Its that time of year when people resolve to make some sort of change in their lives for the better. I have often fallen into that trap, only to break the promises I have made to myself a short time later.
Just like a large percentage of the world out there, I have fallen into the trap again and have been thinking about my resolution for awhile, but decided to wait until January 1 . . . cuz everyone else is doing it. Sometimes, I resolve to make a change beginning on a Monday or the first of the month. It is so silly to have a time reference, but we all do it. The rational part of the brain says, "why not now?". The irrational side sets a time frame so that I still have time to continue the way I am, down the path that needs changing.
Of course I chose to follow the irrational side so that I could maintain my lifestyle a bit longer and decided to start on January 1. I have resolved to have better health and to play a significant role in obtaining it. Shocker! Bet that has never been any ones resolution before!
I have had a lot of physical and emotional issues the last year. I absolutely 100% know that I have been the major contributor to those problems.
I am a very severe brittle diabetic on an insulin pump. I have not seen my endocrinologist (diabetic doctor) in over 2 years - - probably much closer to 3 years. I often act like I am not diabetic. I eat what I want, when I want, and how much I want. The same goes for the amount of alcohol I consume and exercise that I get. Unfortunately, I am on the abundance side of the food and alcohol and the severely lacking side of exercise.
I have been diabetic for nearly 20 years and I have some of the typical diabetic problems that people have when they have had diabetes this long. I have diabetic nerve damage from mid calf down to my feet and cannot feel anything. I get infections very easily and heal very slowly. When I am sick, it takes me 2 - 4 times longer to get better than the normal person. My eye sight is declining and changes frequently throughout the day. And I could name few more too. Some of the issues I have are irreversible, but others could be improved. All I know is that these things need to change or I am just going to continue to shorten my life and meet with an early death. Death scares me very much because I have not found an answer that I am comfortable with for an after life option and I have 2 children, 1 very young, that I would like to see grow up and become adults.
So - the plan. How am I going to accomplish, or at least even start my lofty goal?
Well, one thing that I did not wait for January 1 was to contact a new endocrinologist. I made contact with the new doctor last week. They needed a referral from my family doctor. My family doctor was more than happy to make the referral. He has been bugging me for a long time to get back to my endo. Referral was made, the new doctor called me and I got their first opening - March 2. Okay, that is a ways out, but at least the appointment is made.
Next, I plan to talk to the new doctor about a blood sugar sensor that can be used in conjunction with an insulin pump. I met a woman, Julie, on the cruise I took to the Bahamas in October. While we were laying out, I noticed she had a pump and I started a conversation with her. She has the sensor and told me all about it. It checks your blood sugar every three minutes and adjusts your insulin accordingly. Of course, I tend to play devils advocate in everything, and I can see how easy that would be for me to continue to eat whatever I want because the pump will adjust to whatever my blood sugar is. So that is a hurdle that I will have to face, but having the sensor will be nice to keeping blood levels reasonable, thus treating my organs better. Julie told me that she used to have bad A1C levels. A1C is a blood test that can tell the amount of blood sugar control you have had over an extended period of time. A tightly controlled diabetic should be able to achieve a level of 6.0 - 7.0. The last time I had mine checked, which was probably close to a year ago was 11.3 - not good at all. Julie said that with her sensor she was able to keep hers at about a 5.5 and she had always been at 9.0-10.0 before. That makes me hopeful. So, my goal of getting a sensor and getting my A1C level to a reasonable number is in place.
Oh the food - - I love food. I love to eat . . . all the time and all the wrong things. Seriously, I think I can make progress here because I have found in recent months that I enjoy some foods that are good for me. I have always been a very picky eater. I have freaked out about food when I am going into a situation that I do not know what the food is going to be. When I went to the Bahamas, I resolved to try many things that I had never tried before. I was pretty successful with that endeavor and found that I liked many of the things. I continue to try new things. The plan: I know that I need to stop buying the snacking/grazing foods and keep healthier foods in the house. I also need to begin to cook balanced meals at night. We are a very on the go and fend for yourself kind of family. That needs to change - - for the health of all of us. I am getting groceries after work tomorrow. Tonight, I am going to plan meals for the week. That should get a good start on the food goal. I am not gonna go crazy and toss out all the bad foods in the house, but as they are used up, I hope to replace them with better choices. However, with that said, I will not and will never give up pop. Just putting that out there. It is diet and caffeine free. That is the best it is going to get.
Next, the exercise. I don't really hate exercising . . . not really. I am fine once I get to the gym . . it's the getting there that I hate. I have bought fitness center memberships twice in the past. I have bought them here in Hartley. I don't like that you have to buy your membership for a full year. I wish we had the option to buy 3 or 6 months at a time. I really don't like going to the fitness center when it is nice out. I bought them anyway, for the full required year, and only used them for 2 -3 months each time. Membership to the fitness center is not cheap and so I felt that I wasted my money. I have vowed not to do that again. The solution came to me at work last week. There is a fitness center at the end of the street from where I work - - literally between 100 and 200 yards from one of the buildings I work in. Well, they have a special that they have offered to the employees at my company - 3 months (January 1 - March 31, 2011) free membership with no future commitments. They are also open 24 hours now. I don't know what the membership rate is after that, but I am sure going to take advantage of this opportunity. When the free part ends, it will be April and should be nice enough to be outside! I lost 40 pounds last year - - in a very unhealthy way (stress and starvation). I have put over 1/2 of it back on. I want that back off plus some more, but I want to do it right this time. So, my goal for excercise is staring me right in the face, I just need to reach out and grab it.
The alcohol - - I am a beer girl - - straight up Budweiser. Beer has lots of carbs, which increases the blood sugar and promotes weight gain. This is a toughy for me. I only drink when I go out, and I only go out on the weekends, so there is a little bit of a reprieve for me. I haven't really decided what I am gonna do with this one. I have tried lite beers - yuck! I have even had a sip of something 55 - even more yuck. The only mixed drinks I really like are wussy drinks, so they are full of calories and carbs. I dont have to drink. I dont crave the alcohol. I just like to go out with my friends, toss a few back, and have a good time. I probably don't drink more than 4-6 when I go out. I will need to check the carb and calorie count on this one. It may have to remain my one vice.
So, I have a plan for obtaining some physical wellness. Some things in the plan already have the ball rolling and others are ready to get out the door. I really hope that I have the will power and determination to do this . . . I need to do it . . . I want to live and not be so sick all the time.
Now, how will I obtain emotional wellness? Faith tells me that she believes that my emotional unrest comes from my lack of control over my physical wellness. I do not disagree. My plan, although not easy is to work slowly and diligently on my physical wellness, read some self help material - most of which will come from the Buddhist faith, and if I can find one close, I would like to join a mediation group.
So there you have it - - the plan. I've thought it out, understand the traps, know the possibility for failure, but plan to move ahead anyway - - - I have to! I need to! I want to! Stay tuned - - - -