A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Folks in our day and age don’t say the word TREAD much – we say walk more often than not; however, the word TREADMILL is not only familiar to most of us, but a regular part of healthy living.  I really hate using the treadmill at the gym – but it’s honestly not because I’m lazy!  The chronic sciatica I’ve suffered with for over 30 years has held me back – I have this thing about hurting…  I don’t dig it.  My leg burns from the moment I wake up in the morning until I blissfully go to sleep at night.  I’m very happy when I’m asleep.

Through the years I’ve done different things to make it better – right after the injury I was in physical therapy for several months – nearly a year.  I was on strong pain medications but as we all know, they have unwelcome side effects.  I decided they weren’t worth it – so I weaned myself off of them and tried to keep moving.  It hurts like crazy, but I have to keep moving.

Today I have no brain fog and other effects of strong pain meds have disappeared.  I have given the issue to God.  Don’t roll your eyes at me…  it’s true.  Now I take 2 Aleve in the morning and move as much as I can.  God’s helping me, but I had no doubt He would.

A pastor’s wife once told me, “Everybody has SOMETHING.”  At first, I thought that was her not so subtle way of telling me she didn’t want to hear about my issues (which I don’t recall sharing at the time anyway).  But I put a pin in the comment and stuck it in the back of my mind.  She’s right – we’re human and we get tired, weary, discouraged at times, and close to quitting.  Then – God steps in.  He never shows up early – but He steps in – just in time – His perfect time.  I’ve found that to be true and I’ve heard testimony after testimony that bears this out.

I can’t explain how my messed up back with a burning sciatic nerve has the ability to walk on the treadmill, ride the bike, and do other machines…  it’s all God – He has given me the strength and the GOD-bility to keep moving.  I praise Him for helping me every day!

God helps us do what we have to do – but even more exciting…  He helps us do what we like to do – and most writers would say…  what they absolutely must do!  God has put such a desire within us to write, and everybody knows…  a writer WRITES… about anything, anytime, anywhere.  Put me in an elevator by myself and shut the door.  If I have a pencil and some paper (or a napkin, preferably unused, but…) – I can come up with something – it could be about the color of the buttons…  lol.  Maybe there’s a fly in the elevator with me.  Hmm…  bonus!

If you’re feeling like you can’t tread…  or walk on the treadmill…  remember, with God and His strength – you can!  Climb those mountains like a deer!  🙂

 

 

 

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NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHI’m the first to admit that most low carbohydrate blueberry muffins, while keeping my blood sugar in check, don’t taste as good as the real McCoy.  Today I want to share a little trick I’ve learned that will enable type 2 diabetics to enjoy the real McCoy and keep blood sugar in check.  It’s called “piecing” or “pinching”, and believe me, it works!

You can’t “piece” or “pinch” if you don’t work out.  If you are not exercising, this won’t work for you.  But you can have a little bit of real as long as you work it off.  After my workout at the gym, I headed over to my favorite breakfast spot, The Egg Crate.  They make the most wonderful blueberry muffins in Wichita!

IMG_1319If I were to dig in and eat this whole muffin, my blood sugar would spike – and that’s not good.  I will begin by eating an egg.  You can have whatever style egg you want – I just crack open an egg and whisk it up in a mug and microwave it so I can eat it quicker.  Add a little cheese if you want – it’s low or no carbohydrate so that’s fine.  Always eat protein first!

Eat just a pinch of your muffin and enjoy it with coffee or tea if you wish.  Then wrap it with foil so it doesn’t dry out.  Check your sugars in a couple of hours.  If they’re okay…  you can eat a cheese stick, then another pinch of your muffin.

Eating pinches of carbohydrate-rich foods is not a new concept, but it’s one that works!  I don’t know why eating protein makes carbohydrates nicer to my body, but I’m sure glad it does!

If you’re exercising on a regular basis and eating plenty of vegetables every day, there’s no reason you can’t introduce a complex carbohydrate following a little protein.  Maybe that’s why dessert forks are smaller than dinner forks.  The idea is that we can eat as much protein and vegetables as we want, but when it’s time for dessert, we need to dial back our enthusiasm a bit and try to think about what we’re eating and how it will affect our blood sugar.

I’d rather have a pinch of the real McCoy than live without it completely.  A wise diabetic educator once told me, “You can eat pretty much anything you want as long as you are exercising on a regular basis.”  I can eat as many vegetables as I want.  I can eat tuna salad until I turn into Charlie the Tuna.  I can go nuts eating nuts.  Black olives are my friend, as are other Mediterranean foods.  Those are the go-to foods.  But once in a while, I get a craving for a blueberry muffin.  Maybe it’s all this writing about blueberry month, I don’t know…  but I just had to get one!  But I know how to work it into my diet without spiking my blood sugar…  one pinch at a time.  😉

Slow and steady will win this race.  Exercise consistently and eat protein first.  I can do that!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)I joined a gym.  I didn’t want to go to a gym where Barbie and Ken dolls strut their stuff all over the place and make people like me feel like a fat speed bump.  After careful and prayerful consideration, my husband and I landed at Planet Fitness.  I like the NO CRITICS signs and especially the LUNK sign that says if you drop weights or judge another person, you are a LUNK.  There are also signs around that say THIS IS A NO JUDGMENT ZONE.  Other signs say YOU BELONG.  Please LIKE their facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/Planet.Fitness.Wichita.KS.Maize/?fref=ts

Even though I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin quite yet, I feel comfortable there – I know I will reach my goals in that kind of environment.

We have been consistent so far, and I’ve not gotten discouraged at all, so I plan to continue this lifestyle for the long haul.  For the first time in such a long time, I feel hopeful about weight loss and finally FINALLY getting my health back!  I have hit the wall…  I have no choice.  It’s either get healthy or pay over $400 a month for the rest of my life to take insulin.  I’d rather pay the gym and do the work.  I can do this – I WILL do this!  I have to do this. 

I have to share what happened on June 3rd.  As I said, there are signs all over the place.  They also have TV’s mounted in the center of the gym so you can watch any station you choose.  There is a PF TV that shows music videos and the PF advertisements in-between videos.

As I was walking on the treadmill I looked up at a sign on the PF TV that I knew should have said, DON’T FORGET TO SPRAY DOWN THE EQUIPMENT.  I know you’re going to think I’m off my rocker, but I promise you, when I looked up at it today, it said, DON’T FORGET TO PRAY.  That’s all – the “S” was too far to the left of the screen to be seen, and the rest of the message was too far down and off the screen completely.DON'T FORGET TO PRAY

Did anyone else see it?  I don’t know.  Did God mean for anyone to see it but me?  I don’t know.  I saw it though and obviously He meant for me to see it.  All I know for sure is my God is so good and so creative!  If He wants to remind you to pray, He’s gonna find a way and do it.

Tears came to my eyes.  If I had been among my own kind – my own “tribe”, I would have said, “HEY, LOOK YOU GUYS!!!”  Obviously, I was not among my own kind, so I showed great restraint and kept walking, wiping tears that rolled down my face (maybe others thought it was sweat).  I had to look up and smile, because for whatever reason, my God cared enough for me to remind me to talk with Him today.

It’s not a hassle, it’s not too time-consuming, it’s not a problem to converse with Him.  Call me crazy (go ahead, I’ve been called worse, believe me) – but at the moment I saw that sign, it was like God was letting me know He really looked forward to our daily conversation, and He would miss me if I didn’t show up.  I love that He loves me and wants my company!  Remember the song that Larnelle Harris sang called “I Miss My Time With You” – ???  Yeah – like that.  ❤

I’m loved, I’m protected and I’m heard by Him!  How many people on this ol’ earth can you say that about?  Most people just wanna talk and never listen.  God hears me – He always listens because He is a gentleman.  When I’m done talking, it’s His turn to talk to me.  I gladly listen, study His Word and look for signs everywhere I go – even the signs at the gym!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)How many times do we take everyday things for granted?  I know I do that way too often and I’m trying to do better.  My new diet has turned out to be more restrictive than I thought it would be.  I miss eating fruit because most fruit is extremely high in carbohydrates.  I recently typed in some of my favorites in a carb counter online – and my favorite fruit – apricots…  are only 4 grams of carbohydrates!fruit-808336_1920

I was so happy I did a happy dance all over the house!  Hopefully that burned a few calories – 😉

It sounds silly I know, but in my world it really was a pretty big deal.

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.   – G.B. Stern

On this journey I’ve also decided that turkey bacon doesn’t taste at all like bacon.  😦  It’s okay because I’ve started eating Canadian bacon!   It is a low-carb and low calorie choice and a serving size is 5 slices!  It’s so good on an English muffin with egg and low-fat cheese.breakfast-713112_1920

Some mornings I begin the day with a protein shake.  I found whey protein powder at Walmart in chocolate flavor.  It’s so simple and quick to fix – just put a cup of liquid (I use low-fat milk) in the blender and add a scoop of powder.  It’s not very cold at that point, so I add 2 ice cubes to make it nice and thick and cold.  It also gets rid of that protein powder smell that some folks can’t get past.  It’s like drinking a thick chocolate milkshake for breakfast.  I thought I might get tired of them, but so far I really have enjoyed them!shake-677437_1920 (1)

I’m going to the gym and it’s another big praise to God – I have not injured my leg or back!  Sometimes if I try to do exercise, I mess with the neuropathy (nerve damage) and end up worse off than I was before.  I’m happy to report I’m doing well so far!  I enjoy Planet Fitness so much because there are signs all over the place like NO JUDGMENT ZONE and NO CRITICS.  I’m thinking…  exactly!  We’re all here just trying to do better, right?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.   – Thornton Wilder

The scale is moving – ever so slowly…  but in the right direction.  I pray that my appointment to get my A1c checked again in July will reflect my lifestyle changes.  I’m especially thankful to God that apricots only have 4 grams of carbohydrate each!  YAY!  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

 

PHYSICAL WELLNESS MONTH

TL APRIL IS PHYSICAL WELLNESS MONTHIf it was easy everyone would be a size 2…  that’s what everyone says.  Nowhere in the Bible do I see a verse in the Beatitudes that says, BLESSED ARE THE HEALTHY, FOR THEY SHALL LIVE FOREVER.  Life comes with challenges – some are emotional, some are mental and yes, some are physical.

I’m facing the challenge of my life.  I recently got my A1c checked – it’s a 3 month average of blood glucose levels.  It’s gone up again – now I’m at 8.3.  It should be under 7.  My doctor asked questions about my eating habits and I admitted my love of fruits and vegetables.  I like goldfish crackers and have little pouches which provide portion control.  I don’t eat more than one a day – honest.  But those little golden beauties are 28 g. of carbs so I can’t keep eating them every day.  I have to give up many fruits that I love – and can’t have fruit juices, even low sugar brands.

The thing that my doctor emphasized to me was that no matter what dietary adjustments I make, the most important thing I can do to regain my health is EXERCISE!

UGH…  the dreaded “E” word again…  but I hate it – I hate to exercise!  I’d so much rather get up in the morning and waddle to the bathroom and make a beeline for the coffee pot.  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 – go straight to the coffee pot.  🙂

It’s no longer an option – it’s a necessity.  I keep wishing I had a partner in crime…  somebody to say COME ON, LET’S GO!  Some enthusiastic voice beside me, saying, LINDA, YOU ARE WORTH SAVING AND HERE I AM TO HELP YOU – TO WALK WITH YOU AND TALK WITH YOU ALONG THE WAY.

I’m taking the largest dose of Metformin, Glipizide and 40 Units of Levemir every night.  I have to bump up the amount of insulin, which means I’ll have to buy pens sooner – and that is hitting my budget in a BIG way.

I’ve hit the proverbial brick wall – head on – this is it – I have to decide if I’m going to do this or if I’m going to pay out upwards of $400 a month for insulin.

Note to self:  SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!  You have absolutely no choice.  Get out of this bed and put on your walkin’ shoes – get out there!  It’s a beautiful day – and yeah, you’ll walk alone, but you have no choice.  You just gotta do it.

So…  from now on, my routine will be get out of bed, waddle to the potty, waddle to the closet and put on my walkin’ clothes and head out the door – get it done while I’m still half asleep, right???  When I get home I can then waddle to the kitchen, fix breakfast and brew the coffee!

I can do this…  I CAN.  I WILL.  🙂

NATIONAL WALKING DAY

TL 4-6 NATIONAL WALKING DAY

WALKING

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages us to get out and walk today!  They hope that this will begin a good habit that will last while we have good weather.

Whether you are a seasoned walker or tend to waddle like me, today is the day to get out and motivate those feet – one in front of the other – for thirty minutes.  Some can do that all at once and some like me will have to do either two fifteen minute walks or three ten minute walks.  I was so happy to read that the results are the same regardless – isn’t that great?

Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.  – Gene Tunney

There are obvious benefits when you walk.  It strengthens your heart and lungs as your breathing increases, but it is good for your legs and helps define your muscles.  There are mental benefits that are almost immediate – a sense of well-being and accomplishment help you feel more positive about yourself and about other projects you tackle.  The human body was not created to sit around all the time.  You are worth a half hour of exercise every day – YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Some folks walk at our local mall every day.  I’d rather get outside to walk, but whatever helps you get started – do it!  Taking that first step in a very literal way is what matters.  It’s nice to get together with other walkers for support.  The time goes so much faster when you’re engaged in conversation along with jokes and laughter.  It’s possible to exercise alone, but it’s not as much fun.

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.   Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  – Raymond Inmon

As you walk along, it’s amazing how many threads of inspiration are weaved together as you keep moving.  Most of my scathingly brilliant ideas come to me as I’m walking.  Some days I’m bombarded with creative notions just waiting to be launched.

Sometimes I take a camera with me on a walk, but that can slow me down if my goal is to realize health benefits.  A camera usually goes with me when I’m more interested in mental benefits and a little stroll.  Every bit of it helps.  Just get out and enjoy God’s creation.  It will make you feel better!  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

So…  am I the only one who wants to know how LITTLE exercise I can do and still see results???  Hey, I’m just being honest.  I wish I enjoyed exercise, but the fact is, I really do not like it.  I’ve tried everything to try to “distract” myself from the task at hand (TV, music, etc.) – but the fact remains that I really don’t want to do it.

I read something that made me so very happy!  Apparently, a Scottish study found that just 10 minutes of leisurely cycling with two 20-second bursts of hard pedaling, done three times a week is equal to a quality workout!

Is it too good to be true?  You can bet I’ll try it and hope for fabulous results.  Feel free to join me!

Sometimes I get bored with the bike – so I go bowling.  I burn 237 calories per hour (if I stay away from the snack bar) – yikes!  :-/

Eating habits still count as well.  If you can find some blue plates (they are not easy to find here in Wichita) that would be great.  Why?  Psychologically, blue does not stimulate the senses – or make us think we need to eat more.

The happiest plate is not the one that is empty – it’s the one that is filled wisely.  Most of the plate should have green on it (i.e. broccoli), then a protein source (i.e. beef, chicken).  You can have a bit of complex carbohydrate, such as 1/4 baked potato with that, but if I can skip it, I do.  I’ve learned to enjoy veggies, fruits, beans and nuts.

I learned that skipping meals just makes you binge at some point.  It’s best to just eat all three meals and be smart about portions.

Have you ever kept a food journal?  I didn’t used to, but sometimes it helps because I catch triggers that make me want to fall off the diet wagon.  I can thwart the urge to sabotage my efforts and be successful.

If you have a choice between eating out and brown-bagging – pack your own lunch.  It’s a matter of control.  For example, I like the Arby’s Turkey & Swiss sandwich, but they use mayo on them, which adds about 100 calories that I can do without.  I can get similar ingredients and make my own – but hold the mayo.  I think the bread I use is probably fewer calories than the bread they use too (certainly lower in carbohydrates).

I’ve learned to swap ice cream for yogurt.  It’s going to sound weird, but I am hooked on Dannon Light & Fit 80 calorie yogurt.  All of the flavors are delicious – no lie.  Some of them are fruit, but others are dessert flavors like Boston Cream Pie and Toasted Coconut Vanilla.

Heart disease is the number one health risk for women – and a major complication of type 2 diabetes.  I have to make some small changes in my daily diet and exercise routine.  I’ve also learned that it’s okay to laugh more and stress less.

I’m thankful that with a few baby steps, this diet thing seems to be working well.  🙂