Well, today was much better than I had anticipated! Of course I haven’t forgotten my resolution to do better…but I’m reeeeally enjoying relishing in not one, but TWO mini victories today! The first good news was not directly related to my endo visit (which I’ll get to shortly). This requires some back story: I recently applied for and was given an internship with the American Diabetes Association’s Central Virginia Office, which I’m ecstatic about. It’s a part time gig doing community outreach and project support for six months. I hope the experience will be fulfilling from the diabetes advocacy standpoint, and give me some introduction to nonprofit work in general. Anyway, I was super excited to find out that I got the internship, but I didn’t revel in it too much…because I work full time as an environmental researcher at a consulting firm. I commute two hours round trip three days a week for this job, and, though I would be content to keep doing it for awhile…the driving was really starting to wear me down physically and mentally.
As you might guess, in terms of pay scale being a researcher definitely wins by a landslide. I was left with two options – 1) quit my job and pray that I find another part time job in this crappy economy; or 2) beg my current employer to let me work part time. From home. Yeah, I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of either option panning out so well. But…SURPRISE!!! I’m keeping my part time job 🙂 Definitely not going to be making the big bucks for awhile, but hopefully this will allow me to balance an internship doing something I will hopefully enjoy and NOT have to stress myself out driving 6+ hours a week on a very busy interstate. Hurrah!
Victory number two was my A1C results: I got a 5.5! BOOYAH! And that was averaged over the past three months which included a honeymoon to Italy (carb capitol of the world) and the holidays (self explanatory). I am feeling pretty damn good right about now. Just the kind of start I needed to kick off a healthier 2012.
So, now the question is how to sustain this momentum…well, I have several goals (some loftier than others) that I’d like to accomplish this year:
- Plan healthier meals. This is one of my biggest challenges. I am a self-proclaimed sweetaholic. If I hadn’t been diagnosed a type 1, chances are I would have eventually gotten type 2 diabetes because I love to eat just about anything. But especially things that are terrible for me. I have tried to plan my meals before, but sometimes that is not realistic for busy people who have to eat on the run all the time. Now that I am not commuting, however, I think I will give meal planning another go to see if it helps me stay on track with my blood sugars.
- Limit alcohol consumption to one drink a week.* It was on the eve of my 21st birthday that I was diagnosed with diabetes. Ohhh, the irony. Just when the sweet taste of freedom was nearly upon my lips, diabetes yanked it away from me. This might sound over dramatic (it is), but it was a pretty big bummer to have to accept that drinking – an already dangerous activity if done too often and too copiously – was going to affect me even more than my peers. It would be a lie to say I didn’t slip up occasionally (friends reading this now are probably scoffing)…I now drink mainly socially, but I admit to indulging in a nice-sized glass of wine in the evenings after work. The one glass per day rule might not be a huge deal for most, but I definitely notice an impact to my sugars. For now, I’m not going to limit myself on the size of the beverage. I’ve been lucky so far, but it’s probably best to nip this one in the bud. *Oh, and special occasions might be the exception. Let’s be realistic, guys, come on.
- Exercise at least 3.5 hours a week. Some weeks I meet this quota, while others…not so much. There are a lot of approaches to exercise amount and type that combine cardio/strength training. I tend to prefer a mix that is heavier on the cardio side of things. I’m not overweight. Technically, yes, I could lose probably another 15 pounds and look pretty thin…but I am not uncomfortable with being a little on the curvy side. All I really care about here is feeling better mentally and physically. If I happen to tone up a bit in the process, great! If not, well…at least I’m maintaining a healthy weight for my body type.
And there ya have it. My top three health goals for this year. From past experience, taking on multiple goals at once has proved very challenging…in some ways, maybe I’m setting myself up for disappointment. I guess we’ll find out. I’m riding high right now though, so hopefully the trend will continue.