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 tagged exercise

 

Jacquie diagnosed with T1D at age 7

Many people tend to categorize Type 1 diabetes as a “worse” case of diabetes than Type 2.  The fact of the matter is that while they are both diabetes–an endocrine disorder whereby the body cannot move glucose from the blood stream to feed the cells–the reasons for the disorder are different. Because the reasons are different, the treatment is often different.

 

People with Type 1 diabetes always take insulin injections because the reason for their inability to move glucose to the cells is because their pancreas doesn’t produce insulin at all. Therefore the only way to complete the digestive process is with insulin injections.

 

People with Type 2 diabetes develop it for a number of different reasons. Some suffer from insulin resistance, meaning that their pancreas’ produce insulin, however their bodies have become resistant to the insulin and oral medication is needed to make the insulin work or work more efficiently.

 

Others with Type 2 diabetes have undergone a major change (weight gain, stress etc.) that increases the amount of insulin required for digestion. Sometimes the pancreas can be stimulated with oral medications to produce more insulin, however in other cases insulin injection therapy is needed.

 

So as you can see, there is no “worse” case of diabetes, just differences in how they are treated.

 

To  answer to my own question, I do have an opinion about which type is easier to manage. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children, hence the earlier description “juvenile diabetes”. Type 2 often occurs in older adults. Managing diabetes is a lifestyle change, and for children, it is creating a lifestyle–not changing it.

 

Many people have difficulty managing Type 2 Diabetes because it is a lifestyle change more than adding a pill a day, but includes blood testing, weight management, exercise for more than just pleasure and following a diet.  I believe that people managing Type 1 diabetes have it easier because they created a lifestyle as a child that they have adapted to their routine as they grew older.

 

For example, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 7.  It was August, two months after my baby brother was born and a month before second grade started. In fact I missed a few weeks of the start of school because in 1969, patients with diabetes were hospitalized while they learned to manage, and doctors determined what dose of insulin to prescribe (Boy was this old school). In 1969, there was no such thing as a glucometer and patients were prescribed an insulin dose to take for six months until the next doctor’s visit and a blood glucose test could be done.

 

It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I participated in a study with a new machine called a glucometer. It was the size of an old cassette tape machine and weighed about 40 pounds. The machine had to be calibrated with synthetic blood anytime the machine was turned off–oh yeah, it had to be plugged in. While this doesn’t sound convenient or conducive to anyone’s lifestyle, it was a major step in managing diabetes. Once I graduated from college, glucometers became pocket sized and much more portable. With this new technology, I was “able” to do nearly anything.

 

One of the most important things my parents taught me when I was diagnosed with diabetes, was that I can do anything that I wanted to do as long as I was willing to work hard at it. While technology made it possible to manage a busy lifestyle, it was my parent’s words that continue to ring in my ears and hopefully have been passed on to my son’s ears. With that mantra, it was relatively easy to modify my regimen from high school cheerleading, to walking the campus to class; from school to work and the impact on my blood sugar of emotions during meetings or public speaking. Adding marriage, childbirth and a young family to the mix was more an organizational feat than it was a procedural change.

 

So the next time you see a child with diabetes, don’t hang your head in sorrow because of her diabetes. Know that she is preparing for a busy life ahead.

 

Wife, Mom & CEO managing T1D

 

 

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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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THE GOOD NEWS

Jill Scott recently opened up about her weight-loss secrets saying her diverse exercise  routine, which includes boxing and biking has made the journey worthwhile. “We  have fun!” she told Us Weekly referring to her workouts with her trainer.

Keeping things fun has helped Jill shed the weight –and keep it off — for two years now. She says that taking charge of her health became a priority  when she became a mom. “There’s a world of discovery in [my  son’s] eyes, and I want to be around to enjoy it!” GO GIRL!

Jill Scott has Type 2 diabetes and shows off her curves and new found energy in this video, “So In Love With You” with Anthony Hamilton.

 

 

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