Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Exercise Catch up... I really have been exercising

SO... I just realized that February was my last Exercise Competition check in.  Talk about slacking!  Thankfully I haven't been that much of a slacker in the actual exercising... at least not until recently (I'll get into that in a paragraph or two).

Let's start with some housekeeping:

March (goal of 50 miles):
Miles walked: 20.49
Minutes exercised: 970 = 32.33
Water intake: 26/31 days = 5.25
Core completed: 8/31 days = -3.00
TOTAL: 55.07 miles

April (goal of 60 miles):
Miles walked: 32.84
Minutes exercised: 1,390 = 46.33
Water intake: 25/30 days = 5.00
Core completed: 15/30 days = 0
TOTAL: 84.17 miles

May (goal of 60 miles):
Miles walked: 14.38
Minutes exercised: 1,200 = 40
Water intake: 25/31 days = 4.75
Core completed: 19/31 days = 1.40
TOTAL: 60.53 miles

June (goal of 60 miles):
Miles walked: 7.71
Minutes exercised: 1,885 = 62.83
Water intake: 27/30 days = 6.00
Core completed: 17/30 days = 0.80
TOTAL: 77.34 miles

Notice a trend?  Other than I am significantly below where I was last year, core seems to be something I will shrug off.  I really shouldn't as not only would it help with.. well.. bell flab, but it will also help with the sacroiliac issue that I continue to battle.  Yet... I just am not motivated to do the core.

Come to find out... neither is she.  We thought that maybe we increased the daily requirements to quickly, so we back off for the 2nd quarter.

Nope.  We still slacked.  

When confession time happened we both admitted to doing an extra lap around the block, or another 10-15 minutes to make up for what we would lose.  This was completely counterproductive.

We decided we needed to up the consequences.  We debated different ideas but settled on an "all or nothing" approach.  Complete water AND core or lose the mileage for both.  We didn't change the time for water completion, that still had to be done by 5pm, but if we didn't finish core by midnight we would lose the water miles.  

Can I tell you something?  This sucks!  I don't know why I don't do the core.  I really isn't that bad, especially if I were to spread it out throughout the day.  A total of 200 second of wall sits is easily completed while waiting for my lunch to heat in the microwave.  20 squats can be done while brushing my teeth.  20 crunchies is easy to accomplish, especially when playing with the cat.  200 seconds of planks... this is where I falter.  I could/should break it up to 5 sets of 40 seconds.  That would be simple.  Looking for my shoes under the bed takes that long.  Then why am I not doing them?

I. Don't. Know.  But I need to break the mental block.  

Lately.. I've been slacking a lot more.  Maybe it's because it is danged hot outside.  Maybe it's because life got busier.. or I think it has.  Maybe I was relying on my morning workouts more than I should have, and not my walks.  Maybe I need to get to sleep before the next day so that I can get up earlier and do my walks and watch the sunrise.  

I can maybe until the cows come home, but that doesn't solve my problem.  I *KNOW* that after any workout I not only feel better physically, but mentally as well.  I *KNOW* the soreness and pain will subside and my endurance will increase.  Yet I *DON'T KNOW* how to push the activate button to get me moving consistently.

This slump will end, that I am certain, but will it end before July is over?  July's goal is 70 miles and I am currently at 43.51.  I have another 26.49 to complete in 12 days.  I have no doubt that I will not win July, but I really don't want to have to pay the "laziness penalty".

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 Diabetes Blog Week: The Healthcare Experience

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare.  How would you improve or change your healthcare experience?  What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team?  How about when dealing with your health insurance companies?  What's your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration?  Today is the day to share it all.

(Yes.. this prompt was supposed to be yesterday's but life got hectic and I didn't get anything written.  My goal is to catch up by tonight.  We'll call it #BlogGoals.)

This is a LOADED question and I'm sure many have sounded off on insurance issues, physicians not listening issues, being rushed issues, and a number of other issues that just add to the frustration of living with a basically invisible disease.

How would I improve my healthcare experience?  Other than not having to go ALL THE TIME, I would like to see more personal interaction.  My endo's office is the perfect example.  They all know me there... true, I'm there every three months for an appointment, and additionally once a month for our local networking group, but still.  I feel welcomed, at home, and totally heard on everything.  My doctor, herself, is always checking on me.  Her first question each time is "How are YOU doing?".  She doesn't ask about numbers, or insulin, or test strips, or anything traditionally diabetes related.  She asks about ME.  If there is even the slightest "eh" in my voice she puts everything down and we talk first.  THAT, in and of itself, is huge in my book.  It reminds me that I'm still human.  I'm still a person.  I'm not a disease.

Dealing with health insurance companies?  That is a headache and a half.  I've been blessed to have very good insurance coverage, but that doesn't mean there haven't been problems.  Some of the carries I've had people have had MAJOR issues with, but mine seem to minor when looked at in comparison.  I've had the "limiting test strips" battle and the "must switch insulin" battle.  I've dealt with having to switch supply companies because the one I loved wasn't on the preferred panel of my new insurance.  I've had supply companies be bought by someone else, and therefore their services and how they bill items change, which caused denials by my insurance.  That was a battle that thankfully ended in my favor and not out of my wallet.

My Healthcare Wish List:  my own parking spot (I'm there often enough), a prepaid Starbucks card for reward after my A1C is checked, and to be able to get what I need when I need it without any extra battles or exceptions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Diabetes Blog Week: Language and Diabetes

There is an old saying that states "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".  I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes.  Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes.  For some, they don't care, others care passionately.  Where do you stand when it comes to "person with diabetes" versus "diabetic", or "checking" blood sugar versus "testing", or any of the tons of other examples?  Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.


We have all been hurt by words and we have all hurt others with our words.

Words, and how we use them, are very important.

When I was growing up I was always reminded to say "Please" "Thank You" and "Excuse Me" or whatever other polite phrase was appropriate at the time.  I have raised my daughter to do the same, with a few  At meal times, especially when eating out or at someone's home, she learned to say "I'm not very fond of that" or "It's not my favourite" if there is a dish she didn't like.

Words can do a lot of harm.. and a lot of help.

Hearing someone call you and idiot or incompetent can lead to you doubting your own abilities or second guessing your choices.  However, hearing someone say "ME TOO" can heal so many wounds and remind you that you're not alone.

Labels can be just as bad...if you let them be.
I have diabetes.
I am a person with diabetes.
I am a diabetic.
Let's face it.. no matter how it is said it hurts.  It reminds me that a part of me doesn't work like it originally did.  A part of me broke another part of me.  I now have more check boxes to mark with each new doctor I see.  I see my doctors more often that I see many of my family (talk about things being upside down!).

For the most part, I'm okay with the above statements.  I'm not fond of any of them, but I understand that no matter how it is said the fact is that diabetes is a part of my life forever remains.  I will continue to care for myself and educate those around me and not concern myself too much with wording..until there is a cure.  Then I will INSIST on these words instead:
I HAD diabetes.
I am a person who HAD diabetes.
I WAS diabetic. 
Those are the words I can't wait to hear.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2016 Diabetes Blog Week: The Other Half of Diabetes

Today's Diabetes Blog Week prompt is:

We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant.  How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally?  How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition?  Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or idea to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? 

If I were to have answered this question a few years ago, it would have been a different answer than I'm going to give today.

As time has progressed, and I've gotten more in tune with my diabetes, I have a better sense of when a low or high blood sugar is going to effect my mood and attitude.  Not every time do I get grumpy when I'm high.  Sometimes those nasty highs sneak up on me and I don't know a problem until it's time to eat and when I check, my meter says 356.

The emotional impact that I didn't have then, but have now (and should have expected) is the "I just can't do this another day" feeling.  And the "I try and I try and I still fail" thoughts.  Or the "Maybe if I had just been a little more diligent" guilt.

All of these, and more, play out, and quite often when one hits, the others hit at the same time.

So what do I do to pull myself back and keep going?

  • I have allowed myself that ugly cry.  It's amazing how cleansing to the soul tears can be.
  • I warn my husband that I'm about to go off and it isn't his fault and he can't fix it... then I go off.
  • I do something that I KNOW I have more control over.  Weed pulling is one.  Now before you say, "How do you control weeds from growing?" I can't.  But what I CAN do is clear a section of my yard and feel the success of personally making something look better.
  • I also get together with others who get it.  I have attended every Diabetes UnConference so far and the emotional renewal I have after each one is incomparable to anything else.
I believe that the mental and emotional aspect of diabetes is way too often overlooked, even by those who have it.  I know I did.

I'm working to fix that now.  

I tell myself that it's okay to be angry, hurt, sad, happy, goofy, and most of all... it's okay to be ME.

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 Diabetes Blog Week: Message Monday

Hey everyone, remember me?

Ya.. I'm not too sure who I am myself, some days.

Today is the kickoff of the 7th Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  We have to thank Karen for her amazing talent in putting this together and keeping us connected.  I know without her, I would probably forget I had a blog.

Life has been busy and sometimes the longer I put something off, the easier it is to not do it at all.  Have you ever had that problem?  Well, I'm hoping that by participating in this year's Diabetes Blog Week, that I'll get back into a more consistent blogging rhythm.  So without further ado...

"Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space.  What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you?  Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog"

So, why am I here?

I'm here so that I can perhaps share my story and someone else will see it and realize that they're not alone.  Yes, I'm sure you will read that quite a bit today, but that, in itself, is the point.  We are NOT alone in this journey we have with diabetes.

I haven't always, and still don't always, feel that way.

There are times when the blood sugars are the most misbehaving thing since a two year old hyped out on Mountain Dew and Chocolate Cake, and I feel that there isn't a soul around that gets my frustration, my anger, my defeat.  That's where the blog-o-sphere is a great place to retreat to.  I can reach how someone else is trying to tame that two year old (my diabetes is actually 11 years old).  It reminds me that I really truly am NOT alone, and others "get it" too.

Or I can read about some one's vacation to the islands and it reminds me that life will go on.  This is just a blip on the radar of life, and there are other... and much better... days ahead.

Not being alone.

Even for those people who don't like to "people" much, knowing you're not alone huge.
Knowing that someone understands, gives you comfort.
Knowing that you're not crazy, gives you peace of mind.

That is what I've tried.. and will pick up and try again.. to accomplish.  Even if it is just one person, I will consider it a success.

Monday, March 28, 2016

February Wrap Up

Yes.. I realize that March is ending in just a few days.  A lot happened in March and trying to recap my February exercise challenge was at the bottom of the list of necessary items to do.

So.. without further delay (so I'm not TWO months behind) here is February's recap.

February (goal of 50 miles):
Miles walked: 45.60
Minutes exercised: 1,505 = 50.17
Water intake: 24/29 days = 4.75
Core completed: 16/29 days = 0.60
TOTAL: 101.12 miles
Core stopped hurting as much and I know that's because I actually DID more core. 
I also won February. 
So.. we are two month's down and 10 to go.
Who do YOU think will win the year?  (So far, we are tied one month each).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Starting the year with a change

Hey everyone!  How did your January go?  Any resolution makers and breakers out there?

I always broke them faster than I could write them down, so I stopped.  I found goals were much easier to maintain.  It may just be a word change, but it really helps me.

If you've been keeping up, you know that for 2016 my exercise goals and competition were ramped up a little.  We added a core component in hopes of keeping things new and fun....and to help with some body areas that needed some work.

Things changed.

Even after redoing my living room floor, I hadn't reached the goal before my friend did.  In fact, she reached it around the 9th.  That was the earliest either of us ever reached the goal.  It almost seemed too soon.  Her husband stated that since we've been doing this for a year already, dialing all the way back to a 40 mile goal was probably doing us an injustice.  He suggested that we add 10 miles to each month's goal.  It made sense to us... so we did.  A few days later, she officially won.

Here is how my month turned out:

January (goal of 50 miles):
Miles walked: 35.54
Minutes exercised: 1,275 = 42.50
Water intake: 30/31 days = 7.25
Core completed: 9/31 days = -2.60
TOTAL: 82.69 miles
Yes, you see that right.  I had negative miles for core.  Core hurts.
Remember way back when I was dealing with pain in my sacroiliac joint?  Well.. it still likes to rear it's ugly ugly head.  The physical therapy I did at the time did help, but not perfectly heal.  Some regular day to day activities can have me breathing like I'm having labor pains and looking for a a chair as fast as possible.  Those activities include doing dishes, grocery shopping, and laundry.  Certain exercises I do are supposed to help, and they do, but in the process they hurt.  That includes planks.  Tightening and strengthening my core will help the most (partially why we added the core component this year).  This is why I had more core fail days more than I successes. 
I realized that this wasn't working out well, so I went back to the orthopedic.  I also bit the bullet and took a cortisone shot.  The blood sugar highs were insane, but with some careful calculations and temp basals, I was able to not soar above 350 for very long, and got them back into normal (for me) range in just a couple days.  The shot did seem to wear off after 2 weeks, but the more I walk the better it feels.  It may just be the gorgeous sun and beautiful weather we've had, but I bet the cortisone did it's job.  I will probably need one more shot before I'm back to physical normalcy.  In the meantime, this month I've been completely the core exercises more than I've not been completely them and I consider that a win!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Exercise Wrap-Up and Plan for 2016

Hey everyone... remember me?  The crazy cat/penguin/walking lady who blogs every now and then?

Life got really hectic there for awhile and some things (like this blog) took a back seat.  It happens.

However, I do want to bring my 2015 exercise competition to a close, and I can't do that without wrapping up the reporting here.  I also need to share the 2016 goals.  We've added a core component to keeps things interesting.. and might I add, a bit more painful.

So without further ado here are the remaining 2015 totals (I did end up winning November and December):

October (goal of 50 miles):
Miles walked: 38.98
Minutes exercised: 800 = 26.67
Water intake 29/31 days = 6.75
TOTAL: 72.4 miles
November (goal of 40 miles):
Miles walked: 34.91
Minutes exercised: 630 = 21
Water intake 23/30 days = 4
TOTAL:  59.91 miles
December (goal of 40 miles):
Miles walked: 22.34
Minutes exercised: 1035 = 34.50
Water intake 26/31 days = 5.25
TOTAL:  62.09 miles

Notice the trend?  As the holidays approached we stopped moving and by stopping moving we slowed our water intake.  It really isn't a surprise that the two go hand in hand.

The prize for winning the year (most months won) went to Jenna. 

Winning Months:
      Jenna:                                      Jenn:
      January                                    February
      March                                      April
      May                                         August
      July                                         November
      September                              December
It was a great year.  I am a little bummed that I didn't win my birthday month, but that is totally okay.  Just increasing our activity and water intake it has assured that I'll have more birthday months in my future.
We had so much fun with this competition, not to mention that it's good for us, that we are continuing it.  We have added a core component just to keep things interesting and to add attention to an area that wasn't specifically getting any attention last year.
2016 Rules:
Miles ran OR walked count the same
*30min workout/exercise = 1 mile
*Bike riding 3:1 (3 miles equals 1 mile credited because of coasting time)
*Water intake of 72oz per day is worth .25 mile.  If not completed, must subtracted .25 mile.
*First person to reach monthly goal gets a $10 gift from the other (must be mailed).
*If you fail to reach monthly goal you have to also send a $5 gift card to a cheesy location (ie: Toys R Us)
*Person with the most miles at the end of the month has bragging rights.
*Person with the most monthly wins at the end of the year gets a $50 gift card to a restaurant of their choice
(and here are the additions)
*Once per quarter we must participate in a virtual 5K (the registration fee goes to different charities based on the 5K you choose).  This will be credited as double miles.  If NOT completed, we must donate $40 to a local charity.
*Daily core completed = .20 miles.  If fail to complete we must subtract .20 miles  Daily core consists of squats, planks, crunches, and wall sits.  These increase quarterly as the year progresses.
  • First quarter:  10 squats, ten 10 second planks, 10 crunches, and ten 10 second wall sits
  • Second quarter: 20 squats, ten 20 second planks, 20 crunches, and ten 20 second wall sits
  • Third quarter: 30 squats, ten 30 second planks, 30 crunches, and ten 30 second wall sits
  • Fourth quarter: 40 squats, ten 40 second planks, 40 crunches, and ten 40 second wall sits

2016 Goals:

January through March: 40 miles
April through June = 50 miles
July through September = 60 miles
October = 50 miles
November through December = 40 miles

Once again, our goal is not to necessarily loose weight or fit into a favourite old pair of jeans.  Our goal is to get moving and stay moving.  Moving is key.