Daily Archives: August 11, 2017

Ugh… Exercise!


Exercise is a huge plus in the fight against diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

It is a huge plus for good health in general.  It helps burn calories and thereby helping to lower your weight.  It helps keep muscles toned.  It helps blood circulate in the body and air circulate in the lungs!  It is all good.

Then why do I hate to do it so bad?

If you are a couch potato like me, it goes in one ear and out the other when I hear that I NEED to exercise.  I had to figure out a way that I WANT to exercise!  I don’t like to sweat.  I love to swim but I am not near a pool and don’t have a pool.  I also don’t really like chlorine on my skin. The challenge was on.

So… here is what works for me:

  1. If you love your TV more than moving… combine the two!  Put a stationary bike or treadmill in front of the TV.  Move while you learn or are entertained.  Also, you can crank the air conditioner up high or aim a giant fan directly at yourself if you are like me and don’t like to sweat much.  (I know sweating when exercising is good for you, but I really don’t like it!)
  2. A walk around the mall is not a bad idea.  I’m generally run over by the over 60 crowd doing their morning walks in the mall, but I’ve since learned to get out of their way!  It’s safe.  It is always interesting with people and storefronts.  You can catch a sale or two you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Why not?
  3. Having a partner is always helpful.  You can motivate each other.  The company can either be silent or chatty.  When I can grab a family member or friend… it is a plus.  Too, there are meet ups that walk.  That is an option too.

Check out your local gym, pool, mall or meetups!  Ask friends and family to walk, skip or jump with you!

Just promise me… and I’ll promise myself… to try to get 30 minutes in 5 days a week.  Even if you have to start at 10 minutes or even 5 minutes… work your way up to a goal of 30 minutes.



What Exactly is Diabetes?

diabetes-1326964_960_720There are different types of diabetes.  I happened to get late onset diabetes known as Type 2, as has been the same for each woman up through my maternal line for generations.  Both of my sisters have Type 2 as well.  A relative had gestational diabetes.

In non-medical terms, diabetes is basically where your body cannot regulate the glucose that energizes your body and brain.  The things you eat and drink with carbohydrates and sugars make the glucose or glycogen. Your pancreas helps regulate the sugars.  At the cellular level, cells become resistant to insulin and your pancreas can’t make enough insulin to counteract what’s going on.  The sugar doesn’t move to cells to be used for energy and winds up dumping into your bloodstream.  Voila! “High Blood Sugar”.

When you have too much sugar in your blood and it remains consistently high, you can be pre-diabetic or an outright diabetic.

There are different reasons why your glucose could be high or even low.

  1. It could be what you eat and/or drink.
  2. It could be dysfunction or disease of the body.
  3. It could be a combination of both 1 & 2.

There are a couple of ways your diabetes treatment can go.  (Which should always always be managed by a licensed medical professional: your doctor, or even better… a specialist in diabetes.)

  1. Regulate your food and drink by lowering your carbohydrate intake. (Add exercise in there.)
  2. Be regulated by medication.
  3. Be regulated by insulin shots or pumps.
  4. It will likely be a combination of both 1 & 2 unless caught early.  3 will come into play if your willpower to lower your carbs or your pancreas needs help.

To understand the difference between the different types of diabetes you can read more at these links:
American Diabetes Association – Diabetes Basics
Mayo Clinic – Diabetes

Remember to discuss diabetes with your doctor!

How do you Know if you Have Diabetes?

the-human-body-1279964_960_720 (1)Diabetes is only diagnosed by a doctor. However, you may have symptoms or can test your own sugar if you are suspicious that you might have it.  Always discuss these symptoms or tests with your doctor!

There are different symptoms you can pick up on if you think you might be diabetic.

  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Yeast infections (you women know what I am talking about!).
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision

To name a few… there are more so check out the link at the bottom of the page to see them all.

One item that caught my attention is that my vision kept getting blurry.  Sure I was a little tired and maybe I’ll admit to some irritability, but I figure I was just getting older or had over-worked myself.  I missed the signs!

Also, if you have a family history of diabetes or think that any of the symptoms might be pre-diabetes or diabetes, go get a blood glucose meter at your local pharmacy.  It is simple to use with the included instructions but you can always ask your pharmacist for instructions on how to use them too if it is easier for you to learn that way.

Generally you want your blood glucose meter to read:

  • between 80 and 120 if you are 59 or younger without an underlying medical condition
  • between 100 and 140 if you are over 60 or have an underlying medical condition

Your doctor would have to outline any medical conditions.

To understand what some of the symptoms are you can read more at these links:
American Diabetes Association – Diabetes Symptoms
American Diabetes Association – Diagnosis
Mayo Clinic – Diabetes Symptoms
Mayo Clinic – Blood Sugar Testing

Discuss diabetes with your doctor!

A Kick in the Right Direction!


I’m 50+ diagnosed with diabetes.

I say “diagnosed”.  In other words, the doctors finally put it in writing.

I wasn’t shocked.  I knew it was possibly coming.  My great grandmother was diabetic as were my grandmother and mother.  My sisters are both diabetic. Now I have it.  I’ve had it longer than I am willing to admit.

My family always joked that “we have genetically superior taste buds and that is why every thing tastes so good to us!”  We genuinely love how food tastes! (Anyone that loves food probably has heightened bud senses.  Kinda like Spidey senses… only for your taste buds!)  Food was just a way of life for us.  We PLAN meals.  We couldn’t wait to try a new recipe or restaurant.  We LOVE food!

My diabetic mother and grandmother seemed to eat whatever they wanted. If they wanted a piece of fudge or cookie or cake, they ate it.  In the backroom, however, they were giving themselves extra insulin to do so. Diabetes wasn’t a big deal.  They managed to live into their late 70’s or early 80’s with the disease and still could eat pies, dessert bars and candies.  It wasn’t going to be a big deal if any of us kids got it.  Looking back, I’m a fairly bright person, but how naïve could I have been to think that?

The truth of the matter is that I’d been testing my fasting glucose for years.  My family history of diabetes made me check my blood glucose levels every once in a while. It was a little over 125 for many years.  I knew any results from 100 to 125 had me in the “prediabetic” category.  In my mind, that was never a worry.  I didn’t have “DIABETES”.  I can shape up and get back down to below 100.  “No problem.”  So I carried on with my usual eating habits with my love for bread and cookies.

Right before my annual physical, I would watch my diet and take cinnamon hoping that high blood glucose wouldn’t show on any urine or blood tests.  Then they got wise and started testing my A1C.  That test came back “a little high”.

I watched my fasting glucose creep up to 130… 140… 150.  I watched my A1C rise. The doctors still hadn’t come outright and said “you are a diabetic” only that I had “readings consistent with diabetes” and so I didn’t consider myself to have it.  I was always told “your sugar and your A1C is a little high. You need to eat fewer carbs”.  What did that mean exactly? I didn’t even know what carbs were!  Nor did I care much if it meant reading a lot of labels and calculations and dealing with NUTRITION.  I was a successful, young(ish) professional!  WHO has time to do that?  Plus, I hated anything that smelled like math!

Looking back, I realized that I was pretty uninformed about diabetes… and buried my head in the sand not wanting to hear it.  There wasn’t really any patient information on diabetes or nutrition coming from my doctors… except a few pamphlets, if I had bothered to pick them up off the rack.  Nowadays you can look up plenty on the internet, but it is a muddy mess if you are not READY to understand it.

Too, being an educator I know that people learn different ways!  Some have to read it.  Some have to hear it.  Some have to do it.  Some have to have a mixture of those.  I was in the “do” category.  Unless someone SHOWS me what I need to do, it doesn’t exactly sink in.  Or, I need to “hear” it.  The pamphlets and even the internet just flew over my well educated head.  And, I was also turning the proverbial blind eye to the subject of diabetes.  I couldn’t ever SAY the word. Don’t say it then you don’t have it.  It bewilders me that a rational person (and I am) would even think that!

I’ve now watched my sisters’ diabetes move into “insulin resistance” category.  They started out like me.  Watch diet. Then… take a pill. (Point I’m at now and refuse to move further.) They then moved up to…take insulin.  Then… take other sugar eliminating or sugar curbing medications. Then… came the inexplicable and uncontrollable blood sugar numbers!  They were termed by their doctors as “insulin resistant”. How can that be? My mother and grandmother were never insulin resistant.  Their blood glucose numbers were managed even with the sneaking of some sweet treats now and then.  Or maybe they were and were just terrific at hiding it behind their insulin shots.  Plus, I’m not sure there was a name for it back then.

I’m currently in the non-insulin diabetic phase.  If I don’t do something about it I will be on insulin and possibly heading toward insulin resistance.

I resolved to go to see a specialist in diabetes.  Admitting you have a problem REALLY IS THE FIRST STEP!  What I was told and shown (because I learn that way) has changed my life!  She unequivocally told me that I am diabetic and headed toward insulin and possible insulin resistance unless I straightened up my eating habits.  I may still be headed toward insulin due to the abuse of my pancreas and my genetic history.  (I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.)

Today, I better understand what that disease does and why I want to get control over mine.

I can also finally say IT (diabetes) out loud… and I’M IN CONTROL!

To that end, I also realized I could benefit my sisters in their education of low carbs forever!  We could do it together.  I also realized… why stop there?  There are others out there that are surely in our situation that could benefit from what the three sisters discover along the way.

So thank you if you made it through this epic opening story as it is important that you know where I am coming from.  I’m not a doctor.  I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a chef. I’m just someone who wanted to understand and not let diabetes (and I as I would soon learn… Metabolic Syndrome) debilitate their life.