Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 10

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 10

Today is the day I have picked to start shopping for a new bathing suit.  Wish me luck!  I need it in terms of my requirements, but I am also looking for a sale and not hours of searching!

The good news this week is that I am hovering within two pounds of that twoville goal, still.  The bad news is that I have not crushed that goal yet.

Which means that this is a perfect week to write about another THM concept.  I really like this one.  It is called NSV.  That translates into a Non Scale Victory.  So what is an NSV?  It is anything you can celebrate OTHER than the successes you fight to see on the scale.  The weight on the scale is a number, and it can be depressing if you obsess about it especially if it is not moving in the right direction or moving at the speed you want it to change at.

I wrote about twoville, and it is looming on my horizon again.  It is a Scale Victory when you have a happy dance on the floor after you weigh yourself and see a good number. Don’t think too hard about that.  Yes, that would be me,  first thing in the morning, after a trip to the washroom, in my birthday suit, having a happy dance.  Not the thing you want to focus on here.

The NSV is something that doesn’t relate to the scale, directly.  I have set my first official NSV as a small one.  The blog will help, for sure with this.  I want to be able to comfortably wear both my wedding band and engagement ring together on my finger.  I have the engagement ring on a lovely gold chain, that I wear from time to time, but it belongs on my ring finger.  I have fluid built up in my fingers, and you may think this is funny, but when I had a cashier job in the past, I noticed that my fingers were less puffy when I had that job.  I was using my hands a lot when I was a cashier, and it helped my fingers to lose weight.  Not that there is a lot of extra weight in my fingers, but it was a really good experience to look at slimmer hands and fingers.  As I blog, I am exercising my fingers.  It might not seem like a big thing to other people, but it matters to me.

When there is fluid built up in my fingers, wearing my ring causes an indentation.  I have short fingers, and the fluid doesn’t stop me from wearing the rings together, but it is painful to wear them both at the same time. I can get them both on, but it does block circulation in the finger, and it is painful to take it back off, because of this. So I am working on my health, and trying the rings on together from time to time.

It doesn’t have to be about the number on the scale only.  It can be about fitting back into an old pair of jeans, having to buy new clothes because the ones you have don’t fit, changing the size of clothing you wear, or measuring your inches and seeing that the shape of you…r body (Shout out to Ed Sheeran, love that song!)  is changing when the numbers on the scale are not.

As we all struggle with weight together, whatever our issues are, we all have them.  It is good to set reasonable goals to go along with making changes to live a healthier lifestyle.  I know it helps me to check in from time to time with a measuring tape and my rings.  It can even be as simple as the clothing you wear fitting better, or that you can climb that annoying flight of stairs without needing to take a break, or losing your breath.

Pedometers are wonderful because they can help you increase your daily step count by challenging yourself.  I will write a Zumba post about this soon, we are talking about steps at Zumba class since I am sharing my steps after each class.  I am also involved with a group 100 Coffees, and they are challenging members to start healthier habits. Drinking water is necessary for life.  In this group, one of the admins is asking us about how much water we drink each day, as a way to hold those who choose to do this accountable for drinking enough water every day.  It is great to have a support system for healthier lifestyles, and encouragement is a wonderful thing.  100 Coffees is a group of women entrepreneurs, so if you fit that description, go check it out!

I am looking forward to the day that I can wear both of my rings comfortably at the same time as my first official NSV.  What is your NSV?  Any comments might help you figure out what small goal you need to work on, give you a place for your own accountability, or help someone else find a reasonable NSV to start working on.  I look forward to seeing what other people are setting as their own goals.

 

Trust Your Gut: Bonnie’s Story

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share the story of another friend.  It is written in her own words, and she submitted it earlier this week with her permission to share it as a part of the series.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Bonnie’s Story

 

My story begins all the way back to when I was five years old. I was always small for my age until then, when my parents got divorced. All of the changes and upheaval that happens with that sort of thing, is what seems to have contributed to me eating more and gaining weight. Still, I was only chubby as a child. I wasn’t truly overweight until my preteens. I believe I was about ten years old when I realized that I was bigger than most of the kids my age, but other than some minor teasing from other kids that usually went over my head anyway, I did not feel bad about it. At age twelve, I weighed 180 pounds and that’s the age that I really started noticing how heavy I was and feeling body conscious.

I never did anything about it at that age though, except maybe some walking for exercise. Other than that, I did a lot of wishing and dreaming that I would just wake up skinny one day and everyone would like me because I wasn’t a big girl anymore. I remember feeling bad about being overweight, not being able to wear the types of clothes my friends were wearing, and receiving some teasing or comments here and there.

When I was sixteen, my mom and I joined a women’s gym together. There I learned about exercise and how beneficial, as well as fun, it could be. The first workout left me so sore I could barely move and I didn’t want to go back, it hurt so much. However, I did go back a few days later and started to realize a love for exercise I never knew I could have! The trainers there, one I’m still in touch with to this day, were so kind and really involved. They provided me with so much quality guidance that I really needed. Due to a move across town, making the trip to the gym too far for me to go, I stopped going once our one year was up there and turned to walking more for exercise. Slowly the weight I had lost from exercising at that gym for a year crept back on.

Another few years went by where I tried various things but never stuck with anything consistently, until 2009, when I was twenty. I started a weight loss journey by cutting back my calories significantly, exercising five or six days a week, and drinking Slim-Fast and changing my eating habits to include more vegetables and fruits. Soon I joined the SparkPeople website where I received support, information, and resources I needed to keep losing weight. I lost over 75 pounds during the seven months I was on there and actively working to lose weight. Right around my twenty-first birthday though, I ended up suffering from gallstones and pancreatitis, spending a whole week in the hospital and having my gallbladder removed. After that and some dramatic changes in my life that happened directly afterwards, I pretty much gave up on losing weight. I mean I tried, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I wasn’t consistently working on it any longer.

The next few years after that I continued to try to lose weight at different points, but it never lasted and I never stuck with it long enough to make a significant difference. Finally in May 2014, I started my final and last weight loss journey. This was it! I was going to lose the weight and keep it off! I had gained all of the weight I had lost in 2009 and then some, as it often goes. I was a whopping 309 pounds at this point, when I had sworn I would never get over three hundred pounds! I was shocked and appalled, and I knew I had no choice but to make changes so I could lose that weight. By August of 2015, I was in what is often referred to as “onederland,” finally breaking into the 190’s. It took quite a while after that to get into the 180’s, but my lowest weight was 181 in April 2016.

Enter this past summer that brought issues with my grandparents and their health, a big cross country move, having to leave behind my siblings and their kids when my parents and I moved, and so much more, I just let things go. I had just completed my first ever half marathon in May of last year, which was one of the most rewarding and invigorating experiences of my life. It was so much fun that I’m doing the same half marathon again this May. After the half marathon, the summer was full of all of these huge, and very stressful, events that kept the next few months super stressful and overwhelming. I started gaining weight back because I just felt too overwhelmed to devote the attention and dedication to my nutrition that I had before.

Even with the weight gain, I am still 60+ pounds down from my highest weight, but it has been a huge struggle to get back on track and the weight has kept creeping on due to my struggles. I know I can do it, as I proved it to be the case before, but it seems harder. I lost that momentum, I stopped being consistent, and I guess I gave up. However, I still had a huge passion to help others, and had restarted a blog for the purpose of helping other women find a way to not only lose weight, but believe in themselves, find their inner strength, and practice self-love. Still, at some points in the past few months, I have felt like a fraud because I had been struggling so much. It is all a part of my journey, so even though it felt horrible and disappointing all the same, it has been a learning experience and has made me stronger!

A positive thing that has come out of my struggles is that a little over a month ago, I made the decision to join Beachbody as a coach. Using the container system, Shakeology, and workouts they have in their programs is truly making a huge difference for me both physically and mentally. That doesn’t mean that it is easy or that the changes are instantaneous, and I am still slowly getting my nutrition back in check in addition to working out more consistently again. I am also drinking Shakeology everyday and noticing how much it makes a difference in my energy levels. I never realized how beneficial it could be! Besides that, I also have a huge support system with the coaches that are part of the team of the coach I signed up with. As a friend, she is someone I trust, feel comfortable talking to, and know she will help me the best way she can which is a huge deal to me and made the decision that much easier!

I have complete faith that I will lose the weight I’ve regained. I felt so skinny at 180-190 pounds, even though I still wanted to lose 30 more pounds. Now I glance at pictures from that low weight and wish I could be that small again. However, I can’t live in the past and I can’t beat myself up anymore. I am ready to continue moving forward, working on improving my healthy lifestyle, and helping other people do the same thing in their lives. The greatest reward for me is to help others realize how they can really live the life they dream of living, whether it be to lose weight, go after their dream career, or whatever else represents happiness and success in their lives. On SparkPeople, helping others and providing feedback was more than just helping them. It helped me to stay on track too!

Bonnie McConaughy is the owner and founder of Inspire the Best You (www.inspirethebestyou.com), where she writes about healthy living and personal growth, and provides health and wellness coaching. She is also a freelance and ghostwriter (www.bonwriterfreelance.biz).

Thank you to Bonnie for sharing your story.  You have inspired me to try harder, because like you, I know I can do this, I just have to stick with it.  Although we are travelling on different paths, there are some similarities in our journeys.  Keep working on your goals, and you will achieve them, I know it!  Something that resonates with me after reading is that you are not alone, you have a support system, and you are building your own skills to help others.  This is really a great thing,  to take what you have learned to help you guide others in their journies.  I wish you all the best, and have faith that you are going to be a success.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 4

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

Here is the next addition to my own story, Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 4

What do you do when the scale doesn’t move the right way, or it refuses to move at all?  Do you yell at it, or kick it?  Do you get a weapon of mass destruction?  (See what I did there)? Do you hide it in the closet, or throw it into the garbage?  What do you do?  I mutter under my breath.  And I think about what I have eaten in the last 24 hours.  I wonder if I should go to the bathroom and try again, to see if it gets better.  Not always.  I have tried this, and it is a gamble.  Sometimes it is worse the second time around.

A bathroom scale can be your best friend, your worst enemy or your most destructive obsession.  We have all been there, those of us with weight issues.  Watching it go in the right direction, up or down. Feeling ecstatic when it moves the right way and devastated when it doesn’t.

If you are on the high end of that scale, like me,  waiting for the number to drop, it can be very discouraging to eat healthily, have no cheats, exercise, drink your water, and not lose weight.  Or GAIN weight.  Fluid in your body does fluctuate so that accounts for the small changes seen on the scale if you climb on it every day.  In the morning, after you use the bathroom, buck naked. Right?  Don’t you do the same thing?  Isn’t that when we weigh the least, so it should show the best result?  Before climbing in the shower, because someone said you retain fluid when you are in the shower.  Wait, what?  Really?  Time to google that. The answers are conflicting, that can’t be true.  So what gives?  Why does this thing called a plateau plague each and every person trying to lose weight?

It can be muscle.  When you are building muscle, the mass of muscle is heavier.  What that means is that less muscle mass is needed to weigh the same amount as fat.  Think of it in terms of a beach ball, and a medicine ball.  The beach ball bounces and will ride on the wind.  It would take many more beach balls on the scale to weigh five pounds, as compared to the same five pounds in one medicine ball.  A pound equals a pound, but the density of the material used to make up that pound can vary in volume, because of that density.

Now think about moving around with the five pounds of balls attached to you.  It is a lot easier to move with the medicine ball, even though it requires more effort to do so.  Huh? Volume strikes again.  It is the same five pounds, but the difference is like walking around with a cat in your arms versus trying to walk around in a puffy marshmallow suit.The cat may be heavy in your arms, and you feel a little pressure, but it is easier to move from sitting to standing and walking around while holding a cat.  If you were alternatively covered in a suit of marshmallows, it would be sticky and puffy and it would be much harder to move around.

While we all try to decide if that analogy makes any sense, I’ll bounce the ball over to the how.  When you have large amounts of fat, your body has to work very hard to burn off the fat.  Think of it like cleaning the marshmallow suit off.  You would have to scrub at it and wash it off and wash your clothes and spend a lot of energy to remove the residue.  That is a lot of work and can seem for a long time like it is not worth all that effort.  But if your five pounds is a cat, you put the cat down and walk away.  You lose the extra weight more quickly.  Your muscles burn off energy much more efficiently than fat does. If you are familiar with cats, they don’t always act the way you expect them to.  They don’t always want to be picked up or put down.  And they leave little bits of fur everywhere.  If you think of the little tufts of fur as how you build muscle, you will understand that the muscle fibres get stronger as they build and grow, similar to the ball of fur you take off your clothing with a lint brush.  It adds up, a little at a time.  It takes more work to gather it all together.  Sometimes it will surprise you how much cat fur there is when you take the time to gather it all up.

Weighing yourself can become an obsession, and it can be stressful to weigh in too frequently.  When I find myself starting to be anxious about what the scale is going to show me, I know I need a break.  If it isn’t moving, and I am working hard to make changes, I have to remember that I sometimes will show gains on the scale.  It isn’t always bad.  If the weight gain is from building muscle, it means I am on the way to another drop because more muscle burns through more fat faster.  It is a good thing when it is happening for the right reason.

Back to my quick online research.  I saw that you can gain wait in a shower.  I saw that you can lose weight in a shower, and it is not because of urinating while in the shower.  People actually wrote that.  I did find out that if you have wet hair, especially if it is wrapped in a towel, you will weigh more after the shower if you step on the scale and forget the towel is in your hair.  So I am going to keep to my routine, and leave the shower out of the equation.  It seems to be the most reliable method for me.

One final thought.  I would never recommend walking around in a sticky, puffy marshmallow suit while carrying a cat.  Don’t try this at home.  Ever.  The results would be traumatic for you both.

Zumba: Sometimes I go to the Beat of My Own Drums

It’s time for another Zumba story!  I enjoy going to Zumba twice a week, with a great group of people.  It is a steady group, and there are some of us that are regulars, and some that come once in a while, and there are even people who join the group and become regulars. We call ourselves the Zumba Crew.

When I started, I was a long way from the same level and speed as everyone else.  When I start a new song, with new moves, I improvise.  I will not use my arms if the moves are new, it can be too much to learn all at once.  I didn’t spin on my feet for a long time, I marched instead.  Sometimes, when everyone else was doing a fancy move that had them turning, I would smile, or wave, and stay facing forward.

That’s one of the things I like about the class I take.  I am encouraged to do what I can, and to not feel like I have to be the same as everyone else.  There are options.  If I don’t want to move my arms, I don’t.  Sometimes they do get tired.  It helps to enhance the exercise when I move them, so other times,  I do.  There are times when I can keep up with everyone, and there are times where I go at half the speed.  And there are times where I mess up.  When I do, I laugh.  Out loud.  At myself.  Usually for zigging when everyone else is zagging.

I wear a pedometer in class, and I broke 4,000 steps today.  I like it when I get more than 5,000 steps in a class, and it has happened before, so I always try to get as many steps in as I can.

You have all heard of playing the “air guitar” to a favourite song.  At my Zumba classes, sometimes we play the “air drums.”  Today we were shown how to do this properly.  If you just flap your hands around from the wrists, it is rather pointless.  The way to move correctly is to swing your arms from the elbows right through to the hands.  Hard.  As hard as you can.  I also saw a different method on TV, on the show This is Us.  There is an actress on that show that went to what was called a “Fat Camp.”  I watched her exercise with actual drum sticks.  It wasn’t a Zumba class, they were in an air drumming exercise class.  We don’t use sticks at Zumba.  We could, but it might get dangerous.

So we drum out the beats.   We were told to just pound the drums that weren’t there, like we were making the beat ourselves.  I was going for it, when a funny thought struck me.  As I was beating the air drums, going side to side, and up and down, I thought I’d better watch out for my cymbals.  I am well endowed, and that could hurt too!  I shared the thought with someone else, and when she laughed, I knew I would write another Zumba Blog post tonight.  So I found myself laughing with a new friend at Zumba.  I left with a  story to tell, and I was also feeling good after a great class.

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 3

 

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy; but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 3.

I love food.  I love to eat.  Sometimes I eat too much.  Other times I eat the wrong things.  I don’t allow myself to participate in guilt about eating.  I have cravings.  I give in to them.  I find if I don’t; I go way overboard when I finally cave.  I can settle for one of each flavour in a bag of candy.  It’s better than having the whole bag.

I don’t always make poor food choices.  I don’t always eat until I feel sick from over eating.  I don’t always have more than one helping.

I do associate food with feelings.  I think chocolate tastes like happiness.  Most sweets do to me.  Dessert used to make my day.  I have started to tackle that problem.  I am addicted to sugar, and it is bad for me.  Sugar is a diabetic’s kryptonite, only you want it, unlike Superman, he fights to stay away from it.  Even Superman needs help with his kryptonite sometimes.  It’s not an addiction for Superman, but like me and sugar, it is better to keep far away from it, at all costs.

When I was growing up, there could never be enough Kool-Aid in my water.  If it was so thick I had to chew it, that was how I wanted it.  Currently, I have actually started reacting to things being too sweet.  It was nothing I had experienced before, until recently, in the last two or three years.  Age has to be a factor in this.  Certainly my change in eating habits has also contributed to  this foreign concept.  Not allowing as much sugar in my diet has increased my sensitivity, I think.  Similar to the non-smokers reacting to the smell of cigarettes.  A scent-free environment really highlights any scent that enters into it, and this might be what is starting to happen to me, with sugar.

I am not on the aspartame train.  I have found that I feel better when I cut it out of my life.  I am trying other sweeteners, I am using stevia, and erythritol which is also known as Swerve.  It comes in granular and powdered forms, and I have started to figure out how to use it in food and drinks.  Swerve does leave a cool feeling on the tongue, but doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste.  I used to drink a lot of pop.  Now I can go days without it, and try to only have it as a treat.  I didn’t like Zevia, a pop made with stevia, the first, second, or even third time I tried it.  But I kept trying it, and now I enjoy it.  It has to be really cold, and then it is good.  I haven’t gotten to the stage where I choose water over other beverages yet.  I am working on that, too.

The Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan I follow most of the time has me trying new things a lot.  I like every recipe I have tried, and that is a big bonus.  I fall short on a night like tonight, when I worked all day, and then came home to what the snowplow left in my driveway.  The heavier snow that clumps all together at the end of your driveway, where it meets the road?  Yeah, a foot of snow blocking me from parking in my driveway.  My husband has hurt himself shoveling earlier in the week.  80 cm of snow (that is 2.62 feet) in one storm was a little too much for us to tackle.  The storms of this week are being called Snowmageddon.  We went at it together, taking turns with the one shovel, working our way from the step to the shed where the other shovels were. I got the dustpan out to putter with between turns.  He pushed himself, and now he is starting to recover, as this was a few days ago.  We got a guy with a tractor/snowblower rig to widen the driveway so I could dig the car out and move it.  I was not going to be done before spring; otherwise. It stormed again last night, and I was up and at em this morning, and got myself shoveled out and drove myself to work.  Then I came home.  Ugh.  I mean, yay,  exercise.  I spent an hour and fifteen minutes pushing and pulling the snow out of my driveway.  Ten minutes for swearing, and another ten talking myself out of crying in a heap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My back is not a happy camper, either.  But I pushed through…the snow, the anger and the agony of it all…and came in for supper and a beer.  I am going to have another drink too.  I worked hard moving around a lot of freaking snow this week.  My back is not amused, but I have not hurt it.  I went to Zumba last night, and upped my activity levels for the week big time, up and over the top of all those snow mountains in my yard.  So when I was being asked if I wanted him to make homemade pizza for supper,  I told him to make it.  Is it on plan? No.  Did I stay on plan by eating everything but the crust?  Not a chance.  Sometimes you have to make the easier choice, because it makes more sense.  I was on plan for the rest of the day, so this was not going to ruin everything.

One thing I learned with THM is that you don’t have to wait until Monday to start over.  You don’t even have to wait until tomorrow.  In 3 hours, you can be back on plan, working on your goals again.  I like that.  It works for me.  When I see that I am not making progress, I know what I did that was not on plan, but I don’t beat myself up over it.  I just start again, and every time I do this, I work a little bit harder to stay on plan.  Eventually I will be able to say no to more things that are off plan, and yes to more things that are on plan.  Little by little, I am making progress.  Some day all of those little things are going to really add up.  So I keep working on me, and I let myself be human and take the easy meal sometimes.  The important thing is for me to not take it every time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am 5’2 3/4″ tall.  That snow bank is indeed taller than I am.  Let’s hope there is no more snow on the way any time soon!

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 2

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy; but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 2.

It seems fitting that in part 2, I write about Type 2.  I touched on it a little in the first part of my story, and now it is time to elaborate.  I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic in 1999.  At first, I was to eliminate sugar from my diet, and try to follow the Canada Food Guide. Sugar is hidden in practically everything we eat and drink.  Especially in processed foods. Without medication, and struggling to understand the diagnosis, I failed to regain control of my blood sugars.  At first, I was constantly testing my blood sugars as high.  Not the highest they have been, but consistently high.

After failing round one, using diet and exercise for treatment, metformin was added to manage my blood sugars. It came with a cocktail of other medications.  As a diabetic, when you are diagnosed, some medical professionals consider preventative medications a  necessary part of the treatment.  They add in medicine that you would not be taking if you were not a diabetic, but because you are, they keep stricter than normal levels on things like blood pressure and cholesterol.  Soon I was taking 3 prescription medications, and not sure if I really needed 2 of them.

I have acid reflux.  Sometimes I forget about it because the medication I take for it keeps it under really good control.  There were a few different types I tried, and I am still taking one medication for this.  It works, and keeps the heartburn and stomach acid at bay.  I don’t generally eat really spicy foods, but who knew bananas could cause heartburn?  So, this, like my thyroid medication is an acceptable one.  I did not agree with having to take the blood pressure and cholesterol medications, but these other medications were acceptable.

Now, with my weight being what it is, I am still on a blood pressure medication.  It has been higher than it used to be, and I am working on things with my plan.  I am not currently on a cholesterol medication.  I hope that I can control both my blood pressure and cholesterol, without medicine;  when I accomplish my goals of losing weight.  This will impact all areas of my health.  If I can be healthy enough to not have to take anything but the thyroid pill, that would be worth all the work.

Now that I am working on a plan for my health, I am eating less carbohydrates, and it is having a big effect on my blood sugars.  I am on a low carb;  not a no carb plan.  I am becoming very sensitive to both sugar, and my insulin.  I am having what feels like extreme highs, and more lows.  I am new to treating the lows, and am learning not to panic and over treat them.  So when I have a low, I have to reevaluate the amount of insulin I am taking.  It is on what is called a sliding scale.  I am not always sure I am taking the right amounts, but when my body responds positively to the food and insulin, I do feel better.

I used to feel very tired when my sugars were high.  I still do,  to a lesser extent.  Even when they are higher, it is not as easy as it used to be to figure it out.  I am not as sluggish when I take insulin.  I do have insulin resistance.  My body still makes it, but it is not being used properly, or there is not enough being produced by my pancreas.  That is why I am taking insulin.  My body needs the help.  There is a chance that I won’t need it someday, if I keep working towards a healthier lifestyle.  That is something to strive for, and the fact that I have to lower my insulin doses tells me that it is a strong possibility.

I also have what is called Dawn Phenomenon.  Some diabetics have an increase in blood sugars overnight.  It is generally thought that it is the body’s way of preparing for the new day, and the extra sugar in the blood is to help you wake up.  In diabetics, it can put your sugars up before you even have anything to eat at the start of your day.  It is harder to be alert and to focus when your blood sugars are high.  I am now in the habit of testing my sugars more frequently, and this is helpful.  My doctor advised adjusting the long acting insulin at nighttime as this may help to manage the higher sugars in the mornings.  I have a feeling that I am going to have to become a lot more serious about it, and start a food, blood sugar and insulin diary to really get a handle on it.

When my sugars are low, it is still obvious to me.  I get shaky.  I get really confused, it is hard to think, it is like I am in panic mode.  I freak out a little. I sweat profusely out of my scalp, of all places, when I am awake.  At night I notice my legs are where I sweat when I am having a low.  Luckily, I wake up when it is happening.  Also, the frequent trips to the washroom usually have me up through the night.  So if I am up, and I feel off, I test to be sure about where my sugars are.  I have started keeping juice boxes with me at all times, and hard candy.  I am learning how to live with type 2 diabetes.  It is not an easy thing to figure out.  Not enough insulin allows my sugars to go high.  Too much can cause a low, and if my sugars get too low, that can be fatal.  I usually take a  lower dose of insulin if I am not sure how I am going to react to how much insulin I am taking.  I am cautious about taking large doses, but sometimes they are necessary.  Type 2 Diabetes is not an easy disease to live with it, but management is the key, and I am on the right track.

I am obsessed with food, and addicted to sugar.  I am working on both of these issues, and changing my habits along the way.  I was thinking about how to go about starting this series when I chose the name.  Yes, there are other meanings for the phrase Trust Your Gut, but to me, my world revolves around my emotions, food and my health.  They all tie together in my life, so when it comes to my health, I have to trust my gut.  Am I hungry or bored?  Will that affect my sugars if I eat it?  How much insulin do I need to take if I want to eat that?  All of these things factor into my decisions, and a lot of the time, I am guessing.  So, I go with my gut feelings a lot in my day.  Sometimes I listen, and sometimes I don’t.  I am the only one in control of what I eat, and how much of it I eat.  Sometimes I have the willpower to avoid bad choices.  Other times I give in and have what I want.  I used to feel like I shouldn’t eat at all if my sugars were high, before I started taking insulin.  Now I can juggle the dose to accommodate for both good and poor choices in terms of food.  I hate having to think about the consequences for everything I eat, but it is a fact of my life, and I decide how I want to live it.  Working towards living a healthier lifestyle is something I am glad I decided to do.  I am still here, and my gut tells me to keep on this plan and it will work, so I am giving it my best shot.  Pun intended.

 

I think I Zumba-(ed) too hard

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Here is another Tish-ism for you.  In my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, I have added in two Zumba classes a week.  I do my best to be there, barring migraines and having to stay late at work once in a blue moon, I go.  Living in Canada, sometimes weather is an issue.  I am working on getting more active besides my Zumba classes, but for now, it’s my main activity every week.  Winter + Ice = Tish is scared to fall down.  So outdoor activities are not a thing for me in the winter, without the proper equipment.

I had a good amount of positive energy today,  and feel like my pedometer lied when it read 3700 steps.  It felt like a million tonight, at least.  I was in the Zumba Zone, and was literally working my butt off.  I know what that means.  When I go back to class Wednesday, I will be moving a little slower, and maybe in a little pain.  The good kind.  The kind of pain that is caused from exercise that was done correctly.  It also  means I worked out my muscles, and that I wasn’t just going through the motions.

At the end of a class, when I feel like this, the first thing that comes to mind is that I Zumba-(ed) too hard.

I don’t like pain.  I don’t deal with it very well.  Lately I have successfully convinced myself that there is a right kind of pain, and a wrong kind.  The right kind means that your muscles worked out and did what they were supposed to do.  That is why it is good, it was productive, no matter how bad it hurts.  It is neither throbbing, nor a high amount of pain.  The bad kind is counter productive.  If you rip or pull a muscle, it hurts a lot.  I pulled a ligament in one of my legs in elementary school.  I was mid-stride and went from running to limping and crying.  I had to wrap it and got a few days off from school.  I still remember how much it hurt when it happened.  I do not recommend trying this, ever.

No matter what is going on, I have come to enjoy going to Zumba.  I love dancing.  Sometimes it is not the same as what everyone else is doing, but I am still being active, no matter what I have to improvise.  That is important.

So when I was in the middle of class today, I really felt like I was completely in my Zumba Zone, and I went for it.  There are going to be days that I am not feeling up to giving 120% to the Zumba class.  Today was not one of those days.  I felt strong.  When things work for me, I am all in.  I left feeling like I had worked out today.  That is a big deal.  I am not an athletic type of person.  I do enjoy swimming, and dancing.  Biking is OK, but I haven’t had a bike for years. It’s the same for skating, I used to skate, but haven’t for years.  I walk, and I am starting to pick up my pace again when I have errands to run in the mall where I work, or even just for moving to the break room.  I sometimes feel my heart rate picking up, and even am short of breath when I push myself.

What am I getting at?  Well, there are days when you feel good and strong, and on those days like today, it is a good plan to push yourself a little bit harder.  If you do this, on the days you don’t feel up to the 120% and you aren’t in YOUR Zumba Zone, well, on those days 75% is OK.  You are doing the best you can.  For me it’s all about how I am feeling, and I know my limits.  I don’t think I am to the point I was about six months ago when I could feel my abdominal muscles the next day, but I am on my way back.  By the time the weather changes from winter to spring, I plan to be increasing my activity level.  When I am ready.  And when there is no more ice out there.  Until then, I’ll keep going to Zumba, I don’t have any plans to stop for a long time to come.

 

 

 

Give yourself a little Grace

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Copyright ©2017 Tish MacWebber

All rights reserved

Grace has its place

in my everyday life

I need it because

it grants a respite

If you allow

yourself some grace

it lets you be human

in the daily race

for perfection

The unobtainable goal

can taint you

deep inside your soul

By letting a little

grace in your life

It removes the guilt

that causes you strife

Stop looking up

at the bar over your head

Grab on and pull

look over the top instead

Take that dose of reality

and swallow it down

Learn how to float

rather than drown

Take a break; catch your breath

it will  be okay

Don’t worry yourself to death

tomorrow is a new day.

 

Even Storm Troopers want to join our Zumba Crew

A part of my New Healthy Lifestyle that I have been working towards for more than two years now has been adding physical activity into my routine.  At my current job, there was a team for the local Relay for Life Charity event, and I joined.  I have gone to a few Relay Events in the last five years, and that is where I found the Zumba Crew.  The group size ranges from year to year, and class to class.  The core group has remained, for the most part, the same. It is a private group, not that we don’t accept new members, but that it is not based out of a gym.  We meet twice a week, and I have been working at it and getting better all the time.

The featured picture above was from Relay For Life 2016.  This is just a few of us.  The photo bomber Storm Troopers in the background looking like they want to be a part of the Zumba Crew really were there.  They were in another group for Relay, and they gathered a lot of attention.  But if you look past the Zumba Crew, you can see it.  They want to join in.  That happens around our Zumba Crew.  We have a lot of fun!

As you can see, one of the Storm Troopers joined in for Zumba at Relay 2016.  It was really fun!  I have come a long way in my healthier lifestyle goals.  I have always finished class.  Not always doing the same thing as everyone else, or keeping the same pace, but I am there until the end.  The first time I did Zumba at Relay, I had two; not one but TWO charlie horses in my calves.  I wanted to quit.  But I thought about where I was, and what I was participating in.  Thought about how it was to raise money to cure cancer, and if you have cancer, and need to go through treatments, you can’t just quit in the middle if you want to beat it.  So I toughed it out.

Since then, I have never had an experience quite like it.  I am grateful for that.  I have had health issues in the past year that forced me to take a break from Zumba.  I am happy to report that I am back, and getting stronger again.  I am keeping pace better, and trying harder at doing the same moves as everyone else.  I  have to do my own thing, sometimes, because I still have a long journey ahead of me to becoming a healthier version of myself.  Something I want people to take away from reading this is that it doesn’t have to be Zumba, and it doesn’t have to be perfect.  But if you pick something you enjoy doing and work at it on a regular basis, you will improve, and you will be a better person for it.

So go out there and try something new.  Or get involved in something you used to like doing.  Make friends.  Have fun.  It might be the best thing you can do for yourself!  Trust me, the best part of my Mondays and Wednesdays is rushing out of work to go join my friends at Zumba Class.  Find your Zumba, and start becoming the best version of you that you can be!