Tag Archive: diabetes


Wear Red!

Are you looking around and seeing a lot of red?

But then you think “Oh, it’s Friday. People are getting excited for the weekend.” Considering the snow event we just had, it makes a little sense that people want a little fun.

Rhinestone Dress Brooch ($29.00); picture from http://www.shop.heart.com

Another good look tells you it is mostly women wearing red. Those women who are not wearing red are wearing cute little dress pins.

What’s going on?

Well, it is the big “Go Red” day sponsored by the American Heart Association.

It is an effort to make women more aware that they need to take care of their heart health. I am more than aware of this issue because my paternal grandmother had her first heart attack at the age of 40. Plus, her husband’s family had a history of diabetes that also affects heart health.

The scary thing was checking out the website on the page about understanding your risks. Women make about 60% of the deaths from strokes. Just being post-menopause puts you at greater risk. And women tend to have slightly different symptoms during a heart attack than men and get their health concerns pushed aside.

However, the American Heart Association encourages people to get on the treadmill, start an exercise routine or find a way to be active. Work on a diet that has heart healthy foods with a calorie count no lower that 1200 calories per day.

Then they throw out that great little fact that 1-2 pounds per week is what healthy weight loss looks like and not 20 pounds in two weeks.

For those of us who promised ourselves to move more and eat less, to finally lose those nagging pound it is a great reminder to get back on that goal. I don’t know about you but I have been battling and fighting. My tummy measurement is under (just under but I will take it) 42 inches.

Picture by solrac gi 2nd

Like everything else, it is tough. I love eating sweets and bread. My  coffee must have creamer in it and I like the sweetened variety. But I also like fruit and vegetables. The husband and I are making the effort to eat more salads at dinner time. I am trying to stay on my big liquid intake.

The point I am trying to make is that this kind of weight loss does not happen over night and those of us working on it need all of the encouragement we can get. 

If that means going red for one day, I am doing it.

How do you work on heart health?

Last week my older two boys went to the Methodist Ash Wednesday service. I was glad they went although my 18-year-old, who sat through the Catholic version at school, told me the services were almost identical.

It was another lesson about being a part of the church on days other than Sunday, seeing how your religious belief can be a part of everyday life. Since I stayed back to be with the younger children, I decided that I needed to work on a special Lenten sacrifice. I decided to only eat one piece  or serving of chocolate per day.

What was I thinking?!?

I love chocolate. If possible I would –and do- eat several pieces a day. When I stop at the Shell station and they are having a two Hershey chocolates for $1.49, I get them. If I am lucky one is in my purse the next day. Most days, I am not lucky. 

If I could avoid the sinus headache, I would drink chocolate milk. During my last pregnancy, the doctors were very concerned about my blood sugar numbers. But I was finding the chocolate restriction nearly unbearable.

In order to have chocolate in my diet, I was looking for the smallest serving size possible. Then I would load up on protein to make the sugar breakdown in the safest manner possible. I was willing to figure out my diet to avoid getting a daily insulin shot but still have my chocolate.

I am insane to think I can last the next five weeks with only one piece of chocolate when there are three boxes of thin mints in my freezer. Can I make it thorough?

I am not sure.

The first challenge came on Thursday when I realized that the Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls I had just bought was going to be the only bit of chocolate for that day. And it was 10:00 in the morning.

The next day I had a single Fannie May Pixie. A single Pixie is a delight that should be followed by another to prolong the joy. But I didn’t. I left it at one piece.

So far so good.

I have managed to stick to my rule of one piece or serving per day. On Sunday I had a hot fudge brownie parfait. Today, I kept it to one Dove™ Promise square. If I can keep this up, perhaps by Easter I can finally hit the next dress size down from where I am at now.

Let’s be honest, Jesus gave up so much more for us puny humans so that we could have eternal life. Giving up chocolate is the least I can do and I think I can make it to Easter if I really try hard enough. Being that I am an example to my kids, I want to make it all the way through. That is just one way of showing your faith, everyday, to your kids.

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.

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