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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Throw me a Ring...or Five...

It was not until I was having really low blood sugars for several nights/early AMs in a row that I got to thinking about how my carb of choice for treating lows - - Life Savers. For the past 22 years...my candy of choice has had the perfect name...Life Savers. The name...if you think about it...is totally true. When my blood sugar goes low...I need 15 grams of Carb to begin the process of raising of it. The process is basically waiting 15 minutes and checking your blood sugar again. If it is still low, you take another 15g of Carb and wait again. (Note to self - Why do I capitalize Carbs?)

5 Life Savers are what I typically need to go from a low blood sugar to a level that feels just about right. The hardest part is that 15 minute wait...it goes against nature. You feel your body struggle...your brain is fuzzy...you are sweating bullets...but you have to wait it out. Your instincts tell you to pile in the food...and sometimes...I do...because even though I know I need to wait...I still fear that my blood sugar will continue to drop. No good can come from that...so I eat 10 or 20 Life Savers. I am far from perfect...but even a pro like me gets freaked out.

In the old days, I carried rolls of Life Savers...the hard candy. Now...I am crazy for the Gummi's. They are so much easier on my pearly whites and come in fun flavors...the sour ones are my favorite. I mean...if you need to be saved...you may as well rely on something yummy. Especially if it is the middle of the night!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

OGYST - Week 12 in Review

The week took unexpected turns but I was calm and able to still keep up with my new eating habits. This was my third week on WW online...and I was really worried that I was going slip up. I didn't...even with lots of stress...at work and due to a family emergency. I am feeling very positive. Seeing lots of great results. I know more tough times are ahead...but I feel ready. I do feel a sense of balance.

Here is a quick list of progress...in each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #12

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - I was completely shut off from work for two days...I really did well at keeping things in perspective. Family comes first...that makes prioritizing very easy.


2. Take Time to Breathe - This was my saving grace this week...since I wasn't able to get to the gym. I kept a sense of calm by choosing to not get all stressed out. I think eating three meals a day and more regulated blood sugars have really helped. I took one thing at a time and choose not to worry. Is it really just a choice?


3. Go to the Movies - Caught a few things on Pay Per View. Did You Hear About the Morgans? The Blind Side. Also saw Meet the Spartans and The Pursuit of Happiness. Two nights in a row I have watched truly fantastic movies...ones that stay with you. Don't worry. I'm not talking about Meet the Spartans or the Morgans. :)


4. Gym = Transition - Had to forgo this given the direction this week took...but I think that standing for hours in the ER and visiting in the hospital milling about counts for some activity. Especially when I may or may not have been doing squats against the wall. I did have a great workout on Monday.


5. Other - Finished the next set of edits on my novel. Had a great dinner with friends on Tuesday Night...I was glad I was with them when I got the "call". Was so excited about the happy news from one of my friends...it was news that we had been waiting years to hear...and I knew that someday I would hear it!! Before dinner, I had fun shopping at Juicy Couture. Don't worry...I took advantage of sales. ;) A very CUTE pinky salmon outfit. Great pedicure...if only the weather could match my pinky spring toes!!


Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Getting back to the Gym. Since we are adjusting to new normals (if there is such a thing as normal)...I canceled some plans for the upcoming week...dinner and time with the Trainer. Not sure if I will make a Happy Hour on Wednesday or not. My main goal will be to get back to the gym. I'm thrilled that I was able to keep eating well even though things took an unplanned turn this week. It felt really good to stay in control of something.

The Switch...

Life Happens. Things Change. You Adjust. In my journey to be healtier through lowering my blood sugars, there are times when I really think a switch has been flipped in my brain. Even when meeting friends for dinner, dealing with some really tough times at work, and a family emergency...the switch did not go off. I am making significant progress in all realms...blood sugars, insulin levels, and weight. Plus...despite lots of uncertainty...I am calm. Am I really getting my shit together?? Did I just jinx everything?? Only time will tell...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

OGYST - Week 11 in Review

I really felt in control this week...of my diabetes especially. I feel like a switch has gone off in my brain. It is all about choices. Making choices that center around the things that you think are most important. Perhaps my priority order has changed...my health is bumping up on the list. I don't think this is a bad thing.

Here is a quick list of progress...in each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #11

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - Can't remember any particular time when I was frantically obsessing about work. I took time to eat lunch everyday...even when I had meetings back to back and phone calls to return. It felt good.


2. Take Time to Breathe - It was a tough week...but I feel like I was able to stay calm. I did take a few moments to breathe. Especially when I was having a bunch of low blood sugars. I took the time (15 minutes...which seems like forever when you feel completely depleted of all basic brain power) to just wait for my sugar to re-adjust after eating 15g of carbs. Even when it happened while I was getting ready for work...instead of continuing to rush and get ready...I just sat still and waited. It felt good.


3. Go to the Movies - Finally saw Alice in Wonderland...it was really good. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I am becoming a huge fan of 3D!! So much so that I am considering seeing TRON. I know right?? Also saw New Moon...which reminded me how much I loved the soundtrack. And about my novel...because I wrote much of it in November listening to the New Moon soundtrack. There is nothing better than music inspiring words. It feels good.


4. Gym = Transition - I know that my ability to stay calm, especially at work, has been a direct result of the time that I have been clocking at the gym. Lots of cardio and strength training...I even convinced my sister to come with me on Sunday and then again on Saturday. It was so much fun to have a buddy. Thinking about when to schedule another Fitness Test so I can see if I have been making progress. I know that my form is changing. It feels good.


5. Other - The biggest highlight of the week was that my endocrinologist was thrilled with my blood sugars and lowered my long acting insulin dosage for overnight. This is such a huge deal...and I am really proud of myself. Between eating better and time at the gym...I am really seeing dramatic results in my blood sugars. I also met one of my NanoWrimo friends at Panera this week (after I went to the gym of course) and I ended up making a bunch of edits to my novel...my next set of "pen and ink" changes. It felt so good.


Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Having dinner with some friends, Clocking more time in the gym, Scoping out some new Vera (think I need to get a bunch of flip flops), Getting a lovely pedicure, and Seeing how much progress I have made after my third week on WW Online.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

OGYST - Week 10 in Review

The tenth week of 2010 was my official "getting my head back in the game" week. One of the areas that I had to tackle was getting control of my blood sugar. I actually didn't make it a focus point because it has been on that list for the past 22 years. My thought this year was that my four other focus points would help me to tackle the whole diabetes thing by allowing me to be more balanced. I have had an incredible blood sugar week...which is related to the fact that I started Weight Watchers Online Thursday before last. I'm religiously counting my carbs and therefore taking the right amount of insulin to cover them. It is amazing what a bit of focus will do.

Here is a quick list of progress...in each of my four focus areas.

Operation Getting Your Shit Together - Week #10

1. Controlling When I Look at Blackberry - Monday was a very tough day...but all in all it was a pretty good week. The really amazing thing was that I took Thursday off of work...and I only answered two of the many, many emails I received. I just kept telling myself that I could tackle things the next day. So I did!! This was a huge step...and it made for a terrific day off...and I didn't even feel guilty about it.

2. Take Time to Breathe - When I did feel really stressed out...I took the time to remember the important things. Like why I show up to work everyday...because Cancer Sucks!! I looked at my "Joel Sign" and the butterflies in my office. I remembered the great time I had at lunch with my Camper Angela. I thought about my Camper Sarah and how she was having her head shaved for St. Baldrick's Day.

3. Go to the Movies - Does watching some of the Oscars count? Does adding to the list of things that you want to see count? Oh well...I'm not perfect. Did not see any movies. ;)

4. Gym = Transition - Sunday started off with a session with my Trainer who kicked my strength training workout in the ass by stepping things up for me. I felt awesome and sore afterwards. I loved it. Since the weather was warmer, I walked outside three nights for cardio. Worked so hard on the elliptical trainer at the gym that my blood sugar plummeted. Did my new strength training routine at the gym on my own and did not feel like a dork at all. Life is Good!!

5. Other - Lots of fun things this week...I was able to have lunch with one of my campers...Angela...she is an amazing person who fills me with pride. She is brave. She is beautiful. She kicks Cancer Ass. She writes gorgeous poetry. She is strong. My sis and I saw Henry Rollins on Wednesday night. He never disappoints. Amazing. The time goes by so fast. Got a really nice note from the boss...which was the extra bit of motivation that I needed. Enjoyed a productive day off on Thursday...which included a car wash. I love that my baby girl is all clean!! Filled out my camp application and sent it in. Took a killer Saturday afternoon nap. Perfection.

Upcoming Week Expected Highlights: Grumblings from the time change, clocking time at the gym, celebrating St. Paddy's Day, going to the movies with my sis, seeing how much progress I make on Week #2 of WW, and editing my novel

Greatest Food Ever??

Am I really going to blog about food? I mean one of my new favorite foods? The one thing...besides my rediscovery of how much I LOVE to eat bell peppers or a crispy, crunchy, cool head of iceberg lettuce...that I eat as a snack? It has fiber. It is not loaded with lots of carbs. It has only one point in terms of WW. My new love? One of my new favorite things? Popcorn!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shaking Things Up...

Part of my plan with my new "Getting to the Gym" focus point has been to avoid stagnation. I am pretty good at doing the cardio thing...in fact...I will be getting ready to take a nice hour long walk in just a bit. I'm taking advantage of the warmer weather...getting fresh air is good. The tough part for me is strength training. That is where having a trainer has been good...mind you...I NEVER thought I would have someone help me with it. This past Sunday my strength training workout was "kicked up a notch" to include a few more ab related things and a few different moves. It kicked my butt...but felt so good. Tomorrow I am going to be on my own at the gym after work...and I am going to attempt all of the new stuff. I am not going to lie...I am kind of nervous and afraid of looking a dork. But...when has that ever stopped me before?

In blood sugar news, I have had a few lows but that is to be expected when you are totally transforming your relationship with food. Can't believe my first week on WW will be marked tomorrow. First weight check...that will be my big "weekend kick-off" after my workout tomorrow night. It feels good to be eating three meals a day...and it hasn't been as hard as I thought. Even though I am counting three things in my journey...points, blood sugar, and carbs...oh my!! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feel it in the air...

I am getting very excited for Spring and Summer...if you read my blog often....you may know that 2009 was a very busy year for me. I made work my number one priority...which I do not regret...but it did take a toll. One of the things I have been trying to do is to not repeat the same thing in 2010. Well...work is still a number one priority...but I am working very hard to have some balance. To take time to have fun. To put the blackberry off to the side. To make plans.

I am very excited about several plans that I have already made - seeing Henry Rollins on Wednesday Night, seeing the Red Sox play a few times, a long weekend in Baltimore, seeing Dave Matthews Band, Camp (hope, hope...if they want me back), seeing a good friend of mine complete her second Iron Girl, and a full week off of work after camp. Just knowing that I have "things" coming up helps so much. They are motivating too. They are calming. They are giving me balance.

So, there is a reason behind my latest Vera Bradley purchase - A Rosie Posie Hipster in Kiss Me. You knew that something in the form of a justification for purchase was coming didn't you? Well, since I have all of these fun things coming up, I will need to have a cute little purse to hold important things - sunglasses, cell, blackberry, $$, and insulin. I am not going to lie, before I walked into my favorite Vera Dealer I may have started a mantra that went something like this - "I do not need a new Hipster." That I may have been repeating over and over. Besides, I needed something that would go with all my Red Sox stuff (which is all pink and blue). My lucky cap being the most important piece (of course).

I gathered my strength as I walked into the store, explaining to my sister that the new Frill bags would all clash with my Red Sox stuff...so I really didn't need to worry about buying anything. And then...as I approached the display...I remembered. The Kiss Me pattern is Pink and Navy. Perfect!!!

Novel Progress...Novel Experience...

This past November I drafted a novel and yesterday I did something I have yet to do after drafting many different novels...I finished my first set of edits. My experience in writing my current WIP "work in progress" has been so different than in previous years. I bet you can feel a list coming on...yep...me too.

Things that have been different this time around - -

1) I read the entire draft (like it was a book) and made some changes and notes.

2) My sister read the entire draft and then we discussed her thoughts and ideas. I feel it important to note that she has never read any of my other novels...she claims that she could not put it down.

3) I did not start off with a title in mind. In fact, I still don't have a title.

4) There are pieces from my previous draft novels that lend themselves to this one. Characters and Situations...

5) I have actually made all of my "pen and ink" changes to the draft novel.

6) It somehow feels less "impossible" to continue to re-shape it and make continued progress towards actually finishing.

7) I have a plan for how I am going to get it "done". Done means that I feel comfortable enough to have other people read it and give me feedback. In addition to my writing buddies (if they are willing)...I have a list of a few other people whose eyes I know will be honest and brutal. That is the point of course...to be brutal.


The Plan

My Novel -

* is currently 140 pages and 20 Chapters (this is Version 2)

* is going to be edited for structural related things next (this will be Version 3)

* is going to have a whole section added to cover the stuff I need research more (this will be Version 4)

* is going to be read through again by myself (and sister??) with changes being noted

* is going to be edited based upon said changes (this will be Version 5)

* is going to be released from my hands to a few others for feedback


So there you have it, it is way past November, it is well past the new year, and I am still working on my novel. Progress?? I think so...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My life in numbers...since 1987...

I think I have written before about how my life is ruled by numbers and the struggle in trying to remember that my blood sugar doesn't equal my worth as a person. It is all about the numbers - blood sugar level, number of carbs, and insulin ratios. My calculator is my best friend...and a life necessity actually. It ranks right up there with insulin.

So, as part of OGYST, I have added in another component. The one that I have been avoiding over these first nine weeks...tackling food. I know what a huge commitment it takes. I know that it is really hard work. I know that I am ready to now take it on. My plan of action for this has added something else for me to count...points.

I am consistently motivated by my sister and my good friend who have been doing WW, so I decided to take the plunge too. It feels like a good kind of peer pressure. I was feeling so lousy this week that I decided that I need to shake things up and try something that I have never tried before. I'm doing the online program and I am not going to lie. For me, it is double work. Two things to count and track. Carbs and Points.

It is an adjustment...the biggest problem so far has been remembering to take insulin to cover the carbs I am eating. I am good at tracking the points and get so excited about how best to allocate them. So excited, that I forget the other part...tallying up the carbs and taking the insulin to cover them. I'll get there...it is just getting used to a new routine. I like that there is an allowance of points that you can use throughout the week. There is a psychology there that makes a lot of sense. It is all about budgeting for the things you really want. Again..with the numbers!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

OGYST - WTF!!! Weeks 6, 7, 8, and 9

Alright...well I have been very bad about the tracking progress of Operation Getting Your Shit Together. So, I need to get back on track and chronicle things. Instead of scratching my head and trying to remember the past three weeks, I thought I would do a quick list of things to summarize...status update style.

Joy Wizziwa is...

* amazed that after the big scientific meeting the crew was playing one of my "instant cry" songs from Camp as they were breaking down the equipment. Kicking Cancer Ass...I think it was a sign. Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

* meeting up with some NanoWrimo Friends to write...after hitting the gym. Balance anyone?

* eating bad things that no good can come from.

* working on her novel and making edits. Could this one be "the one"?

* increasing her reps and weights to kick things up a notch at the gym.

* trying her best and okay with the fact that it is not always enough. I don't think I can work any harder or longer.

* getting a pedicure...ahhh....

* spending another Saturday at the car dealership...they could have at least bought me dinner first...$1K in two weekends. Enough Said...

* lost with her sister because I am bad at directions. But then drinking and chatting with friends took all the stress away.

* singing her ass off and may become addicted to Rock Band. OMG...how have I missed this fantastic dare I say genius game? Oh right...because I am lame.

* realizing that saving the sauna for Friday's is dumb...enjoying it after a work out on a Monday feels just as good.

* making summer plans now...stuff for May, June, July and August...I am so not repeating the mistakes of 2009 again. Red Sox? Check. DMB? Check. Camp? Check...if they want me back. ;)

* not buying any of the new Vera Bradley Frill...I will resist the urge.

* getting a compliment on her talking points. Finally!!!

* feeling sleepy...so...choosing to nap instead of going to the gym.

* thinking of addressing my horrid eating habits by doing WW online. Am I that brave?

* resting the day away...gearing up for Friday...and then...the WEEKEND!!!