Friday, December 2, 2011

Big Blue Test, What I Learned


November was National Diabetes Awareness Month and the folks at Diabetes Hands Foundation put up a challenge called the Big Blue Test.  Between November 1st and November 14th (World Diabetes Day) people were asked to test their blood sugar, exercise for 14 minutes and then test again.  We posted our results on their website and they kept track.  If the magic number of 8000 tests was reached, then donations would be made all over the world to help distribute diabetes supplies to those who can’t afford them.  The program was sponsored by Accu-Chek.  According to the Diabetes Hands foundation’s website here is a breakdown of the grants:

“As a result of the goal we just passed, in the coming days we will be granting the following amounts:
* US$25,000 to International Diabetes Federation’s Life For a Child program.
* US$10,000 to Moundville Medical Clinic, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
* US$10,000 to LIFT For Teens/Walk and Play For Wellness in San Rafael, CA
* US$10,000 to University of Colorado Denver
* US$10,000 to St. Anthony Medical Clinic, St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco, CA
* US$10,000 to Pecos Valley Medical Center, Inc. Pecos NM”

$75,000 - sweet!

This was an amazing program of which I’m proud to have participated in.  I did the Big Blue Test 5 times and was surprised at my results!

I learned early on in my diagnosis that exercise is an important part of controlling diabetes.  (I’m a little ashamed of the fact that it’s taken me over 6 years to actually do something with that information. :| )  I also know that sometimes exercise can actually raise your blood sugar in the short run, but that long-term it is a huge benefit.  I didn’t really expect to be surprised by my results, but I was.  On average, my blood sugar level dropped 42 points!  I was truly amazed that just 14 minutes of exercise could make that much difference.

This really opened my eyes to how I could use this information.  As a PWD T2 who doesn’t use insulin, I’m often frustrated that I have no way to lower a high glucose reading.  I knew that I could exercise but figured it wouldn’t do that much good.  HA!  Boy, was I wrong!!  Now I know that if I end up with a higher-than-I-like reading I can hop on my exercise bike for 15 minutes and do something about it!  This is huge!  This is definitely something I can do!  Yippee Skippy! This has also reinforced my recent foray into regularly exercising.  It’s amazing how a little positive reinforcement can give you drive and determination.

So now to my confession of the problem I’ve developed with this new enlightenment.  I’ve begun using this new weapon for evil purposes.  Yes, that’s right folks, Kate has occasionally slipped into the dark side.  I started thinking, “Hey, if a little exercise can help lower my bg then I should be able to indulge in something yummy and then exercise it away!”  Holy crap!  What was I thinking?  This is akin to bulimia!
I’m glad to say that this didn’t last long but it has had a lasting effect.  I have been eating more, including more goodies.  I have gained back 5 lbs. of the hard-earned weight I’ve lost. (Five fricken pounds, Kate!) I’ve been struggling with eating again and that makes me both sad and pissed.

I’m glad that I’ve come back to my senses.  In order to combat the desire to eat things I shouldn’t, I’ve taken a look at what we’ve been eating and have started to shake things up a bit.  I’m trying to add more flavor to our meals without adding fat and carbs.  I’ve filled the fridge with healthier snacks and lunches that I can grab quickly.  Like most people, I tend to eat things I shouldn’t when I’m hungry and don’t take the time to fix something healthy.  Having something ready to eat helps keep that from happening.

I am determined to reverse the effects of the evil thing that has crept into my life.  I will remember that a little exercise can do amazing things for my bg.  I will continue to exercise regularly.  I will revamp my eating and get back on track!  Thanks Big Blue Test for teaching me some valuable lessons!

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