Time To Change – Going Back to What Worked

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I mentioned a couple weeks back my struggle re-adjusting from the weight loss logic I’d learned before and some of my new diabetic plan.

Here’s something I hadn’t expected.

My glucose numbers got worse.

Not catastrophically, but significantly worse.  So I shifted back to what I had done before.  And they seem to be better again.  And the weight has started to drop as well.  Obviously, I was doing something wrong.  I’m just not sure what.  So I’m going back to what has worked in the past.  I’ll keep my eye on the blood sugar numbers and, as long as they are good, I’m just going to keep doing that.  It’s not terribly different from the T2 plan, which is why it’s weird that my numbers jumped.  Control carbs, complex carbs over simple ones, protein for snacks, control portion size.  Then keep my activity levels up.  The puzzling part was that my numbers were better in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas when I know I was “ch-eating” than for most of January when I was being stricter.  It’s just something to watch.

The weather is supposed to be great this week and it gets back into my outdoor exercise comfort zone in the next 30 days.  So I need to take advantage of that.  Plus it’s time to start thinking about getting the bicycle up and running too.  I have that 1,000 mile goal for this year!

For the time being, I’m sticking with what works.  Because that next milestone is so very, very close.  This may be the week.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

190.8 pounds

Weight Change this week:  – 0.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 13.3 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Time To Change – Sick!

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It was a birthday week that wasn’t a whole lot of fun.  Ah well.  Let myself splurge a little for celebrations.

And then there was the “sick”.

Nothing serious, I’m happy to report.  But a head cold and enough to throw everything off.  Hard to get out and exercise, don’t really care what I ate.   And I will confess to being the stereotypical sick man.  All “poor, poor pitiful me”. All things considered a pretty good week in the end.

I seem to be putting it behind me, and the weather gets nice again.  So the physical activity should increase.  I really want that next milestone!

 

Onward.

My resolution remains:

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

191.0 pounds

Weight Change this week:  + 0.4pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 13.1 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Time To Change – A New Challenge

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I am realizing that I have a whole new challenge to overcome.  A great deal of what I have internalized in my previous weight loss routines aren’t necessarily helpful as I try to lose weight AND deal with Type II diabetes.

Dinner earlier this week brought that home to me.  By weight loss standards it was fine.  Butternut squash soup, a little sourdough bread.  Total calories about 400, basically vegetarian.  Wonderful.

Nope.  Worst blood glucose reading I have ever had.  Took another look.  Basically an all carb meal.  Squash is a fruit, there was sweet potato in the soup as well.  Add in the bread, not good.  Virtually no protein either.  So it all just got dumped into my bloodstream.

My reading was back to normal by the next morning, which was good.  Even still.  There are some dietary habits I need to reconsider.  My biggest problems seem to be with post dinner readings, so I need to focus on that for the time being.  I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on, since my readings were consistently better a month ago.

In the meantime, I keep pursuing the numbers.  Both sets.

Meanwhile, this amused and appalled me:

Onward.

My resolution remains:

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

190.6 pounds

Weight Change this week:  – 0.4pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 13.5 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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The Creativity Project – Let’s Go Short

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Seems like I’ve talked more about the obstacles to creativity recently than actually being creative.

Let’s see if we can’t change that.

I recently stumble across a blog for short fiction called “The Drabble“.  It has been a struggle to find quality short fiction sites that are active.  This site actually does fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.  And they are serious about “short”.  If you want to submit, it’s a maximum of 100 words.

Given that my first collection has a variety of very short stories in it, I thought this was an interesting challenge.  There has been an idea floating around in my head for the last couple days.  It had the feel of one of those flash fiction kind of stories, so I thought “Why not?”

The first problem I hit was that even my ultra short story was too long for “The Drabble”!  It took me about as long to edit down the story to 100 words as it did to write the original.

The “full-length” story is below.  I have submitted the short version, and if they like it, I’ll give them first shot at publishing it.  If that happens I will link to it.  If not, I ‘ll share the short version here.


The Intimacy of Driving

I’m all set. The car is clean, seat adjusted, my little “u” sign carefully affixed.

The first call arrives just as I leave the highway and enter the city proper. A young woman on her way to the gym. She’s forgiving when I’m a couple minutes late. The app and I are still getting to know one another.

Young women are an interesting balancing act. They are climbing into the car of a middle aged man they do not know. I want them to feel comfortable and safe. Should I talk? Should I remain silent? Is the guy who never speaks to them on the trip reassuring or creepy? Certainly, the guy who talks too much is no good.  I usually say a few things right at the beginning, then wait to see if they pick up the thread. If not, I will offer a companionable silence. Most of the trips are quick so it never grows uncomfortable. The younger riders tend to spend the time on their phone, a soundtrack of quiet beeps and sound effects.

Five rides in quick succession. To the gym, a coffeehouse, home from work or to the airport. The airport trip passenger is a man a little younger than me. We compare notes on airports.

I pick up a young woman at a local college. We’re headed out of town. When we arrive I ask where she wants to be let out. She’s never been here before, so we search a little. It’s a woman’s health clinic. It’s none of my business. I wish her well and say a little prayer that all is well.

Then I turn the wheel for home.

 


Never stop creating.

Peace.

 

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Filed under Creativity, personal, Prose, Writing

Today’s the Day We Became A Family

While I never forget them (I think of one or the other of them virtually every day), I almost forgot to post this.  An important anniversary.

My annual re-post.

Today is a day worth remembering.wedding1

Today is the day my family began.

Not in the larger sense.  There have been folks with my name or some variant of it around for centuries.  No, I’m talking about my specific family.  It began today, 58 years ago.  When two young people got dressed up and took their vows to love and honor and cherish each other that evening.  From this moment on there is a lot of “stuff” waiting for them.  Much good, some bad.  Much happy but their fair share of pain and anger too.

There are lots of times to choose when you want to remember someone.  You can choose the day they were born.  The day they joined the world.  That makes a certain kind of sense. Or you can go the other way.  I’ve never understood choosing they day they died.  It never feels right to me.

What is most important to me about those two young people (I must be getting old because they look like damn children to my eyes) is that they are my parents.  The center of my family for most of my life and two people I continue to love and admire all these years later.  So the appropriate day to remember them is the day they decided to be a family.  Just over two years later (two years and 8 days to be precise) that family would grow by one.  Fourteen months later by another. Fourteen months after that once more.  Then, as my mother always said, they figured out what was causing it and knocked it off!  I don’t believe her.

When you’re a kid your parents are just your parents.  They are as far beyond understanding as gravity.  They just are.  I had the chance to get to know them a little as people before they died.  Since then I’ve read letters and memorabilia that have allowed me to get to know them a little better still.  I’ve learned about fears and uncertainties that would have been beyond my comprehension as a child.  I see their flaws more clearly and admire their strengths all the more.

My parents were human.  Flawed and struggling with lives that weren’t exactly what they’d expected.  I know that feeling well.  Perhaps to my surprise, I find I love them a little more for that humanity.  I also miss them a little more because I understand them better and I know they would understand me now better too.

If I had five more minutes with them I would tell them how much I love them.  Then I’d spend the rest of the time telling them about their granddaughter.  She would have loved them at this point in her life and they would have loved her.  They would have pissed each other off too but that’s part of being family.

I think of my parents virtually every day.  Today especially I shall remember them.  Because today we became a family.

 

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Time To Change – Progress Continues

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So, I will spare you the suspense.  The number at the bottom this week is another good one.

Which in some ways surprises me.  It didn’t feel like a particularly good week.  I had one day where my carb intake blew through the roof, largely without me even noticing.

The difference, I believe, is that I can figure these things out now.  The day of the carbohydrate silliness (and it was, just silly), I ended up feeling logy and unmotivated.  Hmmm, think there’s a connection there?  Even more important however was the fact that I could go back and see exactly what had happened.

The key to this weight loss, as it was the previous time I had success, is mindfulness.  Simply being aware of what I’m eating.  Thinking before I eat something.  Over the last couple years, I would have told you that I was paying attention to what I was eating.  But I wasn’t losing weight.

Yes, it’s about what I eat and how much exercise I get.  Period.  I didn’t believe in “miracle foods” or “revolutionary weight loss programs” when I started.  I don’t believe in them now.  On the list of “Foods I Have Given Up” there is exactly one item.  One.  Regular soda/pop.  When I want one, I have a diet.  That’s it.  I am losing weight while I eat the foods I want.

That’s not to say there haven’t been changes.  Some of them, like eating only brown rice, were made years ago.  It’s about making smart choices in my daily eating, picking my spots on when I eat the fun stuff and just paying attention.

But you know what the most important thing I am mindful of when I’m eating?

How much.

Seriously, that is more important than just about anything else I do.  Whether it’s keeping my blood glucose stable or losing weight, it really comes down to controlling how much I eat of anything.  I can eat chocolate.  I can drink wine or beer.  It’s simply a matter of how much.  Before it was always too much.  And I ended up obese and that made my insulin resistance worse.

I am very close to passing my next milestone weight.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

191.0 pounds

Weight Change this week:  -2.0 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 13.1 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Filed under Diabetes, personal, Weight Loss

Life Among the Unemployed – Unpleasant Surprise

(These posts will appear when there is something to report)

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Unfortunately, today’s report isn’t good news.  With my severance package drawing to an end, it was time to sign up for Unemployment Compensation.  A pain in the butt (filling out governmental forms always is) but no big deal.  I’ve done it before.  In fact, in many ways, Unemployment is infinitely easier than it was the first time I went on it back in 1983 or so.  At that time, you had to show up, in person, every week to make your claim.  There was a small card you had to present, along with your assurances that you were actively searching for work.

Today, it’s all done online.  The rules said I have to apply for a minimum of two jobs per week.  I’m averaging more than twice that.  Easy peasy.

We went away for a long weekend to see some old friends and had a great time.  That ended with a crash when I opened the letter from the Virginia Employment Commission.  Because I worked for the church, and churches are exempt from paying unemployment tax, I am ineligible for unemployment compensation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Congress included that exemption in the original legislation that set up the system decades ago.  Non-profits are often included as well.  They can choose to pay the tax but most do not.  I want to note that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has set up a program to make sure that lay employees are eligible for this program.

My feelings about the church, in general, choosing this path of “care” for its employees are waaaaay to complex to take on right here and now.  Perhaps another day and time.  Most folks make a lot of sacrifices to do God’s work on a professional basis.  This just seems like the final insult.  As I said, a topic for another day.

What this means is that in the short run, things are much more urgent than before (and they were urgent then).  We are tapping into savings and lines of credit in ways that I don’t like.  At the moment we have no choice.

On the bright side, I am applying to become a substitute teacher in the local school district.  It fits my experience and skills and can bring in some short term money, while we search for a long-term solution.  There are a few other ideas we are exploring as well.  Not fun.

 

So I will keep my head up, my eyes open, my heart strong.

Waiting to see the next chapter in my life.

Whatever it turns out to be.

And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.

Peace.

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Filed under personal, Unemployment