#REALTALK: Double D’s… An Inner (but important) Rambling

**This is pretty long, but worth it.. If you don’t make it to the end for whatever reason, just know that down there, I ask you to share this post (I don’t care if you share the whole blog, just this one post) because it was hard for me to write, and I want to know that someone, somewhere is benefitting from it. **

I have been meaning to do a post about depression and diabetes for quite some time now, but I just haven’t really had the time. Since I can’t seem to sleep, it seems like I’ve found some.

A really big part of diabetes is the blood sugar (checking, monitoring and the always prevalent “YOU CAN’T EAT THAT”), but there’s another part that people who don’t live with the D seem to pass by: depression.

Think about it, diabetes is a disease of the endocrine system. The endocrine system controls a whole host of hormones and functions. As a matter of fact, if my sugar is too high or too low, I’m completely horrid. Like AWFUL. Cranky, whiney, tantrum-y, and just a plain ol’ bitch (yeah, I admit it.).

There are some times when I’m on a high trend and I just get straight up drepressed. Then, of course, I eat my feelings (and let’s be honest, no one gets sad and eats kale amiright?!) and my numbers get higher (therefore getting deeper into depression) and there you have it! A vicious cycle brought on by too much candy (the depression, not the ‘beetus) that I then have to suffer and break myself.

Coming completely clean, I admit that I tried taking an anti-depressant to try to calm the depression down (this was a few months back) so that I had a fighting chance at fixing the whole thing. You know what? It didn’t work. I know that different things work for different people and all, but I’m pretty convinced that because this was from my sugar, medicine wasn’t going to fix it.

Eventually I broke that whole cycle and started getting things back to normal… But every once in a while, depression starts knocking at the door and I have to shove it off all over again. Watching, I have noticed that this seems to happen whenever I deicde that my numbers aren’t important to check anymore and eat whatever I want. (see what I’m getting at?)

There are a lot of other things that go on inside the mind of someone with the D, and I mean, I can only speak from a young person’s point of view here. I know that, at least for me, the hard time losing weight has always been one of them. Diabetes makes it a little harder to lose weight, and a lot of the oral meds for diabetes make it even harder on top of that. Throw in a slow thyroid (a common problem for diabetics) and have a lot stacked against you. I’m not making excuses here, guys, anything is possible!

Continuing on with my unabashed honesty (I’m chalking this up to the fact that I am exhausted) I have always struggled with weight. The demon in my closet steps on the scale A LOT. It sometimes will remind me how much weight I’ve gained since starting this medicine, randomly in the middle of the day. It comes into the dressing room with me at Old Navy and we try on clothes together (it judges). I hear it’s great friends with my on-again-off again-pal, Depression.

Lastly, don’t forget that people with diabetes get to deal with having some life-long, pain in the ass disease for the rest of their lives! Not to be dramatic or anything… but it’s kinda true. Although you should never let your disease get the best of you, some days it wakes up a little earlier than you and has an extra cup of coffee or something, and just gets a leg up on your spirit for the day, that’s totally normal. 

Is this me coming out as a basket case all over the internet? Heck no. This is me trying to give some people some insight into what goes on inside other people’s minds. Not everyone is willing to share. I’m not even sure I’M willing to share!

Think of this as a Cliff Notes for Diabetics, an, Everything you may not have read about on WebMD about the disease kinda thing.

Share this. Share it with everyone you know. Share it with people who have diabetic friends and family members, people married to diabetics, shit, share this with diabetics themselves and hope it encourages them to share what their demons do and say.

I’m sharing all of this uncharacteristally personal dribble with you guys in the hope that I can help you. Even if I help you help someone else. It’s better than being miserable for nothing.

This isn’t a cry for help, it’s a cry to help.

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My New Diet Plan!

Yesterday was a morning like every other one: Harper woke me up by screaming at the top of her lungs (not crying, just screaming for fun), Haley let herself into the room to wake me up some more (in case the screaming didn’t work, I guess), hubs was at work, and I begrudgingly stomped out of bed, grabbed the baby, changed a diaper and headed straight to the kitchen for feeding time at the zoo. Bleary-eyed, I grabbed two cups, filled them each half way with water, grabbed two breakfast bars, and headed to the fridge for 2 kids yogurts, the juice, and some greek yogurt for myself (I have no idea how I manage to remember all these things while so sleepy…). That’s when my new diet plan hit me in the face like ton of bricks.  I opened the fridge and there it was: A freaking spider. Just chillin’ there. Dangling from a strand of evil, guarding the contents of my fridge with his man-eating fang-face. NOPE.

Now, am I exaggerating? Eh. Maybe a little? Hell no. That was a messed up thing to do to me first thing in the morning, spider.

What did I do? 

Shut that door and walked the hell away. The kids got a juice box from under the kitchen cart, I ate nothing for breakfast, and the kids got 2 breakfast bars a piece. Do I feel badly about that? Not. One. Bit. Nope. It was way too early for that crap.

So, of course I tell hubs all about this horrible thing that happened to me and he laughed, telling me that he was going to put spiders in the fridge all the time as my diet plan! Dammit. He was right! That bug-eyed bastard kept me out of the fridge all day! I did have to check all over and reach in for the coffee creamer (thank God it was right in the front!) because well, let’s face it, a day without coffee is hardly a day at all.

So folks, that does it. Want to curb your eating? Just pop a spider in the fridge. If you’re anything like me, you’ll never open that thing again!

 

Carb Exchange, It’s Like Weight Watchers for Diabetes.

I am a big fan of the carb exchange system. As a matter of fact, I learned about the system when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes years ago (the god old days, when the promise of cake a cookies was right around the corner!). I still use it sometimes, when I’m feeling interested in watching what I eat, that is. Sidenote – I’ve been a pretty crappy diabetic lately. I think that I actually blogged something touching on this a while back…. here it is.

Anyway, at the core, this system is pretty simple: 1 carb choice is 15 grams of carbs. Easy enough, no? The Mayo Clinic website goes into more detail about all this than I plan to. I only use this for carbs. When it comes to counting calories and all that, well I’m not too interested.

The guideline that I have always stuck to is such: 45 grams (or 3 carb choices) per meal, three meals a day, and 15 grams (or 1 carb choice) per snack, 1 – 2 snacks a day. This plan gives me 11 – 13 carb choices per day, or 165 – 195 grams of carbs per day. Looking on the internet, there are a lot of different suggestions and  guidelines, so there really isn’t much to post here in the way of reference articles. What I can say is your carb intake needs to reflect your needs and only your doctor can really give you a proper RDA (recommended dietary allowance). I have never had a problem sticking to the guideline I use for myself, and even if I’m slacking on my diet, I sometimes refer to that to kind of see “hmm can I eat this?” and it works for the most part. (Read more about carb counting here!)

If you have never tried Weight Watchers, you wouldn’t know that certain foods carry a number of “points” and you have a set limit of points per day.  Sound familiar? There are books with point assignments for foods from Weight Watchers. The good thing about carb counting is that you can figure the points out without any sort of extras! 15 = 1! (sorry math majors, didn’t mean to make you cringe) If you do want some kind of reference chart, here’s one! Aaaaaand here’s another one!

If you do one thing diet-wise for your diabetes, make it this. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to cut out all carbs, that unrealistic, impossible, and unhealthy (you need carbs for energy!). If you don’t want to be hassled with picking the right carbs right away (this will come later, naturally!), just limit what you do eat…. you need to start somewhere and for me, this was a great, easy place. Every little bit helps.

 

#Real Parent Talk. (not re-touched)

Take a look at this video (it’s like, 3 and a half minutes long).

I’m curious to find out how other parents are feeling about this.

Personally, I feel torn. Yes I think that marketing has set goals that are unattainable for girls and that’s causing a problem BUT the 13-17 age group is a large group, easily influenced, and just old enough to get some money, but not yet old enough to realize what they’re spending it on. Does this mean I’m going to freak out when I find a thong in the laundry and my kid is only 13? Not necessarily (though if it said “let’s get naughty” or something like that on it, well that might be a different story). I feel like being open with your kids is the key, as opposed to just shutting out any sort of advertising or product that you find “too old” for your kids. After all, America was built on capitalism….

I’d like to go back to the point I made earlier about advertising setting unattainable goals. I know there have been a few articles out there about people (mostly women) writing complaints and whatnot about airbrushing in magazines/television. As a woman and parent, I definitely have to agree. Airbrushing the “gap” on women in VS magazines, or the skin in an ad, or the waist size in a music video is just doing damage to body image. The average teenage girl isn’t going to have a teeny waist, fabulous skin, “the gap”, full hair, and flawless makeup, but she will have some SERIOUS body image issues. And Yeah, I know… grow up, life’s tough, blah, blah, blah, but still.. come on, it’s getting out of hand.

So, should we spend less time worrying about the potential damage editors might be doing and more time talking to our kids about body image and explaining the fact that the pictures are so edited, they are hardly real, OR is editing really getting out of hand and people are right to be mad?

Weigh in, guys… I want to see some opinions in the comments section!

An example of airbrushing. Though this one is minor, it is just one of many out there and there are others that are far more extreme. (credit: prweek.com)

RUN Over to Google Play For This App! (C25K Review)

Okay, so, for the love of fitness, I decided to throw another app review up here. This one is called Couch 2 5k, or C25K if you’re cool enough. Actually, if you are on android, there are both. I used the C25K one by Zen Labs (LOOK! they support breast cancer research!) Here’s a link for it on Android. (Apple guys, your link is at the bottom)Screenshot_2013-01-15-07-44-01Anyway, when you open the app, you get this adorable little welcome screen with options to sign up for crap (yeah, sure) and these little motivational/ inspirational tips and whatnot. Very welcoming, though, you learn to just go past this after a while if you are as impatient as I am.

Screenshot_2013-01-15-07-44-10Moving on…. When you actually open the app and get started, you meet the main screen (the only screen actually, this is a pretty “bare bones” kind of app) I have a few different shots of the different schedules to put on here, but basically you start out with a 5 minute walk every time, then after that, the time you spend running and walking varies depending on how advanced you are in the 8 week course set. Remember, this app is designed to get people who don’t run at all (couch) to (2) be able to run a 5k (5k) in 8 weeks. You start off doing 8 sets of 60 second runs then 90 second walks and gradually increase from there all the way to running for 30 minutes (about 3 miles). *5 kilometers is roughly 3.1 miles, for those who don’t do the whole metric conversion thing, you’re welcome.

The app tell you how much time you have been running/walking, how much time you have left during your particular part (ex: 30 seconds left of running), and how much time you have left to your entire exercise set. The entire basis for this exercise regimen is based on something that can also be found around the internet. I actually have The Color Run’s version of the sheet on Pinterest. We aren’t talking any sort of exercise breakthrough here, but the ability to pop the schedule into your smartphone, listen to your music, and have a little voice in your ear telling you when to switch from running to walking without you having to time it yourself is damn good. Yes that’s right. Music AND a little voice in your ear. There is a function to add your own music playlist on here, but I just listen to Pandora.

Screenshot_2013-01-15-07-44-18 Screenshot_2013-01-15-07-44-37 Screenshot_2013-01-15-07-44-28

There is a bug in here though that is a definite downside for me. When (if) you back out of the app, say to change the song on Pandora or something, you get a little thing in your status bar that tells you which activity you are doing (running or walking) but when I click back on the status area, it brings me back to the app from the beginning, making it super inconvenient and confusing. The one day I started the workout over to see if that was the trick and ended up VERY confused when the thing started shouted orders to run and walk every 4 seconds. No bueno.

Another thing that was a possible downside is that there is no way to enter in your distance. The time is set, so there is no way to go back and beat your time or anything, but it would be nice to be able to enter in how far you went. You also can’t track your run like you can on other apps. This isn’t a big deal to me since I usually run at the gym, but I can see it changing my decision if I were an outdoor runner.

Anyway, I definitely recommend this app for anyone trying to train for a 5k, or just build up stamina. I am planning on signing up for The Color Run when it is near me, so that’s what’s got me all into 5k apps now, but there doesn’t have to be a reason to get in shape. Again, the only thing is, plan to set some time aside for your run, if you leave the app, it might be hard to get back to where you were. And there is no way to see where or how far you went. I did not try the in-app music feature, that will be up to you to use, but the rest of it ran very nicely. I will be continuing to use this and improve myself.

Giveaway Results.

I got an email this evening from SlimKicker. They decided their favorite entry was:

“great idea about reducing portion sizes… hmm.. my challenge would be to eat while sitting down and not having any distractions like watching TV or surfing the internet.”
from  Trikim! So CONGRATS, Trikim! I sent you an email with directions to claiming your prize.
Thanks everyone who entered!
Just because you didn’t win, doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from this. Head on over and read the comments on that blog post (I think there were 33 of them) for great weight loss challenges you can do yourself (or with a friend) and get into gear! I definitely enjoyed doing this giveaway and will hopefully be doing another one soon.
Just for slimkicks and giggles, try some of these challenges, even if you don’t heave over and sign up with SlimKicker (though they really are neat) and come back and share your experience. I’m really interested in everyone’s progress. I know I will be posting about how I’m doing with it (and maybe a few suggestions of my own, targeted at people with diabetes) too.
Congrats again, Trikim 🙂

Portion control issues and A Freakin’ Giveaway, Ya’ll!

This weekend has been super busy. Friday, my house was Grand Central Station, Saturday consisted of birthday parties all day, and today was a beach day (FINALLY) and dinner with Dad. By the way, anyone who knows me know the beach thing is BIG NEWS! I have lived by the beach my entire life and have pretty much not seen since we had Haley, 3 years ago (there have been a few trips, by that I mean less than 5). Also, this weekend, Friday included, has been an uncharacteristic few days of carnivorous face-stuffing.

I have been doing pretty well with portion control (thanks to my brother, I started pre-bagging my Wheat Thins into 16 Wheat Thin portions, as per the serving size on the box). Lately, I have been going as little crazy with the portions (an entire dinner place is 1 portion size, right?) and it’s starting to wear away at me. I did a pretty good job of eating the portion size (give or take) lately, so imagine my disappointment when I noticed myself eating away my weekend.

I don’t know about you guys, but it always seems so crazy to me to measure out food all day long, it’s so difficult. Then I realized that I can use the digital kitchen scale my hubby bought me for Christmas two years ago to weigh out the portions, since the weights are on the container/box/bag that the food/snacks come in. GENIUS! Then, i figured that I can use the kitchen scale for DIY baby food too! CONVENIENT! Don’t have a digital kitchen scale? Well, I can fix that!

I’m doing a freakin’ giveaway! wooooooooooooo!!

SlimKicker is sponsoring the giveaway of this super fancy digital kitchen scale! This one looks a lot nicer than mine.

What the heck is SlimKicker?! Well it’s this really fun website for people tired of trying to lose weight the boring way. It’s this calorie counter/exercise logger website that turns your weight loss woes into a fun game with levels, challenges, and rewards. I signed up and it’s definitely fun and interesting. Some of the challenges you can do are quitting soda for a week or eat a salad for a meal every day for 7 days; stuff you might even do already! You get points for logging food (more points for healthy food), logging exercise, and a bunch of points for completing the challenges. And, you upload a picture of the reward you want: new outfit, shoes, dinner for two, whatever you really want to give yourself, and when you rack up enough points, it’s yours! Want to see what it’s about? Try their calorie tracker game here!

Here’s how to win that awesome scale:

SlimKicker is looking for new and interesting challenges for you and everyone else to complete! Leave me a comment with one or two sentences suggesting a new, interesting, fun challenge. They’re going to check back here after a week, pick the one they like the most, and I’ll announce the winner (who is gettin’ a new scale)! Seeing and how both myself and the website and run out of the US, this giveaway is limited to US citizens only.

Good luck, eveyone!