Friday, August 29, 2008

Quotable Friday*!

*because, by the end of the week, I can't think of anything clever to say myself!

A common theme in blogs I'm stumbling across this week seems to be this: Don't wait until you've arrived at your health goals to enjoy life; do the things you like to do now. So true! Where are my plane tickets to Hawaii?!?!? Oh, er, right, the day job and back-to-school and all that....I've been really impressed by the other truths and humor in blogs I've been reading lately. I might ramble more on that later, but for now, the quotes:

"We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm." -Winston Churchill

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." -Rodin

"Life is tough, and if you have the ability to laugh at it, you have the ability to enjoy it." -Salma Hayek

"The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed." -Sebastine Chamfort

"When a think thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth." -George Bernard Shaw (<-The hidden truth? Do not fully trust your spell-checker.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

True or False: Does most of the weight we lose come straight off our busts?

There I was, standing in front of the mirror after my shower, feeling a little sad at the state of the girls. "Wouldn't ya know it...I always lose it straight from the bust!" I growled. But looks can be deceiving, so I decided to put this weight loss myth to the test. (Yes, the show Mythbusters is huge in our house...Thing 1 wants to be Jamie or Adam.)

So, I got out my measuring tape. And I measured. Well, well, well!

"You're not really going to share your measurements, are you?"

Well...(*gulp*)...yes. In the name of Science!

"Are you nuts?"


Myth confirmed! I really DO lose it more from the bust than anywhere else. Poor girls! I'll have to cheer them up and get them a pretty new bra or something. But real science types would hardly call my results conclusive...any challengers to these findings?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Weekly weigh in: -35!

Down one pound during the past week. At least it's still heading in a downward direction, but the rate of loss has gone down a bit. Well-oh. I think it's the dreaded "Decade Effect": the closer you get to going past a number that is a multiple of 10, the slower your rate of loss. At least I'm no longer lying about my driver's license weight anymore!

My blood glucose levels continue to do better in general--I even got one of my fasting numbers within range last week--but today? Ugh. Hard to pinpoint the cause: my post-dinner numbers were great last night, but my fasting was 143 and my post-breakfast, post-exercise was 152! (Which isn't too bad, but I'd been seeing some nice post-meal numbers in the 130s and was feeling smug.) I'm sorry, but 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and a little cream in my coffee shouldn't do that sort of thing. I did get a twinge in my calf when jogging this morning, so that might have affected things...I looked at some bread at Whole Paycheck Foods this morning and even picked up a pack of brioche buns (and--no worries--set it down)...I took a big, long loving whiff of the breakfast bar and its insidious chorizo hash...Please-o-please tell me it wasn't the cup of Good Earth tea I just drank!

And tomorrow, True or False: Does most of the weight we lose come straight off our busts? Stay tuned!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quote Day!

I love collecting quotations. Here are a couple of favorites from Mae West:

"You're never too old to become younger."


"I only have 'yes' men around. Who needs 'no' men?"

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Near Occasion of Pistachios

It used to be sugar that drove me wild with desire, but now...

...they're in my desk drawer...




A 16 oz. bag of them...well, 14 oz now, I've ate a couple of ounces so far (not in one sitting, thank goodness!). Shelled, roasted,, I did NOT have the good sense to get the ones in the shell, so I'd have to remove them one-by-one.

I got a really bad craving for them yesterday. What to do? I'd already had some with lunch, and I knew I needed to choose my usual yogurt/flax+wheat germ/fruit snack. I thought, "Try the scent-tasting trick." So I dug out the bag and inhaled deeply three times. Mmmm, salty goodness! Then I got myself a cup of tea. So far it seems to have worked, but there are still 14 beguiling ounces in there....

In other news, I found it really difficult to drag myself out running today. "Thing 1" had a rough night last night and woke us up after having a bad dream. ("Thing 1" refers to our 6-year-old son; "Thing 2" is our 4-year-old daughter; both affectionately dubbed from The Cat in the Hat's mischief-makers.) I think he's anxious about starting school next week. It's been thickly foggy all week long in the morning, and it was like jogging through an Impressionist painting, except I'm sure Monet's garden didn't have drought-stricken lawns and gopher mounds. I did stick with it and did my 2 miles (in 40 minutes...I'm going to get so lapped by the 5K walkers at the Pumpkin Run, but my goal is to simply finish before they pack up everything and leave). I'm not sure whether the inside or outside of my jacket was more wet. (Ew, too much info, I know!) But I felt very good afterward.

Moving my Metformin dose to the morning seems to be making a difference in my fasting blood glucose. Today it was 134, which is the lowest it's been since I started tracking (about 10-15 less than usual). Unfortunately, I got more of a spike from my workout (145) than breakfast (131). I wonder if any studies have been done to figure out how much weight loss affects blood glucose numbers. The current thinking is that losing 5-10% of your body weight (if overweight) and 30 minutes of exercise daily can make a difference for preventing diabetes among those with a predisposition for it (58% less likely, per the Diabetes Prevention Program study), but I was unable to find numbers for how much your blood glucose would go down as you reduce your BMI. Maybe it's not something that's possible to track, especially among newly diagnosed people who are doing everything at once: exercise, sensible eating, and (in some cases) medication.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Visit with my diabetes educator

Had a pleasant visit with my certified diabetes educator (CDE) at Mills Peninsula. The overall blood glucose numbers are looking good and are dropping.

last 60 days: 149 average
last 30 days: 145 average
last 14 days: 142 average
last 7 days: 141 average

Considering that my a1c was 9.5 when diagnosed (which means around 255 average), this is a great trend. She said that the trend should continue and that it's looking really good; I have high hopes for getting those morning fasting numbers knocked down. She did say to try not to get too frustrated with the blood glucose monitor; like the scale and the measuring tape, it's a tool, not something to get obsessed with. We're moving my metformin to p.m. instead of a.m. My CDE said that insulin resistance can increase at night while our bodies are sedentary. Exercise, exercise, exercise!

On the other hand, when I told her that my numbers had gone up after a particularly intense workout, she noted that harder isn't always better when you've got diabetes. Longer is good, as is exercising frequently (5 days/week minimum), but higher intensity can increase stress, which can increase the blood glucose immediately after. However, the activity generally makes for better numbers during the day.

Regarding weight loss, she was impressed with my progress. (Here's what the nutritionist showed me last time I visited, after I got off her scale. Revolting, no? I'll have to get a photo of me with it next time I'm there!) She asked a good question: "This might not happen, but are you prepared for how you'll feel if you don't see a loss?" Gulp. I was getting a little anxious about not seeing as much of a loss as I would have liked, never mind no loss or (gulp again) a gain. I'll have to think about that one.

We discussed the shortage of certified diabetes educators in general, and my dismay that there are so many people on the online discussion boards who are newly diagnosed yet are not given much information on how to take care of themselves or referrals to diabetes educators or nutritionists. I did find a really good online resource on the Diabetes Mine blog: a link to free online education hosted by University of California San Francisco called "Diabetes Education Online". The diet information follows the ADA diabetic exchanges program; and it explains diabetic exchanges and food planning very well and offers sample information, such as how many exchanges/day for given numbers of calories. It's general sensible eating but not low carb, so one's mileage may vary on the nutrition info if one is taking the low carb route.

Weekly Weigh-in: - 34 pounds!

Yippee! Down another 3 pounds this week.

"Hello, my name is Pubsgal, and I'm a scale addict..."
How often to weigh is a topic of much debate among those pursuing weight loss. From my Weight Watchers days, I remember their strict admonition to weigh only once a week, so as to avoid angst over the daily ups and downs. However, I've also read that daily weighing can be helpful for some people ("Does the Scale Promote Weight Loss?").

I weigh daily each morning, but I track on a weekly basis and measure monthly. I find that a daily check, and watching the number over the week helps me calibrate things. This week, for example, I was a little worried about whether there'd be a loss, as the scale didn't seem to be budging much. So I made some lower-fat choices and stuck to my food plan a bit more closely. I probably would have been really discouraged if there'd been no progress, and I've gotten spoiled by the quick progress. Tune in a couple of months from now to see the hand-wringing and hair-pulling!

In some ways, blood glucose monitoring is even more crazy. I've seen a downward trend in general, but I thought there'd be a more dramatic impact from the medication as well as following my food & exercise plan. We'll see what the diabetes educator has to say about it after my appointment today; she'll probably chuckle when she sees how many times I checked my blood glucose after starting metformin: "Oh my gahd!!!! I'm going hypo!!!! I just know it!!!!...Oh. 124. (90-130 being a normal pre-meal or fasting range.) Okay, so things aren't exactly plummeting, here." (Disclaimer: it's always a good thing to test when you think hypoglycemia is happening, not to make light of my reaction; however, my blood sugars have been so high for so long that "normal" feels like a low to me.)

"Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables." -Spanish proverb

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thoughts on Sugar

To sugar, or not to sugar? See Myth #2 on the ADA web site. Diabetes-wise, sugar is sugar, whether it's in a starch food or an overtly sweet dessert food, and it must be accounted for like any other carbs.

So the big question for many is, "to carb, or not to carb?" From what I've read, many people who manage diabetes choose a strict low-carb diet, ala Bernstein. (As you can see from the comments on the link to this article, this subject is a passionate one for many.) Perhaps going totally low carb would bring my numbers lower. But while I could take or leave most starches, I do love my fruits and dairy. So my approach (discussed with my diabetes CNE and nutritionist) is to keep daily carbs less than 130, targeting 30-45g/meal (except breakfast, because my fasting numbers run high). I also generally choose higher fiber choices and low Glycemic Index foods. Since I don't feel carb-deprived, I don't only count the "net carbs" (that is, I don't exclude sugar alcohols or fiber). Some days I go a little lower, some days I go a little higher, but I generally keep it around that.

But back to sugar. I personally am going for about 97% "overt" sugar free. There will be some "hidden sugars," and for those I'll try to make least sugar choices. And last night, I did have a small bit (2 not tiny, but not huge bites) of (*gasp*) a full-sugar chocolate ice cream at a friend's birthday party. Several folks thought it looked rather pitiful on my plate, next to 4 bite-sized sugar-free chocolate chip cookies, but that's because I hadn't bothered scrounging up a smaller plate. It's weird, I felt more deprived in the red wine vs. margarita situation than I did now, even though pre-diabetes I was a total chocoholic and would have felt sad about not having the cake and heaping scoops of ice cream. (Would I have felt less deprived had I taken a sip of margarita? Hard to say...) I enjoyed those couple of bites, knowing (1) I'd skipped some dinner carbs in order to have it and (2) this would not be a regular thing. Yep, chocolate ice cream still tasted the same as it ever did...I have not missed anything during the past couple of months. When I tested my blood glucose later, it was looking good, although my morning numbers were above range, as usual. We'll see how it affected my weight loss at Weekly Weigh-in tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Found my Christmas gifts this year

I know, August is a little early to be thinking about Christmas, but I ran across something interesting today.

For parents and selected relatives, we usually send consumable items. In years past, we've sent Kona coffee (yum!) and other sweet, edible things I ought not be thinking about so close to lunchtime. Recently, we've tried to be more cost-effective by baking cookies and sending them, but this year...I think we'll be scaling WAY back on the cookies.

Enter "3 Coffeys, No Sugar." While looking at the "Recent Headlines" on the Diabetes OC Website (oh...which is actually showing the Headlines page of "Diabetes Daily"), I found a diabetes blog today titled "Six Until Me." The most recent post features a heartbreaking yet inspiring interview with the family behind "3 Coffeys, No Sugar": three young siblings with Type 1 and their family, dealing with diabetes AND doing lots of great things to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

One of those things was partnering with Leaves & Beans Roasting Company on a special blend of their StoryTeller's Blends Coffees: "3 Coffeys, No Sugar." According to the interview on "Six Until Me," $7 of every pound is donated to the JDRF. Now, I'll drink (coffee) to that!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekly Weigh-in: -31 pounds!

Wow, this is getting good! I'm a little over 25% of my way to my goal weight of 143. I still have 91 pounds to go, though, so it's going to be a long haul. On the other hand, I guess it's a milestone in some ways, because I now have less than 100 pounds to lose!

Good stuff I've noticed so far:
  • My largest size pants (26W) are really, really baggy.
  • Pants I haven't worn since I started working again fit nicely, and are even a little baggy in the thighs. How weird, though, how differently clothes are sized!
  • No more worries about blouse buttons popping!
  • Feeling really good on all levels! Physically, I'm feeling terrific and have much more energy than I used to. Mentally, I feel really positive. Sticking with exercise especially makes me feel happy, even when it's not progressing quickly and when I experience setbacks (tweaking a muscle, going on vacation), because it's a miracle to me that I'm doing it at all.
  • Compliments from friends and family.
On the blood glucose front, well, I'm perplexed about my fasting numbers. I don't know what it was that I ate at dinner last night--we ate out at "Whole Paycheck" (what we at work call "Whole Foods," since it's our unofficial company cafeteria), and was it the cioppino? The pickled ginger with the sashimi? The tabouli salad? The two slender, crunchy bread sticks? The two bites of pineapple and one bite of honeydew? All of the above? Anyhow, post-meal was 152--not great, but in range for a post-meal. However, my fasting this morning was also 152 (it had been dropping into the high 130s after starting metformin), as was my post-breakfast. And it's so weird, because we did a lot of walking around last night, and I started doing some weight exercises. I started taking metformin on Saturday, so you'd think by Tuesday it would be showing something. This is so frustrating, to be doing everything nearly perfectly, and to be having great progress with weight loss, and yet to NOT have the fasting numbers I want. Maybe I ought to try some middle-of-the-night testing to see if the numbers are dropping too low....

So yes, last Thursday my doctor prescribed metformin, 500 mg. in the morning for starters. I had a headache over the weekend, but it's hard to say that was whether I was stressed about starting it or something else. I did not have the unfortunate gastrointestinal symptoms people tend to have, but on the other hand, we're starting with a low dose. I don't think it's the extended release type. I've also felt a bit more tired than I had been feeling, getting out there and exercising has been a little more challenging, but I know those are other side effects, so I'm just pushing through it.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Here are some of the blogs I've found recently to inspire myself, to show that others have been on this path and have sustainable success. I'd really love to find some more blogs that have inspiring weight loss success stories from those who have also been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.


Zen Habits (Not a fitness blog per-se, but general topics for improving one's habits. Several topics regarding fitness and way of eating. The Beginner's Guide provides links to the most popular topics. )

Cool Running (Their "The Couch-to-5K Running Plan," while I don't follow it to the letter, helped inspire me to train for our local 5K this fall.)

Weight Loss:

Refuse to Regain (a site for maintenance...why not look ahead?)

Finding Radiance (a gal named Lori who lost 100 lbs)

Lynn's Weigh (Read after I saw an article about her on; she lost 168 lbs!)

Roni's Weigh (Her height identical to mine, and our goals are similar, but her highest weight is what I was after my second pregnancy and wish I had at least maintained!)

And the journey begins... (Just found this one today, 8/15/08! Success story-in-progress of " lose 80 pounds", who at last post had lost over 60 pounds!)

"A Woman's Right to Lose | Lesley's Weigh to Healthy Living" (Another inspiring success story, plus great info and tips!)

(*new*, 8/21/08) "Diet Coke And Zingers" (Gotta love a title like that! And whatever you do, don't read this while drinking your Diet Coke, unless you LIKE serious nasal pain.)


Blood Sugar 101 (A site I found to be tremendously useful when I first found out that I had Type 2 diabetes) article, "Newly Diagnosed"

(*new*, 8/21/08) "Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey" (The "Painless Pricks" entry alone is worth reading for less blood glucose testing angst. And there I was thinking, "No pain, no wasted test strip." Silly me!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

I was contemplating my rate of weight loss, and looking ahead..."Let's see, by the end of the year, I should be my birthday, 184...." (Although I'll just be happy to break 200 by the end of the year and to be in the simply "overweight" range vs. the "obese" range by my birthday...I know that plateaus happen.)

After lunch, I ripped open a packet of Good Earth tea, and read the quote:

"He that can have patience
can have what he will." --Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps that title should be "Answer of the Day?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Weekly Weigh-in: -28 pounds!

Yeay!!! I've lost over 10% of my starting weight!!!

And, hurrah! I survived the family Michigan trip! I lost 3 pounds and I had as good of control as possible over the numbers. I didn't keep up with my exercise routine, but I was generally active. I didn't eat to plan, but I did skip the obvious offenders and kept my choices low-carb in general. I probably ought to have had more veggies. My splurges: lots of sugar-free popsicles, one double White Castle with middle bun removed, half of a Villa Bakery pizza roll. My only regret is not having stopped in at Uncle Ray's in Fenton for a memorial scoop: the founder, Uncle Ray himself, passed away last month. Especially since I was good and did not drink what I really wanted: a margarita. I stuck to one and a half servings of wine. I felt a little bitter about that (grumble, grumble, how come everyone ELSE gets to drink and eat what they damn well please, grumble grumble), but my sister-in-law's mom was there, and she's diabetic, and she was a poignant reminder of the trouble I'll have if I don't do my best now to get things under control.

Said sister-in-law lent me a fleece jacket (Eddie Bauer, XXL) that she said she doesn't fit anymore (it's too big) and that she also said she had lent to her pregnant sister (who isn't exactly petite either). I like the jacket, but it was a little discouraging to think that I was receiving someone else's "too big" hand-me-downs. It reminded me of how far I have to go, and it seemed to lessen how far I've come already. I know that totally was not her intention, though; she just wanted a good home to a favorite jacket. On the other hand, I know the cost of her struggle with weight & health issues, so I'd better live up to my intention and do the opposite: I now hereby choose to look at it as an inspiration: "she did it; so can I!"