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So I'm using a variety of exercises for my fitness regime now. I always start with isometrics, as these are good for blood pressure reduction. At one time these were considered bad for diabetics as it was thought that they put a lot of strain on the vascular system. However, although this is true and it is wise to seek medial advice on heart health before trying them, the pressure on the blood vessels makes them expand more effeciciently and this flexibility can actually reduce blood pressure (Isometric Exercise Training for Blood Pressure Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Debra J. Carlson, Gudrun Dieberg, Nicole C. Hess, Philip J. Millar, and Neil A. Smart Mayo Clinic Proceedings March 2014 Vol. 89 issue 3 pages 327- 334: Website https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(13)01006-9/abstract334). I have watched my blood pressure go from high normal to ideal normal.
Mixing things up with the mini trampoline, mini multigym, dumbbells and callisthenics stops boredom and targets different bits of me. So now as I approach my sixth decade, I've gone completely potty and decided to LEARN TO SWIM. The voice in my head saying "you must be mad woman" is getting stronger, but I've had a telephone call saying that my local swimming pool is willing to prise my petrified hands off the side of the pool and can I come in on Saturday? So there we are, I just hope that I can go through with it now I've committed myself.
The Winter Eating and Exercise Plan (WEEP) seems to be paying off. I do something every day, alternating between resistance, isometric and rebounder exercises and also change which “bit” of me I work on (broadly upper body, abdominals and legs). Over the last seven weeks, I have:
Gained muscle in my arms, abdomen and back
Got rid of the nagging ache in my left bicep
Got rid of the pain in my right shoulder that I felt when I put my arm behind my back to wash / scratch it.
Reduced my resting heart rate by over 20 beats a minute
Got rid of the numbness in my left foot earlier in the year and substituted burning pain
Got rid of the burning pain in my left foot and substituted normal feeling
In addition, I can run flat out on my rebounder for 1 minute without feeling I’m about to die and I can also do all sorts of horrid exercises on my mini multi-gym without feeling I’m about to die.
I’m going to carry on with it now for as long as I can, even though I have nagging little voice that says it’s ridiculous to be doing this at my age.
A big experiment that I performed at work has worked and this made me very happy (yes, yes I know very well I am an anorak. Proud of it too and do the anorak sign when I meet a fellow anorak). I was not so happy when I tested my BG before breakfast as usual. 9.2! Up from 6.7 at 6.30 this morning. It seems there is a reaction to any emotion rather than just stress / unhappy.
I was jumping about my living room last night when I opened my eye examination letter to find that my eyes are now normal. No early stage retinopathy detected. The neuropathy in my left foot has gone as well, the numbness turning to pain and then to normal feeling. It’s taken me a long time, and I did wonder in the early days if in some cases the “irreversible and progressive” prognosis was true. Now I know it isn’t and that it’s worth the fight to master yourself and your carb cravings.
Don't give up, no matter how many times you fall along the way. Be kind to yourself and just keep trying until you finally get on top of diabetes. So many people here have shown what can be done.
When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I had an HbA1c of 108. I was warned by my diabetes nurse that as I didn't have much leeway in the weight adjustment option, I would not be likely to see much improvement via weight control. I was given the usual literature and sent on my way.
Reading all the stuff about wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, fruit, lentils etc. I felt the first stirrings of unease that this was not the way to manage this disease. I took to my kindle and arrived at A for Atkins and B for Bernstein. I clung to Dr Bernstein's teachings like a lifeline and used the Atkins diet to get between me and the crazy hunger that consumed me. Over the last three years I have tried various low carb approaches (and slipped up often!) and have settled on very low carb, moderate fat, moderate protein and high green food eating plan. This suits me because I am older and I can get away with a lot less calories.
I have now received a text from my doctors surgery to tell me I should attend the organised diabetes "management" classes. I looked at the website and there was the eat well plate...
No thanks, my HbA1C is now 49 and I have hopes of getting it a bit lower. My supportive diabetes nurse is thrilled and next time I see her I am going to see if I can subvert her to the low carb cause.
It won’t be long before activities in the garden start to become more limited, although there will be a few opportunities for some heavy digging towards the end of the season. Hicks Farm Wood has areas that need scything and there is endless bramble- crown grubbing up to be done, but all too soon the dark will be closing in and I’ll be back on the mini trampoline and the implement of torture known as the mini multi-gym. No doubt both activities will delight my two new budgies who will be witnessing the attempted exercises, the sweating and the cursing.
I woke up in the early hours of Saturday morning, and realised that I was going to be very, very, very, very sick. After about 12 hours of everything leaving my body at the speed of light, I finally got over what I suspect was Norovirus. The trouble is, I'm having difficulty finding things I want to eat. Before diabetes I would have eaten light, starchy things until my gut lining got back into shape. I've eaten scrambled egg and had some baked white fish, but I just can't face the veggies, poultry, meat and fish that I would normally eat. I'm not worried, as I could do with losing a few pounds to get to my optimum weight (I had lost 7 lbs when I weighed myself, but of course this was water loss), but fasting raises my BG. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Sucrose, fructose, galactose, dextrose, glucose…
So I’ve managed to stop eating sugary, carby foods (at last I’m on the straight and narrow!), but I have to spend a lot of time making meals from scratch as it’s the only way to avoid eating hidden sugar that I know would set me off eating all the wrong things again. Things that I would have thought would be fine shocked me when I read the labels. Barbecue / stir-fry sauces are all full of sugar. Prepared meats, (never mind honey –glazed ham that at least tells you what you are buying) are often made juicier by injection with peptone / dextrose mixtures. Ready meals and take-aways, low fat yoghurt and “natural” fruit juices also contain high levels of sugar. You cannot get away from the stuff.
So I prepare meals, sauces and breads to suit my new lifestyle and I am getting pretty good at it, but I must admit, it would be nice to occasionally wander into a supermarket and pick up a ready meal without intensive scrutiny that ends with me putting it back on the shelf.
I've had a big baking session making low carb loaf, almond loaf, frittata and roasted nuts.
The low carb is my "proper " bread, whilst the almond loaf is used as a low carb snack. It is cake like and I'm thinking of putting the batter into paper cases to make fairy cakes. The ham frittata contains asparagus, spinach and sprouting broccoli, as well as ham, eggs and cheese. It freezes well and is much better than it sounds for breakfast.
My biggest challenge has always been not falling back on sweet "comfort foods" when things are going badly and I feel stressed. I have found a useful spin-off since giving up artificial sweeteners. My main drink now is water, with one cup of coffee made with hemp milk in the morning. However, when things get bad, I "allow" myself Pepsi Max as an acknowledgement of my stressed state. So now I don't eat sweets but turn to this unholy beverage instead until my self control returns. Of course it would be better if I didn't eat lettuce routinely and made that my comfort food, but somehow I don't think that will work...
We've hired a rotovator a couple of times over the last few weeks to break up some of the rough grass areas in our conservation area. This lets meadow flower seeds germinate and also makes it easier for grasshoppers and crickets to lay their eggs underground later in the year. The thing that baffles us is that the rotovator has a label stating that it is "not for use indoors". I have racked my brains o try to think of a situation where someone might consider rotovating in the house, but I can't really think of anything. I suppose that if the living room carpet developed bobbles you might be able to use the rotovator to shave them off, but it would be a bit hit and miss.
I have roasted a lot of mixed nuts and seeds, as I wanted to make my own, as small snack packs are so expensive. I mixed together my nuts and seeds to make a total of 1.5kg and added two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of dark soy (loaded with carbs I know, but it was well distributed on the nuts and seeds).
I spread them out on five baking trays and cooked them for ten minutes and let them cool. Working out the calorie content, I was shocked to find that a one ounce portion provided 184 calories. They are delicious and its so easy to go overboard eating them! I had to buy some tiny jars and weighed out 7 lots for the week. I poured the rest into 1 litre Kilner jars and froze two and left the part used third one in the fridge.
I decided to stop using aspartame about 14 days ago. I only have a couple of cups of coffee and a pepsi zero at night, but I decided to stop using it just to see if I could manage it - although I did have the "another pleasure gone" thoughts. I had a truly awful headache about two days after stopping which went on for about two days. I don't know if it might be the constant reminder from drinking so much water, and the fact that I truly want to improve my BG and therefore my health,but my desire to snack has disappeared...
Last night I cooked a quorn quarter pounder burger, put it in a low carb roll that I made using the infamous "green bread" recipe (not moving to rice protein until I've finished all my hemp protein powder), put a spot of mustard on it and ate it! Oh it was lovely - I haven't had anything in- a- bun since I found out I had diabetes. Now for sausage sarnies and bacon butties (still no chip butty but you can't have everything). So pleased that I found the Diabetic dream food book.
I accepted a statin prescription at my last review. I did this as my cholesterol had jumped to 8.0, which I thought was bad news, even though I don't have the ratio figures. The trouble is I still feel uneasy about taking the thing. What troubles me most is I have a liver that is already out of sorts, I really don't like the idea of disrupting its metabolic processes when I don't know how much the statin will benefit me.
I think if I was reliably staying off of the carbs I would stop taking it. I am convinced by the argument that it is high carb that damages blood vessels in diabetics. What I am considering is seeing if I can stay low carb for six months. If I can, then I might ask to come off of the statin.