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Losing Weight is Hard, It’s Really Hard

From the age of 21 to 31, I gained about 60-70 pounds. That part was easy. Really easy. Going to dinner and eating my food and then half of my wife’s. Running to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s in the morning for a coffee and getting something (or two) off the dollar menu. All of that is super easy and super simple.

Losing weight is hard. It’s really effing hard! I’ve been trying for a couple of years to lose weight. I’ve had a lot of success, but it hasn’t lasted. I’ll lose 10-15 pounds and feel good and then I travel for a couple of weeks and gain it all back. I stop going to the gym and increasing the carbs, which is a recipe for disaster.

I just got back from PA again after spending the last month or so visiting family again, but this time I went to the gym a few times a week. Thanks to Planet Fitness for opening up in this area in PA!

I was able to maintain my weight, but didn’t lose any while up there because there were a lot of temptations. There are a lot of things to do, friends and family to see, activities we can only do while up here, so the gym ends up getting pushed to the side. 

I grew up in PA for the first 3/4 of my life, so I know all the great food places. When I go back there, that’s all I want to do. I just want to eat at all of the great places that I grew up eating and then eating some of mom’s good ole home cooking. That tends to lead to disaster. Big disasters.

My endo appointments are usually right after I get back from these trips. This leads to bad lab results and not a true picture of how my life is the remaining 9 months of the year.

This year, I decided to push my appointment back and force myself to lose weight. This is hard.

Here’s my diet:

Breakfast – 3 egg omelette. Every. Single. Day. I change it up a bit with some cheese one day. Peppers and onions the next. And then some ham the following. By switching this up, it makes me feel like I’m eating different foods and keeping it fresh.

Lunch – Salad every day. This doesn’t bother me because I love salad. I have eaten a salad a day, pretty much almost everyday for the last 15 years. I usually throw some chicken or whatever meat was for dinner the night before in the salad and just mix it all up. Actually, I shake it up. I put it all in a bowl, put a lid over it and shake the hell out of it. Only way to eat a salad. Shout out to my older brother for giving me this tip!

Dinner – Meat and 2 veggies. We eat a lot of chicken. Like, a lot of eat. And ground beef. We use the crockpot 3-4 days a week. We put the chicken in during breakfast, put some veggies in there and some sort of seasoning or oil based marinade and just let it cook all day. We use the ground beef for burgers (with lettuce buns) and tacos (with lettuce wraps).

This sounds delicious and sounds simple. But, damn, it’s not.

Going to the gym consistently is hard for me. I get so caught up in my business that I forget to go to the gym. Then, I don’t want to miss out on family fun time before and after dinner, so I don’t go to the gym then either.

I can’t go to the gym in the morning because I pee a lot throughout the night (even when my BG is perfect), so I wake up in the morning extremely dehydrated.

I don’t like going to the gym shortly after drinking coffee. Well, I always end up getting a cup of coffee right before it should be gym time.

But these are a lot of excuses.

Nothing worth doing is easy.

This should be tough.

This should be tough as hell.

And that’s why I’m going to tackle it. Because I’m getting too old for this extra weight to be hanging out. It’s time to set it free.

Sharing More

Sharing more.

That’s what I want to do. Sure, I have a blog which means I overshare as is. But, I don’t feel like I share enough of the ups and downs. I tend to share a lot of good stuff, because honestly, that’s just how I choose to live my life. I don’t allow myself to fret about the small stuff and constantly be down or upset about stuff that I can’t control.

However, there are plenty of downs that come along with this disease and that’s where I’d like to share more.

For example, my laziness when it comes to this disease. With access to all the technology I have, sometimes I just get lazy and I don’t feel like wearing my pump. Simply because I don’t feel like taking 10 seconds to insert a new infusion set. Because of this laziness, I will then go back to MDI, except sometimes I don’t have any Tresiba or Lantau or any other basal insulins.

I’ll wake up in the morning with a high blood sugar, but still that won’t make me have the motivation to insert a new infusion set.

Is it because I sometimes am tired of being connected? Or, am I tired of the infusion set falling out because I’m using too much insulin? Or do I honestly, just don’t feel like managing my diabetes?

I don’t know what it is.

But, I am making a promise to myself, and all of you, that I am going to share more of those down times and not just the ups.

I Need Your Help with Recipes

I need your help.

I’ve found plenty of recipes online for some healthy snacks and healthy ways to eat unhealthy foods, but a lot of the times, they end up being too complicated, don’t turn out right or they need these crazy herbs that cost $20 and I only use a small little pinch of it and then throw the rest away.

I am looking for a few good recipes for cauliflower. I tried making cauliflower rice a few weeks ago and it took about 30 minutes to prep and it turned out disgusting, I could barely eat it. However, I’ve bought steamable bags of cauliflower rice before and it was good, so I know that I like it.

I’m interested in trying cauliflower pizza, so if you have a home recipe or a link to one that you like, please share with me.

Here are some of my favorite foods and what I’ve done so far to try and eliminate the unhealthy side of it.

  • Tacos – I’ve gotten rid of the shells and use lettuce wraps to eat tacos. The issue is that I LOVE rice in my taco, so I need a healthy alternative.
  • Pizza – who doesn’t love pizz, but who can actually figure that stuff out when it comes to bolusing for it? I know I can’t. For that reason, I want a healthy alternative.
  • Dipping Sauces – anybody who knows me, knows I am a dipping sauce fanatic, especially from Chic-Fil-A. Unfortunately, this stuff is just filled with sugar and fat. Any healthy options to replicate these things?
  • Chinese Food – This is by far my guiltiest pleasure. When I get stressed, I want Chinese food. Does anybody have any healthier options that could replicate this?

Please share all of your healthy side dish options with me. I love to cook and I love losing weight and eating clean, healthy foods.

Thanks in advance.

Successful Lab Results

I quickly talked about my most recent A1C yesterday and mentioned how I really don’t care about it. During my endo visit last week, my doctor told me my A1C and I said, “ok, I figured that, what were my triglycerides because that’s what I care about?”

Luckily, I have been able to establish a relationship with my doctor that I can dictate the direction of my appointment like this. Now, why was I so concerned about the triglycerides? Well, earlier this year, they number was around 450. I didn’t know much about this number, but I knew it was supposed to be about 150. My doctor was very concerned and she said that these were heart attack numbers and put me on medication and told me I have to start eating better and going to the gym.

Well, after a month of going to the gym, eating better (most of the time) and being on medication, I was able to bring my number down to 112. I was extremely happy with this result. This, to me, is so much more important than what my A1C is. Same goes with the cholesterol numbers. Those also came back as close to perfect as they can. They were within the goal range that we set, and I like to keep it that way.

My lab results for a few straight visits were not coming back with the ranges that I was hoping for and I was anti-medication. Then during one visit my doctor explained it like this. My body is at a disadvantage of my diabetes. So, why not level the playing field with medication? That is why I am still on a cholesterol pill even though my cholesterol numbers are within a great range.

Making the decision to start taking medication and getting over my anti-medication, I can do this myself attitude, was the best thing for me.

Well, here’s to another successful round of labs in 3-4 months.

MedtronicDAF Disclosure

I am currently headed to California to attend the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum. 

You can follow along with all of the action by following the hashtag #MedtronicDAF

Medtronic has paid for my travel, lodging, and meals for this trip. I am also a Minimed Ambassador, however, I am not paid financially to be a Minimed Ambassador. 

All thoughts, opinions and criticisms will be my own. Any future blog posts that I write about my experience at MedtronicDAF will be my own. 

When following along with the conversation, please ask questions. I will do my best to bring those questions up during the conversation. 

Please note, that if your questions are strictly negative statements, I will not ask them. If you are going to ask why they don’t give their products away for free, I will not ask them. Please form questions that can be used constructively, even if it is a negative based question, if you’re actually looking for a constructive conversation, I can pass along. 

I hope you enjoy and follow along. 

Why I Became a MiniMed Ambassador

A few months ago my application to become a MiniMed Ambassador was approved. This was very exciting for me, as it was something that I wanted to do for a while. I did not want to apply for the program until I felt that I had enough time to manage anything that would be asked of me from the program. For example, being able to respond to people who are looking for help.

The main reason that I wanted to become a MiniMed Ambassador was simple. It was because when I first was given the choice to go onto a pump, I was excited, but I had so many questions. At that time, almost 10 years ago, the only person that I could ask questions to was my CDE, who was also my certified pump trainer. My questions ranged from, can I swim with it? Can I shower with it? Is it surgically implanted inside me? (Yes, that was one of my questions because I initially thought that’s what the pump was. An infusion site sounded like a medical procedure to me!)

Throughout my 7 years of writing this blog (wow, time flies), I have had so many questions asked to me about going on an insulin pump. It’s probably the questions I get asked the most. So, I knew that as a MiniMed Ambassador, I could help people answer those questions.

I am proud to call myself an Ambassador along with all of the other great people.

You can check out my profile, as well as everyone else’s.

Dlog Week – Cleaning Out My Closet

As a big Eminem fan (I don’t listen to rap anymore because today’s rap is whack!), the first thing that came to my mind was his song, Cleanin Out My Closet, but then I thought about how this subject relates to me in a diabetes way. I wish I could share an image with you right now, but unfortunately, I can’t because even after 3 months, I’m still not fully unpacked.

When I was packing back in January to move to my first house, I found a lot of diabetes supplies and products around the house. I started to throw them all into a box, but then that box turned into two, which by the end was a total of 5 boxes. These are all now hanging out in my garage just waiting to be unpacked.

What is all contained in these boxes do you ask?

Old meters that I either had as a demo or received from my doctor that I no longer use. I counted about 20-25 different meters sitting in the box, but I do not have strips for any of them, which is why they are sitting there.

There are a lot of different cookbooks in there because it seems like everyday I am getting an email from another PR rep about a new amazing cookbook that is going to change the lives of us living with diabetes.

There are a bunch of other random products that have been sent to me that were to be reviewed that I just have not gotten to.

So, since this topic came up for today’s DBlog Week prompt, I am setting a goal to go through these boxes. For the products that I need to review, I am going to review. For products that I can give away, I’m going to give away. And all the other crap, well I’m going to hang onto it because I love seeing diabetes technology from the 70’s-80’s, so I know that all this “hi-tech” stuff that we have now is going to be nothing since the future is filled with more sensor technology and wearable technology.

I know this is something that Scott Johnson already does and I am going to join in on the fun. I will announce when these giveaways and product reviews will come.

OptumRX Strikes Again

As I’ve mentioned, I have been spending the last month up here in Pennsylvania. I initially thought that I could wait until I got back to Florida to order my insulin, but that didn’t work out. So on Thursday evening I called to re order my insulin….but there were not any refills left.

Well here is the first issue. After my last visit to the endo they faxed prescriptions for test strips and insulin, so how is there 2 strip refills left but no insulin? That didnt make any sense to me but no worries let’s move on.

It was late on Thursday so my doc office was closed so I had to wait until Friday morning to get the renewed RX sent in.

I was running low on insulin so I figured that I would request the RX to be sent to a local retail pharmacy so that I can pick it up on Friday or maybe Saturday since Optum wouldn’t deliver it until Monday.

When I went to the retail pharmacy they told me they didn’t have enough to fill the order so there wouldn’t be enough until Monday.

Ok still no worries because I have enough until then.

So yesterday I went to the retail pharmacy to pick up my one into insulin order finally and she said, “ok that will be $110”

Huh, excuse me? $110 that’s supposed to be $10 or $30 at most. Apparently there is a $100 deductible on retail pharmacy prescription but not mail order. Well, there’s no way I was paying $110 for one month because I don’t ever use retail so that $100 will just be a waste.

Ok now it’s getting time to worry.

I called in to Optum RX to get the mail order filled instead of the retail and only need to pay the $25 for 90 days like usual.

I know that Optum RX has a 24 hour order processing policy but really, how long does it take to process an insulin order.

Well as I’m sure you guessed the order didn’t process and ship yesterday so now it will ship today and won’t be delivered until tomorrow.

So now I have a 90 day supply coming to me tomorrow but I don’t have enough insulin to get me by till tomorrow so I asked if there was a way to get one vial of insulin to get me through till tomorrow.

Their answer… Yes you can pick up the vial from the retail pharmacy and we will grant an override but you will need to pay the $100 deductible. Well thank you very much but that doesn’t help me at all because that’s what started this whole damn thing.

This is just ridiculous. I know it’s the policy and I know it’s the rules but I do not use retail and will not the rest of the year but I need to pay the $100 deductible for 24 hours of insulin.

I am fortunate enough to be able to pay the $100 deductible because I have no choice but what if I didn’t. What if I couldn’t afford the deductible, how would I get my insulin? That one emergency vial of insulin is a hell of a lot cheaper than the trip to the ER that it will cause.

I am being charged $25 for 16 vials of insulin but I need to pay $110 for one emergency vial?

I have been with UHC and Optum for well over a year and they can see that I haven’t filled any retail RX so it’s not like I am trying to get over on them some how.

At the end of the day I am grateful to have the insurance and only needing to pay the little amount that I do. I went 2 years with no health insurance so I know the feeling of spending $100 for just one vial, but this is why I pay several hundred a month for insurance.

Something needs to change for emergency situations.