Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 42

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 Homepage 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 42

 

I got creative in the kitchen, yesterday. It has been a while. I made brown rice and added fresh mushrooms, green onion, and leftover roast beef in it. I used hoisin sauce. It was in the cupboard, so I used it. It made supper for 2 last night, and my lunch today. I have a little roast beef and green onion left for my roast beef special sandwich for lunch tomorrow. I really love roast beef, green onion, tomato, mayo and A1 sauce done up like a roast beef salad sandwich. My mom named it The Roast Beef Special, and I make it every time I cook a roast beef in the oven.

It has been a busy year for me. I have been working hard on the book, the website, the organizing, the blog, and building my business from the ground up. I have spent hours working on all of these things, but I think I forgot something along the way. Me. My health. I got lazy.

It is so much easier to be lazy and not do the work needed to live a healthier lifestyle. I have lost and gained. I am again scared to weigh myself. I am just not wanting to know the bad news. I am getting back into the practice of making better choices. I have to. My health depends on it.

I have had to work on the insulin levels again. That means I am doing better, when I start having lows it means I am needing to lower the dose. That means my body is responding to the things that I am doing right.

We are on the edge of a food centered holiday. I am not sure how well I will do. On one hand, I can make treats and try to stick to the THM plan. It is a good way to try to plan ahead. There will be times, though when I will not be in control of the meal, and I will have to make the best choices that I can at the time. Other times I will make things that I know will be good choices to have to eat when I can. So I do have a plan. Sort of.

I also need to start making the moonshine again. Yes, you read that right. THM has a recipe for Good Girl Moonshine. GGMS as it is called, has water, apple cider vinegar, and ginger with a sweetener in it. I add Black Cherry Berry Celestial Seasonings tea to mine. I really enjoy drinking it, and it makes you run to release it if you catch my drift. I have learned that I should not drink it during the day while I am at work. I can have it after work and on the weekends, though. I bought a mason jar with a spout just for the GGMS. I think it is time for a test run. I need to start making little changes now so that I will be on track for 2018.

Have you started thinking about New Year’sResolutions yet? I have, and I will get them organized and plan things out better this year. I did a lot in 2017. What do I want to accomplish in 2018? More. I want to take everything I have done in 2017 and do it better in 2018.  It is a place to start, and to build on. That is something I can do, start with little things, and push my limits and go for everything. One thing at a time, then another, and another. I have to start somewhere, and I am not going to wait. The only one that loses out if I keep putting things off is me. And the only thing I want to lose is weight. The time is now.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 34

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 Homepage 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 34

They say that the core muscles are where your strength comes from.  Mine hurt today.  I had an awesome Zumba class yesterday.  I didn’t feel like I worked out that hard, but I felt it last night when I was getting ready for bed.  I am getting ready to start pushing myself in the writing game.  This means I need to be active, or I will be a blob of goo in December.

I am not kidding.  I have fallen way off track this fall, and I am working on getting my head back in the game.  I need to put together a plan.  I have been talking about this for a while.  Thinking, not doing.  Sometimes it is because I have other things that take priority.  It happens to everyone.  This or that becomes a priority.

The next thing you know, there are so many things that are a priority, you get left behind.  I think that is what I am fighting with myself about right now.  The importance of me.

I still have not checked in with the scale.  I won’t do it until I am feeling brave.  That won’t be until I am making strides in the right direction.  I need to start wanting to track my progress.  I can’t do that to myself right now.  I don’t want to know how badly I have let things slide. I do want to pick myself back up and start wondering again.

I had some lows this week.  That is a sign that I am turning a corner.  When I am noticing that I need to lower my insulin doses again, it means that things are starting to work in my body.  I have found that I am not able to go with a Zero carb diet.  That is why I am positive that THM is the best option for me.  I am getting there.

Writing about it helps.  I am trying to inspire myself with my words.  I have accomplished so much two weeks ago and nothing of significance this week.  Except for the change in my blood sugars and getting myself to Zumba.  That means this weekend I have some work to do.   If I am going to be successful next month with my writing goals, I need to get serious about planning EVERYTHING out.

Time to make some lists.  Time to make some changes.  Time to make progress.  Last but not least, time to make ME important enough to be a priority in my own life.

#TrustYourGutThursday

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 20

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 20

Vacation.  It is that time of year when people are travelling, and going to celebrations with friends and family.  Vacation time can be a tricky thing on days when you aren’t in control of the food and drink that you may consume.  This can pose a difficult problem if you are committed to your plan and goals.

You want to be invited to all of the events.  You want to participate in the fun.  For me, fun includes eating and drinking the same things as everyone else.  So it is a tricky tightrope to walk on when you are trying to fit in, even though it may not be the best way for you to stay the course.

I have to constantly check my blood sugars.  That is helpful.   I can adjust the insulin I have to take to adapt for what I am eating.  But as I have written before, sometimes that dosage is a guessing game, at best.

I experienced a low last week.  It was a bad one.  Maybe more because it caught me by surprise, and also because of how long it has been since the last time I had a low.  It isn’t a simple fix, it takes time for my body to recover from a blood sugar low.  This time it took me two and a half hours to feel normal again.

Highs are no better.  I feel really tired, to the extreme of me not being able to physically stay awake.  There are times that I am literally fighting with myself to stay awake.  It is not because I am needing sleep, this too is a side effect of the high sugars, and it is a little hard to explain.  The closest I can come is that it is not something that you can control, only fight it.  I am usually aware of what is happening at the time it is happening to try and recover.  But it is not an easy thing to do.

When you have to think about the effects of everything that you eat and drink, it makes it hard to fit in at gatherings.  A lot of them have sweets and cake and even alcoholic beverages are a source of empty calories.  So what is a person to do when faced with all of these temptations?

Think about the occasion.  What would be acceptable to participate in?  What choices can you make?  Skip the cake or the ice cream?  Or eat salads earlier in the day so you can indulge a little at the celebration?

After all, only you control what you eat or drink.  It is up to you. It doesn’t matter to anyone else whether or not you eat that cake or not.  It really only matters to you.  When you are planning a vacation, keep in mind that sometimes you will have complete control over what you eat and drink, and sometimes you will have to go with the flow.  The trick is proper planning and to not go overboard when you do participate in celebrations.  Remember to drink your water too, it can help speed up the recovery time of eating or drinking off plan.  Really, it is all about balance, both on and off the scale.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 14

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 14

Getting back on track is easier said than done.  It takes determination and effort.  I have missed a few Zumba classes.  I went today.  I was eating anything and everything, the last few weeks.  I prep cooked earlier in the week.  My insulin is now working well enough to lower my doses again.  Some days it is a fight just to get motivated to do what I should be doing.  Other days I feel prepared to tackle everything.  I am gearing up for another run at living a healthier lifestyle.

Last week I was watching the scale climb.  This week it is starting to go down.  I am working hard to try and stay on plan as much as I can, and it is working.

The last few months I have been consciously trying to drink more water.  It is a good idea, not just for me, but for everyone.  It would be better if I enjoyed drinking water.  I have to force myself to drink water, sometimes.  I have a drinking buddy, my straw!  I need to get it in quickly or I won’t drink as much water in a day.  Straws certainly help with that.

It is time to get out the measuring tape again.  Still, nothing to report.  With the last few weeks of being sick, I will have to take the number on the scale moving down as my encouragement.  It is good that it is going the right way again.

My heart rate was steady in class.  I do love that I can check it.  Now I have to keep a better focus on what I eat and how much insulin I am taking because my body has come around to responding to it well, again.  That happens when I work hard.  I feel better so I want to do more and I do that and I feel even better.  It is possible.  Just not when I am sick. Everything goes out the window when I am sick.

I did go to the doctor last week.  He gave me a different antibiotic.  I bought a probiotic to take with it because we all know the warnings about what happens when you take one antibiotic, and now I have had to take two.  It has been a little challenging to keep track of when I have to take what medicine.  The good news is that it appears to be working, and worth the trouble.

This week I am feeling more optimistic.  When I feel like doing things, there is a better chance that they will get done.  I am finally feeling like trying again.  So lesson learned.  When my sugars are skyrocketing out of control, it is not me, or what I am or am not eating; I am probably sick.  Which is good to know, because I don’t remember this happening when I was off work with my infected knee.  There is a good reason for that. Painkillers.  I was on some heavy duty painkillers.

I am sleeping better this week.  Quality sleep is also important in the struggle to live a healthier lifestyle.  If you are well rested, it will boost the energy.  Again, you can do more.  It can snowball in the right direction.  It is happening for me right now.  It can happen for you too.  If you need help, ask. Don’t be afraid.  If you don’t ask for help, it might be too late.  We are all worth helping.  We are all worth loving.  Believe it.  When you believe that you are worth investing your own time and energy into, good things will happen for you too. One change becomes two, then three and so on.  What change are you going to work on this week?

 

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 13

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 13

I am retaining water.  The scale is climbing.  I am still fighting a sinus infection and on antibiotics.  I am not scared to eat this week (I see the results of that on the scale) because my insulin and my body have started working together again.  That being said, I still do not feel well.  I am getting my sugars back under control, which is a good sign.  I am still experiencing sinus pain and pressure, my face is still puffy, and the headache is still bouncing around with an aura or two just to keep things interesting.

Where am I headed with my story this week?  Back to the doctor.  My sugars were slipping out of control for a while now, and I was avoiding a trip to the doctor because I thought I was doing something wrong.  I was not eating the healthiest choices and was blaming myself for the sugars being high.

People talk about that little voice in your head.  The negative one.  The one that whispers so quietly you aren’t even really sure if it is in there, but it is.  It’s the one that says my sugars are high because I am failing at my diet and the doctor isn’t going to want to help me anymore because I am not doing my part to take care of myself.  It is whispering that it is OK to try that ice cream because it is a new flavour and once you try it, you won’t wonder about it anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, treats are OK, but they aren’t meant to be an everyday thing in the life of a person with type 2 diabetes.  If I didn’t give in a little once in a while, I would give up and stop caring altogether, and that is not the path I want to walk on.

Another little voice is nagging in the back of my head, telling me that there might be something REALLY wrong.  Like when my knee was infected and my life had to go on pause in order to fight that infection and get better.  My knee still hurts, a little, from time to time.  It is not a muscle pain from any exercise related injury.  It still feels like jello sometimes.  You want to know the scariest part about that whole experience?  They still don’t know why or how it became infected in the first place.

I did what the doctors said.  I stayed as still as possible.  I got better.  I wore bandages for two months on my calves to reduce the fluid in them so I could be fitted for compression stockings.  They work really well because I force myself to exercise.  I have a job where I need to sit for most of my day.  I listen to music in my down time, and I dance in my chair.  I have a stool at my desk to elevate my feet to keep the fluids from pooling in my calves.  I put up my feet and bounce in my chair as much as I can.  Sitting still in a chair all day is not good for anyone.  So I move around to keep the blood pumping, and the music does keep me in a decent mood at work.

I have missed Zumba a lot the last few weeks.  With a migraine, I didn’t go.  With the sinus infection, I didn’t go.  I have decided that I need to revisit the doctor I saw last week.  I am on day 8 of the antibiotics.  Day 10 is on a Friday.  The doctor is only at the clinic Monday to Friday.  Saturday is not a day I want to spend waiting to see a doctor.      I am not getting better fast enough.  I need more help.

When you have issues with weight, it is easier to live in denial about the state of your health than to go to the doctor about it.  It is a vicious cycle.  Eat sleep avoid living and just exist.  If you are morbidly obese like I am (I am fighting for the day I can stop having to use that description for my weight) then it is just that.  It is so much easier to not care and eat whatever you want and be miserable on the inside, faking the happy person you appear to be on the outside.

Because it is all a huge cover up.  Acting.  Pretending everything is OK.  It’s not.  Anybody that has issues with their weight like I do is not happy.  Not truly.  And if you are listening to that little voice and believing it when it says that the junk food will make you happy, you are letting that little voice in your head lie to you.  And you are falling for it every time you listen.

If you are like me, there are discussions that happen with more than one voice in your head at the same time. (That will be a good thing when I am hearing the characters from my book  talk in my head when I write).  I spend more time talking myself out of things than I do talking myself into them.  Because it is easier to do the thing that is not the best choice most of the time.  Easier does not mean better.  If you want something, you have to work for it.  It is easy to be fat.  It is hard work to be healthy.

And then the littlest voice of all whispers that I will still need surgery when I lose the weight because I will have flaps of skin left hanging around.  It is a fight I have been having inside of my head for years.  That one little voice has been working against my wishes to be a healthier person.  It is so quiet, and then it sneaks in and gets a little pushier and louder and then I realize I went off plan again.  I tell myself that I won’t feel guilty about it, but I have layers and layers of guilt protecting my body from the healthier person that I could be.

I have also had a former doctor treat me like a hypochondriac.  I stopped wanting to go to the doctor because he wasn’t listening to me, or taking anything I was telling him seriously.  When he moved away I was lucky that my next doctor was one of the good ones.  He is an advocate for people that try to improve their health, and he was supporting me in my efforts to become a healthier person.

Last month a letter came in the mail.  My current doctor is moving away too.  I am afraid that the next doctor will be another bad one.  So scared that I have been avoiding making an appointment to go, and avoiding my regular blood work as I know the numbers are not going to be good.  Not at all.  I am secretly terrified of what is going to happen when I get another doctor.  That is not how I want to live my life.

So, I am going to the clinic in the morning before work tomorrow.  Not where my new doctor will be, but to the one in the mall where I work.  He diagnosed the sinus infection, and he saw me a little more than a week ago.  I need to feel like trying again.  So I am going to ask for more help.  Because what I am doing now isn’t working, and it is time to try something different.  I want to be better.  I want to get back to living my life, not just merely surviving it.  It is hard to go back to the doctor because I am scared that I will be told to give the antibiotics more time.  Or that he will prescribe the same ones for a longer time.  That is a part of the reason the other doctor thought I was a hypochondriac.  He thought everything that was wrong with me was because of my weight.  He made me doubt myself, and that is why I am having such a hard time with all of this.

My gut tells me that the antibiotics aren’t working.  Tomorrow I will let the doctor know what I think, and I hope that he will help me find another way to feel better.  I hope that a week from now I am back to prep cooking, and Zumba, and feeling like trying to be that healthier person I want to become, again.

Trust Your Gut.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 12

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 12

Sometimes I am scared to eat.  I know;  a morbidly obese person is not expected to write those words.  I am so overweight that it could kill me, and I certainly didn’t end up weighing this much by not eating, that is for sure.  But there is this thing I have called type 2 diabetes.

Let’s get it straight.  I am a person that has type 2 diabetes.  The same way I am a person that has thyroid disease.  The same way I am morbidly obese.  The same way I have allergies.  All of these descriptive phrases contribute to different parts of me, but they do not define me.  I think that it is the time that we all take a look at that, and really think about it.  Because saying that someone is a diabetic is almost the same as saying they are not a person, because of how you say it.  I am a person that has diabetes.  I am a woman that has blue eyes.  The colour of my eyes does not define me, but it is a part of many things that contribute to me, the person as a whole.  In a world where people are way too quick to label people and judge them, I think it is time to stop doing this.  The world is changing all the time, and people are trying to be more politically correct.  If we all think of each other as people that have many adjectives to describe them, it is a good place to start.  We all have our good qualities and we all have our issues.  Mine are not the same as yours, but we all have issues and good qualities.  That is the common ground we all have together.

Back to being scared to eat.  I am learning how to treat blood sugar lows.  I have learned to drink a juice box, and have a sucker or a candy, and wait.  I then check my sugars again.  If they are responding to the treatment, I stop panicking and move on with my day.  If they don’t, I may go overboard and eat too much candy to get my sugars up, and then I have to figure out what to do to bring them down again.  If I overreact and they are high, it means I am not panicking about them being too low anymore, but that means they are too high.  This is one scenario similar to what I am writing about, except there is another time when I am really scared to eat.  When my blood sugars are high, and I don’t know why.

I am starting to learn what I should eat to bring my blood sugars down.  It is not an easy thing to figure out.  I take insulin, and if you take too much, it is possible to die from an overdose.  I am very scared that this could happen to me.  So I am careful if I have to take more insulin than a regular dose when my sugars are higher than normal.  But how much is too much?  Some days I don’t even know how much I should take.  On those days I either play it safe by not taking too much which is usually not enough,  or I check my sugars every couple of hours to make sure I am not dropping if I take that larger than normal dose.

If my sugars are high and I am not able to get them to a normal level with insulin, that is uncharted territory.  I am fighting with them a lot this week.  I am worried that there is a reason behind them being so high, and for why it seems so hard to get them back under control.  It can be a sign that something else is going on in my body like it is fighting an infection. I will be honest here, I have never seen them as high as they were this past Sunday night.  I took insulin.  Got up the next morning, and they were down, but still high.  I took 2 doses of insulin that were quite high when I added them together, because of how close the doses were taken.  Only after the second dose did I see a change, and it wasn’t drastic, and I didn’t crash with a blood sugar low.  I went to Zumba Monday night, and they were almost within normal range.  I have not had a spike in high blood sugar like that today, but I am STILL fighting to get them under control and keep them within normal range. (I am writing this on Tuesday evening).

When this is happening, I am scared to eat.  I am scared that anything I put into my mouth will cause my sugars to go even higher.  It is not a weight thing.  I am worried that my blood sugars will just keep climbing and I won’t be able to get them back under control.  I know I need to eat.  I know that if I make healthy choices, things will have to change, it is just a matter of time.  But delaying that meal can be detrimental to what could happen.

Let’s say I just don’t eat.  My sugars might spike as my body tries to keep sugar in my bloodstream without the addition of food.  Eventually, the sugars will drop.  I then become a little desperate, hangry, and indecisive.  That combination will eventually lead to my blood sugars dropping.  This is not productive and does lead to a panic when I realize that my sugars are starting to drop.  It is at that time that I reach for an easy meal or snack that may not be the healthiest thing for me to eat, and the roller coaster has fuel to continue.

What I have learned is that if I wake up with a pattern of high blood sugars, I do need to increase my long acting insulin dose.  A little at a time, until I have normal fasting blood sugars in the morning.  Then I can ease it off.  Protein is supposed to help with this also, and I am trying to find a bedtime snack that does more good than harm.  Throughout the day I have to test frequently, to help sort out what is causing the blood sugars to be high and not normal.  This may cause me to skip a snack because of the level I see when I test.  It also may cause me to delay eating because I am scared that it is only going to make things worse.

And then it happens.  The insulin starts working again, and I am not having blood sugar highs anymore because I am now fighting blood sugar lows.  This is a byproduct of getting them back under control.  When my body decides to accept the insulin, it does it suddenly, and I am scrambling again to get my sugars within normal levels.  If I am not monitoring them constantly during this time, I risk them staying too high if I am not taking enough insulin, or having to lower my doses because my body is responding and I am taking too much insulin.  It is difficult at times to try and outsmart this diabetes that I have, and that is why I am scared to eat sometimes.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

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 6

When I first found out that I was a type 2 diabetic, I had experienced being at “goal weight” about 7 years before the diagnosis.  I successfully lost enough weight on the Weight Watchers program when I did it with my mom back in high school.  After that, I got sick and put on more weight than I had ever dealt with, and since then, I peaked at almost 320lbs.

I am hovering at the edge of “twoville” again, and really hoping that this is the year for me to find my way back to “onederland”.  Twoville is in the 200 lb range, and it starts at 299.99lbs.  Onederland is in the 100 lb range and starts at 199.99 lbs.  That would be an amazing accomplishment.  I can only imagine how that will feel, as it has been longer than a decade since I have weighed in at under 200 lbs.  I think it is a reasonable goal, for one year, and if I make it, fantastic, if not, I will keep fighting the good fight.  Because I believe I am worthy of living a healthier lifestyle, and I can do it if I just put in the effort.  A goal needs to be realistic, and if I put too much pressure on myself, I will fail and be crushed under the weight of that failure.

So I keep going to Zumba, twice a week.  I am preparing to start walking in my neighbourhood in the evenings.  That is also preparing for adopting a dog.  Part of the reason that I want to bring a dog home to live with me is because I know I will HAVE to go for walks more than once a day, EVERY day.  The dog will benefit from living in a loving home, and my health will have to benefit from all the walking.  It is a good plan, and I will have until next winter to prepare myself for walking in the snow and ice.  By then I will be in the habit of the daily walks, and I will be ready to tackle the bad weather walking as a healthier version of myself.

I am so looking forward to having a dog in my life again.  I have friends with dogs, and friends with cats.  I visit them when I can, but it’s not the same as having my own pet here all the time.  My house has been very quiet this winter, with no pitter patter of furry friends to come home to.  I needed time to mourn for my cats, and decided it was time to get a dog, in the spring.  We will be getting ready for that in the next couple of months, and when the right dog crosses our path, we will give it a furever home.

When I first found out I was pre-diabetic (there is no such thing, it is a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes; the doctors just break it to you gently by saying not yet, but really you are a type 2 diabetic).  I was told that I would have a chance of not needing medication for it if I removed sugar from my diet, and ate according to Canada’s Food Guide.  I tried.  I failed.  I was so tired all of the time.  I was drinking up to 2 litres of cola a day for the caffeine because I was so tired all the time.  The sugar was making me tired, so the caffeine was not keeping me awake.  I began drinking more cola for more caffeine, and it never worked for very long.  I know now what I was doing wrong.  Then I switched to diet pop.  Aspartame is something I have removed from my life since then.  I now choose stevia and erythritol for my sweeteners and drink very little pop.  I have one can a day, and not every single day.  I choose pop sweetened with stevia, and it took a bit to learn to like it.

I now drink my coffee black.  It is healthier this way, and now that I am used to it, I like it like this.  Less fuss to prepare it in the morning, and no worries about not wanting to drink it because there is nothing in it.  I sometimes drink green tea.  I sometimes drink oolong tea in one of my THM drinks.  I do not use cola for my main source of caffeine anymore.

I did not tell everyone about being a diabetic for a long time.  I feared the food police.  I learned this term from a diabetes educator.   They are those people who immediately point out what is wrong with everything you eat.  You are the person with diabetes, and everyone else thinks they are the expert.  It is embarrassing to be an adult and have someone tell you that you shouldn’t eat that because you are a diabetic.  Out loud.  In front of a room full of people.  Or to say that isn’t good for you, because it has sugar in it.  People don’t mean any harm, I know it is being said because, on some level, they care about me as a person, and want me to be healthy.  However,  I am an adult, and this type of criticism is not positive, and can have very negative effects on my self-esteem.

I am a lot tougher than I look.  Even if you find me bawling in a quiet place, it is not always because I am sad, it might be because I am SO ANGRY that I sprung a leak.  It is a self-defense mechanism that I have had for most of my life, and I hate it.  It is the quiet, private way to vent.

Other times I would eat my feelings.  I would go buy junk food and regular cola and binge eat.  How dare someone point at what I am eating when they are eating something just as unhealthy, or worse than what I am eating.  They eat whatever they want, well so will I.  The problem with that, other than me gaining weight, is that really I am only hurting myself.  That other person doesn’t even know that they did something wrong.  THEY THINK THEY ARE HELPING ME.  They mean well, but if I am having a sugar low, I might actually NEED that candy I am crunching as fast as I can because my sugars are dropping.  It can happen quite suddenly, and I now have juice boxes and suckers with me all of the time.  I don’t use them unless I need them.

Maybe I have made plans to take extra insulin because I wanted a treat.  I want to be normal, and eat like other people do.  I am not, and that is why I am trying SO HARD to change. I have learned that if I give in a little when I have a craving, I won’t be as likely to binge eat as I would if I suppress it.  So I do have things that are not on the diabetic diet.   I am human.  It is more convenient to grab something quick sometimes.  I am working on that, just like I am working on me.  Most of the time I make healthy choices.  So when you see me eating something that isn’t one of those choices, let me be.  I know the consequences of my actions, and I will recover to my sensibilities when I am ready.

Just like no person is the same as any other person, no person with diabetes is the same as every other person with diabetes, and no person has the exact same issues with weight that every other person has.  That is why it is important for me to write about how I feel, and to share the stories of other people and their issues with weight.  We all are experiencing life as a journey, but we still forge our own paths as individuals.

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.

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’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 that 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 first of many Trust Your Gut stories, I am starting with my own, Tish’s Story.

I have always struggled with my weight.  My issues began as a child.  I have always been overweight.  Growing up, dessert was used as a reward for eating all my supper.  I used to gobble all of my supper as fast as I could and be the first one done so I could have my dessert.  When I was in grade eleven,  my mom and I went through weight watchers together.  I was at goal weight when I graduated from high school and went to university.  Then I was in charge of what happened.  I got sick, in my first year.  I fought mononucleosis and tonsillitis at the same time.  While I was sick, my throat was very sore.  When I was able to be at class, I dozed while taking notes.  Doctors wanted me to eat, they were concerned that my sore throat would prevent me from eating and that the illnesses could cause an unhealthy weight loss.  I was told to eat whatever I wanted, as long as I was eating.

I took that literally and ate whatever I wanted during my university years.  When I finally graduated, it was six years later.  Cafeteria food didn’t always win with the healthier choices.  It was hard to choose salad over french fries.  When I moved off campus and into my own apartment, I had more control over what I was eating, and a budget to deal with.  Eating healthy is not easy to do when you are on a budget.  I still struggle with that now, but it is easier with a larger budget for groceries.  At that time, it was easier to have fast food and the less healthy options for groceries, because they would be more affordable.

As my weight ballooned more and more out of control, I developed other health issues.  I became a Type 2 Diabetic.  I was also diagnosed with thyroid disease.  I take one pill a day for this, and I will have to forever.  I am OK with that.  Then I tested positive for sleep apnea.  I have not started any medical treatment for this condition. These health issues are a normal combination for someone who is considered on the BMI scale to be morbidly obese.

The first time I heard that term, it had shock value.  I didn’t know how to react.  A term like that is really hard to apply to yourself.  Being so overweight that you could die from it.  It’s a lot to absorb when you don’t feel like it applies to you.  I know I am overweight, don’t get me wrong.  But there is some denial there too.  Until the scale hits a certain number.

For me, and this is hard for me to put out there, I weighed more than 300 lbs.  There, I wrote it.  It is just a number, but it is a really significant one.  I remember sharing a different, lower weight with a friend in university, who replied, “No, you can’t weigh that much.  You don’t look like you weigh that at all.  You carry it well.”  This added to my denial of my weight problems.  I didn’t look like I weighed that much, so it was OK to keep going like I was.

Only it didn’t stop there.  I was close to 320 lbs at my highest weight.  At that point in my life, I made a decision, after finding an ad on facebook for Trim Healthy Mama (THM).  What I was doing wasn’t working, so it was time for me to make some changes.  That was my aha moment, as it is commonly called.  What I was doing was not working so I had to make a change. 

I have implemented several changes in my journey to becoming a healthier person.  I am following the  Trim Healthy Mama plan.  If you want to learn more, this is a link for your own research:

http://www.trimhealthymama.com

I am not on plan 100% of the time, but I have adapted it in my life over the last year.  I have successfully lost 15-20 pounds since I started making small changes.  I am bouncing between the two, and on the verge of two-ville (299.99 lbs).  That is retaking my first small victory, to be under 300 lbs.  The next goal is 290.  Going by 10 lbs at a time is reasonable goal setting at this stage.  Too large of a goal will cause self-defeat because it is too long between accomplishments.  When I no longer have 20 lbs to lose, I will decrease the goals accordingly.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, and a long way to go.

Another change I have made was to become more active.  For a few years, I have been going to Zumba Classes twice a week.  I did extra walking also, my Zumba teacher has dogs, and there was a steady time that I was going to visit and help her walk the dogs.  She and her rescue dogs were rescuing me from being a couch potato.  🙂  In the spring I hope to adopt a rescue dog of my own, so I can start having a reason to walk every day.

I started noticing a trend from people I know, or people that are my friends through social media;  and even on tv, the new show This is Us.  Weight loss surgery is something that people are doing.  This is why I decided to start this blog series.  Weight loss surgery is not for me, and I have my reasons at this point for saying so.  I can still move, therefore if I put in the work, I can make changes to lose the weight.  I am not fooling myself.  I see what happens when I do work really hard, and I have had success with THM.  When I work hard I see results.  It is up to me.  So with that mindset, I am doing it.  For me and my health.

Being a type 2 diabetic is something I would not wish on anyone.  While I am on THM, I have noticed some trends in my blood sugars, the most significant one being I have sugar lows.  This is a new and scary side to being a diabetic.  It also means that there is hope that my body can start effectively producing and using its own insulin.  I have been on insulin for about ten years now.  I take 2 types, one short acting, and one long acting.  I went from 2 needles a day to 5.  This is what a person fears the most when they hear the words from a doctor, confirming that they are a diabetic.  That you have to take insulin. You have to take needles.  It is hard to adapt to this at first.  What do you tell people, when you are taking insulin?  Stabbing sounds violent.  It is what I said at first.  Then I decided it wasn’t the correct term, it was more like jabbing.  Then it clicked.  One morning I was trudging into the bathroom to take my insulin, and I blurted out to my roommate, ” I have to go Jabba the gut.”  It stuck, and he thought it was hilarious.  I have a fantastic sense of humour, and I do love a good pun.  It takes an unpleasant necessary action and makes it funny.

A good sense of humour is something I can be proud of.  It is a part of me that keeps me going.  Laughter is something I do enjoy sharing.  I take great pride in delivering a successful pun or joke.  Sometimes people don’t know that my joke was actually thought about before I tell it. 😉  Some people think I tell too many stories, and don’t want to wait for the punch line.  My sense of humour is a huge part of my coping mechanism, and I rely on it heavily, pun intended.  It is a great deflector, to take the focus off me and my health, and to laugh about something else instead.

It is no laughing matter.  Wearing size 24/26 clothing, and having to take 5 needles a day is no fun.  I have started my weight loss journey, and I am going to keep going.  I owe it to myself.  No matter what your weight issues are, they are yours.  You have to decide that your health is worth the effort.  You are worth it.  Whether your issue is being overweight, like myself, or if you are on the other end of the scale, and underweight, you are worth more than what the number is on the scale.

I wanted to start this series to try and help people like me.  I have chosen my path, and I intend to keep on it.  It won’t be straight and narrow, I am a curvy woman who likes to choose the path less travelled; when I am not forging a new path on my own.  I am hoping that by sharing my story, and other people’s stories, that this series will make people with weight issues start thinking and talking about it.  It is an issue for a lot of people, and by sharing our stories and information, we can help someone out there that needs to make some changes but doesn’t know where to start, or what options are out there.  I intend to write more Trust Your Gut stories, with help from other people, so that someone out there can have their aha moment, and start making changes towards their own healthier lifestyle.