Having diabetes is a lot like juggling. And after twenty years with it, I've gotten pretty good at juggling. I can now juggle seven objects at a time. There’s the big three I started with: food, exercise and insulin. After a few years of juggling those with some expertise, I started throwing in those more complicated objects: stress, sleep deprivation, emotional status, and illness.
I’ve had to juggle while pregnant. I’ve had to juggle while my thyroid decided to go berserk and feed me thyroid hormone in doses that would make the best meth addict blush. I’ve had to juggle while in a house filled with toxic mold that destroyed my lungs and any hope of breathing normally while there.
And all the while I have done a fair job.
And sure in these ordinary objects a chainsaw that if I miss will slice my body into pieces and kill me, but I’m in the groove now. I have a system for always keeping everything in the air.
Now, losing weight while having diabetes is a whole other story. It's like being one of the street performers at Mallory Square in Key West. You can juggle your seven objects, including the chainsaw. Everyone is amazed at how well you are doing. You are spectacular.
But a tourist in the audience suddenly gets a text. And, instead of politely ignoring it, she walks up to you and hands you the leash to her wild dog and says, "Here, can you hold this for a minute.”
There's no way. Your whole system for keeping your seven objects safely in the air is based on having two hands to do it. But now you only have one and in the other a wild dog pulling you off balance.
It is possible, but it is so much harder now.
I don't usually say, “Sure, Lady. I'll hold your dog.” But that's just what I'm doing. I am going to attempt to lose weight while keeping my diabetes in check.
Now the smart thing for me to do would be to go into my circus garage and practice so that, when I miss, I don't humiliate myself. And then, when I am fully practiced, go back to the docks to the amazement of all of my spectators.
But no one ever accused me of being smart.
So I'm going to do it publicly, with all my successes and failures splayed out for all to see.
And I’m going to do it with a crap load of data.
And with some very wise practices.
SLOW AND STEADY
In Adventure On, I discuss how the best changes to habits are made slowly over time, so that the new tasks you set out to complete become a part of the new you instead of one more thing that you have to force yourself to do.
So each month, I will add one new food habit. And I will work on that habit for a full 30 days. At the end of the month, I will analyze how affective it was and how difficult it was to maintain. At that point, I hope the new habit will become a part of my everyday routine so I won’t have to think about it any longer.
At the same time, I will also be making one change to my diabetes habits in hopes of bringing down my average blood sugars and insulin usage.
All the while, I will dig into the weight and diabetes interplay with stories from my background and some interesting scientific studies.
The data I will be looking at will come from two sources. The first is my One Drop app. This will give me daily insulin use and averages, as well as daily blood sugar averages over one day, 7-days and 30-days. I will be comparing this to the same numbers from before I started implementing changes. If you haven’t had a chance to check out part 1 of my review of the One Drop app yet, go check that out for more details on what it is capable of.
Weight alone isn’t enough to tell me what’s really going on, especially when I am starting a serious round of training for the One Drop Caicos expedition this June. So I will be tracking weight, body fat and my measurements to get a great idea of how each change is affecting my body as I lose fat and put on some muscle.
One thing I would like to emphasize, is that everyone with diabetes has a different normal. My actual numbers when it comes to this shouldn’t be something that any one else tries to mimic. My numbers are not your numbers. But the new habits I try to implement, as well as the way I go about trying to build new habits are something that could be replicated.
We all have different goals and different standards. Let's make sure we are focused on our own goals and each try to get a little closer to them each day.
SO LET’S BEGIN
To start us off, for December I will be making my first small change. It is one I have been playing with in November, but due to a big illness and a week of gluttony and sloth over Thanksgiving, my data is a bit skewed.
I have had some amazing results so far, with some fantastic 12-hour graphs of my blood sugars, but I want to make sure I fully implement this one before coming out with my data.
(But, lest you think I have found the cure, I have had plenty of bad days too.
This one is a I-Forgot-To-Refill-My-Pump-And-Had-a-Huge-Lunch kind of day.)
This change is both a food change and a blood sugar change. It has been affecting my insulin usage in such a way that I need more time to perfect the changes to my basal insulin to see the true results.
At the end of December, in Part 2, I will give you full details on the change and the reasoning to back up why this was my first and, I think, most important change of this whole process.
Until then, wish me luck...
DATA SO FAR
Weight -0 lbs
Body Fat % -0 %
Body Measurements -0 inches
Total daily insulin -0 units
Average Blood glucose -0 mg/dl