Category Archives: type 2 diabetes

Audio books

Back in my old couch potato days, I spent a lot of time reading, on my couch or bed.

Sitting too long is bad for this diabetic granny. So when I started being more active, I started listening to audio books more. I still read the printed word, of course, and thanks to Kindle I can read on the go.

But with audio books, I can listen to great stories when I’m walking, doing housework, or driving. And since I’m old, I don’t always sleep well, so my favorite audio books help me sleep through the night. Some of the narrators are great, others really stink. I bought an Audible book on sale, a Hercule Poirot story, and the narrator trying to capture Poirot’s heavy accent was horrible. I couldn’t understand a word.

I’m currently enjoying Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger, narrated by Richard E. Grant. Shadow of Night, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda, is another good one (witches, daemons, and vampires in this All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness). And I’m about halfway through the Kinsey Millhone series written by the late Sue Grafton. And of course, I own many of the In Death stories by J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts. Susan Ericksen is the narrator of these books, and she’s great!

I’ve had an Audible account for a number of years, but I also recommend checking out your local library for audio books. I connect to my library with the OverDrive app.

pile of assorted title book lot selective focus photographt

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on





30 minutes, every day

Exercise, at least thirty minutes every day. Exercise is like medicine.

That’s what the diabetic educator told me just after I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2009.

And dang it, she’s right.

I walk everywhere; thankfully, I live in Seattle, which has great sidewalks and a terrific bus system.

There’s also a walk at home program that I use, a lot.

Leslie Sansone’s one, two, and three mile walks are easy to use. The one mile walk takes about twenty minutes, including cool down stretches at the end. Sometimes when I get home form work I’m so tired I just want to drop into bed, but I can promise myself it’s only twenty minutes out of my day. It’s hard to say no when I’m so aware of the benefits of moderate exercise.

The thirty minutes of exercise daily not only helps keep my blood sugars under control, but helps me feel better. My bad knees don’t hurt so much, my lower back problems lessen, I sleep better, and I have mor energy.

And when I add a few down dogs (shown above) into my daily routine, my sinuses clear up.

Go figure.

So I’m feeling quite well tonight, because it’s been a great day off, and I’ve managed to shake the stress of the work week off by spending time walking outside, doing my walk at home routine, and getting some really good rest.

And I will complete two down dogs before going to bed.

That’s all for now.

Oh yeah, the fourth season of Fringe premieres September 23 🙂

Saying goodbye to diet coke

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has forced me to look at my diet and make lifelong changes to my diet.
I’ve never been a great fan of alcohol, which is good, because even one glass of wine at dinner can drive up my morning blood sugars if I’m not careful.
The other thing I’ve found is that diet soda’s containing aspartame  also contribute to higher morning blood sugar readings for me. 
I’ve tested this, a number of times, because I love the taste of Diet Coke.
Boy, do I.
But for me, I’ve noticed that when I drink Diet Coke, or other diet pops with aspartame (root beer, ginger ale, Crystal Light), I crave things that are not good for me:
  • Pie, cakes, cookies
  • Potato chips (especially Lay’s)
  • Ice cream
You get my point, right?

Consuming more bad food =higher morning blood sugars.

Now, if you Google Aspartame and diabetes, you will find a war raging about aspartame:
  • Aspartame as the cause of diabetes
  • Web MD’s discussion of aspartame-FDA approved, who should and shouldn’t use different types of artificial sweeteners.
  • Alan’s blog, about his personal diabetes journey, and use of Aspartame
  • “Kiss My Aspartame,” an article on SNOPES about aspartame as the cause of  cancer, brain tumors, and MS.
I could link about a thousand more articles, but your eyes would start to close and you would fall into a stupor whilst reading my blog. 
I’m not a doctor, or a scientist, or a nutritionist. But I know that when I stick to drinking water with fresh lemon, homemade decaf iced tea with no sugar, or herbal teas, my blood sugars are lower and my doctor tells me “I like your morning blood sugars.”
And when my blood sugars are controlled I sleep better, feel better, and work better.
So farewell, old pal Diet Coke. I shall miss you more than diet ginger ale, more than Crystal Light lemonade, more than root beer.
But it’s not just good for me.

changing focus

My original title was “breaking bad habits,” but I wanted to give myself a more hopeful title for this post.

I’ve written before about the challenge of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

In the past eighteen months, I’ve worked hard to change my eating habits, exercise more, and generally take better care of myself.

But sometimes I have periods of time when I want bowls of potato chips, white bread, thick slices of cake liberally slapped with white icing…

You get the idea.

Sometimes I can enjoy one or two cookies, a thin slice of cake, a small bowl of Lay’s.

And sometimes I just can’t stop.

Inevitably, a big slip up is followed by feelings of shame, disgust, and just plain old anger at myself.

My quest to be healthy includes reading all that I can about getting and staying healthy.

One of my new study aides is a subscription to Yoga Journal.

YJ has helped me a lot in this journey of self-discovery, self-love, self-forgiveness.

The February issue of YJ has a wonderful article by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford University.

In “Nurture the New You,” page 82, Dr. McGonigal tackles the  issue of setbacks when trying to make positive changes in your life.

Whoa, this article has my name all over it! It’s also proof, yet again, that what I need will show up when I need it and am receptive to it. More about that, maybe another time.

I tried to find an online link to this article, with no success.

I hope you will go and and find a copy of the February Yoga Journal, but if you can’t here are some points I want to pass on from Dr. McGonigal’s article:

  • Don’t mistake the behavior you want to change for who you are. I ate the 4th and 5th cookies, so I’m a terrible person. 
  • Instead, view the behavior as what is is–a pattern/habit/behavior that’s not serving you.
  • View yourself as fundamentally perfect, and don’t focus on your flaws. Focus on your negative behaviors without judging yourself (whoa, I know that one is a biggie, but bear with me for ‘alf a mo).
Kelly McGonigal suggests cultivating self-love, and offers the following from the Yoga Sutra 1.33:
  • Love–you deserve to be healthy and happy; remind yourself how these changes will help you!
  • Without judgement, consider how this habit is making you suffer (including being so hard on yourself), and how you want to be free of this suffering.
  • Give yourself kudo’s for any positive changes you have made so far. And while you are at it, send some gratitude to friends and family who are supporting you.
  • If you are down and feeling blue about a recent setback, remind yourself that you are human, don’t beat yourself up, and focus on the larger goal of being free.

Dr. McGonigal cautions:

  • Don’t try to motivate yourself using anger and rejection towards your wonderful self.
  • It’s not about feeling sorry for yourself.
Her article also mentions tips from Maggie Juliano, founder of Sprout Yoga:
  • Reframe the behavior you want to change–it’s not a bad part of you, it’s a symptom of your suffering.
  • Accept you went looking for happiness in the wrong place (no, Beth, gobs of thick white icing are not the cure for everything).
  • Be present with your feelings and don’t push them away, and give yourself some kind and loving thoughts.
  • “Remember that you are a person who deserves unconditional love and deserves not to suffer.”
  • You deserve to be happy!
So, when my alarm clock starts interrupting my sleep at 5:30 a.m., telling me it’s time to go to the gym, I am [trying] to view this as a positive way to take care of me, and not a way to punish myself.
And all through Dr. McGonigal’s article is the point that changing behaviors, changing focus, isn’t an all or nothing affair that happens like magic. 
It’s one step at a time.
And self-compassion is the key. 
For my own journey, I’m going to jot down key points on 4×6 index cards (I love school supplies, especially ruled index cards), and carry them with me. A stressful day at work increases my longing for potato chips and iced cookies!
But, as my friend J.D. used to say,  That doesn’t make me a bad person.
%d bloggers like this: