arranging and organizing and feeling more in control once again.

Balanced.                 That’s it.               Balanced is what I felt.

Instead of having FOCUS as my 2017 word  it should have been balance.  I’ve repeated it, in my mind so many times, over the course of this past eight months!  I should have it down! But occasionally I tip one way or another just a little too much and find myself in a frenzy.

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For example, today I wasn’t able to fit in the 30 minute walk before work I had planned. Due to circumstances out of my control!  BUT instead of letting my emotions get the best of me I took the time to sneak a 10 minute walk in.  The old me would have made up some excuse to just skip it.  Even though I already know my lunch hour will be filled with me eating out and running errands.  No real workout then either.

Here’s the deal, I’ve changed my brain somewhat, my thinking.  I know for a fact that if I do not get movement into my day my blood sugar will be higher and I will feel bad physically.  The movement keeps me in check and helps both mentally and physically.

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I did buy a package of donuts before walking, it was an emotional buy, no doubt.  This was not a good move BUT once again I turned a negative into a “not so negative” situation.  I only ate half the package.  I had already ate low sugar oatmeal for breakfast.  That’s like 25 carbs alone, and the donuts (half) were about the same.  Yes 45 is my target but this was a meal with not really much healthy carbs in my books.

I took my blood sugar and it came back 151.  target range for after meals is 140.  Do you know why it’s not as high as I predicted?

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THE WALKING!  A little 10 minute walk can make such a difference and this is what keeps me coming back.

Finding the balance.  That’s what works for me.  That’s what I want to continue for the rest of my life.  Not a strict diet plan or exercise regiment, but a balance that suits my life while benefitting my health.

Movement.  I still try to walk about 45 minutes daily 5 out of 7 days. My goal is 10,000 steps per day so it’s been more like 6 or 7 days out of a week to reach it.  I have started biking with my daughter.  It’s taking some getting used to but last night I went 14 minutes.  That’s pretty good for the lady that could hardly do 7 minutes the first time.

Diet.  I still am not counting my carbs necessarily for my meals. I am looking at the plate to visual and plan what I need it to look like.  I have been eating more “non-healthy” snacks of recent.  I am noticing the way I am feeling and need to back off this habit. Grocery shopping for September is right around the corner so planning is crucial.

Support. Here is where it’s has been extremely helpful for me.  I have two gal pals T & N that stay in daily contact with me to help me.  I hope I am doing enough to support them as well.  It has really helped me.  I also am doing some challenges through Samsung Health app and my Garmin Connect app.

The other daily thing I started about 30 some days ago is posting on my personal Facebook page.  I use a photo from my walks and add words. I have placed them all in an album together.  I write different things depending on my mood.  And there are days where I just do not want to “talk” so I write 10,000.  (I put that at the end of each post too.)

Throughout the day in comments I add a photo, normally of my Garmin Vivofit 3 showing my steps status.  I figure in a year my Facebook “ON THIS DAY” this will remind me where I was and where I am wanting to be.  It’s another tool in my motivational box of goodies.

Also I hope I inspire someone else.

But honestly, its mostly for myself.

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A selfie on that 10 minute walk!

 

Until next time,

Stay moving,

Julie

 

A Day of Remembering & A Shot of Anxiety


I slept well last night. Maybe to prepare me for today. I don’t know but I liked it.

My anxiety is heightened.  I noticed it pretty quickly this morning.

The dog barking only once. Shrill ran up my neck.

The sudden awareness that my husband & child had left and I was alone in the house.

On the drive to work my struggle was real to contain my perspective.  Switching the songs more times than  needed on the radio.

Continuing to use my peripheral vision on the guy & his dog at the park.

Anxiety and depression are partners. They walk hand in hand.  When one stops the other can easily pickup where his pal left off.

That’s how it is for me at least.

Let’s go back to the car ride to work.

Country music reminds me of my Dad. It was on the radio.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of his death. Blocking the emotions from that day, 3 years ago is normally pretty simple for me.

But not today.

It’s not like I’m not functional. I am. I got out of bed, walked, went to work, and so forth.

There’s just this blah existence in me today.

It really hit me in the car. The point where tears were coming but I said NO! Not today, at least not right now.

It’s the recollection of my feelings from that evening that creates this emotional upheaval within me. Not necessarily that he is gone.  It’s the way it all went down. I really thought I had come to terms with this.

I came home to find flowers from my husband and youngest daughter and a piece of snail mail from a friend.  Life is sometimes really hard and filled with sadness and anxiety.  But the glimmer of hope is still there, it lies within the area around us.  It may not be in our view at the moment but it is  there.

It’s coming back into my view.  Tiny bit by tiny bit.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Yes, probably tomorrow.

Dad & I

Until then,

Julie

Cracks Within Series – #1


Sometimes when I imagine myself,  I see a person that has cracks throughout their body. The body is just flesh and bone but I’m talking about like a stain glass window of sorts. Or perhaps more like, the old china cup that has hair-line cracks throughout it but you can’t stop using it.  The thin cracks making it only more beautiful.

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Each crack within me was placed there from an experience.  The tiny cracks creating a brokenness in one shell of a human.  From the arguments on the playground to being picked last on a team as a child.  The teen emotions of being dumped by the guy I thought was my whole world or struggling to pass Algebra. Finding myself walking the high school halls practically full term pregnant.

The more substantial cracks stem from someone taking advantage of me as a child. The remnants of sleeping in a car overnight due to alcoholic situations at home. Not to forget to mention my experience of divorce, motherhood fails, and professional occupations.

Some of those cracks were brought on by other people’s actions and some my own.

Each one has its place within me and each one helped mold me into who I am today. Maybe the reason I am able to write is due to one of these or perhaps all of them.  I will never know.  I find that okay, I have always said “struggles build character.”

I’ve come to realize from the years 2013 through 2016 there became a crack in my being so substantial it made the largest of large indention.  A combination of things.  I was moved to a place of darkness, seeming to never return and changed forever who I am, almost ruining my marriage, my role as a mother in this world, and a few other things.

In the span of those three years I made choices and choices were made for me that scarred me for life.  I’m still reeling from them, especially since we find ourselves once again in the month of August. The difference is I am feeling better.  The difference is I survived.  I’m stronger and I’m still here writing about it.

Check back soon to get another edition of the Cracks Within series.

Julie