Friday, May 6, 2011

Slow and Steady

We have become a society of hurriers. (I know that’s not a word but I like it).  We rush from one thing to another, wanting everything yesterday and not having a very good time in the process.  We really do need to slow down and smell the roses!  Hurrying all the time can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.  I know that sometimes life insists that we hurry.  We have work and our children’s practice/recital/play date to get to.  The laundry!  The shopping!  Someone has to make dinner!  We rarely have time to sit down and relax but I think it’s important that we do just that!

Another way that diabetics try to hurry is in the area of improvement.  We all want our blood sugars to be normal NOW!  We don’t want to wait for things to improve and we want to see progress immediately.  Unfortunately, most things in life don’t work that way.  It’s important to remember that it has taken years to get where we are now, health-wise.  It’s not reasonable to think we can change things back overnight. I have been advocating for small changes.  By beginning to make small changes to our diets we can make a difference.  Starting an exercise routine just 3 days a week or 15 minutes per day is doable.  Will these small changes make a huge difference right away?  No, but they will make a difference!

How do I know?  I have proof.  I have told you in previous blogs that I recently started paying closer attention to how much I’ve been eating.  I have begun to eat less at each meal.  I have also been keeping a food diary since January, writing down everything I eat each day.  I have kept track, on that same food diary, of how much exercise I’ve been getting; type of exercise and duration.  I have slowly added time to my workouts and started including some easy ab exercises.  (easy?  Well….)  I have tried numerous ways to improve my higher fasting blood glucose readings.  Most haven’t made a huge difference, but I’m not giving up! I finally tried the mashed cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, in an effort to cut down on the amount of carbs I’m consuming at dinner.   YUM!   

So what has all this slow and steady change done for me?  Since January, I’ve lost a total of 15 pounds.  That amounts to about a pound a week.  That may not sound like a lot to you but think about this; if I continue that trend for an entire year I will lose 52 pounds! That’s more than I really want to lose but it should put things into perspective.  Would any of you complain about losing that much weight?  I didn’t think so.  Losing weight slowly, in a healthy controlled way, is the right way to do it.  I am more likely to keep this 15 pounds off than if I had starved myself or tried some radical new diet.

I am regularly exercising now without too much effort.  It’s become easier to “make” myself exercise.  Now that the weather is nicer Ray and I have begun walking again, including hikes in the woods.  On average, I’m exercising at least 45 minutes/5 times per week.  Due to the combination of exercise and weight loss, my jeans are fitting nicely!  No longer are they tight in the waist and I don’t feel the need to change into sweat pants before dinner.  I’m comfortable!

The experiment with mashed cauliflower was a huge success!  My glucose before dinner last night was 81 (amazing!!) and 2 hours after dinner it was 99!  I was stunned (and I wasn't hungry).  Then I ate some ice cream to celebrate and my fasting glucose this morning was 120.  Hey, I never said I was perfect!  I definitely plan to do that again (without the ice cream).

All in all I feel great.  I’m happy with the progress and I haven’t felt deprived or chained to something that was difficult to do.  I’m more confident now that I can continue this progress and that makes me happy.  So take some advice: slow down, make small changes and enjoy your life while improving your health.  The rewards are definitely worth it!

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