New year helps turn challenges into changes

Just as one day flows into another, the old year has now floated on by. Somehow, I want to reassess my life at this time of year, and make promises as to what kind of changes I would like to make.

For me, it is eat wiser, be more active. That is where I have been at for the past several years.

Not having great success alone, last year, I asked to be referred to a diabetic educator. What I expected was to be worked with and followed for a couple of months, what I got was to be worked with, and followed throughout the year, and this will continue in 2019 also. She not only encourages me, but challenges me to make more and more changes. This is through ThedaCare.

I have learned that I like a challenge. At first, I may wonder how I can cut back even more on things. Give up my dark chocolate? Use more low fat cheese? Somehow, I learned I can modify, and not really miss what was.

What I expected was my needing to put forth an effort to making the changes needed to lower the amount of insulin I was taking. I wanted to make the change, because I felt I was needing to eat more than I wanted to keep my blood glucose at a safe level. Losing weight was also part of what I wanted, so I needed to eat less to achieve that goal.

What I got was more than I ever expected. Sure, I have a cheat now and then, but for the most part, I not only control my carb intake, and up my exercise routine. I’ve learned that fat keeps the sugar in my blood, so my blood test is high, even though I didn’t overdo on carbs.

So, now, high fat foods, and deep fried foods are on my no-no list. That is not a big deal for me, I was never a lover of French fries, but those deep fried cheese curds are another matter. So far, I am staying away from them, also.

Basically, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t crave the same food as I used to. Of course, sweets is the big thing, and anything chocolate, plus the ice cream. I have pretty well given up the ice cream. The others I am still battling, though winning more than losing.

The carb control is easier at home, when I can plan and take care of what I am eating. However, I am learning from my mistakes when eating out or traveling. It is important for me not to exercise to far after a meal, or I could go too low with my blood sugar. As far as exercise, I prefer to do that at Total Fitness. It is so much easier to get in 30 minutes of cardio when there are other people doing the same. Plus they have classes that I enjoy, and the people are friendly. However, on days I don’t get there, I try to do something at home.

“Live each moment as it comes” has been a favorite motto of mine, and “cherish each day,” is becoming another. I am still a woman soon to be 76 years old. I have my share of pains, but they are less now that I am working out and eating better. This is my story, and I am not saying everyone can, or should do the same. I am just liking taking much less insulin, and other medications, losing weight, and getting better diabetic control.

Will these changes help me live one minute longer? Who knows, but that is not the reason for the change. The real reason is being able to stay independent for as long as possible. The exercise is helping me get stronger. Overall, I will say I am rather proud of myself, and happier than I have been in the past couple of years. Wishing more of the same in 2019.

Tigerton’s Leah Lehman, who calls herself a “small town country girl at heart,” offers memories of the past and observations of current events from the the viewpoint of someone born in the 1940s.