Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today was a good day, energy-wise. Maybe this multivitamin is a good thing? The days are starting to follow the same formula - shower + breakfast + barbri + lunch + study + exercise + dinner + study + bed. And, guess, what? I love it. Good, old-fashioned predictability. Predictability is a friend of Diabetics as well as Type As. Do I consider myself a Type A? Only selectively, if that makes sense. I am not a perfectionist. I am not compulsively tidy. When it comes to school supplies, Diabetes, and clothes - I am Type A. Type1/TypeA. Let's a have an entry dictated by pictures, shall we? It's allllll randoms...

Lunch = 2 eggs + 1/4 Cup Fat Free Cheddar + 1/4 Cup Black Beans w/ Apple + Peanut Butter.
I love black beans. I opened a can two days ago and put them in the refrigerator. I add them in meals throughout the week for a good source of fiber. Speeeaking of fiber, I have been meaning to mention one of my favorite blogs. Carly, a friend of mine from Rhodes, writes an amazing blog. You can find it here. Anyway, among other things, she does amazing entries about food and fitness. For a great write-up about fiber, read this. I always knew Carly was such a talent :)

I am a lover of apps. This is my "medical" folder.  Yes, one of my Type A tendencies is that I group all my apps in folders. Some of them may seem more diet-oriented, but I use them all to help with my Diabetes. The 267 was my calorie count after breakfast. 

Dinner. Over FaceTime, I showed this to Andrew and he told me that it looked like vomit. It isn't, I assure you. I borrowed this recipe from another great blog, PBfingers. Meet my attempt at protein pancakes. What is in them? 1/2 cup of dry oats + 1/2 mashed banana + tsp of cinnamon + 1/4 cup cottage cheese + 1 egg. Put it in the blender, and viola! Well, my blender is AWFUL, so I got chunky batter. Then, I was having trouble heating them, so they broke. That being said, trust me when I tell you that they are delicious! 

Hi, technology! Andrew and I FaceTiming after dinner. He comes home tomorrow :) That looked like his face when I showed him the pancakes picture. 

This is my new RoadID. I have it in case of an emergency while I am running or out and about. That way, people will know that I am Diabetic and likely need quick sugar. It isn't the most chic thing ever, but it will suffice. 

Type A tendency #2 - color-coded notes. No, I do not highlight just to be colorful. Pink is main topics. Green is a general rule. Blue is for get the idea. 

I took this picture in honor of a thought I had today. Andrew and I have a tendency to over-purchase things that we like/want/need at the moment. Then, we tell our parents about it. Then, they think of us and buy us more. Today's example, my glucose tabs. They are everywhere in this house - nightstand, purse, backpack, kitchen counter. And don't get me started on MiO Liquid water flavors. We have about ten right now. I believe that I also have six coconut milk cartons (thanks mom!)

This is after TurboFire EZ-55 class. I tried to find an Instagram filter than emphasized how sweaty I was, but it didn't work. I don't want to turn into a two-trick pony. By that, I mean that I want to do more than Pure Barre and running. While nothing will replace how much I love either, I want to keep my body guessing. TurboFire is something I have done a couple of times over the years, and I love it. I am glad that I have built up quite the archive of DVDs if I need to torch calories at home. That's the thing with Diabetes. Maybe it isn't a good idea to run sometimes. Maybe it isn't a good idea to drive to Pure Barre. Sometimes you might need to keep it in your living room and sweat it out. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back in Sync

There was great temptation to use "*N Sync" in the title, but I resisted with all my might. But to what am I referring? My routine. A couple of kinks my routine - anxiety and travel - had me a bit thrown for a minute. Now, I am home, which helps. I am also getting a better understanding of how anxiety works. Diabetics are more likely than the general population to experience conditions such as anxiety or depression. The funny thing is,  I would never have told anyone I was anxious or stressed prior to having anxiety symptoms. They just seemingly cropped up. Once the doctor told me everything checked out fine, then I figured all the little funny twinges must be related to anxiety and not something else like anemia, inner ear infection, or migraines. Yes, obviously I was skeptical that something like anxiety could make me feel ill. Once I endeavored to research it, the headaches sounded like mine. All the symptoms sounded like mine. I guess, it isn't so unfounded for someone coping with a new disease to have some latent fear and anxiety. Today, so far, I haven't experienced any headaches. I am making a point to try and keep those head and neck muscles loose. I must say, it feels good to feel good. 

Rosalyn is blending in with the floor, but I wanted to show off her new haircut.  It was very necessary in this Memphis heat. 

Y'all - I am way too excited about today's lunch. Does it look like mush? It kind of is. 
1/2 Avocado + 1/2 Cup of Black Beans + 1 Pouch Low-Sodium Chunk Light Tuna + 1 TBSP Light Mayonaise + 5 Toasted (Brand) Crackers + Cilantro + Cumin Powder + Tony's Seasoning + 1 Spritz of Lime Juice = One Delicious "Tuna Bowl". See Nutrition below. This is using my Diabetes Buddy App on my iPad, so that is why it highlights carbohydrates and distinguishes between Carbs and Net Carbs. If you don't know the difference, the Net Carbs = Total Carb - Fiber. 

Not too shabby, eh? Sure, the calories look high, but an under-500 calorie lunch is hard to come by these days, especially one that makes you this full. That fat comes from the avocado, which is good fat. And 18.5 Net Carbs? I'll take it any day of the week.

The sobering news - meet Barbri. Today was better than yesterday. Yesterday's guy went on-and-on to the point that I left during a break and finished the studying at home. Today's guy was hilarious while sticking to the material and getting us out of there at a decent time. So, what do we do in there? So far, listen and fill in blanks in a commercially prepared outline. The idea is that we go home, review the notes, and attempt some practice essays. The classes are from 9-1, and they expect you to study an additional 6 hours per day on top of that. Pardon me?  I may be able to do it today, after Pure Barre. I really enjoy learning Corporations, so I'll make it fun.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Livin' La Vida Los Angeles

So, Morgan and I have had this Los Angeles trip planned for months now, and it has come and gone. Our goals:
  • Shop - √ Check
  • Eat - √ Check
  • Visit - √ Check
The hardest part about traveling for me is not getting through the airport. The hardest part is adjusting to a new routine. So much of my success in keeping my sugars managed comes from eating, exercising, and sleeping around the same time every day. In Los Angeles, not only was I adjusting to a new time zone, I was eating at a lot of local places and guessing at my carbs. The result? Well, on average, the sugar was somewhat higher. I didn't hang out in the 200s or anything, but it wasn't the 90-150 I was accustomed to at home. 

But, you know what? I had fun! I got to hang out with great people in a fun city - a heartfelt thank-you to Lee Lenox for letting us stay in his awesome apartment! The one thing I really enjoy about eating in Los Angeles is that there are a lot of places with really fresh ingredients. 

Because of the traveling, I am going to get myself back on track with the diet, and I will weigh-in and do a progress report next Monday. 

The Barbri grind is back tomorrow, so it is a great time to establish a routine that is going to carry me through the next couple of months. 

In other news, Andrew cleaned the entire house while I was out of town. I don't think I can verbalize my appreciation.

This is a menu from the cute little coffee shop where we brunched on Saturday.

This was Morgan's halibut. It tasted like fire...literal fire.

This was my delicious meal. 
Filet Mignon + Basil Mashed Potatoes + Zucchini and Squash.

This funnest thing ever was going to see Grease at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery last night. I believe it is a summer movie series. Everyone brings food and blankets. It was such a great experience!

This was my breakfast this morning. 
Egg White Omelet w/ Ham + Cheese + Black Beans and a Fruit Cup

And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is just ONE of the projects accomplished by Andrew this weekend. 
In addition, he cleaned the floors, bathrooms, organized his closet, the fridge, the pantry, other cabinets, etc.

I can think of no better way to arrive home! 

Now the burden is on me to keep it clean...err...we'll see...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Faith and Fighting Diabetes

I am always a bit hesitant to blog about religious things, isn't that sad? My intention is never to alienate the readers, but I wouldn't be giving an honest account of my Diabetic journey without mentioning it. Usually, you hear that when people encounter hardship and adversity, they become more dependent on God and turn to Him in prayer. I will admit to you right now that I have not done that. And, today, I went on a short run, without my music, really to reflect on the state of my spirituality. After I was diagnosed, I didn't make a conscious choice to put my faith on the back-burner, but I have a few guesses as to how it happened. I don't recall a moment when I was angry with God over the diagnosis. Sure, I had  moments when I resented by body for "betraying" me. Maybe that was my own way of expressing anger at that over which I had no control. Maybe I was lashing out at God passive-aggressively. I'd like to think that was not the case, but I'm not sure that would be the honest truth. In addition, ever since I was in the hospital learning tips and techniques to manage Diabetes, everyone emphasized that it is up to me to take care of myself. Sure, I have a Diabetes Team of medical experts, but the day-to-day grind is up to me. I have to count correctly, dose correctly, make sure it is safe to exercise, make sure I don't go too low or too high. I have to check my feet. I have to check my blood sugar. Oh, and the people who do poorly with Diabetes, "they didn't take care of themselves". Whether I acknowledge it every day or not, that is an awful lot of pressure. So, I think the only way I knew how to deal with Diabetes is with a selfish mindset. If I do well today, go me. If I miss the mark today, shame on me. The idea is that this is MY disease to manage...but is it?

Don't get me wrong, most days it really does feel like a science that I am perfectly capable of mastering. I love those small victories. Those are the days when I don't feel stress. Any byproduct of stress that may be  occurring due to the Bar, Diabetes, exercise, etc. is placed in a temporary waste pile. But like most waste piles, they eventually mount to something toxic. And just when you are experiencing a vulnerable day, it all comes tumbling back into your life. So, while I don't feel stressed out every day, having Diabetes, by definition, is stressful. So, when I have days when I feel under the weather or can't explain why I feel sluggish, it wears on me. Maybe it's the Diabetes. Maybe it isn't. Maybe it's the stress. Maybe it isn't. But I do know this - while I think I have a handle on this, it is much bigger than I. It is far too broad to rest on my shoulders alone. I can only speak for myself here, but Diabetes cannot be managed without faith that my life, health, and safety are not truly my own. Faith mitigates worry, and worry is toxic to the body + soul. I know this. I've always known this. But, it can be very easy to try to manage "your disease" on your own.

While I'm thinking about it, the spiritual journey and Diabetic management are not all that different. What?  I'll explain. One of the first bits of advice I received from people once I was diagnosed was, "Diabetes is about a journey, not a destination." That can be a tough pill to swallow. It means that there isn't going to come a time when my pancreas works and everything is perfect. No. Instead, it is about the small, incremental victories that occur when you manage your Diabetes in such a way to enhance your quantity of years and quality of life. Each day, I start from scratch and resolve to do my best. But, I'm human. I miss the mark sometimes. Sometimes I can point to a reason, and sometimes I cannot. Faith operates similarly, wouldn't you agree? It is about the journey, not the destination (well, in this life anyway). We are never going to be perfect Christians. That is inherent in our humanity. We sin. We are never not going to sin. So, instead, we resolve each day to do our best. Those small daily victories are what amount to a good quality of life. It's so basic, isn't it? Quality of life isn't measured by pocketbooks and status. Quality of life is measured by health, happiness, and love for one another. My Diabetes is unique to me. My faith is unique to me. My Diabetes may not look like your friend's Diabetes. My faith may not look like yours. That's okay.

So, today, my small victory will be that I resolve to let God shoulder the burden for me. I will remember that this Disease can often feel bigger than I am - the stress of keeping it in control + the constant wonder if every little twinge of my body feeling funky is related to Diabetes + the guilt I feel over the fact that my husband, family, and friends have to worry constantly about my physical, mental, and emotional well being. I can't do it all. They can't do it all for me. So, as with Diabetes, I need to nurture my faith. Faith, intangible and mysterious in all its aspects, is the only thing that can rival the mystery that is Diabetes. That is one weapon I like having in my arsenal.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Phones and Phobias

What? Phones and Phobias? What kind of title is this? I'll begin the explanation now (12:19 PM), and I will end the explanation this evening, as I will have more information to impart. "Phones" refers to the prospect of purchasing the iBG*Star glucose reader for my iPhone. If you know me at all, you know I am a product junkie. I usually like having the newest, most convenient gadgets that the market has to offer. For me, that includes a glucose meter than plugs into your iPhone. Do I own other meters? Yes. The hospital gave me an Accu-Chek. My Diabetes Educator gave me an Accu-Chek. JDRF mailed me a free Accu-Chek. I bought a One-Touch on Tuesday simply to see the difference in size and readings. It was $9.99 at Walgreens, so how could I resist? The iPhone gadgets, naturally, are a bit pricier, but it may well be worth it. For starters, I love that I could run with my iPhone and check my blood sugar with it while I am running. All I would need to store is the pricking pen (you can tell I am a new Diabetic, because I have no idea what these things are formally called) and strips. That, in and of itself, is fantastic. Plus, I am excited about the weird looks I will get when it appears that I am sending blood into my iPhone. Bring on the perplexed onlookers!

So, "Phobias"...I don't know about you, or whether you have experienced panic attacks before, but I may or may not have experienced one yesterday. While driving. Awesome. My day yesterday was not too shabby. I got up, ate breakfast, went to school to take a 100-question Barbri exam, came home, ate lunch, analyzed my exam, and then decided to drive out to Cordova to my doctor's office to pick up a letter to send the Bar Examiners regarding the accommodations I'll need for the Bar. Early in my drive, I was thinking about how tired I felt. I really shouldn't be tired, unless exams zap that much energy out of you. I had plenty of sleep and food. Then, the sunlight beaming into the car was bothering me. I get on Sam Cooper and get off on the Jackson, MS exit and my heart begins to race and my head feels fuzzy, for lack of a better word. It felt somewhat like low blood sugar. So, I pull over on the shoulder and check. It was in the 120s. So, my blood sugar was normal, but I could not have felt more strange. Andrew called me and talked to me all the way to my destination, and I was explaining to him how I felt - foggy, tired, and a bit like I should not be driving. He ended up picking me up from Cordova, and I left my car there. I didn't want to drive home and experience that feeling again. Hey, maybe it was nothing. But I still feel a little like my energy has been depleted today, so I am going to see my internist. I am leaving for a FUN trip to Los Angeles tomorrow, and I just want some explanation for what may have been going on before I leave. That makes sense right? I have to hand it to doctors...they must have the patience of Job to deal with neurotic people like me whose illnesses may or may not be in their head. Andrew says it takes a little bit of neurosis to be good at Diabetes management. Well, that's good news. I know one thing - my first Diabetic episode that led me to the hospital and a diagnosis, happened in the car. My legs felt numb. My mouth got dry. My heart starting pounding, then my vision got dark. So, even though I knew my blood sugar level was fine yesterday, I think feeling unexplained weirdness while driving does give me a sort of anxiety. Even if she tells me to take a multi-vitamin and calm down, at least I'll have on good authority that I have no need to worry. Then, I can go on my trip with no cause for panic. Anyway, that appointment is at 2:00, so I will let you know the outcome.

Okay, so it is 8:09 PM. I've got good news and pretty good news. The pretty good news is that none of my tests at the doctor indicate that I am sick. I gave blood, I don't get to know the results from that immediately. Um, so I'm sure I am not the only one, but I totally almost passed out when she took blood from me. It was not fun. What do I do in the short term? Advil + Multi-Vitamin + B12 + B6. I am going to see if this helps my energy level. I don't feel sick. I just feel depleted of all my energy for no apparent reason. The GOOD news is that my mom bought me the iBGStar meter at the Apple Store today. It is pretty awesome. The meter itself is tiny. Everything is intuitive.

My new toy and a smoothie, why not? 
Notice anything? My Accu-Chek and my iBG*Star read the exact same thing :)
Just so you all know, I am completely nerding out over here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Progress Report

These Monday progress reports are generally longer than other posts, so if you hate reading about this garbage, you can skip these.

I remember it was one week ago today. I came home in a foul mood because I had gained 7 lbs. I set out this elaborate plan to eat well and exercise and vowed to keep you guys posted with any progress or setbacks. I am happy to report that, I weighed-in this morning at (3) lbs. less than last week. Needless to say, I am pleased. What is nice is that I don't feel like I deprived myself of anything. I eat three meals and snacks every single day, and I try to do something active (6) days per week. This past week was a little light on the activity. I did Pure Barre 3.5 times (the 0.5 coming from the day I had to sit out after thigh work). I ran twice - one 5K distance and one Quick 2. There were wedding festivities Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so that made it difficult to schedule exercise.

Today has been an interesting day for the ol' blood sugar. I don't know if my body is becoming more sensitive to insulin or if I am just eating fewer carbs at my meals, but I am getting low(er) readings after meals after just having given myself 2 units. Take this morning for example - I had my waffle stacker with a side of watermelon + Diabetic Roast + 2 Fiber Choice Tablets. I gave myself 4 units, mostly due to factoring in the watermelon. After breakfast, I began doing my Barbri Contracts practice test and analysis. 11:00 rolled around, and I read 65. Pardon? I did not feel funny at all. This is where I can factor in something I learned yesterday. My mom told me to download Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. For short, I will refer to it as Thinkreas. Anyhow, he lists secondary factors that influence blood sugar levels. Under the column of things that tend to lower blood sugar is "heavy brain activity." Now, I know I wasn't taking the bar exam, but I was in a testing environment that I simulated for myself, timed and all. Back to the 65. My remedy was 2 glucose tabs then a 15 minute wait to re-check. After 15 minutes, I ready 105, so I took one more and proceeded to finish my Barbri lecture. The lunch time reading presented another teachable moment. I had just read in Thinkreas yesterday about the importance of making sure your hands are clean before you test your blood sugar. So, I go to check. Remember, my last reading was 105, and I took one more glucose tablet. My pre-lunch reading said 213. That is one strong glucose tablet. No, remembering what I learned yesterday, I decided to clean a different finger with an alcohol wipe and try again...80. That is quite a difference wouldn't you say? A meaningful difference. If I were actually 213, I would give myself 2 extra units of insulin on top of what I need to cover my meal to correct the high reading. If I had done that, while actually being at a level of 80, I would have gone low after lunch. It pays to employ some common sense and know when to call bullsh*t on your meter. So, I made my lunch. I had (1) slice of Sara Lee 45-calorie bread with low-sodium chicken, a slice of American cheese, and mustard + an apple with peanut butter + string cheese. For this, I gave myself 2 units.

So, at 1:50, I am excited. I have finished my Barbri, and I can go run with all my gear. As is advised, I check my blood sugar before exercise. I gave myself only two units for lunch, and yet I read 105 about an hour and 20 minutes after lunch. So, then began my battle to get my sugar to a comfortable number so that I could run. I try, 6oz. of G2 and half a banana. Wait 15 minutes. 104. Really? I chew 2 glucose tabs, wait, 180. I put two more tabs in my shirt (I'll explain later), and headed out the door. I was intending a 4-mile run. I stopped at 2 miles. It wasn't that I was exhausted. I certainly could have kept going, but I didn't feel 100%. I popped a tab, and walked home. I know what you're thinking - you were all the way at 180 and only ran 2 miles, did you really need a glucose tab? Who knows. What I do know is that after 2 miles, one glucose tab, and a 2 mile walk home, I was 96. So, exercise, insulin, exercise + insulin, and extra factors can bring that number down quickly. See why I don't feel comfortable running at 105 while my insulin is still active? I called a lady about a Continuous Glucose Monitor today, which will make my life easier. I'll tell you about that if and when I acquire one.

Here is the usual. One Whole Wheat Waffle + Sugar-Free Strawberry Preserves + Muenster Cheese + One Fried Egg with a side of Watermelon. 

  Meet lunch.  Yum.

 Remember the reference to "all my gear"? I wear two watches on each wrist. One is the Garmin, the other is my iPod Nano. This allows me to run hands-free, and will eventually allow me to run with a continuous glucose meter.

So, you've gathered that I like Lululemon, right? Well, now I have an additional reason. This is the shirt mentioned above. But check it out...

You know those pockets they give you for your keys? Well, it is the perfect spot for my glucose tablets! 
Man, it is the little things in life...

Some of the factors that have an effect on your blood sugar are listed above. That wasn't the whole list, but I highlighted the one I mentioned above. I am also thinking that running in the "heat and humidity" may also be factor. 

This was dinner - taco salad. Its contents include black beans, multigrain tortilla chips, monterrey-jack cheese, salsa, light sour cream, ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning, and avocado. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

As promised...

Well, it is official. Catherine and L.D. are married, and I survived another wedding weekend as a Diabetic-in-training. The whole thing was a fantastic experience. I'll keep this post mostly photographic.

This fantastic meals was served at Catherine's Bridesmaid's Dinner Thursday night. Everything was so delicious, especially the chicken-noodle-poppyseed stuff. 

This was the meal at the rehearsal dinner. That was some delicious chicken, scalloped potatoes, and broccoli. It was amazing. 

 This was a nice fruit spread we had at Monica's house while we were getting ready for the big day!
Watermelon is my favorite thing ever. 

Catherine bought us all these shirts to get ready in as bridesmaid's gifts. They were monogrammed and everything! We loved them so much, we had to take a picture or five.

This was lunch today. It is a 1-egg omelet with muenster cheese and chicken + 14 baby carrots and 2 TBSP of hummus + apple and PB2 Peanut Butter. I really look forward to each meal these days. Eating healthily can be very satisfying. 

This is for fun, because my father-in-law placed Rosalyn on the watermelon. She was not liking it one bit.

This was tonight's dinner, courtesy of my mother-in-law. It was full of all kinds of great things - ham, egg, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, almonds. I could eat this all day. 

This is my favorite post-breakfast/pre-Barbri activity. Read a catalog, drink the coffee, and chew my fiber.  If you were wondering, I am 25, look 15, but have the habits of a 75-year-old. It's fine. I've accepted it.

So, you can tell I am obviously excited about my PB2. My lunch on Saturday was a smoothie comprised of these ingredients - (2) TBSP PB2 + (1) TBSP Chia Seeds + (1) TBSP Ground Flax + (2/3) Cup of Frozen Strawberries + (1) Cup Dairy-Free/Sugar-Free Coconut Milk + (1) Packet of Truvia. 
Calories = 235; Carbs (including Fiber) = 22 g; Carbs (minus Fiber) = 9 g

And this is proof that I eventually fit in the dress. It took three girls and an adjustment in my methods of breathing for the rest of the evening, but it worked. But I must say, it has been awfully nice wearing gym shorts today...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Gotta Get Down on Friday

Friends, it is Friday. Do you know what that means? It means a few things. First, it means my friends Catherine and LD are one day away from being husband and wife! I am beyond excited for them. Second, it means that Morgan and I will be leaving for sunny Los Angeles in a week for a weekend getaway. I am so excited, but I would be more excited if I had a reason to wear Grizzlies stuff all around the city in a gloating fashion. I'll leave that bad memory on the table and move on. So, I type on this blog all throughout the day. Right now, it is 8:54, and I am about to start Barbri on my own. My friends, Jessica and Samantha (shout out if you're reading this!), whom I sit with at the lectures, are experimenting with Barbri at home via Podcast, so I thought I'd try the same. It works out nicely because I can still get everything done that I would like to get done before the rehearsal for the wedding (4:45). My goal is to get through a Con. Law test and answer analysis, attend noon Pure Barre, stop by Lululemon (my Friday ritual), grab lunch, and be back in time to get ready. Anyhow, it is approaching 9:00, and I really should get started. By the way, the morning reading was 82. I was researching more about insulin therapy and weight gain this morning. It makes me feel better to know it happens to so many people. Til' later...

Well, Barbri went alright. Constitutional Law is not my thing, but so far I have done best on that and Real Property (and by best, I mean I was the least bad at them). Pure Barre was a great class this afternoon, and I really enjoyed myself at Lululemon today. I was feeling good about my food choices and effort in my workout, then I had to come home and get ready for this rehearsal dinner. So, my mom bought me this fabulous BCBG dress months ago for just this occasion. The problem is that it is super-tight now. A few months ago, this 2 was a slam-dunk. Now, I am trying to figure out how to sit comfortably in it. These are the moments when I really feel like it is all a bit unfair, and I want to spend the night at home in sweatpants, but I must rally the morality troops from the depths of my soul and remember that, while I did not sign up for this, these are the cards I've been dealt. Unfortunately, that means that unwelcome 7 lbs. come along and situates itself in all the wrong places. I could throw myself a pity party, but I am not. In fact, I am actively rallying myself as I type. Two of my best friends are getting married, and it is a time to celebrate and not be selfish or vain. I am wearing the dress, regardless of whether it is ill-fitting. I'll post a picture later, and I will ask all of you to give me a courtesy compliment to the tune of, "nooo, you don't look like you tried to pack in that dress like a sausage."It is your obligation as readers. Needless to say, I am 100% nervous about fitting into this bridesmaid's dress. Somehow, someway, I will manage to get in it and not look like I am suffocating.

I am not getting rid of these dresses. When this all settles down, I know my body will find its proper place again. But, I promised myself and you all that I would reveal the good times and the bad. Living in Lululemon outfits means that I don't really notice. The clothes are comfortable and breathable. Wake-up calls come when I have to zip dresses or jeans.

Just breathe, Jordan. 

Anyhow, I'll post Sunday about tonight and tomorrow's wedding adventures. I also have a 5K in the morning, so I'll let you know how that goes.

 Breakfast was one whole wheat waffle + 1 TBSP Sugar-Free Strawberry Preserves + 1 Slice Muenster Cheese + 1 Fried Egg & Half of a Grapefruit

Before taking my practice test. Man, it takes a lot to remember these subjects!

An almost-two-hour lecture going over the answers to said practice test. I still think I prefer going to up to school to do these, but it is good to know that I can do it from home if I need to.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Whatever happened to predictability....?

...The milkman, the paperboy, the evening tv...

I have always been a routine-oriented person. I don't mean that every aspect of my life has to be planned, but I find peace in consistency and predictability. That is one reason why I am actually excited to begin preparation for the Tennessee Bar Exam. That means that I know when I am waking up in the morning, when to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, when to exercise, when to study, and when to sleep. Today was the first day of Barbri, the study course that most of us use to prepare for the exam. We were there from 9:00-3:30. I was up at 7:00 and in the shower. Then, I took my morning reading (93), and prepared breakfast (breakfast sandwich -below- + apple and peanut butter). I ate at 7:30. Two hours later, while I was at the study session, my reading was 153. Yay for proper dosage! We got a scheduled lunch break (love those) at noon. My pre-lunch reading was 138. I ate hummus and low-sodium chicken on one slice of Sara Lee 45-calorie bread, one banana, string cheese, and some oat clusters. Two hours later, while in the study session, my reading was 146. Low and behold, I did it again! Before Pure Barre, I was 124. After Pure Barre/Pre-Dinner, I was 114. I ate a McAlister's Chef Salad w/ Lite Ranch. Two hours later, I am 134. I did it! Three meals in a row :)

At this very moment, I am waiting on Andrew to get home so he can run with me. I don't run alone at night. I am excited for two reasons - (1) I love burning calories. (2) I bought a new Garmin Forerunner 310XT that I am eager to try out. I am so tempted to buy the scale that goes with it. The scale + the watch + the computer = all sync up together and store your data. This is a fitness gal's dream! Who knew I would go from never owning a scale to wanting one to tell me all about my body in excruciating detail? Actually, if you knew me, that would make a lot of sense. I am a marketing person's dream - the ultimate consumer. See, before I was Diabetic, I operated on an "ignorance is bliss" philosophy with my body. I didn't care to know my weight. If I fit in my clothes, I was happy. After being diagnosed, I am insanely interested in what is going on in that body of mine. Yes, my life has been reduced to numbers, statistics, and trends. The sooner I embrace that and stay hyper-aware of my body, what goes in it, and what is going on inside it, the better off I will be. If that means I am buying a second scale, so be it. I like Estelle though. I think I'll keep her around. 

Morning bliss :)

I got this recipe from a different blog, pbfingers.
It includes (2) Slices of Sara Lee 45-calorie bread. She uses english muffins a lot. In the middle, you find (2) fried eggs; (1) slice of muenster cheese; (1) TBSP Sugar-Free Strawberry Preserves.
I absolutely die for this sandwich. 

Here is an old standby when I'm going low-carb. The McAlister's Chef Salad. 

The new toy, Garmin Forerunner 310. Now, you KNOW I have to name her. I tested her out on the run tonight. It took her too long to locate satellites, so while the timer started when our run started, the GPS didn't kick in until later. Therefore, she thinks I run a 13iminute mile. Lies, all lies. The post-run reading was 96. Now I get pudding and time to review my Barbri notes. 

This weekend is a big weekend for my friends, Catherine and LD.  They are getting married, and Andrew and I could not be more excited to be a part of the festivities. Stay tuned for updates for how this Diabetic is learning to navigate the world of wedding/party food. 

Cheers to an entire day of great blood sugar readings. I never read above 153, and I never read below 93. 
Hopefully, I've started a trend ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vision & Trending Low

Sorry I keep experimenting with the look of this blog. Stick with me. I'll be satisfied eventually. Well, my day had two distinct themes today - (1) My very first eye doctor appointment of life; (2) Battle with the lows.

We'll start with the good news. I have had 20/20 vision my entire life. Ironically, I have also always wanted glasses. I'll admit it to you right now. I think they are beyond chic, so I buy fake ones and wear them like I would my favorite pair of earrings. You can laugh. I deserve it. Well, eye health is important for Diabetics because this is a disease that takes its toll on your small vessels. It was an interesting experience to say the least. They have this machine that blows puffs of air in your eye, and this poor girl had to do it on my left eye about ten times because I kept flinching. I also got to get/take/receive (unsure of the appropriate verb) an Opto-Map, which is a photograph of what is behind your eye. Then, of course, I had a vision test. Guess what? No glasses for me. No permanent damage caused by the Diabetes! Now, it is my job to keep my blood sugar under control so that I can keep up the good news for years to come.

Now for the not-so-good news: Just when I think I am getting the hang of this carb-counting thing, I'm wrong. I don't get so upset when I am wrong by giving myself too little insulin. When that happens, I'm like k, whatever, noted, or I go exercise. Breakfast has been a nightmare to dose. One morning, a meal of cereal and apple with peanut butter covered by 6 units is not enough, resulting in a high sugar reading two hours later. The next morning, the same meal with the same insulin dose resulted in lower sugars two hours later. Um, excuse me? So, this morning, I think I am doing great. One variable, I am eating very early, like 6:15 early. My level before breakfast is 88. Cool. I love my oh-so-reliable basal dose. It makes my first-thing-in-the-morning readings so joyful! I this  morning I decide to simply have one bowl of FiberPlus Cereal (1 Cup = 43 Carbs, 10 of which are Fiber + 3/4 Cup of Skim Milk = 9 Carbs + The Diabetic Roast = < 5 Carbs). For you math people, that is approximately 52-55 Carbs, 10 of which are Fiber. I am not "math people", so it is totally possible for my math to be flat-wrong. The rule my dietician gave me regarding fiber was that I could subtract half of the fiber from my total carb count. So, we will say 47-52 net carbs were consumed for breakfast. I gave myself 7 units this morning. I know what you're thinking - is that too much? Who knows? I know this - I require more insulin per carb in the morning than any other mealtime. So, I check an hour later because I want to know if my sugar is low enough for me to eat the other half of Andrew's delicious grapefruit. My sugar read 220 an hour after eating, so I didn't. Remember, they really want me to check two hours after eating because the insulin has had time to do its thing. So, I check two hours after breakfast, and it reads 181. They want me around 140 two hours after meals. At this point, I am thinking, Crap! Did I really need eight units for a bowl of cereal and coffee? Then something strange happened. An hour later, I felt a little clammy and anxious. I actually notice that my stomach feels warm and rumbly. I am thinking, I just read 181 an hour ago, what gives? So, I check because I am a good, neurotic Diabetic who listens to her body. 67? You mean to tell me that my blood glucose dropped 120 mg/dL in an hour? Three hours after eating? So, I snack myself back to normalcy. I had planned a noon Pure Barre with my mom, and I decided that I definitely needed lunch beforehand. Chick-fil-a was the choice because we were in the mall food court with slim pickins. I order 3 chicken strips and a medium fruit cup. I dip the chicken strips in fat-free honey mustard. (16 carbs for the chicken + 16 carbs for the fruit cup + 8 carbs for honey mustard because I didn't use it all). That is about 40 carbs. I gave myself 5 units of insulin because it was still early and 5 sounded right to me. This one, I will admit to you, was a flat-out misjudgment on my part. It wasn't the first, and I doubt it will be the last. Before Pure Barre, I check. An hour after eating, I am 140. Crap. That's what they want me to be TWO hours after eating. I can't just exercise! I pop a glucose tab. I get 20 minutes into Pure Barre and get the distinct feeling that exercise is not a good idea when my insulin is at the height of doing its job, arguably with one unit too much flowing through my body. So, I stop. I check my sugar. 76. Yep. 140 dropped to 76 just like that. So, I bowed out of the rest of Pure Barre class because I am not one to take chances with this stuff. I ate two more glucose tabs and 14 carb snack, and I wait....96. That's better, but eh, not a lofty climb for all those carbs I just ate. A Jolly Rancher brought me back up to a good place. I'll get this at dinner. Nope. Wrong. I just ate dinner at 6:15. We had grilled chicken with cheesy cauliflower mashed potatoes and an apple with peanut butter ( Chicken = 0 carbs + Cauliflower = a/b 6 carbs + Apple = 15 carbs + Peanut Butter-4TBSP =12 carbs). Sum? 32 carbs. I give myself 4 units because I added some carb to my cauliflower (milk, greek yogurt). So, around 7:15, I check my blood sugar because I am about to go for two-mile jog. 123. Crrrrraappp. Too low to run. There is probably something I could do to get it up for a quick jog, but I don't know what that is or how to do it safely. I am no gambler. I like to read 170ish before a run because I know it will look more like 96 when I get back. I have zero idea what to do when you want to run, but your sugar is low in pre-exercise terms, aaannd trending lower because of your insulin timing. I was not meant to exercise today. I was meant to learn a hard lesson - my insulin:carb ratio may not be 15:1, but it sure isn't 8:1 either. From now on, I think I'll stay closer to 15, especially if I am exercising. Just like the nice nurse lady told me, "Highs are only bad in the long-run. Lows are dangerous immediately." While I wasn't the lowest I have ever been (nothing below 67), I knew when my body was trending lower and knew when to stop do something about it. I knew when to call it quits. Because, with this Diabetes stuff - even with all my desire to exercise and manage weight -there is no use trying to be a hero and sweat it out. It is simply not an option.

So, that was rambly and probably riddled with enough typos and grammatical mistakes to make the law school consider revoking my J.D.

Here's today in photo form:

Yes, that does say 6:04 AM. Yes, I did wake up at 5:45 for no apparent reason. But, I sure do love that 88 reading :)

Look at it. It is the enigma that is breakfast food. Ha - fiber. You think you've gotten the best of me. I'll show you. Tomorrow, we dine. 

The waiting room of my new eye doctor - See Main Street. I think the guy's name is Dr. Hampton. He was very nice. It is such a convenient location! Which reminds me, I should probably schedule a dentist appointment. Bah...

This is dinner. I have to admit that I think this looks disgusting. Grilled chicken is atop a bed of cauliflower mashed potatoes. My old friends are in the background - apple and peanut butter. Why do I love it so much? I ran out of my Smart Balance, but I cannot wait for to try my PB2. It should arrive this week.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Bad Moods

I don't exactly like being in bad moods. The only thing redeeming about my bad moods is the fact that I can usually point to the source. It's never a mystery. So, I mentioned how I felt like my body was gaining weight, and that I was warned that I might (because most Type 1s do). Well, my mom and I visited my grandparents yesterday, and I confirmed my suspicions. They own a scale. In fact, they keep it in the kitchen. Wise or unwise? I know not.  Knowing better, I stepped on it. Gasp. Without disclosing the actual weight, I have gained 7 lbs. in one month. I know, I know, it's just a number. I preach that line to others often. It is still an unwelcome side effect. I typically do between 30-90 minutes of exercise every single day and keep my calories under 1,800, so imagine my frustration when I gain weight despite my best efforts. Let's just say Sarah Palin isn't the only thing "goin' rogue". I know what you may be thinking: why do you feel comfortable sharing this with readers? not embarrassed? Well, I am more embarrassed that it bothers me so badly. But again, it is only part vanity, but it is the vanity part that is making me beat myself up over it. That being said, it is also important that I monitor my weight for medical reasons. It is much more difficult to manage weight once it has gotten out of control. So, for that reason (and that reason alone), I bought a scale. Because I have a strange compulsion to name things, we will call her Estelle. Why? I always liked Estelle in Friends. I am going to imagine her raspy voice as the scale speaking to me. [Disclaimer: I never said I was normal]. Anyway, in the grand scheme of gadgets, it is pretty cool. You put in your height, weight, gender, activity level, and goal weight and it keeps up with your progress. It tracks your weight, BMI, hydration levels, and body fat composition. Thankfully, I am still in normal BMI range. I am in the "fitness" range for body fat, which was a pleasant surprise.

So, what is my game plan? I don't have one. I am going to call it the common sense approach. Common sense tells me that the calories I consume should come from nutritious sources (fruit, not candy; carrots, not chips). Common sense tells me that daily exercise is good for both Diabetes and weight control in general. I have never been a big math person, so it befuddles me to figure out how to cut colories in such a way that you burn 3,500 of them, causing you to lose one pound. I don't know how people do it.

So, yes, weight gain bothers me. But, let it be known, I have always had a strict policy of health first. I hold myself to a zero tolerance policy when it comes to dangerous methods of dieting and exercising. I'm not crazy. I would much rather be a somewhat heavier Diabetic than a dead one. Being Diabetic...heck, being human, requires you to eat. Drastically cutting calories to <1,000 is a good idea for no one - especially me. That is not part of my game plan. No binging. No purging. No laxatives. No Adderall. No Cigarettes. No Pills. I am not interested. Plus, I know I can do this the right way - with a little patience, time, and encouragement, of course.

So, what to expect? Progress Reports. I'll check in with you all, for better or worse. Successes and failures. It makes me feel better to be up-front about this process rather than to pretend it isn't happening and hope people don't notice. How about this - if any of you readers, for one reason or another, are on a weight loss journey (large or small), let me know (publicly or privately), and we can share ideas and maintain accountability.

So, I have my tool kit.

Apps: GoMeals, Nutrition, iMapmyrun, CalorieKing, D Buddy
Gadgets: Estelle the Scale, iPod Nano watch, Portable Pancreas, Food Scale

This is dessert most days. It is Sugar Free Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Pudding mixed with Sugar Free Cool Whip. Pretty-Darn-Good for 16 carbs.

This is a common breakfast. It is 1/2 cup of Froot Loops + 1/2 Cup FiberPlus Berry Yogurt Crunch. Why? Because I have to ease my way into healthy cereals. It is a lot like the process of changing pet foods - gradual. I use 1/2 cup of Skim Milk. I include a small Jazz apple and peanut butter. I seem to require more insulin for breakfast, so I usually take 7 units for this. 

This was a meal at my grandparent's house. (1) World-famous salmon patty. (1) Cup of Spinach. 
What was that in the distance? 

Oh, it is pie. Yes, PIE. My MaMaw is so fantastical that she made me a strawberry pie with Sugar Free Strawberry Jell-O, Sugar-Free Pudding, fresh strawberries, Lite Cool Whip, and a regular pie crust. One slice is around 20 carbs. It was delicious and hardly tastes sugar-free!

This was tonight's dinner, compliments of Chef Hubs. It is baked Swordfish in lemon and parsley, black eyed peas, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and an apple with peanut butter. I am obsessed with apples and peanut butter - I will admit this to you. The cauliflower mashed potatoes were an experiment gone right. I highly recommend! 

What is this? This is my new food scale. We haven't put it to use yet, but I think it will be a handy tool for measuring good. I placed my favorite water flavoring on top of it. 0 carbs, people. 

Meet Estelle. She's new around here. She has been met with a few awkward glances from me - looks of pure skepticism. It has been so long since I have owned a scale that I am not even sure to trust them. We will have encounters. Daily. In the morning. Before breakfast. After peeing. I reserve the right to terminate this relationship at will. 

This is iPod Nano watch. Mom bought it for me as part of my graduation gift. It clips into this wrist watch. It has a Fitness gadget on it. This was today's workout. Don't judge this 5K time, okay? It was hot. 

Now that we know the players and the plan, you can help me meet my goal. By the way, that goal comes in the form of 10 lbs. That includes the 7 I have gained, plus three for good measure. I like good, round numbers. I am not giving myself a deadline. 

Let's do this.