Bringing it Down #15 – May Update


DOWN with the D (2)

It’s now May which means that I need to update this series. It really is hard to believe we are in sunshine days with spring storms popping up all over verses winter darker months.¬† I’m happy for the sunshine no doubt! Total mood enhancer! ūüôā

 

There have been some changes since January, I started a new job in the industry I used to work for many years in.  So that means adjustments to workout times, eating and some mental stress.

When April rolled around I found the 11,000 steps was putting more mental stress on me than I expected.¬† The feeling of failure was outweighing the motivation mindset, so I made a decision.¬† I decided to reduce my daily goal to 10,500 steps.¬† It has been quite helpful and there are several days in the month I have more like 11,000 plus or even 12,000 steps.¬† I am considering changing to a weekly total verses a daily goal.¬† I think this might be beneficial to me, but I will need to keep that rolling total in front of me. That is where my Garmin app will come in quite handy! ūüôā

Since January I have lost 3.6 pounds with no real change in inches.  I am under 200 which is what I really wanted to get to and remain away from it.  Although I am not far from that number I still feel proud of the loss in weight I have had.  As of today I have lost a total of 16 pounds since January 2017.

I started strong in January with workouts and logging my food, that is where I lost most of that weight loss.  Even though I may not have eaten the best or stayed in my carb range, it was still beneficial to me.  I can see that now that I have strayed from that routine.   I also learned that drinking lots of water, especially before I get my coffee in the morning is a huge benefit!

May goals

Most of that blog post was written before  May 6, 2018.  At which point I found myself with an injured foot that kept me from walking my normal routine and some depression setting in.  I am seeking care for my foot and my hip. I  have rested the foot for a week or more.  It is better but still not good enough to walk the way I was.  Honestly my eating sucked during this period, but I am trying now to rectify that.  My blood sugar numbers are still pretty good and my app says my AC1 should be in the range of 5.9.  I still struggle with the number I have after my evening meal.  There are other exercises I could be doing (strength training and bike riding) but I did not because the depression won out.  I am taking it one day at a time.

Julie May 11, 2018

I want to be sure to be honest here so I wanted to be sure to share that last paragraph.¬† Sometimes the bad wins out.¬† It’s whether we allow ourselves to stay there that is the real problem.¬† I’m working my way out on my terms.¬† But know that I am a strong woman and can get back on track!¬† I have very good reasons to.¬† A 10 year old daughter at home, adult children that still need me, and some pretty super grandkids to name a few!

As of today, my foot has improved even more which makes me happy!  Come June 1st I hope to be back at my working out as I like to be! I did jump on my bike a couple times this week! (May 21st)

Until next time!
Julie

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My Journey with Diabetes/Bringing It Down – 2018 Goals – #14


DOWN with the D (2)

 

One of the best tools I took away last year from learning about changing a lifestyle is the following.

Write out your goals and then write out the plan to get there. 

If I can give one bit of advice that is what I would give.  I took a spiral notebook and it ended up being my pal for the past year.

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I am normally a very “neat” person when it comes to logging and even writing out my grocery list. I like to start with a clean crisp piece of paper, lines always too.¬† But as the year went on¬† it wasn’t important to see straight lines and logging columns.¬† To me it was seeing progress and the ability to revisit my goals and my plan.¬† Although I lost my way a few times I am now content with the result I ended with in 2017.¬† I’ve come to terms I did some great accomplishments for myself and my family.

But it is not time to stop.¬† It is time to “up my game” and make yet another commitment to making the vessel God gave me stronger.¬† So, now I will share my goals and my plan for 2018.

My hope is to find the inner strength to move forward and remember that baby steps CAN make a huge difference.¬† That when I am feeling overwhelmed and upset as I was last week that there is still hope and a fire deep inside me.¬† Like I’ve said before, no one can make me do this, only me.¬† Which means that no one can stop me from doing this either!

Disclaimer – I¬† have already begun some of the items in my plan.¬† I am going on a girl’s trip this weekend, I’m sure I will indulge at some point.¬† But I do have a plan in my head and a commitment to workout both days.¬†

2018 Goals

2018 Goals

2018 plan

Current levels (just for fun!)

10,000 steps most days (January so far, only 1 days with less than 10K)

45 minute workout per day

Eating out – since starting 2018 have ate out less than previous months

Motivate/Inspire others, #keep movin group, brother and cousin too

Meals: half a plate of veggies at dinner

oatmeal or cream of wheat w/banana for breakfast most days

Thank you to everyone that has supported me in 2017.  It really did help to have others with me.  Even if you only commented on my social media posts or complimented how I looked. Encouraging others is a great way to make life better.  So from my heart, thank you.

Well I think that about does it for this post.¬† It’s time to get up from this computer and move!¬† Thanks for swinging by!

Julie

 

 

 

 

My Journey with Diabetes/Bringing It Down – #13 (January 2018) New Year


DOWN with the D (2)

My annual check-up has happened and I am on my way.  On my way to my next set of goals.  I knew going in I wanted to lose another 10 pounds in 2018.  To some that may seem like a small amount to take an entire year to lose,  but to me it seems like a challenge.  In 2017  I lost 13 pounds and have kept it off.

That was how my draft¬†of this post looked, the night before my appointment.¬† Here’s how I wrote it after my appointment.

Now that I’ve gone through my hissy fit and self-loathing I’m ready to sit down and share.¬† Yep.¬† The high expectations of myself and the results not being exactly what I wanted makes for a “fussy” Julie.

The results of my AC1 were good, not 5.9 but still good. 6.1 to be exact.¬† Yes, I was disappointed in myself but if I’m honest,¬† that is fabulous for the things I have ate in the last three months! I made it through the holidays and beginning of winter with only a .2 increase!¬† My doctor wants me under 7 by the way.

BUT… there’s always a but, am I right?

There’s this little thing called high cholesterol.¬† It runs in the DNA I share with my family.¬† You know what is coming, right?¬† Yep, my cholesterol overall is high and my “bad” cholesterol is double what it should be.

I’ll be honest this wasn’t a shocker as my labs the past couple years have been reflecting the gradual increase.¬† I felt the irritation really set in when she mentioned taking medicine for it and that my age is approaching 50.¬† We will monitor it for the next year and discuss it at that time.

I left the doctor’s office feeling less than stellar although I received a pretty healthy report.

I guess I wanted to walk in there still feeling I conquered and maintained my AC1, while¬† eating on the sly.¬† The little too much tidbits of chocolate and breads, the beef and eggs filling me along with those green salads.¬† The green salads justify the plate right?¬† ūüôā¬† ¬†I am far from failing.¬† I know this.

I am making my way to figuring out how to adjust (once again) to things that have been placed in my path.¬† I’m not 100% there but I’ve got tidbits floating around for 2018 in my head.

For instance I know I’d like to lose another 10 pounds in 2018, firm up these jiggly thighs and continue conquering this tummy area.¬† I want to continue a healthier lifestyle for me and my family.

I have my handy spiral notebook with fresh clean pages ready to fill in.¬† I have notes jotted down and I’ve been reflecting on photographs from the past year. I’ve visited that Facebook post my cousin-in-law wrote months ago that inspired me to step up my game, and my new Garmin fitness tracker will be here today.¬† And last but not least I can’t forget my #keepmovin group of friends supporting me or my older brother, who until recently I could beat on our Samsung challenges to motivate me! (I will beat him again someday!) ūüôā

 

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The photo on right: Jan. 2017  the photo on left is January 2018.  
This life isn’t just about the physical side of things.¬† It’s about the emotional side as well.¬† I have to take the time to process, in my own way, so I can find the empowerment to move forward physically.

Until next time,

Julie

 

P.S. If you have any good recipes that are low carb and low fat that do not include fish or turkey I would love them.¬† ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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…… ¬† ūüôā

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 Р120 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

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #4


Written late June 2017

In May I didn’t track my food as well and to this day I am not logging it. ¬†I’m depending on my mind. ¬†The physical picture of what my plate should look like and the size of my snacks. ¬†Including this with thinking about how my body feels is my go to. Remembering how I feel if I eat too many carbs in the next couple hours I keep near as well. ¬†I still eat carbs and not always “good” ones but I’m confident in my abilities to judge my choices.

I think what made me get back on track is being put in a physically working environment. Our Kansas wheat harvest arrived around June 10th and my job was not in a cushy air-conditioned cab. ¬†It was weighing grain trucks in the humid, hot Kansas sun. Weighing the trucks meant shoveling and sweeping grain into a pit. ¬†So it wasn’t just sitting around. It kept my mind and body busy. ¬†I wasn’t as hungry either, a little went a long way for me.

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If you are interested in learning about farm life go to our blog called farming grace daily

The work gave me the change and push to get back to moving more. ¬†I am now walking and doing some challenges on my Samsung Health to motivate me. ¬†I’m still sending my Snaps to my pals for support and moving forward. ¬†It’s not been a perfect journey but it’s my journey. ¬†I’m proud of where I am today but would like to move forward to better my health.

My sleep isn’t great but I just do what I can. Most days I don’t allow myself to sit at the computer or sewing machine too long. ¬†A 15 minute walk can give someone a great deal of steps. ¬†I’m still not at 10,000 most days but if I reach 8000 I’m happy. ¬†I can do this and it’s not for a temporary time. ¬†Accepting who I am, what I am doing, and where I am going is the game plan. Also having confidence in myself, that’s still a work in progress! ūüôā

Down with the D #5 I will share in a couple days.  It will include my results from my six month checkup and how I  am dealing with that.

If you care to follow along just subscribe on the right side of this blog page.

Until next time!

Julie

Roadtrip – Blueberries, Donuts, and Quality Family Time!


I’m starting this post as I am traveling on the open road with my hubs and youngest daughter.¬† Since it is too wet for my farmer husband to do what he loves we decided to get some fun family time in! The main reason is here shortly we will not see much of him for a couple of weeks when things do get busy with wheat harvest and fall crop planting!

We traveled 2 1/2 hours to pick blueberries. We were rained on but that didn’t matter to me. I loved it! Picking fresh fruit, time with the family, and seeing the beauty God created is so full filling! I highly recommend it!

 

Blueberry Picking

After the blueberry picking we headed to an apple cider mill / country store. I had been there last fall and enjoyed the donuts they make a great deal! ¬†They didn’t have their equipment running today but we stocked up on some goodies and I explained how they made the cider in the buildings.

apple cider donut

Then we just headed down the open road! ¬†We ended up stopping at a park and eating our picnic lunch. ¬†Dad and daughter checked out the museum on premises. ¬†Then we just made our way home and stopped at a Wal-Mart to stock up on canning supplies for me! ūüôā

We picked 21.5 pounds of blueberries.  I will freeze most of them, make a cobbler or desserts, and perhaps make some jam or jelly.  I will be busy the next few days because I also have enough strawberries in the refrigerator for two batches of jam as well.

Blueberries

I am currently watching the local orchards for blackberries.  I love me some blackberries!  They should be ready in the next couple weeks from what I can tell.  We have a blackberry bramble of our own but I need more than it produces to make jam.

It is both my husband and mine busy season I realized today. ¬†He has crops to harvest and plant and I have picking and jam making to do. ¬†Our lives are busy but hopefully with this being the first summer I’m home full-time it will go smoothly.

So, how did you spend your Saturday?  What is your favorite type of jam or jelly?  Comment below and let me know!  Happy weekend!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

How About Some Joy and Jam Today!


This morning one of the things my youngest daughter and I did was make strawberry jam together. ¬†One of my greatest joys in life is making jam. ¬†The season is upon us and I couldn’t resist picking up some strawberries while at the store yesterday. ¬†I’ve attempted to raise strawberries myself but haven’t had much luck. ¬†My mother could always grow them wonderfully! ¬†I didn’t inherited her knack or desire for much gardening apparently.

Back to the jam, we ended up making about 136 ounces of strawberry jam.  That is two batches and 14 cups of sugar.  I know, not the healthiest but it taste so good!  My favorite jam is peach though and one I tried last year pear honey is a close runner-up.

Jam

During our season of jam making there is usually the following types made.  Mulberry, blackberry, strawberry, peach, pear honey, and sand hill plum jelly.  I have some sand hill plum juice frozen from last year, we had a great crop!  It was a big seller last year too.

I do sell jams and jellies, but not by the truck load. ¬†It’s more of an enjoyment and a ¬†way to give homemade gifts. ¬†We have planted some fruit trees so hopefully someday they will produce fruit that I can use.

So, what is your favorite type of jam or jelly?  Comment and let me know!

Grace is a gift,

Julie