Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turning My Life Around


Dear Readers,

It will soon be Thanksgiving Holiday and I have major reasons to be thankful this year! At first, I didn't want to write about my health problems but I think sharing about it could perhaps benefit somebody.

Blurry vision, numb hands, excessive thirst, high blood pressure, extreme fatigue.  All the signs were there.  My doctor has ordered a bunch of blood tests and she told me that I was showing pre-diabetic  symptoms.  I felt stupid for not taking care of my health better. That was a wake-up call for me.   I am now working on a better eating plan and a better schedule so I can have a daily time to do physical exercise.     

I cut down on my sugar intake.  Less sweets for me and that includes not only chocolate and candies, but also sugar from fruits and from carbs like pasta, bread, rice, etc.  It is a difficult change and I am been having sugar withdrawal symptoms for weeks now but it had to be done because I am at risk of having a stroke or losing my vision, or losing my limbs.   It's not that serious yet but it will be if I don't change drastically how I eat and live.

I have been cooking everyday now and I am actually enjoying it.  Having control over what you eat is a very powerful feeling.  I buy more vegetables than usual so I  stop by the grocery store every two days on my way back from the office.  It's actually better this way because I can eat produce that are more fresh and it makes a big difference!

So now you know why I said I was feeling grateful.  If it wasn't for those warning signs, I would have never known that I was so sick.  It's better to react now than to have no clue and then die suddenly from a stroke.  This is why I had been blogging very little during the Dalicious Photo Contest.  I was feeling too ill at the start and then by the end I was busy cooking, working out and planning the next menu!  It is a huge change in my life but it's a good change.

Way too much bread!!!

I used to go the office without eating any breakfast, eat a huge lunch, then a huge dinner.  I was so starved up before each meal that I would eat twice more than what my body needed.  If you follow my Instagram, you know I blog about eating out quite often.  That's very bad because restaurants often gives you ginormous portions loaded with salt and fat.
A breakfast for two... or three persons.

The key is now to reduce my calorie intake but to eat more often so I don't feel starved and lose control when mealtime comes.  Instead of having two enormous meals a day, I changed to having three small meals and two healthy snacks per day:
  1. breakfast
  2. veggie snack 1
  3. lunch
  4. veggie snack 2
  5. dinner
It's not rocket science but it's also important to choose the right food.  Not all vegetables are actually good because some do contain a lot of sugar or starch.  Fruits are often high in sugar too.  I didn't want sugar completely though.  During the weekends, I allow myself to eat one meal that is off menu like a small bowl of pasta or a sandwich.  Moderation is key.

I planned my new meals based on the Diabetic diet from the American Diabetes Association which has a fantastic website full of information. 
  
I hope my experience will maybe convince you of changing your lifestyle too if needed!  It's never a bad thing to see your doctor to check up on your health by the way.   

Hopefully my next blood tests will show some improvements in my condition but I think I am already feeling better now that I have started to implement changes to my lifestyle :)
A mountain of problems!

40 comments:

  1. Hi dear Jane, thank you so much for sharing this. It must have been frightening to hear about your condition! You are doing so much now to get healthier, it will work out very well, I'm sure of that! Keep up the good work :-)!!! Hugs xx

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  2. Hello from Spain: I wish that you're good for your health problems. We have to eat healthy and wholesome food. Keep in touch

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  3. be well my sweet friend - i had pregnancy diabetes and basically I have to watch out for the possibility of it returning for the rest of my life. Something I learned while pregnant that really helped me was the idea that whenever you eat - any meal, any snack - have some protein with it - it blunts the blood sugar response - so does fat (like ice cream or cheesecake is actually better for your blood sugar than a piece of cake - the fat slows down the sugar spike somewhat). Anyway, here's to your health and I hope you feel better! I remember when I had to stay off sugar pretty much totally while preggo and after awhile, dessert just tasted gross, it was too sweet! (sadly, it tastes just fine to me now b/c I went back to some of not awesome sugar eating ways) You've given me new inspiration to really continue to watch it with the sugar!!! BIG xo to you!

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  4. je te souhaite de tout cœur que ça aille mieux, le diabète est vraiment une salle maladie. J'ai été diagnostiquée il y a quelques années en urgence. J'imagine très bien ce que tu as vécu et ressenti, je t'envois plein de bonnes ondes et croise les doigts pour ton prochain bilan sanguin

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    1. Je suis désolée de l'apprendre! Bon courage et j'espère que ta santé va mieux maintenant!

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  5. Glad you're eating healthier and feeling better, I know what it's like to feel be really sick, so I understand you. I'm really trying to convert from being a vegetarian to vegan, for animal rights reasons, but it's really hard! Changing your diet is easier said than done, looks like you're doing great! And you're food pictures look delicious! :)

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    1. I admire you for your resolve. I am trying to use less meat as well.

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  6. Go for it Jane! Changing eating and lifestyle isn't easy job, so I salute for your efforts :) I'm happy you're on the road to the better health.

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  7. Good for you! A new lease of life which you are taking seriously and gaining some pleasure from you. I can imagine it is hard some days to do wtihout that sugar fix; not all days are plain sailing, are they? But you have such good reasons to be careful and I am sure you will reap the benefits very soon

    Thank you also for all your lovely comments both on my blog and on Instagram. Your words always make me happy.

    Stephanie

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! Your comments also make me happy!

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  8. I am so glad you are enjoying your new lifestyle! Great post. I love that picture of the chocolate deserts :)

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    1. Oh those desserts were really good. I didn't eat the whole thing of course! LOL I chose two of the cups and they were really sweet!

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  9. I'm glad and impressed at the same time that you can handle those adjustments that good! I can imagine it's hard at the beginning, especially if one loves sweets (like me). I wish you all good health and that you get well soon :).

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    1. Yes I love sweets too. I'll just have to eat it once in a while...like a long while!

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  10. Great post and important information! I think I need consider the sugar intake seriously. I have way more sugar every day than I should. I like sweets. And as a Chinese it’s hard to avoid rice. I have to say all the food in the photos are very attractive to me :( and exactly what I’ll order when dinning out. I really need take this seriously and change my eating style because my last medical exam report indicated that I was facing hyperlipidemia and high blood sugar. Thanks for this post, Jane. I admire that you have the strength and patience to change for good. You are my role model.

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    1. I wish you good luck on your diet too! Try substituting white rice with brown rice! It is more beneficial to your health.

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  11. This is a message of hope, Jane Cherie! Thank you so much for sharing it. My husband and I have been working hard to improve our diets the last few years too. We base our meals around protein and vegetables now, instead of carbs and more carbs! My goal when planning meals is 15 grams of protein at each meal and 8 grams of protein for each snack. This keeps my blood sugar stable (as well as the fact that I've given up sugar, refined grains (most grains, actually), and caffeine). As soon as I go back to sugar and/or caffeine, I really feel the difference, and it's not a good feeling at all! Exercising every day is so important too, for blood sugar regulation, mood elevation, better sleep, better digestion, etc. Great job on getting on track so your kids will have a mom and you can have a long and healthy life! Big hugs! xo Jennifer

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Jennifer! I think you are doing it the correct way. I am trying to include more protein but less fat into my diet.

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  12. glad to hear you are on the road to better health, Jane! Good luck to you and your cooking, I hope everything works out alright in the end! ~ Julia

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  13. Its a good wake up call and it seems like you took it seriously. We get so busy as moms and wives and workers and people that we forget ourselves, I've done it and I think alot of ladies do.

    Then we realized that although we give our all we need a little back and finally see the importance we hold in the daily lives and future planning of our children and even our husbands lives.

    Taking care of mom is step one and its also important to teach our children early to carry on the healthy living ;)

    You have a great start to the rest of your "healthier" lives !
    Hugs~J

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    1. Words of wisdom! Totally true! Thanks Jane for the reminder!

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  14. Bonjour Jane,
    tout d'abord bon courage pour le changement de régime, l'hiver est propice à ce changement, il faut en profiter pour manger de la soupe de légumes ... ça réduit la sensation de faim.
    Marcher, monter et descendre les escaliers , c'est déjà du sport ;)
    Gros, gros bisous. Joce

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    1. Oui c'est vrai que la marche et les escaliers comptent aussi :) Merci pour le conseil :)

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  15. Ma belle mère a du diabète et doit faire attention, de toute façon on mange de sucre car il est partout ! Bon courage en tout cas ^^
    Bise

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  16. Hi :) I have also been told that I am border-line diabetic and like you I am trying to change my diet but I have to admit I am finding it hard. I have another blood test next month and am hoping it has improved. Thank you for the links and I wish you lots of luck you are very strong and I admire your strength.
    Big Hugs and take care :)
    Maria

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    1. It's terribly difficult to change eating habits! A regular workout helps too! I wish you good luck on your side as well :)

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  17. I'm so glad you're working things out for yourself. I should be watching my diet better, too. Best of luck, dear friend! xoxo

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    1. Thanks Danzel! Good luck with your diet too!

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  18. Bon courage et surtout soignez vous bien

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  19. Je n'avais pas encore commenté cet article!
    Je suis désolée pour toi Jane, le diabète n'est pas un ami ( il y en a plein dans ma famille)! :/
    Je suis heureuse de voir que le docteur a découvert cela à temps et de constater que tu vas mieux et que cela t'aide à parfaire ton alimentation!
    J'ai aussi été sevrée de sucre, quand j'étais enceinte de 5 mois, je pense que je n'oublierai jamais les malaises que j'ai eu... un vrai cauchemar!
    Sur l'avant dernière photo, ce petit déjeuner peut me faire 4 repas, au niveau de la quantité! Je mange principalement des légumes et des fruits...
    Je pense que ton alimentation est parfaite à présent et j'espère de tout coeur que tes futures analyses seront bonnes.
    Merci de nous encourager avec ce post, je vais essayer de faire plus de sport en suivant tes conseils.
    Bon courage à toi aussi.
    Bisous
    Agnès

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    1. Je suis d'accord avec toi Agnès. Les portions sont énormes ici et on ne peut jamais finir son assiette! Bon courage de ton côté avec le sport!

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  20. I'm so impressed that you manage to do this, it's hard to change habits! I need to change my way of life too, I need exorcise, my back and my shoulders are hurting more often. But I have a hard time changing..
    I hate cooking but I try to cook as healthy as I can, low on the salt (that's easy for me, since I actually like it better that way =) ) But the sugar... I love candy and could stop eating food and live off candy... but since I don't allow candy and much sugar for my daughter, I don't eat it much myself either =) It's easier to think healthy for my daughter, and neglect myself, but I hope to live more as I preach. Thank you for sharing, and hope your new improved lifestyle will last, and get easier as you go!

    And I just remembered, before you wrote about getting a bike, with three wheels. I was very inspired, couldn't find any three wheeled bikes for adults here, but I bought a regular bike and a bike carriage for my daughter, so with the carriage on, I get 4 wheels and feel much more safe and I hope to be able to exercise with my new bike in the Spring, I tested it now before we get snow, and it feels good, so I'm glad you shared your story about the bike before =) Hope this life changing story about food will inspire me too!
    Hannah

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    1. The bike is good to spend time with my daughter but I need more a more strenuous workout to make a difference. I was told to also use weight lifting during my workout. I think aerobic session is the best way to go. Walking and biking is good but not enough. I hope you'll have time to do some working out as well! Big hugs xoxoxo

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