Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good news!


Awesome news! I don't have diabetes. In fact my numbers are better than last year, so I don't know what was going on with my finger-prick test that day. I walked into the test confident I was doing well and walked out sure I had diabetes. I was right the first time.

My doctor appointment wasn't until 11.30 so I spent the morning stressing. I mean, I "knew" I had diabetes but its a different thing getting it confirmed by the doctor. Then I walked to the clinic, luckily didn't have to wait long. But my doctor then referred to what we had talked about last appointment (different problem) and I brought up that I'd had the glucose test last week and I was sure I had diabetes. But she still went on about the other issue! I wanted to smack her. I was at the point of interrupting to demand my results when she finally got to it. Flicked through the numbers on her screen, yeah iron good, vitamin B fine etc etc oh cholesterol a bit high need to work on that ... no diabetes, glucose 8.2 mmol/L ...


I craned around to look at her screen. 8.2. Last year I was 10.0. Normal is 7.8, diabetes is 11.1 mmol/L, pre-diabetes in-between. I was nearly down to normal!!

I felt like someone who braced so hard for a blow that when it didn't come they fall over forwards.

I had worked really hard when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes last year, and although I slumped a bit back into my old ways I had still felt my blood glucose was better. I had been stunned by the (wrong) number I got from the finger-prick test on the day, but I convinced myself I must have slumped more than I thought. Because I am such a bad person. All my fault.

So yay.

Obviously what I have been doing for the past year, the good bits, were working. I hadn't lost any weight but I'd been pretty careful with my carbs until very recently.

I am not using this as an excuse to eat what I like and not exercise. I am not "cured". I still have pre-diabetes. I've had two big scares and I will continue with the plan to lose weight; eating more carefully and exercising regularly. I won't be quite so 100% stringent on how much carbohydrate with each meal, but still pretty careful.

Big relief though.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Doing a runner


This morning I went to my new favourite café to write in, with lovely views of the lake. Last time I was there I paid at the counter when placing my order, today I didn't and only thought about it once the waitress had brought my cup of tea. But I just decided to pay as I left. Did an hour an a half of writing. Packed up, pleasant exchange with waitress as she cleared my detritus, left. Half an hour later, while doing the grocery shopping, realised I had never paid.

Now it was only $3 or so, no big deal, but it really worried me. I want to go to that café about twice a week and sit there for a long time writing without spending much money -- I need to be on good terms with them! And I am an extremely lawful person, it just rubbed me up the wrong way and I couldn't leave it until next time I went in. So after the shopping I went back and paid and the waitress was very nice about it and the barista next to her said I could have just paid next time. And I felt much more comfortable.

Came home and had lunch and did half an hour of exercise before school pick-up. Gravity was so heavy today! Either because my muscles were tired from yesterday's exertions, or because I'd just eaten lunch and my stomach was still busy digesting.

I rang my doctor's office to find out if my blood test results had come in, I didn't want to wait until Wednesday's appointment to find out. The test was back but the receptionist wouldn't tell me the results or let me pick them up, she said the doctor wants to discuss them with me first. They've given me test results before. So we know what that means. Pretty much confirmation I have diabetes. Not a surprise. I'd still like to see the actual numbers and get final confirmation. And the discount on the stuff I need to buy. Also a bit miffed I'm not allowed to know without the doctor's permission -- this is MY body, not hers! But I think they are required to give bad news in person in case the patient takes it badly.

Still, surely it is my right to know.

Ate a bit too much today; nothing bad but just a little too much of everything. Need to watch portion size. Like the big steak for dinner. Still pretty happy with my choices. And proud of myself for fitting everything into my day. From school pick-up I was ferrying the kids back and forth to gymnastics and dance then home for late dinner, so I had to get it all done in school hours. Writing, shopping and exercise!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

In the groove


Things are going well. I've exercised every day, an hour of moderate-level (dancing with the Xbox) and this morning I did an hour and three quarters. I was tired but just kept going anyway. And it took a couple of days but I've got my diet to where I want it.

Yesterday I had three serves of (full fat) dairy, two fruits, lots and lots of vegetables of various kinds, appropriate amounts of chicken at lunch and salmon at dinner, and some healthy carbs (high fibre bread, Ryvita whole grain crackers, potato). No sugar. Around 30g of fibre! And all within my calorie limit of 1340. I will actually allow myself a bit more than that on days of extra exercise, like today, if I am hungry. Only slight failing was only five glasses of water, but still pretty good. I sometimes feel a little bloated with all the bulk of vegetables and extra fibre, and there is a certain "something" missing when I can't snack mindlessly at night, but I'll get past that.

I've been refreshing my memory on all the diabetics stuff, not that I really need it but I do like reading about it, and I found a book at the library that I really loved. Because it reaffirmed what I was already starting to do! I'd started trying to lose weight and exercising, of course, but also started increasing fibre, taking my calcium/vitamin D tables which my doctor had recommended ages ago and I'd taken one bottle but hadn't bothered to buy any more until this week, and taking krill oil tablets because my mum said they'd helped her with her joint problems.

So, I get this book, The Diabetes DTour Diet (Barbara Quinn and the editors of Prevention magazine, 2009, Rodale Inc), from the library yesterday. It has a detailed diabetic-specific diet to help you lose weight and balance glucose levels which involves the main points:
*Exercise regularly (tick)
*Eat at least 25g fibre per day (tick)
*1200mg of calcium per day (tick, part diet part tablets)
*1000 IU of vitamin D per day (tick, combo of diet, sunlight and tablets)
*1100mg if omega-3s per day (I think so, not sure how much omega 3 in krill oil but I also had salmon. The book doesn't actually recommend fish oil tablets but there is no way I am eating that much fish)

It was very affirming to be told I was doing something right. I'm not going to follow their exact diet plan but I like the guidelines.

I weighed myself yesterday and I'd already lost that carb-loading weight plus a bit more in a couple of days, so that was reassuring too.

In a good mindset.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Putting on my determined face


The last 22 hours or so I've been feeling denial, anger, guilt, fear, sadness and determination. Whether I've got diabetes or "just" pre-diabetes that is getting worse, I've let this happen and I need to do something about it. When I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes last year I was very proactive for a little while but then slumped back into my old ways. I can't let that happen again.

Different authorities give conflicting advice about how much carbohydrate diabetics should eat (Australian diabetic diet guidelines are fairly high in carbs but ONLY low GI, the US doesn't seem as into the whole GI thing and suggests smaller amounts of carbs) but everyone agrees that I need to:

1) lose weight
2) exercise regularly (not just to help lose weight, exercise has other benefits for diabetics)

As a tertiary issue I need to spread carbs throughout the day. I will be going with a slightly lower-carb version of my dietician's advice and having small amounts of low GI carbs with every meal and snack. And drink a lot more water. And take my vitamin D tablets like my doctor says.

I have already cleared six months (nearly a month of that has already gone) to write a novel, which I can only work on for a couple of hours a day due to my RSI. My only other commitments within school hours are doing a bit of housework and getting the shopping done etc -- all in my own time. I have the most available time of anyone you know to fit in regular exercise. So I have the least excuse of anyone you have ever met to not exercise. I don't have to get up before dawn, or go to the gym after work, or squeeze in a run at lunchtime like many people. So I will just do it!

I can't completely shed the guilt, denial etc (yet) but I am working on building up the determination. I can absolutely do this. Lose 20 kg, get rid of the dangerous abdominal fat, get into a regular rhythm of exercise for the rest of my life, which will be long and healthy. The only thing stopping me is inertia. It is easier to sit around than get into my exercise gear and start moving. The wheels are stuck in the mud. But I've just had a huge shove to help me get going.

I felt so ill most of the day after that glucose test. And I got up four times in the night to pee like a racehorse as my body tried to get rid of all the sugar. For the next few days in particular I am going to work on being gentle to my pancreas. Regular small doses of healthy carbs that won't stress the poor thing. It's been through enough lately.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Probably bad news


I had my oral glucose tolerance test today after three days of eating lots of carbohydrates and then overnight fasting. I think it is going to be bad news. I felt so shaky and horrible (but not nauseated this time) by the two hour point that the blood-test guy wouldn't let me leave the room until he'd watched me eat my banana and made sure I'd stopped trembling. And more telling, I tested my blood with my own little kit in the bathroom just before that and it was 11.2 mmol/L. Last year, when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, it was 10.0. Diabetes starts at 11.1 mmol/L.

I have an appointment with my doctor next Wednesday for the official and more accurate results, but whether I am "officially" diabetic or not I am worse than last year. They have to draw a line on the continuum somewhere, but 11.0 not being diabetes and 11.1 being diabetes is a bit arbitrary anyway. So even if the more accurate test results show I am 11.0, it is just as much of a worry as if I am 0.2 over that.

It was well below freezing this morning, the kids were amazed at all the frost on the grass as I dropped them off at school a bit early, worried about them being out in the cold for 10 mins before school started. I drove to the pathology clinic, parked a couple of blocks away and walked through the numbing cold to find I had forgotten my referral! Arg! And I needed to give a urine sample, too, so I was uncomfortably holding that in, but they wouldn't take it without the referral. I had to go to the bathroom anyway, then back to my car, drove home and got the referral (which had been sitting right under my handbag but I'd forgotten it anyway), drove back and found parking again, back through the frost. Tried to give a urine sample but had almost nothing to give. Just enough, apparently. Phew.

Then I had to sit for half an hour to relax before they started the glucose test. They took blood then I had to drink a bottle of water with 75 grams of glucose in it. Disgustingly, gaggingly sweet. Read a magazine for an hour then another vial of blood. I was starting to feel really cold and a bit trembly but dismissed it because in the past I have felt nauseated if I was reacting badly to the glucose. Another hour, then I secretly tested myself (the number really shocked me, not what I was expecting) and then had the final vial of blood taken. Really shaky by now. The guy made me stay sitting, wouldn't let me bend down even to get my bag, got my banana for me and watched me eat it. That was kind of awkward! He waited with me until I felt a bit better then I could finally leave.

I went to the library nearby and grabbed some books on diabetes and some recipes for diabetic-friendly meals then drove home and made a big salad with some lamb for lunch. I still feel weak and a bit unwell. I suppose a salad doesn't have much carbohydrate, I was trying to be really healthy, but maybe I need some carbs (more than just the banana). I'll have a couple of crackers.

Big big priority to manage this and to lose the weight. Weight loss and regular exercise and both very important for diabetes management.

I put on half a kilo with the three days of carb loading, so my starting point is 80.5kg.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A fear of dentists


I still hoping for a ticket to my daughter's dance concert, a school friend of Jasmine's is the granddaughter of the woman who owns (or runs, maybe) the dance school so I am using that connection and it looks like I might be able to get at least one. Yay for knowing the right people!

It's day two of carb loading. I ate nearly 3000 calories yesterday but that really wasn't necessary -- I had a lot of fat to go with my carbs. Potato in the form of hot chips, lots of butter and cheese with my bread etc. I had really planned to do better today but had a stressful morning then a comfort binge. I know I really need to work on how I deal with stress. Not just turning to food but in other ways too, I get so churned up inside and can't think straight.

Today's stress was the dentist.

I am really scared of the dentist. For a while I thought I was allergic to the anaesthetic they use because I always shake and feel sick until my dentist pointed out I have that reaction even when I don't have an injection! I'm not scared of doctors or needles but there is something about the dentist that freaks me out. I assume it goes back to lots of dental work and braces when I was only 10 or 11 (I had my braces done and off before I got to high school, very mature teeth, but small mouth with no room for them all). I remember hanging on to the parked car for dear life while my mum tried to drag me into the dentist surgery for my next extraction. Injections in the roof of your mouth hurt!

Today was just a clean and check-up. It was mostly done with a manual pick, which I can deal with ok so I got through it merely feeling like a seasick limp rag. It's the air, water, suction, drill, polishing etc that I struggle with. Strong gag reflex, but all psychological - I often gag when they are working right at the front of my mouth. There was only a little bit of that, and the hygenist was very good at giving me breaks when I needed them. But the problem is what they want to do in the future. At my last check up my dentist said she wanted to replace a couple of fillings as they are jagged and stopping me from flossing properly. I made an appointment but then cancelled. It just didn't seem worth the stress when it wasn't an actual emergency. But she pushed it again this time, prevention being better than letting decay start. Two hours (over two appointments) in the dreaded chair; with all the feared appliances. She even talked about using a dental dam - my last dentist tried that once for about two minutes and I felt like I was drowning in my own spit and panicked.

I've made the first appointment, but I don't know if I can do it. I know I should be brave and get it over with, and maybe straight after today's appointment (with the horror so fresh) isn't the best time to make the decision. I'll leave it for now.

But I filled the gaping void of fear in my belly with food.

I'm usually against non-sugar sweetners but yesterday I bought Natvia (made from the stevia leaf and supposed to be natural) because I really do want to cut down on sugar and carbs (after tomorrow) and I haven't had much success with sugar-free tea. Less than half a calorie and no carbs per sachet. I love it! If anything, it tastes better than sugar, although I bet I couldn't actually tell the difference in a blind taste test. So unless I read somewhere about how bad it is for me I'll be using it in my tea and maybe introduce it elsewhere as well.

Carb loading


It's after dinner on day one of three days of carb loading for my glucose tolerance test. I've had 200g of carbohydrate today (the equivalent of 13 slices of bread) and I still need to have another piece of fruit, a couple more serves of vegetables and a bowl of cereal before I go to bed (I could have pasta instead of the cereal but I don't see myself whipping up some penne for supper). Feeling very full and sleepy.

Major family disaster today. My daughter does dance (jazz funk) lessons and they have a concert in two weeks. I didn't get around to buying tickets, I was waiting to hear back from grandparents but also just didn't make it a priority, and they are sold out! I am on a list in case someone doesn't need theirs but as I am halfway down the second page of names I just don't see that happening. I haven't told my daughter yet. Horrible stuff-up on my part. I don't know what to do about it. I wonder if there is a chance I'll be able to watch her bit of the final dress rehearsal? She's only nine and very excited about the concert. We bought $60 worth of costume and $85 worth of make-up for it, plus $20 for a lesson on how to apply stage make-up. She is going to be very upset if none of her family can be there. I'm waiting to talk to my husband first but I don't know if there is a solution.

Sunday, July 21, 2013



We just got back from a few days away it Sydney. It is less than 4 hours drive away, but we left near-freezing temperatures and sleet (there was a chance of snow today, apparently) and enjoyed sunshine and walking around without even a jumper on! The difference between the coast and the mountains, I guess.

We started on Thursday with an afternoon at the Australian Gymnastics Championships, at the Sydney Olympic venue. I thought Aiden would enjoy it as that is his chosen sport (six hours of coaching a week) but he was completely bored. The next day rain was forecast so we hung around the city. We went to the Museum of Natural History, ten-pin bowling in the afternoon, and walked and walked and walked. I was exhausted and went to bed at the same time as the kids.

Saturday we went to Taronga Zoo. The Sydney Zoo is pretty special as it is on a steep hill overlooking the beautiful harbour. More walking! (You start at the top.) But first you get a fun ferry ride over the harbour from the city. At the end of the day the kids wanted to go on the cable car so we walked back up to the top and rode down to the ferry over the top of the zoo. While passing over the elephant enclosure we saw one of the elephants urinating. Apparently they drink around 120 litres a day and it looked like she let it all go at once. The kids thought it was hilarious, the absolute highlight of the holiday. And it distracted me from my terror of heights.

I was in bed by 7.45, before even Jasmine! Tiring day.

Finally today we saw family before driving home. My niece Emma is 4 months old now.

We did a lot of eating. We had hotel buffet breakfast twice, and restaurants for dinner but only light meals at lunchtime. I wasn't able to do my carb-loading, (perhaps "wasn't able to" is an exaggeration), I didn't want to have pasta every night and toast for breakfast instead of bacon! And at my sister-in-law's for lunch today there was only roast pumpkin which I don't like. So I will be starting my three days tomorrow, and doing the test on Thursday.

I'm feeling rested after the time away, although it was physically more demanding than my usual lifestyle. Mentally rested, perhaps. I did have some allergy headaches, though, and I am really looking forward to my own bed.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pre-pre-diabeties test


It's been nearly a year since I found out I had pre-diabetes and last time I saw my doctor a couple of months ago (actually it was the first time I saw this new doctor who I am going to stick with) she gave me a referral for another test. Glucose tolerance, plus iron and folate and everything else she could think of. There is a list of 13 things to test for! I assume they do it all with the same bit of blood? Or not too many vials, anyway.

I've booked the test in for next week. The GTT (glucose tolerance) requires three days of "carb loading" then a fast. I always complain about the carb loading because it is so much starch/sugar -- much more than I usually eat -- but this time I am going to enjoy it while I can before I cut right back afterwards.

I found that giving up on losing weight makes me even unhappier than trying and failing. The trying is also difficult and unpleasant, but right now I'm in the best of all possible worlds; holiday indulgence/doctor-mandated carb-loading but with the virtuous feeling that I am going to start being "good" very soon. That's kind of a joke, but true at the same time. The "I'll start on Monday" promise that lets you feel good about yourself while not actually making any changes in the now. Giving up your cake and eating it too.

We had spaghetti bolognaise last night, obviously a high-carb meal, so I tested my blood two hours later -- something I haven't done for a while. Not as accurate as the real GTT but gives me an indication. It was 8.5 mmol/L (up to 7.8 is normal, 11.0 is diabetes) which is a little high but not too bad. I don't expect this GTT to say I have diabetes. Probably still in the pre-diabetes range. It will be interesting to see if I am better or worse, because I did work hard for a while (before I got slack again, but never as bad as I used to be) on eating low GI foods, not too many carbs at once etc. I hope a bit better.

My main anti-diabetes goal was to lose weight and I have failed at that. Right now I am a couple of kgs heavier than I was then. Not a big increase, but it should be a loss not a gain.

I seem to be having two hormonal emotional slumps each cycle instead of just PMS (something to discuss with my doctor) but I feel a lot more hopeful today than when I wrote the last post.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Stop kidding myself

Monday night:

I've given up even kidding myself that I am actively trying to lose weight. I am wishing I was thinner -- a completely different thing. I have a brief bout of "I'll do better tomorrow" every night at bed time but it doesn't even last through breakfast the next day. Feeling bad about failing to be "good" just leads to more comfort eating. Thinking about dieting leads to panicked binging. I know I am in total control of what I put into my body. But it doesn't always feel that way. I want, I buy, I eat, I feel guilty.

Soon I am going away for a few days and will be on holidays, eating at restaurants and snacking at events. A lot of me feels like it's not worth the effort to be "good" for only a couple of days before that then have to start again when I get back. I could lie and say I'll eat healthily while away, but we all know how likely that is when I can't eat healthily at home.

I've been wondering if I've been having some hormonal issues, I have life-long problems I won't go into here that may be getting worse and I  will talk to my doctor about very soon, maybe changing some medication. But even saying that feels like a cop-out, blaming my weight on anything other than myself and my own actions.

Why is it a constant battle with myself? Not just weight, lots of things. My behaviour does not advance me towards my goals, but I seem incapable of change.

Sunday, July 14, 2013



Yesterday I got up determined to exercise, got my gym gear on first thing after breakfast and started to dance. Felt exhausted and dizzy almost straight away, tried some lower intensity dancing, had to sit down after a total of about 20 mins. Very frustrating.

Today I did some writing in the morning while Tim took the kids to a movie (Epic) then met them for lunch and felt queasy and headachy while we were at the restaurant. I mostly feel ok but I clearly still have some unconquered germs. Haven't tried to exercise today.

Food choices have been mostly terrible.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Frantic cleaning in preparation for maternal visit


I wasn't as "better" as I'd thought. I didn't exercise or houseclean yesterday, I had a nap in the afternoon instead. Then I had quite a bad night. But my mum was coming after lunch today so that gave me the morning to clean the house whether I felt up to it or not. And if you think I could just explain to her that I'd been sick, I'll laugh in your face.

I scrubbed the bathroom, did the grocery shopping quickly with the kids, came home and cleaned the kitchen and picked up and vacuumed the hall and lounge-room. Then collapsed. The kids' rooms are still a nightmare, and the study and games rooms are pretty bad, but at least the living areas are decent.

In the afternoon we dropped Aiden at gymnastics and took Jasmine to buy the make-up she needs for her upcoming dance recital. Foundation, powder, puffs to apply the powder, mascara, eye-liner, eye shadow, blush, a brush for the blush, lipstick, lip-liner. She's nine, people. NINE! I tried to get cheapish items but not too junky, and got a good mascara because that will be going right on her eyes. $85. Sigh.

She had some make-up already (given to her by other people), mainly vibrant eye shadows and nail polish, but she needed specific colours.

Seriously, I don't use half the stuff I had to get for her.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013



The slow weight gain continues after a week of illness, no exercise, and comfort food. I was feeling bad about it last night (I hadn't weighed myself but felt puffy and unattractive) and resolved get back on track. I was thinking about it lying in bed. So of course I had another deprivation dream.

I've had a few of these lately, all different but all revolving around being deprived of food in some way. Last night Ally McBeal had eaten my steak and I was sitting on the kitchen floor at 10pm crying, knowing the huge roast beef she had tossed in the frying pan as recompense was going to take forever to cook.

I guess my subconscious is really paranoid about me dieting!

I weighed myself this morning and I am up to 80kg (around 176 pounds), a milestone number that I had never wanted to see on the scale again. Ok, Marion, I am letting myself feel bad about that. No shrugging it off because I plan to do better and today is a new day so it's alright. I do feel sad, and guilty, and unhealthy.

When I am logging on to my new laptop and it is still a black screen, it makes an excellent mirror. Or, rather, a horrible mirror. It does not show me what I want to see.

I am well enough to exercise again, at least gently. Certainly well enough to stop binging on carbs.

It is a cold gloomy day and my husband has the car, but there is plenty of fun to be had with the kids indoors. Bring on the dance!

Oh, and my mum is visiting tomorrow so there is lots of cleaning to be done. That has got to burn a few calories.

Monday, July 8, 2013



Husband, son and I all down with flu. Husband by far the worst. Nothing to write about that doesn't involve mucus.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

House of sickness


I kept my son home from school due to a nasty cough but it turned out he was fine, he was up and playing all day. On the other hand, my husband crawled back into bed after starting to get ready for work and didn't get up again all day. And in the afternoon I started to get all achy and had a nap on the lounge.

I tried to write this morning, but with a six year old boy wanting attention I got 27 words written in half an hour and gave up.

Hopefully we are all better tomorrow. It is the last day of term before the winter school holidays (2 weeks).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013



It was my birthday yesterday! 43. I started this blog three years ago, actually two weeks before my 40th birthday. As that milestone thundered towards me I began a series of attempts to lose weight. Before that I'd only really tried once, that I recall, a low-carb diet that my mum suggested and paid for before my wedding. I lost 5kg and nearly my sanity. Grumpy and miserable the whole time. Over the past three years I've tried a few different methods, lost a measly 5kg but then maintained it with little bobs up and down on the scale.

I had a lovely day. Presents in bed (my main present was a new lap top to write my novel on), lunch at a fancy restaurant with my husband, play date with a friend after school and D&D games night. I didn't "pig out" at any one time but I was kind of eating all day. And yes I had cake! I also played with my new lap top and listened to the awesome Eurovision CD my daughter gave me.

Today was busy with two events at the school, one in the morning and one at lunch time. A lot of my day was either at the school or driving my husband to and from work so he could attend too. And the grocery shopping. But I found one hour for my first writing session and managed 536 words. I have begun! Generally I hope to write more like 800 words an hour, but I was still mucking around with the software. And stopping to gaze out the window of the library in a bit of a panic at what I have committed myself to.

I had very little to eat all morning and then a very late lunch (nearly 2pm, I usually have lunch around 12) and I was really hungry for about four hours before I got to eat. Genuine hunger, with stomach rumbles and everything. But you know what? I didn't die, or even faint or anything. I was hungry at 10 and even hungrier at 11 but then stayed about the same until I finally got my late lunch. And it was so good! Hunger is survivable. Actually, in the past I have had some problems with mood swings if my blood sugar drops but I was ok today. I'm feeling in control.