Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp, Author & Health Coach for Living life with diabetes and organ transplants, rather than limiting life because of them.

Browsing Posts in Victorious Living for Women

 

Yoga Poses

I used to lead a very sedentary life of writing and blogging, walking from my computer to the refrigerator, with the occasional walk to the garage door to let my dog have at it within the Invisible Fence. That’s it Lizzy, exercise yourself! How much lazier can you get, when you don’t even walk the dog.

 

 

My diabetes has always kept me with pretty good eating habits, so I sought to exercise more to lose weight, strengthen my upper body and gain a better range of motion. A good friend (ok, the ring bearer from my wedding—boy am I old!) is a personal trainer, so I signed my husband and I up to work out with him 3 days a week. We did well for about six months, but we didn’t lose much weight. Indeed I felt stronger, and my upper body strength and stamina was improving. My husband’s stamina improved as well, but his schedule seemed to get in the way and he eventually quit and I was traveling out of the way to meet him there and he no longer went, so I quit.

Well, I stopped the personal training sessions, but I continued to do the routines he outlined for us at home. I even bought a stair stepper to maintain an everyday exercise commitment. But again, no weight loss—felt well, but no weight loss.

A fellow author and registered nurse who lost over 80 pounds offered a weight loss e-course that I signed up for. Although I knew I was eating relatively healthy, there were some key components that I was missing, which hindered my weight loss. Shelita Williams (www.shelitawilliams.com), through her e-course helped me to do 3 key things that lead to a 10 lb weight loss over six weeks: 1) Calculating the daily caloric requirements we need to exist; and targeting a 500 calorie reduction through a combination of diet and exercise; 2) Keeping a journal of everything I ate, exercise I did, water intake (not a real issue for me because of my transplant water requirements); and 3) Operating within the tips she offered throughout the sessions like, the green smoothie meal replacement or fast to shrink our stomachs in order to reduce cravings; don’t eat anything for two hours before bed (I cut off eating at 7pm, regardless of the time I turn in.

This helped me to lose 10 pounds, however maintaining interest in daily exercise has been a challenge. But I continue to search for that perfect complement. I recently bought a Groupon for 10 yoga class sessions. I’ve been twice and I love it. Not only is it a good workout, but in just two sessions I can feel myself more limber and strong. Those sets of planks Corey started in my personal training sessions gave me a heads up for this yoga thing. But I miss the cardiovascular workout from Corey (coreyalfordfitness@yahoo.com). In a perfect world I could do yoga 3 days a week and train with Corey 3 days a week and like God, rest on the 7th. Maybe I will try easing into that schedule.

I wasn’t proud of where I was, and I know that exercise (even if you are the perfect weight) is important to maintaining good glucose control, circulation and bone density—all key for diabetics and transplant patients.

The key is not to give up, but to keep trying until you reach your health and fitness goal and can maintain it!

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Chronic diseases or conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypoglycemia, asthma, kidney disease, hypertension, heart disease and transplant living all require a regimen that requires strict adherence. Not following these regimens or staying within the guidelines can cause serious problems, long term complications or even sudden death. Almost all of these conditions require a special diet or dietary restrictions.  Some of them can be controlled with diet alone. Others also require medicines and test procedures.

This can seem overwhelming for someone first diagnosed with a chronic illness, and it can continue if the patient doesn’t develop a regimen to accommodate the medicine schedule, the dietary restrictions and timing, and exercise requirements. The restrictions that a chronic condition requires can feel overwhelmingly restrictive, but consider the alternative. If a diabetic doesn’t develop a regimen to consistently take medication, follow a low glycemic diet with the prescribed carbohydrate restrictions and exercise as suggested, then blood sugars can dip too low and cause a severe hypoglycemic reaction resulting in loss of consciousness or even death. Other chronic conditions can result in similar serious conditions as well as sudden death.  This is why a regimen to prevent these severe reactions is important.

How do you manage diabetes? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

In other words, you break down what needs to happen and put it up against your usual daily schedule.

  1. 1. List the things that must be done for proper management of your condition. In the case of diabetes, you would list your dietary requirements and restrictions, your medicine doses and times, your test and exercise requirements/suggestions.

  2. 2. List your normal daily activities and job travel and/or timing requirements. For instance if you work 8am until 5pm, and you travel 10%  of the time, typically Tuesday through Friday.

  3. 3. Now blend the lists by figuring out what the breakfast requirements translate into as far as a meal; what you will eat for lunch (whether purchased at a restaurant or packed in a  brown bag lunch) and how you will complete dinner requirements. When you will test and if you will gets some midday exercise walking outside or to lunch.

  4. 4. You should also write down when you will test during these hours and at home.

  5. 5. Finally look over the list of requirements and make sure that you determine what supplies you need to make this regimen work. For instance, if carrying blood testing supplies and the machine is not convenient, then you might want to consider keeping an  extra set at work in a locker or in your desk. If that means keeping medicine at work as well, make sure to consider the storage requirements of the medication. For instance, insulin doesn’t need to be refrigerated; however it shouldn’t be kept in direct sunlight either.

  6. 6. Schedule time for exercise so that it is not an afterthought that is not done regularly.

The key is to make sure that what your condition requires, you make available and convenient so that it is easy to be compliant to your doctor’s orders.

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MY SWEET LIFE: Successful Women with Diabetes

by Beverly. Adler, PhD, CDE

and friends

 

This book is a collection of life stories – each chapter written by a highly respected successful woman with diabetes.  This group of diverse women share their stories how they find balance between managing their careers and/or family AND managing their diabetes.

MY SWEET LIFE is compiled by Dr. Beverly S. Adler who is also one of those women.  “Dr. Bev” as she is better known, is a clinical psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator in private practice, specializing treating patients with diabetes and also has had Type 1 Diabetes for 36 years.  All those years ago when she was diagnosed, there were no role models with diabetes for her. This book is geared for women with diabetes who need role models who can inspire them. The book  is written for the newly diagnosed woman with diabetes who is overwhelmed with her diagnosis.  Or, for the woman who has had diabetes for a while, but can also benefit from uplifting, inspirational stories to encourage and motivate self-care (especially if they already are trying to cope with some complications).

She is joined by 27 contributing authors who are all women of exceptional accomplishments! Each story is unique and heartwarming, as these very special women share their triumph over diabetes. The reader can learn how the women’s experiences with diabetes helped to shape them into who they are today. The forward to the book is written by Nicole Johnson – Miss. America 1999. The theme running through the book is that “diabetes is a blessing in disguise.”

 

 

This book is inspirational, motivational, and uplifting!

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Contributing authors (in alphabetical order):

Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE

Judith Jones Ambrosini

Brandy Barnes, MSW

Lorraine Brooks, MPH

Fran Carpentier

Sheri R. Colberg-Ochs, PhD

Deanna Glick

Riva Greenberg

Carol Grafford, RD, CDE

*Nicole Johnson (*Writing the Forward to the book)

Sally Joy

Zippora Karz

Kelli Kuehne

Kelly Kunik

Jacquie Lewis-Kemp

Joan McGinnis, RN, MSN, CDE

Laura Menninger (aka “The Glucose Goddess”)

Jennifer Nash, PhD

Vanessa Nemeth, MS, MA

Alexis Pollak

Kyrra Richards

Lisa Ritchie

Christina Rowlandson, MS

Mari Ruddy, MA

Cherise Shockley

Kerri Morrone Sparling

Natalie Strand, MD

Amy Tenderich, MA

Heartha Whitlow

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I’ve had juvenile diabetes for more than 32 years and so I have always had to figure out how to incorporate my diabetes monitoring into my busy schedule.   My schedule became even more complicated when my kidneys failed and I was on dialysis.  I was married, with a fifth grader and an automotive supplier executive.  I did peritoneal dialysis which required me to be connected to a machine which dialyzed me overnight and I did one exchange of fluid midday from work.  Because I kept my dialysis a secret from employees I usually tied up one of the phone lines and closed the door to my office so that it appeared that I was on a confidential call and no one would disturb me.

One day I needed to attend a meeting about a half hour away.  In order to get to the meeting on time, I wouldn’t be able to do my midday dialysis at the office.  Once I missed my midday exchange and felt awful, so I vowed never to miss dialysis again.  For a quick moment I thought, maybe I can’t do this.  Maybe it is too much to run a company while on dialysis.

This is where God helped me to think creatively so that I could attend the meeting and not miss dialysis.  I remembered that God created me to be a quick thinking and resourceful woman, and so from my office I gathered all of my dialysis supplies and fluid into a spare briefcase and put them into my car. In my office parking lot, I put on my surgical mask and washed my hands with the disinfectant wipe.  Carefully I uncoiled my dialysis hose implanted in my abdomen and connected it to the drainage bag that I put on the front passenger side floor (below my heart, so that gravity would cause the old fluid to drain out of my abdomen).  I laid my new fluid bag on the car dash to heat up from the sun and window defroster.  Once my old fluid finished draining, and at a red light, I moved the new bag of fluid from the dash and pinched it in my sunroof window (above my heart, so that gravity would cause it to drain into my abdomen).  I moved the clamp so that the fluid would start to drain.  After the bag was empty and at another red light, I washed my hands again, put on my mask and disconnected from the dialysis system.  I taped up my hose and buttoned up my pants.  I put everything into the trunk of my car and attended the meeting as scheduled and felt just fine.

What this experience reminds me is that no matter what people say or what may be going wrong, I am a child of God, created in His image.  He has shown me how to multitask and how to creatively work my way through problems and because of that, I can live victoriously—and so can everyone.

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As women we multitask.  All at the same time we work, manage a household, cook, clean, tutor, and manage a marital partnership—financially, spiritually and emotionally, not to mention manage the in-laws, out-laws and other extended family members.  Multitasking focuses us to handle most if not all of these issues during the course of a regular day.  Always handling problems can sometimes keep a woman from living victoriously.

 If we’re around people who constantly point out what’s wrong with us and around us, then we too can begin to believe that there is lots wrong with our lives and that there is nothing we can do about it.  And we become depressed.

 For women with chronic illness, we have another set of issues that tell us why we shouldn’t succeed.  In fact, many of these issues are not imaginary but really exist and are things that we have no choice but to deal with.  And in that case we not only become depressed but feel powerless about our lot in life.

 In these examples, what the women have forgotten is that God made us to be complicated individuals.  Complicated in the sense that we have abilities that we use so much everyday that we don’t even realize that they are unique attributes.  We have an innate ability to organize and find ways around the obstacles we face, if only we’d ask God for help and remain faithful and obedient to His word.

 Think about the time when you spent your last dime on paying bills and your daughter needed money for a school field trip?  Or when you knew you had a busy week upcoming both at work and at home, but you were sick and bed ridden? And you said, “Lord, how will I get this all done”?

Something happened, didn’t it?  And maybe it didn’t seem so miraculous.  You found a $10 bill that you stuck in your coat pocket and had forgotten about it.  Or that cold medicine seemed to work overnight; or the next day was such a beautiful sunny day that you got up and got started.

Everything that God does or makes possible isn’t always an elaborate display of miraculous acts.  Sometimes they are, like when I was comatose for a month with the West Nile virus seven years ago and today I breathe air.  But sometimes it is the small shove of confidence and help with decision making or organizing that helps us to live victoriously.  What has been your challenge and small shove of confidence?

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Click here to hear: Jacquie Lewis Kemp: Her Testimony

About the book: Victorious Living for Women is filled with the inspiration, wisdom and pathways to victory of 42 incredible women who share stories of their life experiences, from their heart to yours. They have endured personal pain and have come through empowered, encouraged and victorious.

 

As they take you on their personal journeys you will find inspiration, encouragement and blueprints for victory embedded in each chapter. You will discover principles for transforming your life. You can learn how to overcome fear, find you purpose, define your destiny, recover from divorce, heal your heart, physical healing, dealing with the loss of loved ones and so much more.

 

 

 

This stellar assembly of women with inspiring true-life stories will captivate you throughout each page as you read how their lives were transformed from anger to joy, disappointment to destiny and trial to victory. Their candor, wisdom and inspiration can help you to pursue your path of becoming a victorious woman.

Click here to get the book

Be inspired!

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