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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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

 

 

 

 

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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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

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #2


Written early March 2017

When dealing with life changes, whether it’s in regards to eating, stopping a bad habit, starting therapy, stopping therapy, or whatever, it’s not an easy path.  Although I do believe a support system is essential it really comes down to the individual.  No one is going to move you forward, they might assist but ultimately you have to take that first step alone.  And that first step isn’t going to come until you are ready.

My first assistance was that blood test that showed my AC1 at 7.2 and the phone call from the doctor with options.  I chose the option to visit with a Diabetic Educator named Kathy.  I spent up until the day after my 46th birthday eating as I wanted.  I began logging food and trying my best from December 27th to January 3rd, then I met Kathy.

Kathy explained things in simple terms and allowed me to ask questions.  She allowed my spouse to ask questions and she even visited about my fears.  Tears fell because of the emotions I was feeling and she never made me feel bad for it.

I now take my blood sugar glucose tests at least 2 to 3 times a day. Once before meals and once two hours after eating.

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In the past couple months I’ve been on the high side emotionally, the frustrated, tantrum throwing, not to mention the low side.  You name it, I’ve probably felt it.  Kathy gave me just a few things to start out with.  45 grams of carbs per meal and 15 per snack.  Going in I knew I needed to expect less of myself.  That probably sounds odd but it’s true.  I have high expectations for myself and that can lead to me taking the long fall down to failing!

This time I wrote about moving into a different level of this journey.  I felt it needed to be shared because only writing about the good or positive moments isn’t reality or truth. I won’t hide in the goodness of life, the ugly is part of it.  Just have to choose how to deal with it.

Julie

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #3


April 2017

Three months in and I stopped.  I basically let it drift away by casually having a morsel or two then the entire item in front of me.  Yes, the 80/20 rule works but not for someone that has no willpower, is depleted by stress, tired, and most importantly on this new life change only a couple months.  Feel a lack of support was a factor too.

Here I am on April 4th, no weight loss in March, and I have a blood sugar hangover. Yesterday started as a new start to get back together.  It went very well most all the day and then at supper I failed.  Sweet potato fries, a few would be okay but too many no way!  Then the DQ ice cream cake from my daughter’s 9th birthday.  Those two things with a combination of whatever else few carbs I had throughout the day made my blood sugar increase.  Increase to the point of headache and me deciding to take the actual test.  154.  To some that may be a great number but to me that means WAY TOO HIGH.  An hour and half later 166.  It wasn’t showing any signs of backing down.  So I headed to bed thinking “what the he** Julie? Why did you do this?” It’s been a few weeks like this now and although stress and lack of sleep are factors, YOU chose to eat wrong a lot of the time!”

I’ve started my day by eating protein and  24 carbs, which I’m suppose to have 45.  It’s hard for me to get up to 45 at breakfast without going over.  I took an easy paced walk as the energy level and mindset is low.  Almost time to take my next test and then a snack.  15 carbs.   And on and on and on.

April 26, 2017

Most days have been better but still not a stellar way.   I am moving.  That is essential in this life with diabetes. I’m serious.  It helps so much even when I’m not actually walking or moving.  The issue I have is this.  When my blood sugar level is great, but  I don’t eat 45 grams of carbs, then go for a walk,  my blood sugar drops low.  And going from low up to way high is the worst feeling to me!   Balance.  That really is the key.  But since falling off in March I’m struggling with getting balance.

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Sleep. Sleep is just about as big a factor as moving.  I didn’t realize it until I stopped taking my anti-depressants in early March.  The one thing they did was knock me out overnight.  I did sleep well while on them but for various reasons have discontinued taking them.  For the most part I am doing okay off them except my “light sleeping” personality wakes too much in the night!  Then the bladder issue hits and up I go to bathroom.  SO, early bedtimes are essential and if a nap is needed I should do just that! Easier said than done on most days.  BUT, I am going to take this one step at a time, tackle one thing at a time.  If I don’t, I will fail.

So my focus is eating balanced.  Then moving.  Just keep moving.  Just keep moving!  Find some support somewhere too.  It has helped me to document via Snapchat with my two daughters and best friend.  I’m not sure they enjoy getting snaps of my walking logs but oh well.  They are getting them! 🙂

Until next time!

Julie

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #5 – 6 month results


July 2017

Drumroll please…….

AC1 test results December 12, 2016: 7.2

AC1 test results June 19, 2017: 5.9

HAPPY DANCE!  HAPPY DANCE!  HAPPY DANCE!

It’s amazing to me how taking my blood sugar 1- 3 times a day, monitoring my levels, eating less carbs (see I didn’t say no carbs),  and walking for exercise can make me feel better.

While in the process of reaching a goal I found that paying attention to my body and how it reacts is crucial.  When I do carb overload the way I feel physically and mentally is essential.  Do I still over eat on occasion, yes.  For sure.  More than I probably should, but as I’ve stated before I’m not rushing this.

 

I’ve lost 16 pounds since December and although I’ve been stuck at my current weight awhile I’m okay with it.  Continuing to move and 80% of the time eating the best I can is what is working for me.  My blood sugars are good and I’ve kinda leveled out where they should be.

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Is this permanent?  No.  If I slide back the other way too often or quit moving, my body will go back to where it’s been.  If I continue with high stress and lack of sleep that diabetic frenzy will show itself once again.  Which could result in me taking insulin or some sort of diabetic medication.  I DO NOT WANT THIS!

I’m lucky.  I was given an opportunity to adjust my way of living.  With Type 2 Diabetes it was determined before it got out of hand.  This is available for many with Type 2 Diabetes, the ability to make the change, but of course not all. If caught early enough makes a difference.  Annual physical and blood work is what saved me.  I’m only six months in and this will need to be taken care of for the rest of my life.

As I said earlier, at this point I do not take any medication. I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.  I already take one medication for another condition that costs me over $350 a month, where there is no cure for it.  I struggle to get it so more expense isn’t an option.

So I spent the money for a cheap blood glucose meter, changed my eating habits, and got to moving some.  It still costs me approximately $50.00 a month for alcohol wipes, lancets,  and strips to test my blood.  My brother takes insulin and his diabetes is much worse than mine due to not being diagnosed early enough (not his fault by the way). Spending time with him recently was a reminder to me what I’m doing is important. (Even he is doing what he can to have a better life living with diabetes.)

  • It’s really up to only me.  I have to do this.
  • Having support makes things easier.
  • Choices I make today do make a difference for tomorrow.

Next six month goals

  • Walk 10,000 steps per day ( I started this last Saturday, Post # 7 talks about it)
  • Lose 7 more pounds
  • Find an exercise support buddy

I will not see Kathy until January 2018.  I hope by then to have met the goals I listed above.  Alot of the things I enjoy in life are where I am not active, I sit down.  For instance blogging, quilting, embroidery, movies, reading, and just relaxing at home.  So I have to make myself move.  This is where a committed buddy will help!  I’m off to find one! 🙂

Until next time!

Julie

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #6


Written Mid- July 2017

I find myself realizing that just six months ago walking .83 of a mile took me 30 minutes or possibly more.  Today I am able to walk that same path in 18 to 20 minutes.  I’m no runner and I never want to be but I’m pretty proud of this.  I sometimes have to break my walks up throughout the day due to my schedule.  I feel bad when I look at my fitness tracker and see less than 4000 steps by 1:00 p.m.  But there are those days.  I’ve made some improvements in the physical part of my health, a ways to go but I’m headed in the right direction.

 

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This week I decided I might like to try riding a bike.  I have this old Schwinn bike that was my parents. I think it’s kinda cool.  But the tires on it are not made for country roads and with my balance issues it’s quite possible I’ll end up on the ground more often than not.  I’m hoping to try my husband or oldest daughter’s bike to decide if this is a new thing for me.  To see if the addition of bike riding will give me a little variety in life so to speak!  If all works with that adventure,  I might just have to trade my old Schwinn for a newer country road tire bike! 🙂

This week I noticed that when dining out I made good choices so to speak.  Did I still eat a hamburger and fries and even a chocolate shake.  Yes.  But the good choice for me was not picking the combo meal that had the largest size of those items.  I was enjoying my meal even though I didn’t stuff myself.  Then one evening my husband had brought home a piece of  homemade cherry pie.  (In his defense, he asked the diner if they had sugar free.)  I took about 3 bites and decided it was too sweet and I really didn’t want it.  Perhaps that was his plan all along……   🙂

One of the things I dislike is having my blood sugar level go too low, for a couple reasons.  I feel bad and then when I do eat it shoots up which causes other uncomfortable results.  So balance is really a key item in this game of controlling diabetes.  I can tell when my body reaches about 95 to 90, the too low symptoms begin to show.  If it makes it to 70 I need help!  But most of the time I keep it around 105 – 120 area before meals and after meals varies from 125 to 145 depending on what I eat.

I am still in the obese section for BMI.  I’m still in a size 18 and the scale hasn’t moved in a couple months.   I continue to love sweets and I do eat them.  The goodness for me is that I am taking the time to pay attention to my body.  I am sure if I had a trainer I would be even better off but that isn’t going to happen or the home chef.  Contentment with where I have come so far is important, moving forward is key as well but for now I’m okay with just settling into this new way.

Until next time,

Julie

Time. It’s time to get off the mediocre train~ Bringing It Down – Diabetes #7


July 15, 2017

I decided today was the day that I would begin to walk 10000 steps a day or at least 5 out of 7 days in a row. That although I want to sit at my sewing machine and finish the quilts that I’m currently working on I have to do this.

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I was inspired by a Facebook post of an extended family member, this guy is pretty motivational and is open about alot in his life, so he is genuine.  I’m grateful for his posts.  It reminded me that the results I’m longing for will not happen by me going extremely slow.  That writing of my journey isn’t enough.  I have to take the next level and grasp it.  I’ve been sitting in the same spot several months now.  That’s my fault.

Here’s where I remember that fighting for me is important.  Where the life we are dealt can be grimy and yucky and beautiful and joyous.  Collecting all those experiences and wrapping them into something of your own is yours for the taking.

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This morning wasn’t easy.  I jumped on my husband’s bike and could only ride 5 minutes. It absolutely was not easy.  But I made myself recall when I started walking.  How far I have come in  six months in that area.    Then I went for a walk in the Kansas humidity which I sweated like no other!  I’m telling myself I sweated out that lovely dessert I indulged in the night before! 🙂 The walk was for 45 minutes.  It wasn’t a fast pace but it was a good pace.

 

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I can’t figure out why for the last 2 wks my fitness tracker & phone are off so much! UGH!

At late morning I was over half way to my goal of 10,000 steps.  I can do this.  I have the power to move.  I have the power to make better choices.  My blood sugar wasn’t too low but it was on it’s way as I didn’t eat enough for breakfast.  I was so “in the zone” I forgot to grab some carbs when I returned from the bike ride!  But all ended well and I snacked after my shower.

Throughout the day I was up and down.  I kept an eye on the fitness tracker and phone.  One day.  That’s all today was.  But it was one day I hit my goal.

Do you have any goals you are working towards accomplishing?  How do you keep focused?

Until next time…

Julie

 

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #8


I realized yesterday morning that Down with the D could mean a couple things.   Diabetes or depression.  Both are in my life.

We traveled for our vacation to an area that enabled me to exercise daily, feel relaxed, and eat somewhat healthy.  We cooked most of our own meals.  I still got on the scale after returning and have decided I need a new scale.

View from the grass

I was motivated quite a bit before leaving for vacation and was determined to keep working towards my daily goals even while away from home.  I was successful and have been reaching my 10,000 step goal all but about one day a week.

Upon leaving beautiful Arkansas and heading towards one more stop before coming to rest at home I could feel anxiety entering my body.  The anxiety led to feeling in a funk and Monday I have felt quite “off” all day.  I do think some of it is from my blood sugars being consistantly on the lower side.   I need to find that balance again, so I feel good most all the time.

Tuesday morning brought more clarity but I am still feeling anxious at some moments.  The walk I took this morning has brought me more than 5000 steps and clearer mind.  Support from a new person came my way and I am utilizing it.

The battle of diabetes is one I am focusing on but the depression still shows up to the party on occasion.  It makes it’s prescense not necessarily by sad faces or tear. It carries the blame when snappy answers blurt from my mouth or the urge to scream erupts within me.  The expression of depression doesn’t take one route.  It is kind and spreads itself in many forms.

I have to admit it was probably a positive to get out with other people last night.  To listen to little kids singing and feeling a loof myself.  Perhaps that is what helped me to visit with my husband in a casual manner last night or  to awaken this morning so much easier.

Mother Daughter Hike

Coming off the high of being somewhere you truly enjoyed and  pulling this thing called life out of  time-out so to speak is hard.  Getting away can give one perspective on many levels and I think this trip did that for me.  The opportunity to realize, alittle more clearer, what I want out of this life I am living.

Until next time,

Julie