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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What Does My Body Want From Me? - Part 5

The big day - creating a journal

I want to welcome our new visitors and it appears we have picked up someone from Germany.  Welcome to the blog and I hope you get some valuable information from each post.

BS - 101 this morning.  Appears I am at 100.  The following chart identifies where you fall in the spectrum of diabetes:

Fasting Blood Sugar Levels - This is the one taken in the morning
Normal - 70-100 mg/dL
Prediabetes - 101-125 mg/dL (I am on the low side of this and appears to be my level)
Diabetes -125 mg/dL and above

Since I have been as high as 530 and often in the 200s - I was and still am a diabetic.  I have not cured it - I am just managing it through a life style change.

BP - 112/74 (home machine) - HR - 62 still holding good on this.

Whew, the big day is upon on and I feel like we have been preparing for a golf tournament.  Now we just have to execute what we have been working for and make this thing happen.

I am going to ask you to dig deep down inside yourself and make a simple pledge to stay with the journal for 90 days.  I am asking for ninety days for two simple reasons - our A1c measures in a 60 -90 day cycle so it is a nice rhythm to get into.  Secondly, if you do this for 90 days, it will provide a lot of information as to what is going on.  For me - the journal helped me bury in my mind the things that impact me so when it starts to occur again, I can understand quickly how I have gotten out of sync with my numbers.

We have discussed a lot of different things in the past two months and hopefully I will bring them out in this journal again - not to explain but to remind.

I hope you have a computer and can do this on a spreadsheet as it really helps to track and see progress.  I have a VA portal that has some of the tools to help with the journaling but not all of the tools.  You can also use the free one at they have some of the basic information you can use.

There are many others and some cost.  I did not find any that measured what I wanted to measure so I created my own.  There are also many meal planners on line but again, I did not find any that was really exceptional.

You can do the research and maybe you will find one on the internet that works for you.

So let's get  started.

For every line item in the spreadsheet I would keep track of calories, carbohydrates, Glycemic Index, and Glycemic Load, Protein, and Fiber.  All of these help monitor what is going on.

I created a daily sheet and then created one for the week's average followed by the monthly averages, and then a program average.  Yes, I know this is a lot but is not your body and health worth it.  It took me 60 years to destroy my body - I guess giving it back 90 days to learn how to repair itself was not all that bad.

What I drink.

I do not consume much alcohol, if any, but I had a line in my spreadsheet for the following items:
Red Wine, Alcohol, Water, Coffee, Milk, Fruit Juices, and Soft Drinks.  By monitoring these I could see what I was adding to my body through drinks and what the impact might be.  After reading about juices and their GI and GL I gave them a toss along with most of my coffee and soft drinks.  Went back to water with a squirt of B-12 flavoring.  I got some taste and pleasures and add some B-12.

What I smoke.

At one time, I smoked so I had that on my chart - how many cigarettes or cigars did I smoke a day.  I quit that habit two years ago so this time around I did not have to log anything in my journal.

Oh, Oh.  I think I just let out a dirty little secret - it appears I have tried the journaling more than once.  Yes I have - as a matter of fact 3 times.  So I am an expert at starting and stopping.  But this time around, I knew I wanted to change and I was going to stay with it.  I was going to journal and test and make sure I knew what was going on.  I succeeded this time and that is why I am asking for 90 days.  I always thought I could do it for a couple of weeks and be done - did not work.

What is my sleep pattern.

Add a line that allows to to register when you went to bed.  Add when you might have actually fallen asleep and another column for when you woke up.  I am a tosser when I go to bed so there might be times I went to bed at say 10:00 PM but did not fall asleep until midnight.  Remember, we are trying to determine YOUR SLEEPING pattern not you in bed pattern.  Rest is good but it is the sleep our body needs to regenerate its energy and strength.

I also added in after a while, my mood or did I feel like I was under any stress or bother.  I had a journal just for my feelings - they play a big part as well.  Right now I am stressed out with some work stuff so I know it is there.  I have the ability to move through it now without spiking my sugar levels.

What medicines and supplements.

I had a line in my spreadsheet for reach medicine I took and when I took it.  I did the same thing for my supplements.  I found that I often missed my medications or did not take them at the right time.  This is important.  Most often I would forget to take them to work.  By journaling, I realized this and it become obvious.

I created myself a little container and took it to work with me on Monday's so I had my noon medications and supplements at all times.

I still do that with my supplements so I stay on top of it all.

What exercise did I do.

There are not many resources out there to help determine the calories you are burning or what exercises are helping you.  Again, there are ones you can pay for but I did not feel it was worth it.  So I simply created a line to show what exercises I was doing.  In the beginning it was walk the dog for two miles in the morning and evening.

Now it is a daily routine added along with the walks.  The important thing - do something.  Logging it will show progress.

What am I eating.

There is no question this one is difficult and consumes a lot of time.  I can only apologize but still encourage you as this one is the big one.  It will tell you a lot about your eating habits, patterns, and how much you are taking in of the important food groups.

Yes, I created a spreadsheet that had basically blank line items.  Across the top I had Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack, Evening Meal, and Evening Snack.  I had a place I could log when I ate.  remember, us diabetics are driving for consistency - our body works better that way.  We want to eat and take our medications about the same time.

For each food I consumed, I had the grams, weight, or measurement.  I am a simple kind of guy so I have the basic same foods so mine was easy.  But I would also list the carbohydrates, fiber, calories, and fats for each food group.  I was into understanding GI and GL so I logged that as well.   At the end of each line and day I would have a total of each number.

I found out some interesting facts about my eating habits and times I missed and times I would not eat enough.   This is just not about measuring over eating - it is about measuring how we eat to fuel our body properly.

How is my blood glucose doing.

This is the big one - this is the one we are after at all times.  I had a spreadsheet to run this and a good meter that had memory in it.  I set my meter and made sure the clock and time was correct so it could help me monitor what was going on.

I tested when up woke up - Fasting test.  This will let you know what is happening to your body at night.  You will also be surprised how your sleep patterns impact this one.

I tested before I ate and after I ate.  Remember, testing after eating has been discussed as 1-2 hours.  I would learn to play and see what works best for you.

This is critical and may be you do not have to do them all for all the days.  I started out monitoring each one everyday.  When I discovered that certain foods did not spike my sugars, as much. I would stop.  Or since I tested in the morning I had a good idea what breakfast would do so I would skip breakfast test.

I did the same for my snacks until I settled in on them.

I often tested at night before I went to bed.

All of this was in my journal and as I started to make my life style changes I could see the results and was encouraged in so many ways to continue on.  It is why I say - give it 90 days.  If you are making changes and serious about controlling your diabetes, then you will see results.  The slightest gains will make you feel AWESOME!

I ask you now to give it some thought, ponder on it.  If you are ready to go on a journey, start your journal.  You know you and your body.  I am very detail orientated and want to know everything so mine was detail - yours may not be.  Make it YOUR JOURNAL for YOUR JOURNEY!

May God grant us one simple thing - the heart to listen to our bodies and change them as he would want us to change.  May we truly make our bodies as the temples he desires.

Best of luck on this one,


PS.  You need any help setting up a spreadsheet - just email me and I will help -  If you have a difficult time getting the strips you need, you email me and I will see what I can do.  Do not let fear stand in your way or a shortage of resources - we are here for you.


  1. Good morning Bob! I am still with you and reading, but have not left a comment in a few days. I enjoyed this series in your life and how your approach is working for you.

    I did want to mention that we have a member at the ADA community had to stop drinking the tea she was so enjoying. Not sure why, maybe she has a problem with caffeine raising her bg, but she did the testing and sure enough it was the tea. Others, including some of our most knowledgeable members, have experimented with the effects of caffeine and found no problem. The point is as always YMMV.

    There is a lot of controversy surrounding regarding sodas,hehe, and all the other names associated with the item. There was recently a post regarding this at the community. I and many others feel there is no problem as far as our bg levels in the artificially sweetened drinks, but that is a personal decision that more or less goes with the use of diet drinks and other uses of the sweeteners.

    Tracking is important, although mine is not as involved as yours, I do use a program at that is free. It is called d-plate. It has problems with the amount of carbs they say I can eat based on my weight, height, age, and how many pounds I wish to lose per week. It does, however, keep all the calorie and nutritional needs including fats, cholesterol, etc, it has worked well for me. I enter my bg levels there and it charts the bg against my carb intake. I love the My Recipe section, where I can enter all the ingredients for a dish that is my own creation, with the number of servings and it then computes the total nutrition stats and by serving size. It is simple to download the graph results and food intake into Microsoft. The data base is quite extensive and I seldom can't find a brand of food or type. It is a great help to me in my diabetes control and since I post so many recipes it helps me to reconfigure recipes to suit lower carb or to check a recipe that I find online when the carb count looks suspicious.

    I was a bit wild with the eating and drinking last night...LOL I drink unsweetened almond milk, which has calcium and vitamin d, but only 1 carb per 8 oz. I bought something yesterday that has sugar alcohols which I usually try to not ingest too much. However, the draw of chocolate milk finally overcame me. It is not something I will do often since I do not like stomach upset. It tasted so good.....and along with my serving of peanuts was perfect for me....LOL So I had something I wanted without any ill effects and my blood glucose was 76 fasting this am. Taking chances.....LOL for me anyway is well thought out in regard to carbs.

    Listening to George Strait playlist and hoping he wins the Entertainer of the Year award this evening. His last tour will be ending soon as he retires from the spotlight. Headed over to the community next where it seems I have been busier than usual. Have a great day Bob.


    1. Marty,

      I am glad you are with me - makes me feel good as I get encouragement from you.

      I also learn a lot from you.

      I know the tea thing might have caffeine and hope the statement about only getting caffeine with coffee appears to be okay.

      As for the soda - you are right. I am just trying hard not to put anything in my body that is not truly / close to being natural.

      I am glad you had a splurge last night. We all need those and like how you do it when you need it. I am the same way. Sometimes I just want to spit in the face of this monster and say I do not need to worry about you! Then reality sits back in.

      George Strait is one of my favorites but to be honest I have not listened to any music other than Christian music for the past 3 years. Has done miracles for my stress and the other loud noises that come into my life.

      You do serve the ADA community and they need experts like you. Glad you are there.


  2. LOL on the expert part....I am just a good old country girl with a pretty good head on my shoulders and have to do a lot of research to find the answers sometimes. I just love helping people.

    Would you please add my friend Dora to your prayer list.....she is 87 years old and had uncontrolled diabetes for so long she lost both legs up to her buttocks almost. Her stumps have sores and she needs some heavy duty help from above. She is a sweetheart and quite the character; she lives at the same nursing home where my mama lives. The nursing home is not doing a good job of controlling her diabetes....infrequent testing and not sure she is getting the right amount of insulin. She has only one living child who seldom visits breaks my heart. Gabby and I have several people there that we try to help as much as possible, hugs bring smiles and small gifts are much appreciated....At least 3 Sundays of each month I go to hear the gospel music and preaching as we call mother so enjoys this time. I wish there was a group every Sunday. Mrs. Mebane who is 97 and in fairly good shape loves to sing along and will set with me and pat my leg. The time I spend with these wonderful people is a blessing to me. If you have not listened to Alan Jackson's Precious Memories Album (it is in four parts on YouTube) you really should. He made the album for his mother and the concert was held at the Rieman. It is all hymns and his voice is perfect for singing hymns. I listen to it frequently.

    No problem on the coffee....I was shocked about the tea, myself, as I will be having my hot tea in the evenings when the weather gets colder and have never had a problem.

    Headed over to the forums to post my dinner creation...LOL

    On the bg drop today....maybe you are waiting too long to eat and could use a small snack?

    1. Marty,

      Okay - country girl with a lot of research knowledge. I might have a surprise coming by year end to use it even more.

      On your friend Dora, I will add her to my prayer list and it is an honor you ask me to do that. I have church men's club Thursday night and I will also add it to that group as well.

      My heart aches when I hear a story like this - no one should live in those conditions in the greatest country in the world. I am not talking about Affordable Care - we should just do better because we are a nation under God.

      On the drop today I actually had lunch about 1 hour late because I had to go take a drug test for the new contract - so was shocked when an hour before I normally eat I went low.

      I know this week I have tried to really make sure I get back on track so might be a combination of too high last week and pressing it back down this week.

      Oh well, nice to be monitoring and learning.

      Thanks again for the support.


Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support