Wednesday, December 5, 2012

happily avoiding dairy and stress as best as I can

There are a multitude of factors I attribute my NEW TO ME unattainably attainable A1C. There are some real distinguishable cause and effect aspects as well as some that I have no discernible proof of.

The factors….
I quit dairy. Well most dairy. Cream in my coffee and the occasional splurge of feta or goat cheese are still lovingly had.  All other dairy like yogurt and cheese have gone by the wayside. This came as a suggestion by someone whose opinion and experience I trusted (Hi Andy Bell!). He went through the same troubles as I go through and so he suggested maybe cutting out dairy. I quit at that moment because I'm an ALL or NOTHING kind of gal. I LOOOOVED yogurt and cheese, they were staples in my diet. Soy products are not the same. I have no scientific proof except for Andy’s experience. I consulted with one team mate Becky who also went vegan at her docs suggestion when she was having persistent troubles with her BGs. Like I said, I don’t claim to know why, I just know it to be true. Feel free to educate me!

I was at the end of my rope with what I was able to cope with. Nothing was bringing down my A1C and since I’m all over experimenting (especially with diet) I figured why not. It’s worth a try for 6 months. If I didn't see improvement there was no use continuing.

Can I say I lowered my A1C just by quitting dairy? No, not with confidence any way.

I have worked just as hard at micro-managing this disease as I have for many years now. I tested no more often and no less than I have for years. I have taken about the same amount of insulin in fact even my basal rates haven’t changed much in a couple of years. My exercise remains the same except that I am mostly only cycling now. I don’t think that matters. I've noticed a significant difference and reduction in my post exercise highs which is a major relief. I mostly stopped lowering my basals before working out and instead supplement the output with a bit of carb input beforehand.  



I use this picture because it makes me happy. Playing trampoline dodgeball with the Connected In Motion crew.

Other interesting hoogy boogy factors I never would have believed in a year ago:

Happiness

I read on the back of a book once about how stress causes heart disease. It’s no secret that I have gone through a whole lot of hell over the past 3 years. Oddly enough matching up with the timing of my off-the-charts CVD risk that has been consistent for a few years.

Life, for me, has taken a turn for the better since selling my house and downsizing. I found a more comfortable place to exist in and took boatloads of stress off while I'm sure adding years to my life. I found my one true best friend and partner. He has changed my perception on life and helped to make me the happiest girl ever. There’s a certain kind of happiness in my life that I’ve never experienced before.

Do I believe that being happy in life has helped me lower my A1C? You bet. I feel supported and loved now. For the first time in my diabetic life I've been able to let go of the burden and allow someone to shoulder some of it with me. It's hard to explain but he helps to show me that I'm not doing this alone any more. Anyone with diabetes knows that evil things such as stress, anxiety and depression (all 3 of which I struggle with in a major way) can elevate blood sugars and make them unpredictable.

When I made the decision to focus all my efforts on cycling, everything changed. I didn't realize the burden I was holding myself to by trying to accomplish that which I physically and mentally couldn't do or train for.

Take away some of it and guess what I noticed? More stable BGs.

The one crappy downfall to all of this? Battling constant, persistent and relenting weight gain. Better control often means more insulin. More insulin is a sure fire way to lower your A1C. More insulin = more weight gain. I am getting irate about it. My endo said the same thing that I already knew. “It’s much harder for insulin dependent diabetics to lose weight.”

Perhaps thoughts for another post.

In conclusion….
I am happy. I don’t eat dairy. I omitted some stress. 

Ergo I got my blood sweat and tears rewarded. Or so that's what I believe any way. It's possible I was abducted by aliens doing science experiments. It's highly believable in my world considering how impossible I thought this was.

10 comments:

  1. Nice blog, Chris Scully. (& HI! lol) I admire your dedication & openness. You're a rock star & I'm glad to know you & call you a friend. I'm also glad you're happy and that you've been able to omit some stress. Very good! Talk soon

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  2. Congrats! I think it's never one thing...one magical solution...but everything working together. You rock. You're on a good track, and you soooo earned it.

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  3. You are absolutely amazing to me! You have such a strong drive and determination, you can accomplish anything you want. I'm so happy to be a part of your life to witness it.
    Ryan
    Xo

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  4. ...ps...just read Ryan's comment....LOVE you guys!!! so happy the two of you have found each other!!

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  5. Holy crud monkey, I nearly spat out my happy mouthful of cheese when I read this post! I kid you not, I had a meltdown on Monday fearing I, too, would have to give up my cheese and yogurt (the only dairy (besides ice cream, but that doesn't count) I eat), of which one or the other is in EVERY meal I eat. I was not only sad, but pissed off at the notion of doing so... needless to say, I was not as strong as you, my friend, I did not give it up. Cheese for me, is like PB for you :)

    Ps. so super happy for your happy!

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  6. w00t! I love me some Andy Bell. That dude rocks.

    I'm so glad to hear that you're doing so well! :-)

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  7. This has me jumping up and down with joy for you. Yay for all the good stuff in your life!

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  8. Hay, You are doing good with your diabetes, Taking stress is not the solution.Having diabetes has forced me to learn about diet and nutrition. I have also learned more about my physiology than I ever would have without the diagnosis. I am more aware of how I am feeling at all times.

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