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Diabetes at the Farmer’s Market

Amanda and I have always been fans of local farmer’s markets. For me, I love the fresh food and small businesses that are out there hustling. I am a huge fan of homemade items that are usually sold at farmer’s markets, such as pickles, jellies, pepper jellies, baked goods, fresh veggies, etc.

Our local farmer’s market is located right next to the intracoastal waterway so it is a beautiful site as well. We had not been there in a while, so we decided to check it out and see if there were any new vendors. There were some new ones there and I knew it was going to be time for a BG check and some insulin because I saw some great free samples.

That leads me into what I wanted to talk about. During this time, I was taking an insulin pump vacation for the weekend and was just using a syringe and vial. Walking around eating free samples and not knowing exactly what I am going to be eating never worked out well for me when I was on MDI. When I am pumping, it is not a big deal because every time I decide to eat something, I just bolus for it with the pump and that’s that.

When I am on MDI, my strategy is a bit different. And in the comments below, or on Facebook, I would love to hear your feedback and your comments on how you handle situations like this.

In a situation like this where I am eating random items that are free samples, they typically are not large enough that I need to worry about a bolus. If I eat 3-4 free samples from different vendors and I feel like it was a significant amount of carbs, then I will simply stop and take a shot. If I know that I am going to eat something that is not a free sample, but an actual item (New England Clam Chowda at this farmer’s market is amazing!) then I will bolus directly for that.

The other issue is that depending on what you are eating (sweet pickles, pepper jelly) it is difficult to guestimate how many carbs are in a specific food. I honestly do not get mad if the vendor does not have that information. I just ask what they put in it and I do my best to guestimate. If I am wrong, then I correct, simple as that.

Usually after the amount of walking that we do at the farmer’s markets we go to (at least 2 miles altogether) the exercise helps burn off some of the food that I ate and helps balance out the blood sugar. Please note, I am not saying exercise is going to lower my blood sugar and I don’t need insulin, so diabetes trolls, stop right there.

Like I said above, I’m curious as to how MDI-ers handle situations like this? Would love to hear your feedback.

It Took Yardwork to Understand How Out of Shape I Am

I moved from a traffic filled, noisy, hustle and bustle city to out in the country with dirt roads and tractors about 6 months. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do since I was young. Living out here does however come with an acre of land and a lot of yard work to do. Once every two weeks I have to go around and pick up all of the palm fronds that have fell in the yard, along with the hundreds of pine cones that have fell from the 20 pine trees I have in my yard. I pick up the pine cones because I don’t want the tractor mower riding over them. What does this all have to do with diabetes?

Well, one day I decided to do the yard pickup, cut the grass, weed whack, and use the blower to blow leafs off of the roof, and about halfway through I had to sit down and relax and felt like my heart was about to pump out of my chest and I started to feel a little nauseous. I knew at that time that if I can’t even handle doing yard work, how am I supposed to live a long healthy life for my daughter? It took some yard work for me to realize how bad it has gotten. No exercising, no controlling what I eat, just put it on a plate, shoot up some insulin and go back out and eat more. Then as soon as I’m done, just sit on the couch and watch sports because I’m too tired from sitting in my office chair all day long.

Typing this out makes me understand how pathetic that sounds and how many excuses I have given over the years and that every day that goes by that I continue to give an excuse, is probably another day I’m losing out on in the end.

My problem is that I don’t have a gym anywhere near me (closest store is 20 minutes away). So, I need to do things on my own at home. I hate going for walks outside during the summer because it feels like 95 degrees even at 3 a.m. down here in south Florida. Wait, I feel like I’m making another excuse. I used to have an exercise bike, but I rode that till I broke it, literally. The batteries went dead and leaked and ruined the electrical so now there is only one level that works, and I don’t see the point in that.

My goal is to purchase an elliptical machine, which is exactly what I use when I do actually go to a gym. Only problem is that they are so damn expensive, but the investment in my health is well worth it.

Belly Fat Filled with Insulin

Over the last few months that I have been off my insulin pump, I have really enjoyed it.  My A1C came down a few decimal points and I see fewer high blood sugars.  One negative that I have seen though is the amount of fat around my lower belly has increased, a lot.  I take 90% of my shots in my stomach.  Since I use so much insulin, it’s easier to take the shots there than in my arms or legs.  Plus, I usually take insulin at the same time that I’m eating, so in my legs takes too long and I end up with spikes after eating.  I have definitely seem the increase in the amount of fat in the injection areas though.  And that, I don’t like.

I’ve been trying to take smaller doses of insulin since I read an article that Scott Johnson posted a couple of weeks ago.  Sorry, I don’t have the link, but if you have it, please add it.  This means that I can take my full amount of insulin, but take half in my left arm and half in my right arm and then there’s not as much sting or pain because of the large amount of insulin being injected there.

I’ve been losing weight overall and have been really trying to do some ab exercises to get rid of this extra belly fat, but as of now, nothing has been working. But, just like anything in life, I will continue to work hard at it and not give up.

Whether you are on MDI or wear a pump in your stomach area, have you found this to be the case?

A Disconnected July

What a month July was.  There were so many highs, lows, ups, downs, and whatever other phrase you want to use.  My wedding was in the middle of the month, but my family flew into town the first week of July and that’s when the vacation in my mind kicked in.  I stopped going to the gym on July 3 because of the holiday the next day and then parents flying into town.  The week after the wedding was a relaxation week and I didn’t get to the gym at all that week either.  Then, the week after that I was flying up to Pennsylvania to spend time with family and have a little reception up there as well, so still no gym.

Since I’ve been back from PA, I haven’t made it back to the gym either.  Today is going to be my first day back in over a month, so this should be a lot of fun.

Obviously, by not going to the gym for over a month I have put all the weight that I lost, back on.  During this month long vacation, I didn’t eat very well either.  In the month of July I probably cooked dinner a total of 5-6 times and ate lunch at home maybe 2-3 times a week, the rest of the days were all eating out.

Also, during this time, my insulin supply was low, so it was pretty stressful not knowing where I was going to get my next round of insulin from.  My morning blood sugars have been crazy high since I went off the pump, so I have been dealing with that during the month of July.

Everytime I would try and sit down and write a blog post or read blog posts, or talk with people on Twitter or do anything related to the DOC, I never seemed to have any time to do so.

I am happy for all of the great things that happened in the month of July, but I am also glad that it is over and now that Amanda has started working again with the school year here, I have so much more time to do a lot of the things that I have been missing out on.

1,000 Down and A Lot More to Go

Last night’s gym trip led to 1,000 calories burned.  My daily goal is to reach the 500-600 mark and then once a week I want to hit the 1,000 mark.  This consisted of about 2.5 miles on the elliptical, 4.5 mile spin, a short jog and few other cool down exercises.

I knew that once I was able to get back into a real gym that I would become more motivated than using the at home exercise equipment that I have.  It’s tough to focus on exercising like a beast when your bike is in the same room as your home office, which you spend about 8-10 hours a day in working from. (more…)

Free Gym Trial Day One

Amanda and I started our free trial at the new gym today. We were initially going to join a gym last month, but the costs were a bit high, but we were willing to pay them, especially with the wedding coming up in 3 months. We found another local gym that was a lot cheaper long term and didn’t seem to have so many juice heads when we went to visit it. I figured a one week trial and going there between 5-7 would give us a good idea of what type of people are in there and if it’s too crowded or not. (more…)

Joining a Gym for First Time

Joining a GymI have been using my “home gym” for a while now, but I get the feeling that there is only so much I can do here and only so much weight that I can lose.  Every time I watch the Biggest Loser, I think to myself, damn if I just had access to that kind of stuff, I could shed this weight with no problem.

So, that is exactly what I am going to do, join a gym.  Amanda and I are going today to join a local gym, after some detailed research.  I wanted to find something around $20/month, but around here, that doesn’t exist.  There is a $10/month gym, but it is about a 20-25 minute drive away with local traffic, and I know that I will not want to drive there every single day.  Plus with gas prices, it would be a lot more expensive than the $10. (more…)

The Biggest Loser Fails Again

the-biggest-loserI wrote at the beginning of the new season that I was going to watch the Biggest Loser this year because I never had really watched it, but thought that it might help keep me motivated. It has definitely done it’s job in that area. Seeing some of the contestants reach the 100 pound weight loss mark and seeing others at the beginning of the season and realizing that I now weigh more than them puts a little spark in me.

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New Kettle Weight Workout

I started to fall off of my old exercise routine and I knew that I needed to get back into it, but I just really have not had much time to drive to the gym, work out for 30 minutes and then drive back home.  So, I knew that I was going to have to start exercising at home again.  I have a stationery recumbent bike in my house that I used to ride daily, but the batteries died out and do you know how hard it is to find D batteries?  Well, if you don’t know, it’s pretty damn hard.

I have had a kettle weight laying around my house for a while and I never really used it, so I figured what better time to start using it then right now.  And, let me tell you, this thing has been kicking my ass for the last 3 days.  I started this on Tuesday and have done it Wednesday and earlier today.  It is a short 8 minute workout, so there is no excuses for not having the time.  10 minutes out of the day is not that bad.  But, I feel like I am getting an hour workout in. (more…)

Working at Home with Diabetes

You may remember last week I write about how I left my job at an interactive marketing agency to go back to running my own company full time.  There are a lot of risks that I have taken in doing so, but all risks that I am willing to deal with in order to reap the rewards.  One of the positive outcomes that I am already starting to see is better control of my diabetes.  Working at home with diabetes has become a lot easier for me than working away from home in an office.

First, all my supplies are right here.  There were plenty of times in the past when an infusion set fell out, and I forgot to pack a few extras in my bag and had to drive all the way back home.  Now, everything is either in the room I am working in or the next room over.  If an infusion set is bad or has fell out, no big deal, I have more right here with me.

The next diabetes related item that has improved is my eating habits.  I have been very strict with keeping a tight schedule while working at home and continue to have a lunch break from 12-1.  There is no more eating out because I “forgot my lunch at home.”  If there were no left overs from the night before, than I can simply spend the time to make a nice, healthy lunch as opposed to going out and grabbing a slice of pizza or a sub.  That is only lunch, dinner is an even better story.  Before, I wasn’t getting up until after 7 p.m. and I was always so tired to make a nice dinner.  Well, I typically end my day at 5:30 in order to start cooking dinner for when Amanda gets home from work.  We have been done eating and cleaning by 7 in the first week of doing this.

Next on the list of things that have been going better since I began working at home is the increase in exercise.  My exercise bike is 10 feet from my desk.  I have found myself just getting on the bike and riding for 30-45 minutes once a day.  There is no more excuses that I don’t have time to do it and that I am too tired to do it after I get home from work.  Starting tomorrow, I am actually going to begin riding the bike in the morning and get a good hour workout in before the day even gets started.

Finally, my blood sugars have been better because I am testing more, and honestly, I am just not as stressed out.  My blood sugars would get high throughout the day because I was so stressed at work.  Then, I would come home, and still have about another 4-6 hours worth of work to do and I wasn’t getting to bed until about 3 a.m.  This just was not good on my blood sugars at all.  I am also sleeping a lot better too.  I have gone to sleep by 11, almost everyday in this past week.  That is most likely due to change tonight, since I have a few deadlines for tomorrow.

Looks like the health reasons for going back to working from home and running my own company again are slowly taking shape.  The financial reasons, well, let’s just hope they stay on track as well.

Have a great night everybody.