Saturday night, I got one of those compliments that most of us just love to hear: “Lex, you’re looking really fit these days – you been working out more?”
Granted, this came from one of my very best friends who is always incredibly kind and complimentary towards me, but shoot – I’ll take a compliment from anyone! And the truth is, I’ve been working hard to eat better since my last A1c.
Yes, I’m talking about that on-paper-awesome A1c of 6.3%. And before I go sounding like an ungrateful A1c super snob, please know that I am indeed stoked on that number. But as I chronicled in this post, I know that number is the average a whole buncha highs and a whole buncha lows which means a whole buncha “w” and “m” shapes on my CGM graph. Those peaks and valleys indicate that I’m bouncing around quite a bit and that wears me out. It’s mentally taxing because I’m either bolusing or treating a low and trying to juggle those decisions, and it’s physically tiring on my body. I swear nothing wears me out like a day on the high-low roller coaster.
Since my last A1c, my main goal has been to cut out my lows, since I’m starting to suffer from increased hypo-unawareness, and that also means avoiding highs so I don’t have to bolus a lot insulin which leads to further lows which….you get the idea. And all of this really goes back to my diet and my exercise. It’s no secret that cutting carbs helps me maintain an even DexCom line, but it’s one thing to believe in the science and a whole other thing to really do it.
I work in sales and most days of the week I have a lunch meeting which involves heavy restaurant meals. I tend to bring a variety of food choices in for my offices so that everyone is happy, so this means that next to the salad I brought, there might be pizza or pasta as well. We’re in the middle of an important time for our company, and stress levels are running high, meaning I’ve been more inclined lately to indulge in some of the higher-carb fare. I’m not one to deny myself my favorite foods every once in a while, but when you realize that once in a while has turned into every workday, it’s no longer a treat, and it’s not the best choice for diabetes management. Since my last A1c, I’ve pushed myself to avoid these foods at lunchtime, filling up my plate with salad and other low-carb choices.
Additionaly, I’m no longer half marathon training, so I’m not craving carbs as much – or burning as many calories, or getting as many exercise -induced lows. All of this leads to me eating a better diet for controlling the big ‘betes, while still feeling full. And as awesome as running a half marathon is, it can make for some very wacky blood sugars. When I go back to my “normal” workouts, my BGs are much more predictable.
I know that reducing my carbs and my boluses can make me FEEL so much better simply because I’m staying “between the lines,” with far fewer fluctuations in my blood sugar throughout the day. But it gets so hard when you’ve had a totally insane morning, you’re late to your lunch meeting, the customer you’re there to see is a total jerk and your favorite pizza is….sitting there…looking at you and looking soooo delicious.
But you know what else is delicious? That CGM graph I posted yesterday. I want more that look like that, so I have to get back to those habits that I know work for my blood sugar control. And if that garners a “hey, you’re looking fit” comment from a friend, then I’ll take that too!