Hello there kiddies!
Just wanted to relate my latest, from my appointment today. I had my first A1C since the initial one, where/when I was diagnosed. I started this journey with an A1C of 11.4 on December 30th, 2009 and today, March 30th, 2010 my A1C is 8.1!
Now of course, I'm not entirely thrilled with this number as I figured all my efforts should have resulted in an A1C under 7, but even as my physician said, this is still new for me, and it will still take some time/medication/diet/exercise and the magical combination thereof for me to hit my mark…but I will do it!
All my numbers were improved on this trip…my triglycerides are down from 147 to 90. My cholesterol is down from 193 to 149. The "good" cholesterol (HDL) could be a tad higher as I am a woman and it should be over 50, but is currently 43; the bad cholesterol (LDL) is down from 96 to a better 88.
In the 3 months since my diagnosis, I have lost 31 pounds. Some could say that the metformin did it, but my physician says that's not always the case, and she believes that it was my hard work that did it…particularly as it reflected in my numbers.
So, that means that since my move to lovely, scenic New Mexico in 2006 - when I started trying to lose weight - I have lost, in total - thus far - 118 pounds! Damn, that's a whole small person! Oh, well, can't say that I miss her, I consider her my diminutive evil twin!
Additionally, my PA and I decided to take me off of Actos, since it was really making me feel crummy. I mean BAD! I was lethargic, sore, moody and I developed a slew of mystery pains everywhere. While the Actos did contribute to a reduction of my BS, it doesn't seem significant enough to justify its continued use, so, bye-bye Actos, hello Amaryl!
I am starting this new medication today, and I hope it will aid in stabilizing my fasting BS and protect me from the ravages of the "dawn phenomenon", but we'll see. My PA said that she didn't initially want to start me on the Amaryl because it can cause some weight gain, but given that she sees how proactive I am in reducing my weight, she isn't overly concerned at this point. Three months ago, when I was an unknown quantity around weight loss, yeah, I would have been skeptical too!
OK, so what have we learned? Well, I am going to make a series of confessions here to anyone who doesn't think they can handle their diabetes.
First of all, I am the laziest person in the universe. I like to run rampant in my mind, not with my body…I detest exercise and figure that G-d had me in mind when He invented cars, elevators, escalators and all other means of conveyance. But when I was diagnosed, I got the heck off of my dead butt and started walking - not a lot, in fact, probably not near what I should - maybe 25 to 30 minutes a day, and even that is broken up into 2-3 sessions. And I don't even do it every day…probably 4-5 times a week. Still, it helps, trust me on this! Sure, I'm cursing under my breath every step of the way, and I am never so enamored of the scenery that I wouldn't prefer to just go take a nap, but I do it because I am getting results!
I currently weigh 242 pounds and while I am a relatively tall, large-framed woman, I'm still obese, and probably always will be to a greater or lesser degree. Getting up and moving is usually the farthest thing from my mind. However, running a close second is the number of times I find that I need to eat - healthfully - each day.
I come from a culture of people that were healthy hunter-gatherers (American Indians) before the introduction of rationing and cheap "refined" foods in the form of white flour, grease, sugar and other nastiness. But I grew up on foods made from those things…I ate frybread and sweet corn soup, grape dumplings (talk about nastiness!) and mega amounts of potatoes in all forms; I ate that crap for most of my 46 years. And I was HAPPY eating it! I miss it still, though I know how terrible it was! Additionally, I also believe that G-d made fast food joints exclusively for me, and was often irritated to see other people in the drive-through lines, taking MY chicken McNuggets, or MY Whopper(s) - forcing me to wait for the next batch and making me wonder if the term "fast food" wasn't as accurate as I had come to believe.
But the day I was diagnosed, I stopped, cold turkey, as it were. Since that day, I have had no more than perhaps one ounce of white potatoes, and most of that one ounce was "hidden" in other foods. No sugar if I can help it, nothing white except cauliflower! I have not had any fast food at all and will be shocked if my local McDonald's doesn't close down due to a lack of business from me. I eat as naturally as I can given that I am at the top of the food chain and didn't ascend to this place only to eat nuts and twigs (though, nuts are pretty good!).
I grill my meats and chicken, I still fry my fish, but instead of using flour or cornmeal, I coat my filets in flaxseed meal seasoned up without salt…tastes just as good to me. I also fry chicken gizzards in flaxseed meal, and they are AWESOME! I load up on sauteed veggies, as I have a deep, abiding love of squash which is particularly good sauteed. I search the internet for recipes that are variations on what I like to eat, because I can be somewhat picky too nowadays.
I just try to make deliberate, sane choices in my diet, and it isn't always easy because there are times when I'm busy or tired (usually both) and it would be a snap to just hit the drive-through and gulp down crappy food…but it's just not worth it.
So, I guess what I am trying to say with ALL of this rambling blather is simply this: If I can do it, ANYONE can - and I mean that.
My co-workers, friends and other loved ones always say that they are impressed with my resolve and my efforts, they always say that if it were them, they don't believe that they would be able to accomplish the same things in the same time span or with the same diligence. I always tell these people the truth, that I'm weak in some pretty stupid places - like when I want a brownie, or some cookies, or when I want to eat mashed potatoes or cottage fries - I don't do it, but it takes a monumental effort. I furiously throw myself into finding some alternative to "bad" stuff, and usually, by the time I'm done, I find that either what I could create for myself as a "placebo" would be tantamount to a science experiment gone bad, or so expensive as to be prohibitive, either the craving is gone, or I just get bored focusing on something so idiotic.
Food is food, it's not a replacement for love I didn't get from my Mother or the love of my life. It's sustenance and while it has its place, it's not all there is to life. It used to be that I lived to eat, now, I eat to live.
So, I stand by my statement that if I can do it, anyone can…I am not perfect, whether we're talking numbers or personality, but I try and believe me, no one is more surprised at my results than I am!
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