Saturday, September 29, 2012

Quiet Saturday


Today was spent at home with my family. I played Guild Wars II (computer) with Tim and Munchkin Bites (card game) with him and the kids. Also had a brief doze on the lounge. No exercise, and had two yummy orange cupcakes that Tim made. My ankle was feeling pretty good all day and I think the rest has been good for it. Just a nice day.

photo by akashayi

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Working those arms


My ankle was still sore this morning but I was determined to get some exercise in anyway, so after dropping the kids at school for their last day of term (driving because of pouring rain) I went to the gym. I did 45 mins on the weights machines, doing arm exercises only and avoiding everything that put even a hint of pressure on my ankle.

I added one new machine that I had previously missed, for biceps. A reasonably muscular man was using it before me and when I got to it I was surprised that it was only set at 15 kg. I moved it down to the lightest weight, 10 kg, and I could hardly lift it! Some machines are much harder than others, both because of which muscles you use and because some are at interesting angles. My range goes from 10 kg to 40 kg depending on the machine.

Then I went back to the hand pedalling machine I had only used once before. I found 10 mins a struggle last time but I set it on 15 mins anyway. I really wanted to get up to a total of an hour exercised. And it was much easier than I remembered. Not easy easy, but I got through 15 mins without too much pain. And only realised at the end that it seemed to be set on level 1 difficulty. I'm pretty sure that last time I had it on 5.

My primary struggle through the exercise session was sleepy-tiredness. I've had two really good nights' sleep in a row so I think I might have this virus going around. I was struggling to stay awake between sets of reps. That inclined chest press (pictured), on a padded semi-reclined chair, was damn comfortable. I could have gone to sleep pretty easily.

Anyway, I feel rather better about myself today after having at least done an hour of exercise. Also I was reminding myself last night that I want to get healthy; and although losing weight and reversing prediabetes are part of that I also don't want any chronic injuries. Being healthy includes looking after myself. It's not like I'm trying to finish a race and then collapse with a ruined body, I'm in this for the long haul. I know what it is like to have chronic pain that stops you working, sleeping, dressing yourself, doing just about anything at all ... I am never going back there! Little niggles will get looked after. If my ankle pain doesn't resolve soon I'll see the doctor or physio or something, and if I have to rest it to get it completely better I will. In the meantime I will only do things that I'm pretty sure don't exacerbate it.

It's a long weekend here. We have two in a row. I just looked it up, and as I thought it is Labour Day this Monday. Turns out next Monday is Family and Community Day which I think is only a local Canberra thing. We are a city of public servants, and those who write the rules make the rules! Oh well, Melbourne gets a day off for a horse race. Whatever, we get Tim home an extra couple of days during the kids' school holidays which is lovely.

Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention was my weight. A couple of days of not-so-much exercise and it has dropped back to 77.4 kg. Exercise makes me fat. No, really, this has happened before. Direct correlation between lots of exercise and my weight going up. I haven't had time to build muscle, so I assume it is because I eat a lot more when I exercise more. Even today, I was ravenous when I got home from only an hour at the gym. Need to work on that.

I'm going to need another early night tonight, but it's good to know we can all sleep in tomorrow.

photo of an incline chest press, without me napping on it, by ARC equipment

More whining about my ankle


I went to bed really early last night and woke late this morning; I ended up being in bed for 10 hours, mostly asleep. That really helped with the tiredness of the past couple of days but still a bit sleepy today. Tim says that there is a virus going around that causes tiredness and he has it too. I have had other possible symptoms like the headache and itchiness deep in one ear. I'll go to bed early again tonight.

Unfortunately when I got out of bed this morning my ankle was sore again. It's been a whole week since I last hurt it and I'd only had a few twinges since then, but today it was aching all day. Walking the kids to school was a trial and so was grocery shopping in the afternoon, so I chose not to exercise other than the half hour walking. I felt pretty depressed and guilty all day about not exercising even though I truly believe it was the best thing. Maybe I should have gone to the gym anyway and used the weights machines but I just wanted to rest my ankle. Well, I didn't go. I can't second-guess myself now and beat myself up over it. And anyway, I still think it was probably the right decision.

I am sick of wearing this ankle support too. Ironically I don't really notice I'm wearing it when I'm moving around, but it gets really irritating when I am sitting still for a while.

The evening performance of the school concert was tonight so Tim got to come as well. The hall was packed with proud parents and everything went well.

Only one more school day until the holidays.

Night all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday weigh in: 78.3 kg


My weight is up a couple of hundred grams from last week. I had hoped that yesterday was a temporary abberation, but apparently not. And Wednesday is a sucky day to weigh in, I always hit my peak for the week around then! Oh well, it is the overall pattern that matters. And at the moment that is pretty level from week to week, which isn't what I want at all.

I was tired and headachy last night, and just as tired and headachy this morning. I made the rather optomistic decision to put off exercising until the afternoon, so I didn't end up getting in anything strenuous at all. About an hour walking and half an hour gardening; still much better than just sitting in front of the TV and computer all day but I need to do a bit better than that.

A big chunk of my day was taken up with the kids' school concert. They had a matinee today and there is an evening performance tomorrow which I will also go to. Surprisingly, it didn't suck! Oh, there were a couple of boring items and the "band" was about what you would expect for 10 year olds with wind instruments, but there was some good singing and fun little skits. It went for an hour and a half, plus starting-late time.

With less exercise I haven't been as hungry, so my food intake has been good so far.

The gardening was planting a lot of vegetable seedlings that I walked to the plant nursery to buy this afternoon. The raised garden beds are looking great, and the kids were very interested too. Not that I need much help to get them to eat vegetables, Aiden in particular would rather have a salad than anything else. He loves salad dressing too, but will happily eat raw vegetables without it. Not so keen on cooked vegetables. Jasmine doesn't love them quite so much but will eat cooked veges too, even if she has to be coaxed with "you can have some more meat/potato if you eat your vegetables". Aiden is the opposite -- I say he can have more vegetables if he eats all his meat!

It still gets pretty cold at night but the days have been really lovely. Excellent spring weather.

photo by sscornelius. not my garden, but mine will look something like that when the plants grow bigger

Walking and peeing


I weigh myself every day, mostly because I would always rather know something than not know. I hate suspense of any kind. This morning I was 78.5 kg. 800 g (2 pounds) up from yesterday! I rarely get off and on the scale to check, but I did this morning. Nup, still that revolting number. After two and a half hours of exercise yesterday! Ok, I did have some twisties and chocolate. Maybe I was retaining water or something. It was really annoying and a bit discouraging but I didn't let it stop me getting on with an active day.

I walked for 1 hour and 45 mins, a lap of the lake and then briskly around Floriade. I had wanted to get an accurate reading of the distance around the lake (other people had posted it as anything from about 4.6 km to 5.2 km, possibly depending on which path they took and how many corners they cut). I wanted to know how far my official lake walk was. But it was not to be, my bladder refused to cooperate. I have no idea what was going on, I've been fine for the rest of the day and I had only had one drink prior to my walk. And I went to the toilet before the 10 min drive to get there. But I needed to pee almost straight away. I paused RunKeeper and diverted off to the park toilets. Went back to the same spot and restarted. About 2 mins later I needed to pee again. Floriade had a public toilet right next to my path, so I didn't stop RunKeeper that time. Continued on my way ... 5 mins later needed to pee again. Another public toilet luckily near the lake. A bit worrying really. Is it possible that I somehow retained so much water that it affected my weight by nearly a kg and then was all trying to get out this morning? I went again when I got back to the first toilet after a full lap, so including my original emptying at home that was five times in a bit over an hour.

RunKeeper got very confused and tried to tell me that the lake was actually nearly 6 km around, and I had been walking at a cracking pace. I'll check it again next time, hopefully when my bladder is behaving normally.

I did a tiny bit of taste testing at Floriade and then bought some Vienna macadamias -- a native Australian nut but I belive they also grow them comercially in Hawaii now.

I drove home and zoomed around the house tidying with only 10 mins before the guy came to give me a quote on new window coverings. I had to pick up a lot of toys in the kids rooms just so he could access the windows to measure them!

After lunch I got 15 mins gardening in. With the school walk, that is another two and a half hours of exercise today. I am actually a lot tireder than yesterday. All that walking! I have mostly eaten well today but still have D&D supper to get through. I wonder if we will have a bit more healthy food tonight? I say mostly. I cooked pork belly for dinner, the first time ever. It was very good too, but so fatty. I cooked it on a rack so all some of the fat dripped off, but still. Crackling. Eating is my weak point at the moment.

My legs are really tired and I have a bit of a headache. I wish I could go to bed right now instead of sitting up to play games. I'd even give up the junk food if I was allowed to just go to sleep.

photo by Stephan Jurgensen

Monday, September 24, 2012

Exhausting the muscles


I had a really active day. After walking the kids to school I went to the gym. My ankle had given me a couple of twinges so I decided against doing a BodyPump class that would involve a lot of weight compressing my ankles plus squats and lunges. I used the weights machines again, but with much heavier weights than on Friday when I was I was really just trying everything out. This time I tried to exhaust each muscle with three sets of ten reps on the heaviest weight I thought I could manage. That took me an hour.

Then I moved on to an exercise bike. I didn't go particularly fast but I still found it a real challenge, my core muscles and postural muscles are pretty weak so stabilizing myself on a bike was difficult and quite painful by the end of the 20 minutes. The muscles that wrap around my ribs were screaming. Then I tried a new machine; it didn't have a name on it but you push pedals around with your hands instead of your feet. It was utterly exhausting for my arms, and I am quite amazed I managed 10 minutes. I had to give my right arm a couple of quick breaks, and just kept telling myself that it was only for a few more minutes, that I could do anything for a few minutes. I finished up with 10 mins on a treadmill to cool down.

Home for lunch then out again for the grocery shopping, home for a little housework and half an hour break, then I picked up the kids. After a snack we went to the gym for their Club Gecko and I got on the elliptical for 30 mins. I pushed really hard and made it to 4.4 km. Each time I feel like I couldn't possibly have gone faster but I'm gradually speeding up. I was totally exhausted and dripping sweat by the end, red as a tomato in the face. So I guess I did good work today. A bit over two and a half hours total.

That's the good news. The bad is that while shopping I bought myself a couple of snacks -- twisties and chocolate -- that added up to more calories than my breakfast and lunch combined. Oh well, at least I really enjoyed it. I only truly regret indulging if it was just mindless eating that I didn't actually enjoy. I savoured these treats and they tasted great. I get hungry when I exercise. I'd just had a good lunch but I should have been ready with a healthier snack I guess.

I didn't feel any pain the next day after Friday's gym session, but I think I will be feeling it tomorrow.

photo by Kvitsh

Sunday, September 23, 2012

5K Fun run

Sunday again:

I just had a look and it turns out that there is a regular Saturday morning (8 am) 5k fun run around the lake near here (Lake Ginnandera, not the bigger lake I like to walk around). They started in April this year and have an average of about 50 runners each week, last week 63 with 26 new people. They post photos and results on their website. Sounds good. But the average time is under 30 mins and my best is over 50! Hmm, definitely train for it first. The fastest guy has done it in 14 mins. He'd be zooming back past me when I had barely started. But I am just a beginner.

Grooving to Gaga


We spent the weekend in Sydney visiting family. I didn't make the best food choices, but at least I went for a 45 min walk with Tim this morning and then a 30 min walk by myself when we got home. I listened to Lady Gaga remixes which were perfect to get me moving along quickly. I only have about eight albums loaded on my iPhone, I really need to put some more on.

My RunKeeper now has some free training programs, so I've decided that next week (after I'm sure my ankle is up to jogging) I'll start beginners 5K training and I've set a goal of actually participating in a 5K by the end of June next year. That gives me 9 months to get myself organised. I'll probably start looking for one before then. The training program is 8 weeks long. School holidays start here next week, so it's going to be tricky working in lots of exercise but I do have the treadmill at home now and of course I can take the kids out for bike rides and walks, and use Kinect games. Club Gecko only has one long session per week in the holidays but the gym has a creche in the mornings, so lots of options really. My mum will be visiting, and my dad (separately, they are divorced), and probably Tim's dad too and his brother at various times. I'll have to get everyone moving!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Carbohydrate counting


When I found out I was pre-diabetic (or actually before the official diagnosis, because I strongly suspected I was) I started moderating carbohydrates. Not because carbs are in any way the enemy, but because a large carbohydrate load all at once can cause blood sugar levels to go up in someone (like me) who has glucose intolerance. I found that, for me, up to about 3 serves of carbs at a time (1 serve = 15 grams of carbs, like 1 slice of bread) was fine but more made my blood sugar go too high.

Books about diabetes talked about the dangers of blood sugars going too high; but, confusingly, the information for pre-diabetics doesn't seem to mention it at all. Why not? When I finally got to see my doctor, she didn't mention it either. It's all about the losing weight and exercising to avoid getting full-blown diabetes, nothing about managing it along the way. When I said I was being careful with carbs she agreed that was a good idea but certainly didn't devote any time to the subject. And my nutritionist friend said I didn't need to count carbs unless I was taking insulin -- but that would be to insure my blood sugar didn't go too low, wouldn't it?

This morning I had 4 serves of carbs for breakfast. I tested my blood later and my glucose (sugar) level was up to 9.3 mmol/L. In what sense is this ok? Maybe it's not as high as a diabetic's glucose levels might go, so maybe it's not doing as much damage as if it was 16 or something. But it is still over the normal, safe level which I believe to be 7.8 mmol/L. The difference between being pre-diabetic and diabetic is just being a little further up a sliding scale; it isn't really a yes or no it is just a point at which the researchers decided it was bad enough to be called diabetes. So, as far as I can tell, it's not like something that is bad when you are a little bit further along isn't bad if you aren't quite there.

I think I need to talk to an expert, maybe contact the Diabetes Australia or Diabetes ACT people and ask some questions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A positive, active day


I managed to put all my whiney feeling-sorry-for-myself behind me and just got on with it today. After walking the kids to school I bought an elastic ankle support at the chemist. I don't know if I need it or if it helps but I haven't re-injured myself today so maybe it is working. After doing some housework I went to the gym and spent an hour and a half using the weight machines. I avoided a few that seemed to put too much pressure on my ankle or my bad shoulder, but still ended up with fifteen different exercises on thirteen machines. There were a couple I only did one set of ten reps on but on the rest I did three sets of ten reps. I started with mainly the lightest possible weight, 10 kg, but was putting on a bit more by the end; and then when I had finished I went back and did another three sets of ten reps on the first five machines, but with heavier weights. So in total I did 20 exercises, 540 reps! I think I will be feeling it tomorrow.

After going home for lunch and a shower, I drove to Floriade. As usual when we go to that area I parked some distance away, a little hidden carpark further along the lake that is never full even during festivals, and then I walked briskly to Commonwealth Park and wandered among the tulips. With that and the school pick up I did a total of an hour walking today, so that is two and a half hours of exercise. Go me! And it was a really lovely sunny day, a little cool with the lake breeze but perfect once in the park.

While at Floriade I went to the exhibition stalls (pausing RunKeeper) and taste-tested everything available. I love free stuff! I tried five different flavours of fudge and then bought some of the raspberry flavour. I'm not even all that keen on fudge, I just felt obscurely guilty for trying so much. But the kids loved it and we saved some for Tim so that is ok. Also, carrying a bar of fudge around proved I was a genuine buyer not just a taster! I also had four or five kinds of exotic herbal tea -- I rather liked the Turkish green apple which tasted a lot like apple juice but it only came in a big $20 cannister -- a sour watermelon lolly which I didn't like much, some really hot chilli that left my lips burning for a while, and nuts encusted in various things like chilli/lime and toffee. Next time I am going to buy some Vienna macadamias, they were really yummy. Not sure what was on them, vanilla sugar? Despite casually wandering past the better nut stall several times (there was another one that wasn't as good), I didn't really eat that much and it was nice afternoon snack made up of a multitude of different tastes.

There were plenty of other stalls with gardening tools and handmade soaps and jewellery and silk scarves and things, sometimes I look at that stuff but not today. I really go to Floriade to look at the flowers, but I didn't look closely at those today either, I walked around briskly and got a general overview. I'll be going again, several times I hope. I haven't looked at the dresses-made-of-flowers exhibition or sat in the cafe overlooking the gardens or done the wine tasting or anything yet! And there is a petting zoo for the kids, they love that every year.

Feeling so much more positive today.

photo by sallysetsforth

And again

Thursday evening:

So by school pick up time my ankle was recovered enough that I was walking more or less normally. I drove to the school anyway as we were going straight to gymnastics. I was telling Aiden's teacher that I was having trouble finding an Akubra for him and we were agreeing that his school hat would be fine for the concert (he is the narrator, reading "Wombat Stew" while others act it out -- such a good reader for a five year old!) and we walked down some steps together. And my ankle gave out again.

As you do, I pretended I wasn't in agony and just kept walking and talking while I felt like my face was going white. Even whiter than usual, that is. I'm pretty much snow-coloured already. Why do we do that -- like you trip over and then jump up and pretend you're fine even though you want to cry. I guess it's to save face or something. Anyway, I was in a lot of pain and held on to anything available on the way back to the car as I tried to look normal.

Tonight it's back to a gentle ache -- barely hurts at all right now -- but I am really scared of twisting it again. It was steps both times today, but I really don't feel like I can predict what is going to hurt it. Maybe I need to get some proper strapping for it for a few days.

I want to be exercising. I want to be out in the slightly tempramental but often lovely spring weather. Our local flower show has started, it is a huge tourist attraction, and I haven't been yet. I want to go lots of times and wander around amongst the tulips. I want to do some gardening. We've been paying a gardener who mows and prunes, he's cleared all the weeds out of the raised vegetable beds my husband made for me and I want to plant things; I even bought some snowpea seedlings this morning. I want to have a little bounce on our trampoline, and try jogging around the lake, and I feel very cranky and frustrated and irritable. I feel like a failure for not exercising, for letting this beat me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Effing ankle


Today started off gloomy with a sprinkle of rain so I was undecided as to whether my work-out would be indoors or out, I decided to wait and see how the day unfolded as I had other things to do first.

I got an email this morning with an editing job offer. It was potentially quite lucrative (as editing jobs go that is, it's not a very high-paying career) and I never really like turning down jobs. My first thought was to ask for more information about it, to work out if I could fit it in. But as I walked my kids to school I reminded myself that I had set aside this time to exercise. I need to put my health first for a while. It's a struggle to find time to exercise even when I'm not working, and my track record when I am working is not good. So as soon as I got home I emailed a polite no.

Then I went out to the shops ... again. I had to do some grocery shopping, but also more stuff for the kids. They are having a school concert next week and they both need costume items that I was having a hard time finding despite all my shopping over the past couple of days. These included white child-size gloves (found today), a child-size Akubra (Australian cowboy hat, I haven't found one and he might have to wear his green school hat which is a similar style. I could probably get a real brand-name one somewhere at great expense but I was hoping for a cheap K-Mart version), and a black long-sleeve t-shirt. This last one sounds easy, right? Well it's spring here and no one is selling them. I ended up buying a a black leotard and a cropped black cardigan with sparkles on it, to go with the black leggings I already bought. It was the best I could do. Jasmine will love it (if she could ever love anything black) but I don't think it's exactly what the teacher had in mind.

I got home and brought one load of shopping in from the car, then went back to get the rest. As I stepped down off the front porch my ankle gave a sudden protest. It had been absolutely fine all day yesterday including with exercise, fine all this morning. I didn't twist it or jump down or anything, just a normal step down. It really hurt, more than the first time. I was barely able to hobble back into the house. It is down to a dull ache again now, about an hour later, but it is really frustrating as I certainly don't dare exercise on it. I don't know what is going on with it. I assume it was still a bit weak.

Another one-day-in-a-row exercise streak. Go me.

No point bitching and moaning about it, much as I want to. I'll just rest it again, exercise when I can. Catch up on all the other things I need to do while I can't. And not turn to chocolate. Well, maybe just a little bit.

Wednesday weigh-in: 78.1 kg


Arg, only down 100g. Earlier this week my weight was going down down every day, to a low of 77.3 on Sat morning. Then I twisted my ankle. Since then it's gone up up up each day. So annoying. It's also TOM and I ate too much at D&D supper last night. But I am getting back on track now.

Speaking of D&D supper, I did a quick calculation last night and we ate an average of 1000 calories each. Not great for a snack! We'd had mainly healthy food a couple of weeks in a row but last night we were back to corn chips and chocolate and lollies. I am not blaming anyone else, I am definitely the worst offender. But at the end of the evening I did bring up the subject. Not sure how much agreement there was.

This morning was our children's "learning journey" at school so we went and looked at their classrooms and workbooks to see what they have been doing for the first 3/4 of the year. Then I dropped Tim at work and went back to the shops to exchange and/or return a few of the clothes from yesterday that didn't fit. It's a bit hard to guess without the child there to try on the clothes -- for instance one size 8 was too big for her but another size 8 from the same store was much too small! -- but it is still easier to shop without dragging bored kids around.

By the time I got home it was lunchtime, and still no exercise yet apart from a bit of walking around. The day was getting away from me. This is supposed to be my exercise-full time! Life keeps getting in the way but no more excuses. After lunch I got into my gym gear and did an hour of Just Dance 3 on the Kinect. I got 5 stars in every song on easy earlier in the year, now I am working on the hard setting. Mostly getting 4 stars first try, I'll get them all on 5 stars eventually. It was a great workout, and the time went pretty quickly.

I picked up the kids and we had afternoon tea (strawberries!) then went to the gym for Club Gecko. I did 30 mins on the elliptical, getting to 4.2 km again. I felt like I was really working hard but couldn't beat my previous time. When I got home I was ravenously hungry, and grabbed a few snacks before dinner was ready.

So I managed my two hours of exercise today, including half an hour of walking the kids to and from school. After a cloudy morning it was a lovely spring day, I want to get outside into it more. I know I need to apprieciate it now because I hate the heat (and inevitable sunburn as I am lily-white) of summer. I can feel that I did a lot today as my legs are aching a bit. Excellent.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moving around again


My ankle felt a lot better this morning and I walked the kids to school with only a few twinges. I spent the next couple of hours alternating between standing activities (housework) and sitting activities (reading emails, cup of tea etc). Then I went to the shops to buy my kids some new clothes and it turned into a three hour marathon. I spent over $300 and probably looked at every item of kids' clothing in the four big department stores in Canberra city. That three hours did include a lunch break and lots of standing looking, but also a fair bit of brisk walking between shops. My ankle was just fine.

It had been a beautiful morning, I didn't even need a jumper, but the sky had become very cloudy by the time I was driving home, and when I was walking to pick up the kids from school half an hour later the sky was black with ominous rumbles and flashes of lightening. I was a bit optomistic about my chances of getting back home before it stormed, it started to sprinkle rain while we were still at the school. I wasn't worried about getting rained on, but with such a warm day I was scared we would get hailed on. So a friend who had driven to get her kids dropped mine home, there was no room in the car for me but I could get home a lot quicker by myself than with the kids. I jogged (ie, jogged bits and walked bits) which was a bit of strain on the ankle but I made it ok and got home at the same time as the kids, in a very light spatter of rain.

And that is about all the rain we got. Not even enough for the garden fairies to bathe in. All that thunder and lightening was just big talk with nothing to back it up.

Sydney, on the other hand, which is a little over three hours drive away, had a huge storm about an hour before that with trees down and big hailstones. So I wasn't wrong about the danger of hail. Maybe it hit other parts of Canberra too, I only saw Sydney news tonight not local news (while Canberra is the political capital of Australia it only has about 350,000 people -- half of whom are public servants -- Sydney is much bigger so we get their news as well).

Anyway, health & weight-loss wise the point of all this is that my ankle is pretty much fine and I'll be back into proper exercise tomorrow. Of course it is hurting a little bit now after all that activity today. And my knee seems to be a bit sore ... oh shut up.

photo by freefotouk

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Damn ankle


My ankle was still sore all yesterday, seeming to get a bit worse instead of better, so that it was a bit of a struggle to hobble around the house. I rested and elevated and strapped, and my lovely husband cooked dinner and did everything else. Is is still called my ankle when the pain is below the knobbly ankle bone? Maybe the heel. It sort of feels bruised in there.

Anyway, felt a lot better today but still tender. I rested all morning but this afternoon popped out to do some essential shopping and picked up the kids from school -- in the car but that still involves a little bit of walking -- and now it is fairly sore again. Oh well, I assume it will be even better tomorrow. It is just so annoying when I had big plans! I didn't even take the kids to Gecko because of the extra walking to and from the carpark. I figure it's best to let it fully heal than risk making it worse. But tomorrow I might go to the gym and use some of the equipment that doesn't involve pressure on the feet, like weights when you are seated. And it's so much better today, I can wriggle my foot around without pain now, it just hurts when I put weight on it.

Tim bought Guild Wars II (computer game) on the weekend and I tried it today. Seems pretty good, but a little confusing. Takes some getting used to, as the only games I've really played are WoW and Rift which are pretty much clones of each other. I didn't like any of the other ones Tim has played. I do like little time management games and things like Plant vs Zombie.

I did do some other non-work work today as well, some reading of things I need to review and looking for new blinds for the kids bedrooms (online) but all day I felt the pressure of "I should be exercising!" I'm feeling a bit of a failure that I only got in one single day of increased exercise. And I didn't even hurt myself overdoing the exercise, I was just setting up before starting! Arg!

Saturday, September 15, 2012



This is so frustrating. I've hurt my ankle and don't know how I'm going to exercise today. Day 2 and I'm already falling at the first hurdle.

Yesterday when I first got to the gym I moved to the far side of the room. It was much more crowded than it is on a weekday, probably over 100 people instead of about 30. I found a spot, but then realised that everyone else had a mat rolled up nearby so I trotted right over to the entrance to get one then trotted back to my towel & water bottle, weaving in and out through the crowds. At some point I twisted my left ankle a little. It didn't hurt much and I was determined not to be defeated before I had even started so I started the warmup and the pain faded fairly quickly. I forgot about it.

This morning I woke with a sore ankle. Presumably I did some very minor damage and it stiffened overnight. It hurts a bit when I put pressure on it and I really don't want to exacerbate it and put myself out of action for a long period. I guess I will take today off, a lazy Sunday, and hopefully it will be fine tomorrow. It is really annoying though, I had some plans for today. And I hurt it when I wasn't even officially exercising! I'd feel less silly if at least I'd been doing a strenous workout at the time. I'll rest it all day and maybe go for a shortish walk later.

Two hours of exercise


I did my two hours of exercise today! Tim dropped me at the gym and I did a BodyAttack class first. I've had some problems with BodyAttack before but today it seemed nearly pointless. I think I had to modify about 75% of the moves, either because of my shoulder (push ups and planks) or, more frequently, because of my untoned pelvic floor. Although I went to the toilet both immediately before the class and again half-way through it, I felt like I was going to wet myself during all the jumping jacks and high-knee running and superman moves etc. I had to tone it right down, which meant I didn't feel like I got a great workout. Indeed, I was wearing my heart rate monitor and I only got my rate up for 49% of the class. That is pretty dismal. I tried to keep moving, stepping instead of jumping etc, but it is not at all the same. I need a class with moves I can do, so I'll have to have another think about weekends.

I stayed for the BodyPump class, which was much more satisfactory. But I got half-way through it and was lying on the step doing the tricep moves when I suddenly realised that I felt rather .... damp ... around the underwear area. I was rather paranoid after the previous class so I packed up. I'm pretty sure it was actually sweat (different moisture pattern, sorry for TMI). This pelvic floor problem is something I should have worked on long ago, like many other areas of my life. I've only ever peed myself twice, both during extended coughing fits and luckily at home; but since having kids, during exercise I've often felt like I really needed to pee even when I had just gone. It is rather disconcerting and uncomfortable, and it prevents me from doing some high-impact exercises.

Anyway, so that was an hour and a half at the gym and then I walked home which took another 40 mins. I haven't been overly tired, but then none of the exercise was really strenuous (I am not putting myself down, I think it was a good start). I had a banana as I was leaving the gym and lunch as soon as I got home, but then had sugar cravings in the afternoon. Mmmm, chocolate.

Tim and I played Rift (computer game) for a while after lunch then at 3.00pm I noticed a couple of messages on my iPhone. They were from my children's violin teacher, and said "I'm waiting for you outside the building, where are you?" and "I've left your tickets at the box office". My first thought was that she had sent the messages to the wrong person, and was going to txt her so, but then suddenly realised that we had arranged to go to a Canberra Symphony Orchestra performance today! For $130, with ballroom dancers on stage with the orchestra. Starting at 2.00pm, an hour ago! We had no idea when it was to finish, but we dashed out the door with our grungy weekend clothes on (at least I had showered and changed since the gym) and luckily it was only 15 min drive away. When we got there of course there was no one at the box office but eventually we found one of the catering staff who snuck us in up the top. Our real seats were probably much closer to the stage, but at least we got to hear the last 30 mins. I really enjoyed it and would have liked to see/hear more, but the kids were a bit restless so maybe it was all for the best. I am a bit annoyed with myself though, I organised it but then didn't write it on the kitchen calendar so totally forgot. My fault. The orchestra finished with "The Blue Danbue"which was just lovely. The ballroom dancers waltzing around the stage was a nice touch.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ready to start


Apart from the grocery shopping, today I just buckled down and got my editing work done. I continued after I'd brought the kids home and finished around 4.30. It always feels good to finish a project and send it off.

I still have a couple of jobs floating around in the ether but I don't know when they will land on my desk, and in the meantime I am free to spend a lot of time on exercise. A minimum of two hours a day. Lets see how that goes, shall we?

For the past couple of weeks I've had the goal of a minimum of 30 mins of exercise a day. I've achieved that most days, but on two days I only did 15 and on one day nothing. Not a perfect record, but not bad. 30 mins should be achievable every day, even if I am busy and tired. It's only a walk! If I don't want to go outside I've got a treadmill and lots of Kinect games.

I think my favourite exercise is still walking, especially if I actually have a purpose and I'm not on a treadmill or just walking around the block. I've enjoyed walking to the shops and to the library. Exercising with some kind of goal or target is a big motivator for me.

I look forward, now that spring is here and the weather is (slowly) warming up, to getting back to walking/jogging around the lake. It's very pretty there, and I have a time to beat. I need to build up the jogging portion to more than about 20 seconds at a time! The early part of next week is supposed to be rainy, but soon. The flower festival, Floriade, will start on the shores of the lake in a couple of weeks. I always enjoy spending time there. That can be my reward at the end of a jog. Hmmm... I will hopefully be dripping sweat... should I look at the tulips first instead so I don't stink out the crowds?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Late for Weigh-in Wednesday: 78.2 kg


I'm not too worried that my weight, 78.2 yesterday, appears to be up slightly (0.2 kg) since last week as it has been up and down every day by as much as 0.5 kg so I don't really know what is going on. Today I was 77.8 kg.

Yesterday we had the carpet steam cleaned. This meant I spent at least two hours, spread over the day, moving furniture off the carpet and picking up the mounds of stuff on the floor in the kids' rooms (toys, books, pieces of Lego, Barbie shoes, marbles, more Lego, dirty socks hiding under things, drawings, rock collections ...). The clean was originally sheduled for 10 am then moved to 3.30 then to 4.30 and he finally came at 5.00 and left after 6.30. It was dark and cold by then with no chance of getting it dry before bed-time, but at least it was done and we now have beautifully clean carpets all over the house. And the cleaning counts as exercise, I could even feel it in my glutes this morning.

Today I went to the gym while Aiden was at gymnastics, and as Jasmine had gone to a friend's house I had a bit longer than usual. I did 30 mins on the elliptical and got up to 4.2 km, then 15 mins on the rowing machine with increased resistance. It was the first time I had used the rowing machine since I achieved my rowing goal and I found it totally boring! Only a month ago I loved it, but either I'm sick of it or I just need a goal to spur me on. I'm finding the elliptical really hard work, I do the same two-hill routine each time. But I have a goal to work towards and I can watch the TV with captions while I do it. All kids afternoon TV shows though. It might take me a while to work up to 5 km.

I haven't really been controlling my eating but I haven't lapsed either, it's much the same as it has been for a while.

I should finish my current editing job tomorrow and then I can throw myself into the extra exercise.

This "Thor's Day" thing is getting ridiculous. I think it has rained four out the past five Thursdays, but not rained much on other days. Or maybe I don't notice it so much on other days because I am not dragging kids from place to place in the rain.

photo by LZ creations

Monday, September 10, 2012

Have You Ever


This is from where they have Friend Makin' Mondays.

Have You Ever?
1. Jumped out of an airplane? No. And never never never never never would. If the airplane was on fire and full of venemous snakes and about to crash into a mountain you would still have to physically push me out the door (hopefully with a parachute), that is how scared of heights I am. I get scared of heights on my bicycle.
2. Lived alone? Yes. I lived alone for about six years and loved it. I worked with people all day and had a good social life so I was never lonely.
3. Met a celebrity? No. Once after seeing a musical I was in a restaurant and the stars of the cast (all semi-famous people) were at the next table, but I didn't actually meet them.
4. Said something to someone that you immediately regret saying? Of course. In particular I remember one girl getting me to anonamously pass unpleasant news on to another girl, who of course wanted to know how I knew and who told me etc and I was stuck in the middle.
5. Had a manicure/pedicure? Never.
6. Gotten a hickey? I think so. Long long ago.
7. Owned a pet that was not a dog or a cat?  Do fish count? And mice? Then yes.
8. Been outside of your home country? Yes. For our honeymoon we spent a week in Thailand then three weeks touring around Europe.
9. Kissed your best friend? Yes, my best friend at Uni was a guy. I had always been interested in him and I talked him into dating me for a couple of months, then we went back to being friends.
10. Eaten food that fell on the floor? Of course.
11. Met someone online? Sort of. I became quite good friends with someone I met on the MMO WOW, but we have never met in person.
12. Been on TV? Yes, when Simon Townsend's Wonder World did a segment on my local children's bookshop when I was in Primary School.
13. Had braces? Yes. I had very mature teeth and had my braces on and off again in Primary School by the time I was about 11, before anyone else had them.
14. Gone skinny dipping?  Yes, as a semi-adult with other teenage girls on a secluded beach. And topless at a pool party about the third time I met my now-husband. Maybe that clinched the deal!
15. Been to the opera? Operetta, which is comedy and in English and has some dialogue as well as singing.
16. Been caught making out by a policeman? No. And what do you mean "caught". Is making out illegal in America? Do you mean something different by making out than I do (passionate kissing with maybe a bit of groping).
17. Sung in public? Lots. I was a regular at Karaoke and still use Singstar at home at parties, and have been in many amateur theatricals where I sang solo in front of at least 500 people. I love singing.
18. Handed out candy on Halloween? No, we don't really do Halloween in Australia.
19. Been snowed in? No. Doesn't snow much here. Never in Sydney where I grew up, and we get a few flakes falling every few years here in Canberra but they melt as soon as they hit the ground.
20. Fallen in front of other people? Yes.You always get up and pretend you're fine even when you can hardly walk.
21. Cheated on a test? Never. What would that prove? I want to show off what I can do.
22. Regretted saying “I love you” to someone? Not in the way you mean, but when I was dating my now-husband we lived a long way apart and had long daily phone calls which would always end with "I love you." Once I was chatting to someone else on the phone and, out of habit, finished with "Bye, love you." Luckily it was a girl who was a good friend so it wasn't too bad, and she probably thought nothing of it.
23. Finished a meal in a restaurant and realized that you didn’t have your wallet? No. But I have realised I didn't have enough cash at places that wouldn't take a card.
24. Shot a gun? Yes, on my grandad's farm, the kind you shoot tin cans off the fence with; or rabbits. I wasn't any good. You aren't really allowed to own guns in Australia, so I've never shot a "real" gun.
25. Heard a song that was written for (or about) you? No. Well, I wrote one when I was about 10 and sang it for my mum, does that count?

Sad news

Monday night:

Just ten minutes ago I was thinking about writing a blog about how my day went slowly from great (getting in my morning walk, being focused about my editing work, preparing and eating a near perfect Caesar salad for lunch) to not great (ineffective workout at the gym, burning myself with hot oil cooking dinner), then I opened my emails and heard some really sad news that brought home how a stinging arm hurts so little compared to some things.

Last Boxing Day Jimmy, a young man in a writing group I'm in, was swimming on an unpatrolled beach when he was caught in a rip and drowned. I didn't know him particularly well, but he was a lovely guy and it was a terrible and pointless tragedy that he died. One of those things where you think; if only he hadn't swum where there were no life guards, if only ...

Today his wife finally gave into grief and committed suicide. I'd never met her, and I can hardly imagine what she has been going through for the past nine months. Despite not knowing her, I can cry for her. I assume she's been holding on all this time, hoping it would get better and that she could -- not "get over it", but move past it a bit and keep on living -- but today she couldn't do it any more and gave up. It's just so sad.

Today I will try to remember how very very lucky I am.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Low-carb pizza and back on the bike


Yesterday I managed to get plenty of exercise in; I cleaned the bathroom -- walls, floor and shower cubicle (and if you don't think that is exercise you've never done it) -- then we all went to the bike park in the afternoon. I am still very nervous on a bicyle, I've probably ridden mine less than ten times since I got it nearly two years ago. I am scared of falling, of going fast, of stopping. But I am gradually getting better. I did about 3 km, which isn't far; I wasn't restricted by my fear or by the level of exertion but mainly by sore bits where the Natalie met the saddle. I am still a bit tender this morning. Tim, who rides to and from work every day, says you toughen up eventually.

Then the kids played while I went for a 2.5 km walk around the walking track next to the bike track. It was smoothly mown grass, very nice and springy to walk on compared to concrete, winding up and down a couple of hills and past a little pond. Moderately scenic, although the views of the new housing estate under construction in the valley were not ideal. I did see four ducks, and two very large kangaroos which stood up tall and watched me intently as I passed.

I felt pretty tired when we got home, which makes my future plans of exercising several hours a day kind of laughable, but I honestly think quite a bit of that tiredness was reaction from the stress of riding my bike. I was probably very tense and surging with adrenaline, which leaves the body exhausted once the time of fear is over.

This morning I walked to the shops again with my mini backpack to get a few things that couldn't wait until tomorrow's proper shopping trip -- like some milk and more Milo oats to which I have suddenly become addicted. This time I managed to fit all five or six items in the backpack. I did want to get some strawberries but they clearly weren't going to fit so I left them behind.

Yesterday I really felt like having pizza for lunch but we didn't have the ingredients to make it so we ordered Domino's and I tried the low-carb base. Yuck. I don't know what it was made from, maybe a non-wheat flour? I had one piece, and then transferred my toppings to a couple of pieces of the kids' cheese-only pizza with the normal base. I won't be getting that again, not that we get pizza that often anymore anyway. Maybe thin & crispy has less carbs than classic crust? I've put the rest of my low-carb pepperoni pizza in the freezer in case of a zombie apocolypse or something. You never know when even grainy cardboard will become precious.

Saturday, September 8, 2012



I mentioned a while ago that I tried porridge/oats a couple of times and thought they were pretty horrible. Warm glue with sugar on top. But for some reason I was determined to keep trying. They say with kids you keep introducing new foods up to ten times before they accept it, right? So I found these Milo (chocolate) oats, 90 second microwave ones. At first it seemed very decadent and unhealthy to have something chocolate-flavoured for breakfast, but then I decided that everyone else puts brown sugar or honey or golden syrup on theirs so chocolate isn't really all that different. And much nicer, in my opinion, as I don't really have that much of a sweet tooth.

And I like it. The first day I still struggled to get past the gluey texture, but I worried it down. And now I have it nearly every day, and enjoy it. And best of all, it doesn't make me feel all urgey and yuck. Most breakfasts do. With whole milk it is 199 calories and fills me up so I think I have a winner.

Tim is home so I am much happier and no longer feel stressed about trying to organise my life. I have decided to not take on any new work for the rest of this year. I'll get what I have on hand out of the way (that will probably take all this week) then really up the exercise levels. I'll still have to juggle a bit when expected work comes in.

A while ago I went 3.7 km on the elliptical in 30 mins and set a goal of 5 km, I haven't mentioned it since then because I hadn't even got to 3.7 on subsequent tries. I did have a cold, I suppose. Anyway, on Thursday I got to 3.9 km and it must have been very close to 4. I sprinted the last bit but couldn't get it to turn over that last 100 meters. I watch old subtitled episodes of "Becker" while I jog on the machine.

Thursday, September 6, 2012



Still struggling today. I think Tim being away really gets to me. But he is coming home tonight!

I've already changed my diet so much -- I eat far more vegetables, much less take-away and biscuits and other junk, cook healthier meals -- but it seems like that is not enough for the universe and it's just not fair! Waah waah waah. Do I have to give up every single thing I like? Measure out tiny portions forever?

There used to be at least a theoretical option that I could just learn to love myself the way I am; I don't agree with the fat acceptance movement but I am only moderately overweight (in my own eyes, anyway) and maybe I don't need to fit into clothes designed for pre-pubescent girls. But now, with the prediabetes, that is no longer an option. It is no longer about vanity and maybe getting a bit more energy, with ill-health way off in the distance. Diabetes looms above me, ready to give me a heart attack or take my eyesight.


What I do now seems to be about right to keep me at this weight. To lose 20 kg, I need to do more. I've tried both various diets and increasing exercise several times over the past two years, and keep failing. Doesn't matter, gotta keep trying anyway.

At present, trying to restrict my calories further just puts me into a deprived panic and binge mode. So I'll go with exercise.

Last night I decided that if I stop working I can exercise three or four hours a day. Unfortunately I can't just "stop working". My income is pretty negligible compared to my husband's so that isn't really the issue, but I have a current client who has more work lined up for me and another client who will get back to me with a revised manuscript soon. Even if I take no more work, saying I'm booked up for the rest of the year, I still have at least two months work over the next four months, and I can't totally predict when I will get it. That's the life of a freelancer! I have made these committments and I am not prepared to go back on that. But I think I will not take on any new work for a while.

What do I do in the meantime? I can try doing 1 hr gym class each day plus walking kids to school plus 30 mins gym three afternoons a week while the kids are at Gecko. That is what I should be doing already. But that leaves me so little working time; once I allow for lunch & stuff it gives me about two hours a day. Maybe I can make that work if I am more efficient with my time, but I have already wasted so much time with this current job that I am behind and need to devote a lot more time to it. Instead of rambling on on this blog, for a start!

The other option is getting up at 5.45 every morning to do a 6.15 am class at the gym instead of going to the 9.30 class. OMG that is so early. I get up at 7.30 at the moment, and still struggle to drag myself out of bed. I did it for two weeks just before my 40th birthday, not since then.

I can't go to the gym in the evening, Tim gets home too late.

I don't know what to do. I feel defeated before I begin. I hoped writing this all out would help me work things out, but I just keep finding reasons why it's all too hard.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



Sometimes I think working from home is a really bad idea. It was/is practical with two young children, but so isolating. My husband works long hours and I often go days without seeing anyone else for more than a few words at school pick-up. When my closest friend here, who I try to get together with once a week, has only been available about one week in three lately now that she's working full-time; and my husband is away for a couple of nights, I feel really lonely and alone.

I've thought about getting part-time work somewhere that I would see people, hopefully still as an editor, but there are two reasons why it's not a great option right now. Firstly my old RSI problem is still a problem if I spend long hours at the computer -- working for myself I can take lots of breaks -- and secondly we are trying to move states soon, dependant on my husband finding work there. I feel like my life is a bit on hold while waiting for that.

Feel depressed today. Don't know how I am going to lose this weight. I have thought about not taking on any new clients, and when I finish this job (with one more coming some indefinite time in the future) just devoting myself to exercise. Just walking or something for five hours a day.

I don't think I am very good at working for myself anyway. I spend far too much time wasting time, as I have no boss watching me. I charge clients by the word, not the hour, so I am not cheating them; but I'm not very efficient with my time these days. So different from the old me. I used to be so organised, so conscentious, always on-time. Now I am unmotivated and lazy. My health is suffering and my mental health is suffering. I need to change something.

Time to pick up the kids and go to the gym. I'd rather just crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Wake up in 100 years like sleeping beauty to find everything has miraculously changed.

Wednesday weigh-in: 78.0 kg


Well I said I would keep doing what I was doing as long as it was working. It's not working. So I need to do something else. I haven't quite decided what yet, because life keeps happening while I am making other plans.

Last night, while the grownups were playing D&D, Jasmine had a bit of a diarhoea explosion. Pyjamas, bed, carpet ... and she was up twice more in the night with less dramatic toilet visits. So today she is home in bed. Tim is away on a three-day conference, so essentially I can't leave the house (lucky I have the Kinect games). And due to my brilliant new scheme of shopping daily and only buying what I need for that day, I have very little in the house. Oh, I have enough to make a meal for myself and the kids. One pork chop. Some pasta. A few salad vegetables.

Weigh-in Wednesday: 78.0 kg -- Take II


Don't you hate it when you write a post and it doesn't save/publish and you have to write it again? I think it went something like this:

* Slight gain this week so just counting carbs isn't working, I'll have to think of something else but haven't decided what yet.

* My 8 year old daughter got sick last night so I kept her home from school today (she was fine really, and got very bored) which meant I couldn't do the planned exercise and I still have to get in another 15 mins before I go to bed because it is No Excuses Spring!

Since I wrote the original post this morning, my day has gone a bit further downhill. I decided to try tracking, and did well for most of the day even though I was really hungry all day. The hunger was odd because I wasn't actually eating any less/differently than I have been lately. But I was starving. I think it was just the thought of tracking -- knowing I was placing limits on myself sent me into a deprivation panic. But also (sorry for the TMI) I kept expelling really stinky clouds of miasma. This rather worried me because it is not usual for me, and because of my daughter's illness. Did I have her disgestion problem? It seems to have resolved now, thankfully.

Then came the evening. And the knowledge that my husband is away for two nights on a work thing. I hate it when he was away. Once I got the kids to bed I felt very lonely. And I lapsed back into emotional eating. A couple of hours after dinner I had a bowl of sugary cereal, then vegemite cruskits (two whole breakfasts in a row!) and then some chocolate. I feel a bit ill now. And annoyed with myself.

And until just that moment I didn't even think about the carbs in my evening binge. Not too bad, but I really need to think about that before I eat something these days instead of after. I've been so careful. I let my emotional eating get the better of me.

I'm rather glad the day is nearly over.

Oh, I found the original post. So now you have two.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Walking to the library


This morning I continued with my new plan of walking places instead of the car. I took three books back to the library (it used to take me at least 40 mins pushing a toddler in the pram, but alone it took me 25), collected one that was waiting for me, and then walked over to some shops a couple of blocks away. I bought a grainy bread roll, and ate half of it topped with some slices of brie cheese I brought from home. I usually like fluffy white bread but for some reason creamy brie goes really well with grain bread or grainy biscuits. Then I shopped, again chose only what I needed for today (dinner tonight plus D&D supper). I had hoped the celery would be ok sticking out of the top of my mini backpack, but that made the zipper keep unzipping all the way so I ended up carrying it separately. Maybe I need a bigger backpack if I'm going to shop with it!

I paused RunKeeper at the library and shops, and my total walking was 5 km in just over an hour. Walking the kids to & from school will mean an hour and a half today. Nice. I was pretty tired when I got home, and a bit sweaty. Lovely spring day!

I bought vegetable sticks and dip for D&D tonight, and there is still chocolate left over from last time. Trying to be a bit healthier.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Life gets in the way


I had big plans today for lots of extra exercise. As well as the usual walking the kids to and from school and using the cross-trainer at the gym while the kids were doing their Gecko class, I wanted to walk to the shops. It would have totalled an hour and a half of exercise today. Would have.

I walked the kids to school then set off for the shops with my tiny backpack. Worked out on the way that a coat wasn't the best thing to walk briskly in, but whatever. Selected one day's worth of food. Plus strawberries on special. And some grapes, the first nice ones I'd seen for ages. And I needed dishwashing liquid. Didn't come close to all fitting in my mini backpack, so I ended up carrying an extra shopping bag and my big coat home. Slightly annoying, but I'd got in 45 mins of exercise already! Excellent.

Then at lunch time the school called to say Aiden and another boy had bumped heads in the playground and he was having some blurry vision. He'd actually hit his head in exactly the same spot that morning at home, on the handle of a pot sitting on the sink waiting to be washed. Of course I went and fetched him to look after him at home. I couldn't find anyone to bring Jasmine home so we had to go back to the school at 3 to get her. Aiden seems fine now, he is just relaxing and watching TV. But of course we didn't go to the gym.

I was so glad I had been for my long walk to the shops this morning! Otherwise I would be struggling to get in my 30 mins of exercise today. Of course looking after Aiden is more important than my exercise on any given day, but Spring is no-excuse season. If I hadn't walked this morning I would have had to find time for some exercise tonight. My health is important too.

Brief review of some books about diabetes

I have read quite a few books but have returned some of them to the library already, this is not meant as a comprehensive review of the literature. Just some thoughts.

Prediabetes for Dummies (already returned so I don't have publishing details handy)
I hate hate hate the title of this book -- part of a big franchise of "for Dummies" books -- and would never have bought it just because of that. But it didn't seem to be geared to dummies at all. It had plenty of comprehensive information about prediabetes and in fact was one of the very few I could find that was about prediabetes rather than diabetes. Written by a medical professional and strongly pushing the "lose weight and exercise" message, it also went into detail about what is happening in the prediabetic body. Recommended.

Various CSIRO books about Diabetes (already returned)
CSIRO stands for ... um ... something or other, anyway they are Australian science boffins. I tried their diet last year or the year before (it was a best seller) and wrote about it here in the blog. The books with the word "diabetes" on the cover had some information about diabetes but mainly just pushed their diet. Lots of recipes and glossy pictures of happy healthy people. An attractive couple of books but didn't have any depth of information so not really what I was looking for.

The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes by Gretchen Becker
Marlowe & Company: 2004
This book is written by someone with diabetes rather than a doctor or scientist, and I loved it. A very easy to read, chatty and informal style from someone who has been through it all; but with lots of detailed information too. As well as the physical aspects, she talks about emotional aspects like depression and having to watch other people eat cake. There were some "facts" there that I hadn't seen elsewhere (therefore unsubstantiated and under suspicion but still interesting). It had its faults, in particular she talks about lots of different studies but doesn't reference them in the text, so you don't know which of the studies in the Resources chapter she is referring to. On the other hand, she seems to give a very balanced approach to different arguments, saying that no one size fits all and every situation is different. Recommended.

Spring goals and Fathers' Day


It's the second day of September and therefore the second day of Spring here in the southern hemisphere. We've had a really long cold winter (I think the northern hemisphere has had a very hot summer!) and even yesterday was freezing which was disappointing but today it was sunny enough to get out for a Fathers' Day picnic which was lovely.

A new month is always a good time to rethink goals, and a new season -- especially Spring! -- even better. Obviously my prediabetes is a big motivator and my goals certainly revolve around getting healthy and reversing the condition. I rarely think about anything else these days. So:

1) Lose weight. I still need to lose nearly 20 kg. I would love to lose 10 kg in the next three months.
2) Manage my blood glucose levels to avoid doing damage to various parts of my body, and to avoid accelerating a plunge into actual diabetes.

I will do this by:

a) Exercise. This helps with both losing weight and managing blood sugar levels. As well as improving insulin action, exercise uses up glucose stores in the muscles so that later glucose will be stored there first rather than going straight to fat. I have resolved to exercise for at least 30 mins every single day of Spring. These first two days I have been for a brisk walk each day, 5 km/h which is about as fast as I can go without jogging. I listen to music and also have RunKeeper on to tell me how fast and far I am going.
b) Writing down everything I eat. As I said yesterday, this really helps me stay on track. For the moment, I will continue to just count carbs. If I stop losing weight I will obviously have to take more drastic action.

When I saw the doctor the other day we discussed my often-dehydrated state and she sternly abjured me to drink more. I really am trying. And last night I only had to get up twice to pee; better than the night before. I did have a dream, though, where I really needed to urinate so went to the refridgerator in my old childhood home and peed in the vegetable crisper drawer! Four times! I woke really needing to pee. Sometimes I wonder how adults don't (usually) urinate in their sleep when they dream about it. Or fall out of bed when turning over. I guess we never sleep so soundly that we are completely out of control or unaware of our bodies.

Another thing that came up with the doctor was that when she was looking over my lab results she noticed that they had not tested my Vitamin D levels, and I had been deficient two years ago. Oh well, she said, as long as you are still taking your Vitamin D tablets you should be fine. I smiled as agreeably as I could without actually lying. Those tablets used to make me nauseated when I took them with breakfast, I even threw up once or twice, but I could never remember to take them later in the day. But I'm trying with that too -- taking one at lunchtime. I have remembered so far, and they don't seem to make me nauseated except in the morning.

It was Fathers' Day today, a lovely day with my little family. Unfortunately (my husband asks: why unfortunately?) my idea of a lovely day still revolves around food. French toast with raspberries and real maple syrup (I didn't have any of the syrup) and bacon for breakfast, lunch picnic that included fried chicken, lasagne for dinner. And dessert. I felt rather overstuffed all day, but I was careful with the carbs and portion sizes and my blood sugars have been ok. Haven't tested the dinner yet.

When I was making the lasagne I thought it would be ok for me because I was only counting the pasta, since meat* and cheese don't have carbs. But 2/3 of the way through my slice I suddenly went and checked the empty tomato pasta sauce bottle. Lots of carbs there! Probably full of sugar. And some in the bechamel sauce too, white sauce has flour in it. I pushed my plate aside and just finished my salad. It wasn't as though I hadn't had plenty of food already.

* I read today in one of my many library books about diabetes that about 50% of meat is actually converted to glucose too, but not for 4-6 hours. So it seems I can't ignore my meat portion sizes after all.

photo by Reid Kasprowicz