New year, new challenges (going somewhat sorta lowish carb)

I've decided this is the year I am going to get healthy physically. Mostly meaning this is the year I'm going to lose the 50+ pounds I need to lose to get within my idea weight range. I've been overweight since high school and over the years it's just gradually crept up. Over the past few years I've developed hypertension (which I'm on a lowish dose of Atacand for) and now my cholesterol is too high for someone with diabetes and my endocrinologist is threatening medication. I already hate being on BP medication as a twentysomething, I do not want to add another! So aside from wanting to lose weight in order to look and feel better, I'm hoping it will help with blood pressure and cholesterol and maybe even allow me to get off BP medication.

I succeeded in losing about 20 pounds several years ago by exercising a LOT and having less control over my BGs than I do now, so I'm sure it was easier with an A1c of 8.3 than it is now with one of 6.6. I've been trying to lose weight for six months now and things have barely budged. I'm getting desperate. I swore for a long time I was not willing to do the low carb thing. And I'm not, not really, not for blood sugars as I feel I can get good control of them without drastically altering my diet. And also not anywhere near something like Bernstein, that is just way too restrictive. However, I'm going to give lowering my carbs a try for weight loss.

Typically I try to stay around 200 grams of carbs a day, although I sometimes go over 250/day if I'm eating out. Today I've consciously tried to eat lower carb. (Usually I try to eat low GI and count carbs for bolusing, but don't focus specifically on limiting carbs.) As a result today I ate 130 grams of carbs -- it was actually 115 grams in actual food, and 15 grams to treat a low BG after I exercised. I reduced my dinner bolus by 50%, planning to exercise an hour and a half or so after dinner. That just made me high before exercise (12.2 or 220) despite the lower-than-usual carb dinner. I gave 50% of my pump's recommended correction dose -- which usually works well if I want to correct a high and then exercise -- and did my 30 minutes of moderate exercise, only to end up 3.4 or 61 when I was done with 0.75 units of insulin still on board. So I ate 15 grams in Skittles. I need to figure out the exercise thing. Even with the pump I'm so rarely able to get it so I don't go high or low or both when exercising. It's much, MUCH better than before I got the pump but I would like to be able to start and finish with a blood sugar between 4 - 10 (70 - 180) ... or at least not go low and have to eat even if I do start high. The 50% bolus thing often does work and sometimes doesn't. I've tried a 75% bolus and that has sometimes worked but has also made me go really low during my exercise. I've tried exercising before I eat and reducing my basal rates an hour or two beforehand but that still seems hit or miss and I end up either going low or ending up going high at some point. I think part of my problem is that when I have good control the rest of the time I'm wanting tighter control around exercise. When I had a higher A1c being 12.2 before exercise was fine, while now I would rather avoid it if I can.

Anyhow, I am going to try and stick to around 100 grams of carbs a day and see if that helps my weight loss. Even just cutting back 100 grams of carbs today has had a dramatic impact on the amount of insulin I've taken -- I'll be taking less than 40 units today in comparison to the 55-60 I usually take! I'd like to increase my exercise to 60 minutes a day, too, so I can cut back a bit on my basal rates. In the new year I'd also like to exercise more. I am hoping to do aquasize twice a week, start going to the gym twice a week or so, and may be joining a dragon boating team, and would like to keep up my exercise bike for 30 minutes a day just as a base level every day no matter what other exercise I'm doing, just so I don't get in the habit of having super active days and then super lazy days where I do nothing, which just results in yo-yoing between high and low constantly depending on the type of day it is. Once I can actually start losing some significant weight my TDD will go down anyway, which will make things easier. It's just getting started and some momentum which has proved to be impossible, and hopefuly this will help.

Views: 3

Comment by Crystal on January 1, 2010 at 11:18am
You've got some big goals you're reaching for! That's fantastic :) Carb-wise, I eat 105 total at meals a day - one 45 carb meal, two 30 meals. I've never used a pump so I have no idea if this would help you, but I usually take the same amount of insulin at my meal, then snack on almonds or maybe a little bit of peanut butter before exercising and it helps keep me from dropping low. Good luck!
Comment by Nancy on January 2, 2010 at 9:19am
Way to go girl. I am not diabetic although my son has Type 1 and is very physically active. But I want to encourage you to pursue your exercise goals. In April, I decided that I needed to up my exercise routine from walking.( I have struggled with my weight and my Dad has Type 2 ) I thought that maybe I should start running, and when I started couldn't even run a 1/2 mile. Then I started running down hill to get in a little more distance. (Hey, I was desperate). Pretty soon, I could do a mile and was so pleased with myself. Gradually over 4 months, I am up to 3.5 and can even run up the hills by us. I have run several 5 ks which helps me to keep up my momentum for running - certainly not running any records but am feeling stronger. I have managed to lose about 15 pounds - and hope to lose more, although I was disappointed that it has not been faster. You need to have a cheerleader in your corner to encourage and celebrate your successes. Even just consistently exercising is worth celebrating. I am excited for you as you balance blood sugars and exercise and success. Way to go!!
Comment by nel on January 2, 2010 at 11:20am
Happy new year Jennifer ...writer Sheri Coldberg- Ochs , who lives with type 1 diabetes latest ( 2009 ) Diabetic Athlete's Handbook maybe very useful for you . I just googled her name and she has written several books ; she lives in the US and I recall , that last year the Canadian Diabetes Association had her as a guest speaker at one of their Lower mainland events. The pictures of athletes of this book includes Chris Jarvis , Canadian Olympic Rower , MM pumper and CGMS user ...you may have met him ..he cycles and runs as well . He gave me a great hint , when I did the 1/2 M in Victoria re setting of the temp .basal ..." as soon as I completed the 1/2 , stop the temp basal ( I set at 45 percent ) give a small bolus ( I did .2 u ) to prevent from going HI after exercise " ...IT WORKED for me :-) ...this is were experimenting comes in ...All the best with your challenge and hope this is helpful .
PS a half M takes me around 3 hours 15 min , so by no means fast .

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