So, as I believe I stated in the post on recent work changes, the new work schedule is not my natural rhythm. To get to work by 8:30 I have to wake up by 6:15 am, and as it’s almost impossible for me to get to sleep before midnight, I have been perilously short on sleep. Worknights (nights with work the next morning) I’ve been getting 5-6 hours of sleep, and that isn’t really balanced by 9-10 hours the remaining nights.
And that lack of sleep, combined with a low tolerance for people, incited bad food and exercise choices. Like, cheesecake and cookies for dinner, and not dancing because I was too tired.
Naturally, that all caught up with me.
Since the beginning of August I’ve gained about 15 pounds, and a recent blood test showed that I have early Type 2 diabetes. Talk about a wake-up call.
I have a friend that I met through dancing who has diabetes. A few years ago, she had half of her foot amputated; she calls it Frankenfoot now. And since then, she’s had multiple multiple other surgeries, on her nerves and her eyes…! I think she’s almost blind in one eye now.
That is NOT going to happen to me.
This mid-level terror going on in the background of my mind has inspired me to start making lifestyle changes:
- Severely limiting my sugars. A tiny slice of my best friend’s birthday cake was my sugar ration for the week. And I’ve switched to dark chocolate; you have no idea how helpful it is mitigating the wild mood swings and fiery internal rages I feel while trying to kick this sugar addiction. It is really really hard to say NO to myself after an exhausting day when I know a cannoli will instantly make me feel better.
- More activity. I’ve started staying later at dances, taking more walks, and am trying to find a regular time to go swimming. My Fitbit does help, and my bestie is working on a YMCA membership so we can be gym buddies.
- More protein. I have a pile of various meats in the fridge now. I just need to make sure I eat them before they go bad. But protein helps keep me full and energized.
And according to the bathroom scale I use, since I was diagnosed I’ve lost about four pounds. Also, the skin lesion on my lower shin has greatly improved (hey, I’ll take any signs of improvement).
I have an appointment Tuesday morning with the diabetes specialist at my HMO. She seems to be under the impression that I have been and/or am willing & able to test my blood sugars regularly. I don’t think she quite understands the lengths I’m willing to go to to get out of having to prick my finger every day. Thinking about it gives me anxiety; The last time I watched a needle draw blood I passed out, and it wasn’t even me getting bloodwork done! Also, when I have my iron tested before donating blood, it Really Hurts. I have sensitive fingertips. I don’t think it’s a wise idea to ask someone with long-term depression to hurt themselves every day. That can lead to Bad Things. So I’m gonna lay down the law, and we’ll see what her response is.
My therapist was really supportive. Apparently she’s got a strong family history of diabetes and knows how difficult it can be to manage. She really liked my idea of using a planner to map out my exercise and dinner meals each week; I’m just waiting to run the idea past the diabetes nurse and my nutritionist before buying the planner. (I also have been thinking about printing out inspirational exercise pics from Pinterest and taping them into the planner, to help keep me motivated.) My therapist also suggested putting unsweetened cocoa powder into a banana smoothie with plain yogurt; I’m not a fan of plain yogurt, but if I can handle 88% dark chocolate I think I can deal with a not-very-sweet smoothie.
I’ve told my mom (and therefore my stepdad), my brother, and my bestie. I also posted a message to my close friends on Facebook. I have not told my dad or stepmother, as I fear they’ll have an “I told you so” reaction. My mom’s reaction was “W.T.F. Diet, and get back below 190.” (Literally, that was her response via text.) Diet, yes. Lose weight, yes. But I’d have to lose over 70 lbs to get that low, and I think that’s being incredibly unrealistic; Does she not know that I have more muscle than I did the last time I was that weight? Usually my mom is really supportive, so I’m not sure what the deal is. My friends have been pretty good about it, too.
So yeah. Serious wake-up call. I can’t believe I ever joked about this. And I’ve advised my younger brother to get tested, even if just to establish a baseline.