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Scott Johnson Guest Post – Resignation Versus Resolve

Day 2 of guest post week is Scott Johnson.  He is a great person to know if you don’t know him already.  If you are not following him on Twitter already, then please follow him right now.

I recently wrote a blog post (“Screw It! I’ll Just Eat The Rest”) about not wanting to finish my dinner. My brain almost imploded when I tried to think about my insulin and how it would affect me if I stopped eating. So naturally, I posted about it!

I think it’s important to talk about those sorts of situations because it gives those around us a glimpse of how difficult food can be for us. While food is only a small part of our daily life with diabetes, it seems to take up more energy than it should. At least that is how it seems to me.

I got so many wonderful comments from that post (thank you!), but there was one that hit me and stuck in my head.

Barbara said:

“What I am wrestling with now is balancing resignation with resolve to keep trying and working on it. I think that the key is to try and keep figuring out how to tolerate all these diabetes difficulties which you describe so well. I pray for strength and resilience because most of it can’t be ‘fixed’, just tolerated.”

Thank you Barabara, for such a great comment. That is something I wrestle with all the time! It’s really a tough thing! There is very little positive reinforcement with our diabetes management. Think about it! If we do well enough, the encouragement we get is lack of negative consequences! That is not the same thing as positive encouragement.

The amount of work it takes to maintain anything close to normal is mind-blowing. Many of us try so very hard, but still struggle more often than not. The messages we receive when we’re not doing so well are all negative. Those messages come from many places (including our own heads!), and often get skewed by our huge load of guilt (why do we feel so guilty?).

I am all too familiar with the “resignation” that Barbara talks about. It usually comes to me in one of two ways. One is after I’ve tried SO HARD and still can’t seem to do well enough. The other is a slower, sort of grinding down of my resolve to keep trying. I think that one in particular is from the lack of positive reinforcement.

I try very hard to not be negative, and honestly, it’s not always negativity directly, but rather the LACK of positive signals and messages. If I do great – well, that’s expected. If I do poorly, then by default I’m not working hard enough. It’s a failed feedback system that has been built into so many of us.

Have you ever had a really great A1C? You and the doctor might celebrate for 5-10 minutes, then you’re back out in the world again. You are expected to maintain that fabulous A1C, and often to work even harder to get it down more! There is constant frustration built into something that always has room for improvement. It is a hard, hard balance for us to find. The balance between resignation and resolve is slippery, and most often a moving target. What is the answer? IS there an answer?

My Three Words of 2010 – 1 Month Later

Back in the first or second week of January, I wrote a post about my three words of 2010.  These words were growth, dedication, and health.  I outlined what all 3 of them meant to me and what my plans were to achieve and live those 3 words all year long.  Today I wanted to take the time and give a monthly update on those three words.  If you have read that post, I encourage you to so this post makes sense to you.  I also encourage you to do your own 3 words and then share them with me, because I would love to see what yours are as well.


The main reasoning for this was to grow as a person, just become a better person.  Over the last month I have been doing this quite well.  I do not get to flustered over minor things, I don’t let the little things in life get to me and ruin my day like they once have.  If somebody cuts in front of me in the grocery line, I just take a deep breathe and smile.  A lot of times when my blood sugar gets high, my patience goes right out the door, I’m sure you all know what I mean, so I have been trying hard to control that as well.  There have been times in the past that I have been short and snappy with Amanda just because my blood sugar is low, and she doesn’t deserve that because my insulin didn’t work properly.  She understands that if my sugar is high that I am probably not going to be the happiest person in the world.  There is still room for more growth, there always is.


I have definitely slacked off here, big time.  I have dedicated myself to my business a lot more.  I am accomplishing more work for current clients, but haven’t spent enough time recruiting more.  Exercise wise, there really hasn’t been any.  I exercise, once or twice a week because I always feel like I have no time, but that is why I have made this one of my words of 2010.  I have not dedicated enough time to cooking healthy meals either.  I have been given a 1-month free trial pass to LA Fitness, so I am going to go there for a month and that should get me back into the motions of wanting to exercise again because of how good it makes me feel.


For those of you that follow me on Twitter, know that my blood sugars have not been that good lately.  I have been sick and have been having really high blood sugars all week long.  There have been a few that hit the 400’s but the average has been around 250 or so.  You can see my 7,14,and 30 day averages in yesterday’s post about not having an A1C test done for a while.  This is my number one concern is my health.  My dedication is going to be the key factor into getting my health better again. 

So enough blogging about it, and time to actually do it!

No A1C Test for a While

Not having insurance for some time really sucks.  Sorry to be so blunt about it, but it does.  For those of you in that boat, you know what I mean.  I was insured the entire time I was diabetic, so I had no clue how it would actually feel.  I could only imagine, but now that my COBRA should be kicking in soon (fingers crossed), things may be getting better.  I have not had an A1C test done or seen my doctor since October.  I was seeing her on a regular monthly schedule.  The very first thing that I am going to be doing when I get that confirmation letter that I am covered again is schedule an appointment with her.

I know that my A1C is not going to be good this time around.  I am not even going to try and make myself believe that.  Over the last month, my overall sugars have been crap!  Below are snapshots of my 7 day, 14 day, and 30 day average levels, respectively.  As you will see, not that good.

7 day blood sugar avg

14 day blood sugar avg

30 day blood sugar avg

The 7 day average is mainly due to two bad sites and being sick.  My last A1C was 6.9.  I was happy with that at the time because the one before that was 7.1, so it was declining.  Unfortunately, that is not going to be the case.  At least one of my top 10 goals of 2010 should get accomplished.  These elevated blood sugars can be explained with two simple words: diet and exercise.  Actually, those words may not be as simple as we think.  Let’s get into details.


If you do a search in the dictionary for the word diet you come up with 11 different varieties of the word.  Yea, 11!  You can choose whichever one you want, but I have decided to go with this one:

“a particular selection of food, esp. as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.”

That sounds exactly like what I am trying to do.  I select certain foods to make me lose weight and keep my blood sugars normal. That part seems easy to do, but it’s the management of it that gets me every time.  I feel that I don’t have the time to make a healthy dinner every night.  Well that’s just BS because the time that I spend sitting in a restaurant or waiting in line at a fast food joint, I could have spent cutting up some veggies and grilling or boiling some chicken.  One tip that has helped me in the past with this is to just put my laptop next to the grill and do some of my consulting work while the food is cooking.  Getting something accomplished while making a good, healthy meal.

The next part that ruins my diet every time is the cravings.  One craving will kill a whole week’s worth of dieting.  I always get cravings for Chinese food, which is my number one craving.  I used to crave Taco Bell all the time, but I fought that one off, so I know it is possible to do it with this one as well.  A good way to fight off these cravings is to cook up some veggies myself, grill some pork loins and then make my own stir fry with brown rice, there’s my craving fix.

The final struggle to my diet woes is portion control.  Even when I do cook a healthy meal, let’s say for example that stir fry I just spoke about.  It doesn’t make it healthy when I eat 3 plates of it when I should be eating only 1, maybe a half of a second plate.  The way  I always justify it to myself is that, well it’s healthier than eating 3 servings of Chinese food, which that logic needs to go, which I know this, it’s just the fact of actually doing it.

These 3 things are what are killing my diet, but I know what I need to do and will need to work harder to stop doing these things and I should be ok.


This one is simple and easy to explain, laziness.  I make way too many excuses because I am so busy.  I work 3.5 days a week on site at Volvo Aero Services and then am doing about 50-60 hours a week worth of consulting or web design work, so there is very little time to fit things in.  I also have season tickets to the Florida Panthers so there are nights that I can’t exercise because I don’t get done working until about 5-5:30 and have to leave for the game at 6:30.  So that gives me one hour to either cook a good dinner or exercise, and typically neither one of those even happen.

I am sure that I share these same problems with everybody.  If it was simple and easy, I’m sure we could all get over these hurdles easily, but they are not simple and easy.  It makes it a lot easier however having the supporting cast on here that we all have.  Every day that I am living with being overweight is just hurting me in the long run.

It all comes back to my 3 words of 2010 and getting it done!

My Three Words of 2010

I have been extremely busy since the end of the year up until just the last couple of days.  I was either sick, spending time with my family up north or just doing regular holiday type things.  During this time I decided to step away from the computer and take a break, just get away if you will.  I have been catching up on e-mails that I have just been flagging that I wanted to go back and read.  I subscribe to Chris Brogan’s blog.  He writes great material if you are into the whole social part of social media.  He came up with his 3 words for 2010, as he has done over the past few years and this has inspired me to do it as well.  In today’s blog on here, you will read about how these words affect my personal life.  On my business blog today as well, I am writing about how these three words affect my business.  If you would like to read that as well, go to my Chris Stocker Inc blog.  Now, onto the three words: growth, dedication, health.


When I sat down to think about words that could describe what I want to either accomplish or work at this was one of the first ones that popped into my head.  Even though I have been 6′ tall since the 8th grade and haven’t grown since, well not vertically at least, that’s not the growth that I mean.  I want to grow as a person, a human being.  Over the years I have caught myself saying to myself, “how would you feel if somebody did that to you” and I look back at situations and feel horrible.  Whether it is yelling at a customer service rep over the phone, it’s not their fault, they are just doing their job, or getting impatient at an elderly person driving in south Florida (for those of you that live here you know that’s at least once before every stop light!), or even being short or rude with Amanda or family or co-workers.

In 2010, I want to work hard to not be that type of person and to grow into becoming a bigger and better person at heart.  Be more considerate, take others feelings into affect more often.  I don’t want this to sound like I’m some inconsiderate prick right now because that’s not the case, but there is always room for improvement and that is where I want to be.


What’s the point of having goals and setting benchmarks if you don’t have the dedication to stick with these things. How are you to lose weight when you can’t dedicate 30 minutes a day to exercise or eating a healthy meal.  In 2010 I plan to work hard at dedicating myself to tasks that I put my mind to, no matter what it is.  Exercising, work, business, relationships, anything.  There is no more laziness in my life.  Sure there will be things that I have to give up, but what I gain from them will help me get back what I am missing.  What do I mean by that?  Here is a perfect situation that usually happens every day.  I have two options, watch tv and spend time with Amanda or work out and be healthy.  If I make the decision to work out then I am losing out on that 45 minutes of spending time with my girlfriend.  Well in the long run, by working out and spending that 45 minutes to exercise, I am saving myself who knows, maybe 1-2 days or even months added onto my life in order to spend more time with her in the future.  Dedication is about being able to see the long term goal and pushing yourself to get to it.  Knowing that what you are missing out on now will come back ten-fold in the future.


I think this word pretty much summarizes the entire thing.  This year I have set some goals for my diabetes, in regards to my weight and A1C.  With plans that I have worked out already, this should be manageable.  Becoming a healthier person will make me happier, feel better about situations and I feel grow as a person.  I will need dedication and growth within myself to get to this healthiness that I am seeking.

As you can see all three of these words fit together in the end.  Do this exercise yourself if you haven’t already.  Also, like I said if you would like to see how these three words relate to the other side of my life and how they all interact with each other than check out my other blog as well.

Have a great day everybody.

Using CGM, First Time in Two Months

Today I have decided to wear my sensor for the first time in almost two months.  I had it charging all night long because it wasn’t even connected to the charger during that 2 months.  I am not even sure if the sensors are still good because I know that they have  short expiration date.  Oh well, I will still use it and see how it goes.  I better change the battery in my pump though because I think it is almost at half life and the sensor kills the battery within a few days, even when it’s a brand new one.  I use the Medtronic CGMS just in case you didn’t remember.

I have a doctor’s appointment coming up in a few weeks and she really wants to see the results from the CGM and she usually only looks at the 2-3 weeks prior, so this is good enough amount of time for her to see, and also for me not to get in trouble again for not doing it.  I also have to get my A1C down next week, which I am not looking forward to because I don’t think that it is going to be a good number.  I have managed my sugars pretty well the last 3 months, but there have just been some random highs here and there that just concern me.

Today is also Monday, so we all know what that means, time to start the diet again.  I had coffee to start off the morning, but didn’t eat anything.  For lunch I am going to have a salad and a little bit of left over pasta.  Tonight for dinner I am going to a banquet for the football league that I coached this year.  There is going to be a lot of different random food because I believe it is a pot luck type style.  My assistant coach and myself are supposed to bring pizza, so I’ll be bringing whatever pizza is on sale, the kids won’t care, they will love it either way.

The afternoon today is also going to consist of more job hunting and submitting resume’s online.  I’m not just looking for a regular 9-5 but also some contract or telecommuting type jobs as well for CSI Marketing Solutions.  I haven’t been real aggressive in looking for clients, but I think it’s about time that I start to do that.

Well have a good week everybody.

How Diabetes Has Changed Me

I was diagnosed in April of 2004, that’s almost 6 years ago.  Diabetes has changed me in so many ways, even though I always say that I am not going to let this disease affect me and control me.  Well in reality it has controlled me and affected me, but in positive ways.  Of course there are some thing that I don’t like about the disease that I have to do, but overall they have made me more health conscience, it has introduced me to so many new great people, and it has changed my outlook on life.

Going back to my high school years and freshman year of college before I was diagnosed, I had a completely different outlook on life.  I didn’t care about things as much, I didn’t appreciate the little things in life.  I would always say, “whatever, I’ll do it tomorrow” or talk about things that  will do in 5-10 years from now.  The night I was diagnosed that all changed.  I then started talking about doing things that same day because you never know what could happen.  I know that goes for anybody, not just somebody with diabetes, but it really sunk into my brain at that time.  I have become a little impatient at times, especially when it comes to work and making a lot of money because I want to travel the world and I want to do it now!  I don’t want to do it later on in life because you never know what may happen in the future.

Since diagnosis I have become a lot more health conscience.  Sure, I may not always eat as well as I should, but at least now I know what the complications are.  I used to eat a burger and fries, well probably 3-4 burgers and fries and a milkshake and didn’t think anything of it, because I was young, skinny, and worked out everyday so what did it matter.  I never thought about the fat getting stuck in my arteries and clogging my veins that could lead to heart problems later on in life.  Now, before I decided to eat that burger, fries and shake, which I do at times, I at least think about the consequences and what I will need to do to make up for eating that meal.

I also made a decision to become an expert in the field of diabetes and know everything about this disease that I could.  My definition of expert here does not mean knowing how to do research in the field, but to become a diabetes management expert.  If I can manage my blood sugars and keep my A1C at good levels, then in my mind I am an expert.  I have read more books about diabetes then I have any other field of category of books.  I read blogs, articles, magazines, journals, essays, whatever is out there to better myself and to possibly lower my A1C but just a tenth of a point.

The people that I have met, whether just online or in person, have been incredible.  I have learned so much more about diabetes than these books could ever tell me.  Other d-bloggers have made me feel comfortable living with diabetes.  At times when I thought I was the only one in the world that was going through this stuff, they made me realize that I wasn’t the only one.  Also, they made me stop feeling sorry for myself.  There were times that I would get down and feel sorry for myself and want a pity party because I was the lonely diabetic that nobody knew what I was going through.  Shut up Chris and get over it.  You’re diabetic and so are millions of other people.  But now I was able to connect with these people and a lot of them have become personal friends.

These are a few of the ways that diabetes has changed me and I am thankful for these things.  They outweigh some of the negative things that may have changed my life, like checking my blood sugar, worrying about what the food I’m about to eat will do to my blood sugar, and counting carbs.  But these are all things that I do to manage my diabetes, so in my mind they are good things to do because I have become healthier since my diagnosis.

I hope everyone else can see the positives of diabetes and focus more on them, then the negatives that are out there.

Results From Endo Appointment

Today’s post, although later is about the results from my endo appointment today.  I just came home from football practice a little bit ago, so that is why it is such a late post tonight.  But anywho, onto the appointment.  A diabetic’s mandatory meeting.

I was actually on time so that started out well.  I handed my pump and my meter to the receptionist so they could pull the numbers off of the two.  For some reason, my meter decided that it didn’t want to work anymore and wouldn’t give the readings so they were going to give me a new Freestyle Lite meter.  I told them to just keep it because I have plenty of meters at home, leave it for somebody that needs one.  [Plus didn’t know if I’d have to report that to the FTC also 🙂 ]

Next up was the blood pressure.  If you recall from my last endo appointment, my blood pressure was a little high, 140/80.  I was very stressed out that day and was running around like crazy before the appointment.  Today I wasn’t stressed at all, it was a perfectly fine day.  My blood pressure was 122/70, perfect.  So there was nothing to worry about with that.  For some reason they weighed me after the blood pressure.  The scale at their office is always about a 10 pound difference then any other scale I step on.  Their scale last time said 254 when mine at home said about 244.  Today, their scale said 246.  So even though I’m not that heavy, I am obviously losing some weight.

As I explained recently, I have had a month full of highs and was trying to figure out why that was happening.  I discussed it with the doc today and we both agreed on all the possible reasons that I mentioned.  Probably a site issue.  We eliminated those highs so we could see patterns in normal days.  Overall, the sugars were pretty damn good.  Just those few high days did it to me.  Like usual my sugars overnight are killing me, literally!  We increased my basal rate during the late night / early morning hours to 1.8 and kept the rest of them at 2.2 – 2.4 depending on the time of day.  We also increased my carb ratio to 1 unit of insulin for every 4 carbs at night time and kept it at 5 carbs the rest of the day.

I felt very good after leaving today’s visit.  Things are going good and somethings are getting even better.  My goal for next month’s A1C is to have it below 7.  I have busted my butt exercising and eating better to do this, but I can’t stop now I have to continue.  Well, next appointment isn’t until end of November, so I’ll update you again after that appointment.