live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wellness A-Z: K = Keep a Wellness Journal

K=Keep a Wellness Journal
I don't suppose this is something that guys could necessarily relate to, but when I was a little girl, I kept a diary.  My first diary was white with little pink hearts on it.  It had a little lock on it and I'm the only one who had a key.  I wrote (well, printed) all of my little secrets in it.  I told my diary everything, from how I loved Danny Edwards in Kindergarten and wanted to marry him someday to how I thought my mama's newest pair of glasses made her look "mean".  My diary knew things that no one else knew.

Nowadays I don't write secrets in a diary, but I do still keep a journal - a wellness journal.  I do this for several reasons, the first being accountability.  Every morsel I eat and every move I make gets recorded.  Each time I test my blood sugar - good or bad, it gets written in the journal.  Writing everything down makes me more responsible for my actions.  A couple of days ago I was experiencing some major stress and my blood sugar went crazy high.  I wrote down what happened and how it made me feel and what I was doing to try to lower my blood sugar.  I imagine my blood pressure was elevated as well, but I didn't take it.  One demon at a time! 

When everything is recorded, it makes it easier to go back and detect any patterns in blood sugar and behavior or blood sugar and food choices - and I also record blood pressure when I check it, although I don't keep as close an eye on it as I do my blood sugar.  My bad - I probably should. 

My journal has come in handy at appointments with my doctor.  If she asks me for details regarding something specific, I can just refer to the journal for an answer.  So many times I don't remember particular details from day to day, but I know it's all written in the journal.  

Writing everything down has helped me limit the intake of certain starches.  For example, I learned that potatoes, pasta, white rice, milk, most cereals and breads can make my blood sugar rise quite a bit.  These are foods I've basically had to avoid as much as possible.  Some other foods don't seem to have an affect on my blood sugar.  Cinnamon is my friend and helps me lower high blood sugar every time.

You can't change what you don't acknowledge.  - Dr. Phil McGraw

It takes a personal revelation of sorts to finally come to grips with Type 2 Diabetes.  There are basically two reactions that people have - and they are related to the "fight or flight" reaction.  People are either going to go into complete and utter denial - they will avoid ever having to deal with their diagnosis and pretend it does not exist (flight) - which ends badly - these are folks who develop complications early on because they have not taken care of themselves.  Others are going to stand up to the disease and do the work and learn everything they can about how to fight it tooth and nail.  That's me - count me in!  I don't want complications early on because I want to live a good quality life.  I will not choose mere food over my health.  My quality of life means so much more to me than eating a bag of chips!

I record my weight every day.  In this way I notice when foods or lifestyle factors are getting me off track - or maybe they are helping me lose more weight.  I can take note of what I've done that helped - and just hopefully keep doing it.  I have also noted sleep patterns - times I wake up in the night or times I take naps in the afternoon.  Any temptations to go on food binges are also noted.  Sometimes a craving will make me crazy - I write it down and possible reasons why I may be craving that certain food or type of food.  Once in a while I just have to get some Chinese takeout.  I think there must be some nutrient I'm missing that is in Moo Goo Gui Pan.  

The journal makes it easier for me to stay on track.  It is not a fancy journal - just a notebook that I keep at my desk.  There are wellness journals that you can purchase if you choose to get that fancy.

If you are seriously trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the more information you record, the better.  Here are a few items that I record in my journal:
  • Food intake (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner) and blood sugar before
  • Water and liquid intake
  • Sleep patterns (number of hours - uninterrupted) Naps, Catnaps in the chair
  • Exercise (type, length, blood sugar before and after)
  • Symptoms of illness (migraine, cold, flu, sinus, allergies, reactions)
  • Pain or fatigue (sciatica, neuropathy, foot pain, frozen shoulder)
  • Skin changes (acne, rosacea, rashes, dark patches)
  • Hormones (my personal favorite)
  • Alertness (ability to settle down and think clearly - or not)
  • Bowel habits (another fav)
Keeping a journal has helped me pick up on subtle changes that I would not have noticed otherwise.  I think so much clearer and more rationally after I've eaten cauliflower.  I don't know why, but that is true.  Cauliflower is my brain food.  Why?  Who knows??? 

Complex carbohydrates make me sleepy!  I'm snoozing big time after eating things like potatoes, pasta and bread.  My blood sugar skyrockets and I just need sleep.  I don't like that feeling - I can't be productive when I feel like a slug.

Benefit of journaling.  

Today happens to be NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY!!!!  Husbands need to pay special heed to this information.  If it's been a while since you paid your wife a compliment, you'd better make up for some lost time!  There are some things we never get tired of - like when you say, "No, those pants do not make your fanny look too big!"  We really like that one! 


Today is also BELLY LAUGH DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is my favorite holiday because it's my excuse to be happy for the day!  I pop in a Jeff Dunham DVD or a Chonda Pierce DVD and I'm good to go off to Belly Laugh Land!!!!!!!!  Enjoy your day - and laugh your a** off!!!

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