Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thoughts About Sweets

I'll be the first to admit it…

…I have a horrible sweet-tooth!

More often than not I will pass over the chips/popcorn/pretzels for an additional serving of cake, cookies, or pie.

Oh…and I love creamy too!  You know…pudding, mousse, hot cocoa with lots of whipped cream!

But, while I may be a sweets eater over a salty eater, I do not blame my taste buds for being borderline Type 2 diabetic.

Diabetes is a complicated disease and the contributing factors are as varied as the patients.


I have a real problem with the role that advertising and social media plays in promoting fast…overly-processed...unhealthy foods.

Even some "low carb" websites fall victim to the whims of Americans who crave these sweet…salty…and starchy foods.

As I have struggled with my own blood sugar readings over the past 10 years, I find that when I go to "low carb", "Paleo" type diets I can actually curb my craving for sweets.  But when I give in and eat these types of foods, even the ones labeled "sugar free", I set myself up for failure.

Do you have that same struggle?

Do you find that if you are constantly bombarded by images of sweet treats (or salty…starchy) that it encourages you to seek out those types of foods and thus "fall off the wagon" so to speak?

Recently, I "friended" a low carb group on Facebook.  

I was so excited because I have been struggling with preparing meals for my entire family as I am very strict about my own carb intake.  (And yes, I agree with you that my husband and kiddos would benefit from low carb eating as well.  Baby steps, my friend, baby steps!)

So imagine my disappointment when images with recipes like this continually pop up in my feed:

(The caption on the Facebook link read:  Sugar Free, Grain Free, and Delicious".)

Funnel Cakes?  Really?

Am I crazy here or do you agree that this type of thing continues to promote unhealthy eating?

Don't get me wrong...

…I love me some funnel cake.

That I share.

At the carnival.

With my four other family members.

Yes.  One Funnel Cake for the entire family.

The last thing I need to be doing is making funnel cakes for each family member on a Friday night during family movie night.

In fairness, this is not a diabetes food management website.
It's a "low carb" eating page for all types of people…most who are not Type 1, 2 or Gestational diabetic.

Still, I don't think the constant promotion of these types of foods is good for anyone, diabetic or not.

My biggest concern with food recipe links like these are that they do not encourage folks to change their eating habits…challenge their taste buds with whole-raw-from the earth type of foods…or commit to going sugar free.  Rather, they continue to promote satiation through starchy, sweet, or salty foods.

At least can we agree to save the funnel cakes for the county fair?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Exercise Milestone Celebration (February)

It's the little things…right…that add up to big things?

Like drinking water instead of diet soda..

…or noshing on almonds instead of wheat thins.

It's also about all those little steps with our feet that convert to "miles" and feel-good/look-good body changes.

On January 15th, after seeing a local advertisement on my personal Facebook page to join Jazzercise,

I jumped in with both feet…

…signing up for a 6-month contract…

…and attending class the very next day!

Well, it's hard to believe, but just 1-month later I have been recognized by my local Jazzercise Group for achieving the 

"25 Classes Milestone"!

Woooo Whooo!  

I am so proud of myself!

It's hard to believe that prior to January 16th, it had been 14 months since I had last exercised.  In November of 2012 I had undergone a calf-lengthening surgery (gastrocnemius) due to severe/chronic plantar fasciitis.  Even though I got the green light to exercise at my 12-week post-op visit, I just never could seem to find the motivation to get myself moving.  

Laziness?  Perhaps.

But I think there was also a lot of fear preventing me from using my newly-healed foot and calf.

Seeing that ad for Jazzercise and getting those poor lab results for my fasting glucose and A1c levels really helped to motivate me to take control of those things in my ability to control.  Exercise is definitely in my ability to control.

So, each month, I hope to check in with a different exercise celebration.  

It's not about how many miles or classes, but about the fact that I love myself enough to take care of me!

This was the image, posted on Facebook with my name tagged, to celebrate my 25 Classes Milestone!

What have you done to love yourself today?  Just Begin!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Can You be "Just a Little Bit Diabetic"?

Perhaps you stumbled upon this blog because of its title…

Just a Little Bit Diabetic.

Can one be "just a little bit diabetic"?  Isn't that sort of like being "just a little bit pregnant"?

I mean…you either are…or you're not.

In December, after weeks of feeling crummy…irritable and angry…tired and lethargic…I made an appointment with my primary care physician (PCP) to find out what was going on with me.  (I was also feeling like my heart was skipping a beat.)

An EKG did show an irregular heart beat (but no sign of cardiac damage) and lab work was ordered.  When the results came back my A1c was flagged as "pre diabetes" (6.1%).

Not terrible.  But not great either.  And definitely "fixable".  And in my OPINION (I know many that disagree with me) "pre-diabetes" is diabetes…at its earliest stage.

As a 3x gestational diabetic mellitus (GDM) mama that had to finger prick 5 times a day and manage my carbohydrate intake, exercise, and oral medications, I know a little bit about living with this disease.  It's not fun.  It's not fair.  But it is life.

So, while some might consider me just a little bit diabetic or not even diabetic at all, I'm taking this recent diagnosis seriously and making the lifestyle changes necessary to delay (and maybe even prevent) a full-blown Type 2 diagnosis.

July 2010--Night Before Delivery
Just a "little bit pregnant"!  *smile*
(GDM pregnancy #3)

BTW…in case you're wondering…I did a great job keeping all my babies below 9 lb.!

Monday, February 17, 2014

An Introduction

Welcome!  I'm so glad you stumbled upon this little blog of mine.  My name is Valerie and I am a newly diagnosed "pre diabetic".  I know that the term "pre diabetic" is controversial to say the least!  In my quest to learn all that I can about this condition and disease, I have read all sorts of blogs and news articles applauding and denigrating the term "pre diabetic".

Regardless of any one's personal opinion on the diagnosis…

I am taking it seriously.  I have to…I have a 9-year old, 7-year old, and 3-year old that are dependent upon me…

…I have a husband of 20-years that loves me…

…and a class full of students that need me to help them navigate the difficult waters of academic studies in the K-8 world of school.

I have to say that since I've made some significant dietary and exercise changes in mid-January, I have been feeling 100 percent better…

and I think that I'm starting to look better too.

Here's a little Before & After comparison.

(I can't believe I'm sharing this before picture, but as my sister-in-love says, "It's good to remember where we've come from on our journey to where we're going!")  

December 2013
That's me on the far left…I distinctly remember thinking "suck in your stomach"!
Later that evening I got the emailed lab results that flagged my A1C.


February 2014
One month into my healthy eating and daily exercising journey.
Huge difference already…is that my chin starting to show???!!!  *wink*

I really am feeling so much better and looking forward to warmer months to come!  I miss being able to exercise out in the open air.  It's been a looooong winter!

And, since I began my dietary changes and Jazzercise membership on January 16th, I'm just making the middle of the month (15th/16th) as my monthly photo update.

So, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you will leave a comment and introduce yourself.  I look forward to making some new friends and developing a support network of other pre diabetic and/or Type 2 diabetic comrades!