How does jet lag affect blood sugar? And how can you ease the burden?
Last week, I attended the most incredible of events, KetoCon 2019, in Austin, TX (awesome city, btw! If you haven’t been yet, you gotta go!). With closer to 3 000 people attending the event, it was amazing to talk to people, connect, share stories and experiences, meet new friends, listen to mind blowing talks with tons of new knowledge. I also had the incredible honor of being a speaker at #ketocon2019, which was an unforgettable experience! (Universe, please send me more speaking gigs! Kthx!) It really is an amazing community, and I’m so proud and honored to be a part of it.
With traveling that far, however, comes a certain amount of jet lag. 7 time zones back and forth within a week is a little…. intense. So I wanted to tell you about how jet lag impacts blood sugar, and share some of my tips on how to make the jet lag easier on you.
What are your best jet lag tips? Let me know in a comment!
If you prefer to read, here is the typed up version of the video above:
Today’s topic has been a part of my life for the past week or so. So I thought if it affects me, then it may affect someone else out there.
I recently attended KetoCon 2019, in Austin, Texas, where I was also fortunate enough to be a speaker. I was very, very touched and humbled by that. I had a fantastic time! The amount of people that I met, the awesome storys that I heard, connections, some of the samples I tried… Everything was amazing! So many people were there, it was a huge event this year, closer to 3000 people. I was very, very fortunate to be there! I really hope that I get to go back to KetoCon next year, and I hope that you will join me there as well.
I love travelling! Sometimes with the travel comes changing time zones, perhaps not all the time. But when it does, meaning that your body might be stuck in one time zone, where as you have moved on to the next. That discrepancy between what your body feels like and what it actually what time it actually is, where you are is called a jet lag. This time, we did a very short trip to the States, it was only a week back and forth. It was a little bit intense. Usually, there is a way or direction that it’s easier for us. For me, it’s going to the east, which is apparently uncommon, I have a lot easier to come home from the States to Europe, then going to the States. This will be taken into account for future trips, believe me…
Jet lag can also affect your blood sugar because your body feels like it is in a different time zone than you are and your insulin pump settings are not in tune with your body’s needs. This is despite that you have changed your insulin pump settings by the time you touch down on the new ground. Your body might need a different amount of insulin than what you are giving in at that point in time. This also happens with basal insulin, or long acting insulin, it’s not novelty for insulin pumps.
It is also a huge stress for the body to change time zones. It gets all confused about times and when to sleep and when to stay awake and when you’re hungry and when you need to drink. And when you have insulin, for example. We also know that stress is a blood sugar killer. Because this is such a stress for the body, this can really cause havoc on your blood sugars. (It wasn’t too bad for me personally, this time. I suffered more from a terrible pump site, than the jet lag itself.) And it didn’t help that I was travelling very quickly back and forth, across 7 timezones within a week.
I was going to share a couple of my best jet lag tips. Although they’re not 100%, clearly, but they may alleviate a little bit so that you don’t have to have such a bad time as you may think it might. So first of all, I wanted to clarify that actually a lot of jet lag is a mindset. If you decide that it’s going to be a terrible time being jet lagged. Guess what? It’s going to be a terrible time to be jet lagged for you! That’s not really any magic. If you decide that hey, yes, okay, admit to yourself, yes, it’s not going to be great. But at the same time, it’s going to be worth it for what I’m doing. You’re already halfway there. If you then also add to it that I’m really excited to go and I can’t wait to see what awaits me where I’m going.
Change the timezone already before you leave. That way you are a little bit more acclimatised to the new time zone even before you leave home. That can involve blocking sunlight, when it’s supposed to be night in the new time zone, or it can be being in front of really bright lights when it’s going to be sunshine and it wasn’t at home. Or it can be regulating caffeine intake, all kinds of things. And there’s a lot you can do yourself. But of course, there’s also apps and I just did a quick search on App Store, and there are so many jetlag apps that you can use. Go explore and find what works for you.
Also, hydration is super, super important for trying to prevent as much as possible of jet lag. First and foremost, this is very important while you’re up in the air, because being that high up anyways dehydrates your body. Don’t make it worse for yourself, as dehydration can cause even more problems. A little bit of electrolytes might not be the worst thing to keep your body fully hydrated, healthy and happy throughout your journey.
Make sure that you expose yourself to sunlight when you’re supposed to. When you have arrived go outside, hopefully it is during daylight time, so that you and your brain and your eyes and all this stuff that works together gets used to when it’s supposed to be dark, when it’s supposed to be light. Sunlight is healing, as we all know, lots of vitamin D, that’s great. Also the fresh air helps to maybe keep you awake rather than stuffy indoor air, when you’re not supposed to sleep.
Stay awake until at least 10pm local time, or whatever your bedtime is, so that you are least a little bit more on to the new time zone. There’s also of course includes no napping, do try to stay awake as much as you can until as late as you can or until your bedtime, whatever hits first. And then hope for a really, really good night’s sleep. If you can’t sleep through the night, which may have been my problem going to the US, definitely do a lot of meditation, a lot of snoozing until you feel ready to fall asleep again. You can also add supplements, such as melatonin and that can really help at least to go to sleep. It’s still debated on whether it helps you to stay asleep but it may help to go to sleep. You can also try things like over the counter histamine drops. Check with your doctor first. CBD oil can also help you sleep when you’re supposed to sleep, as does double magnesium.
Being in nature in the time zone that you’re not used to yet and enjoy the walk. That also keeps you from sleeping when you shouldn’t sleep. Do some yoga doors perhaps, there’s also a lot of jet lag yoga on YouTube, for example, that was very helpful for me, as well. But forest bathing definitely does help.
Keep busy. When I got home yesterday morning, I made sure to unpack my whole bag, put on the washing, so that I had something to do the whole time so that I wouldn’t fall asleep. Today, I feel a lot better, probably also thanks to my hydration plan and my forest bathing and meditation and all these things that I do implement for in order to help my jet lag along a little bit quicker and not just suffer from it.
What are your best jetlag tips I can’t wait to talk with you more in the comments below.
And wherever you are exploring next, enjoy and hope the jet lag is not too bad.
How do you feel when you find out that someone has been lying to you?
You feel cheated, stupid and end up having trust issues.
It doesn’t even have to be full-on lying, it can also be a few mis-truths, or not telling you the whole story so that you can’t put things into context.
For 26 years I believed a lot of things about diabetes that I now know are untrue. For 26 out of 30 years I believed that I knew less than my doctors, that I couldn’t trust my instincts and that I was just doing it all wrong.
And all along my mother has said that “you’re always your own best doctor”. Boy, oh boy is she right! But when you’re told, repeatedly by people who “know better” that this isn’t the case and that you should really be doing it their way, which is usually straight out of a medical textbook, you start losing faith in your own thinking, reasoning and ways. What about what works for YOU as an individual? We both know that diabetes is a very individual disease and there are as many options to manage it well as there are people who have it.
It wasn’t until I was finally brave enough to look my own health in the eye and decide to take it into my own hands that I noticed that I truly had the power to change my own health destiny. This was an incredibly difficult step to take, not to mention scary.
I had been told for far too long, and far too many times, that what I was about to do I would probably die from. Straight away. This was clearly a blatant lie, I’m still here and I’m doing better health-wise than ever.
But what I’m really here to do now is to stop the lies. Stop the untruths that are clearly ruining more people’s lives than they have to. They’ve had their time on stage, it’s time for the truth.
Do you ever feel like there has to be more to it than just “eat like everyone else and take more insulin”?
Have you lost a little hope to ever get diabetes more controlled?
Diabetes can often put you in a life or death situation. Sometimes more often than you’re willing to give it credit for. This is why it’s so important to stop being lied to, to trust your gut feeling and to realize that more insulin isn’t automatically the only answer there is for you to control diabetes better.
I know what it’s like to being close to giving up completely, just do what the doctors tell you (because-they-know-best) and deep down wonder “why me?”. To play a game of Russian roulette with your life at stake – every day. It sucks. It feels so hopeless and there’s no end in sight. At the same time, you don’t have the energy to do anything about it, either. Mainly due to your fluctuating blood sugars, where curves closely resemble something like a roller coaster. You’re stuck in a well, looking for the rope you need to get out.
In order for you to actually get out, and here comes the major suckage, you have to take responsibility for your situation AND your own health. You need to look your own health in the eye and show it who is boss. Plainly put, it’s about going from not giving a shit to giving tons of shits.
But you can only get there if and when you know the true facts. The real things that will help you feel better, be healthier, happier and more blood sugar stable. The information that takes you off the roller coaster and puts you in the spinning tea cups, if you will.
Diabetes will never be completely at bay, especially not if you have Type 1. But with a few changes of food, simple tricks and lifehacks it can get so much better.
You just have to realize how to make the shift of going from doing-it-by-the-book-but-it-doesn’t-work to ah-this-is-awesome. With this shift, you choose to be healthy and happy.
A great first step could be to join the webinar I’m hosting on Monday, 13th July 2015, where I’ll be talking about 5 major lies your doctor tells you about diabetes. This is your chance to learn how to help yourself to a better life with diabetes. It’s not hopeless, if I can do it, so can you.
Do you have to make shopping lists when you go grocery shopping, just so you won’t forget half of what you went out to get in the first place?
Or, have you ever underestimated the power of a to do list, and missed to call that one person you really had to speak to?
No? It’s just me then.
This is of course a super simplistic way of looking at it, but the main message stays the same: unless you write down what you want, it will be difficult for you to get it. Or get there.
How do you keep track of everything that needs to be done?
For me, it’s definitely the easiest to make a list out of it.
Until what needs to be done becomes a routine, it’s very difficult to remember all the things that require your attention. (Not least if you’re handling something like diabetes.)
And, if there’s something outside of yourself that you want and you don’t formulate clearly what it is, how will other people ever know how to give it to you? And also, how do you get a crystal clear view of exactly it is you want?
Before going on last month’s Low Carb Cruise, I felt a bit nervous about it. First of all, it’s a long trip and secondly, I was about to be in the same room as so many of my Heroes!
I talked to a brilliant friend of mine about it, and she told me to write a list of the people I wanted to talk to during the cruise.
“This is so silly”, I thought to myself, “what’s the use of a list?!”
But, as the excellent friend she is, she pushed me to do it anyway. And am I glad I did!
Lo-and-behold, when I found my list again a few days after we had gotten onto dry land again (but my body was clearly still on the ship, everything was swaying), I had accomplished Every. Single. Thing. on that list! I had talked to all the people I wanted to talk to, and a good few more!
This close-to-obsessive list writing of course doesn’t just apply to rather mundane things, like grocery shopping, or super exciting things, like making sure you grab the chance to talk to your heroes. It’s also absolutely useful for everyday things, like what to bring on your holiday, or things like where you want to be in a year from now, what you’d like your A1c to be and what kind of tools you want and need to simplify your life. For example. Not to mention the good old to do list!
Lists don’t have to be exclusively used for practical things, you can very well use them for things like your emotions and actions to. In that case it’s called a to be list.
What do you want to be like today? How would you like to act in certain situations? And, how do you want to feel?
If you know what (or who) makes you feel good, why don’t you ask for it?
And how do you formulate said wishes, thoughts, questions and desired actions? If you leave it at just a thought, you most likely will forget it. If you see it on and off it’s easier to focus on it. You and I both know that any goal you have is so much easier to reach if you know what you want and you state it clearly, making you focus on it.
Remember that goals like “one day I’d love to be able to go skydiving” just won’t cut it either. It’s too general! Your goal needs to be a SMART one, Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. The one about skydiving then becomes “In 3 months I want to have the appointment booked for skydiving, providing my doctor says it’s ok at least 2 weeks before”
Do you ever find yourself paying a little too much attention to a specific number?
Your weight? Your distance covered? Milestones reached? Friends on Facebook?
Or, perhaps, your HbA1c, the “lighthouse” of how you’re doing as a diabetic?
It’s easy to put a lot of weight on a number (pun intended!), because it’s something measurable, something you can follow and have a direct understanding of whether it improves or gets worse.
What’s difficult to understand is that these numbers, none of the ones I mentioned above, matter much.
Your weight technically doesn’t matter much, as long as you feel fit and healthy with it. Neither does the amount of kilometers you ran last week, unless you were in a race… Counting milestones only creates an inner stress and pressure to reach your goals faster, harder, more productively. And, friends on Facebook – are they r e a l l y friends…?
I know. This is crazy cakes.
We’ve been told, time and time again, to set measurable goals, and it’s really hard to find ways to measure improvement without those numbers.
So also when it comes to diabetes care and the HbA1c value.
I’ve been conditioned for 30 years to regard my HbA1c as the shining light of how well I’m doing, so the habit isn’t easy to break. Even when I know I’ve done pretty darn well lately.
I had my a-few-times-a-year appointment with my endocrinologist earlier this week.
Driving there (only takes about 7 minutes, but still), I was super-nervous and kept sending little wishes out for a lower-than-last-time HbA1c reading (which was 6,4%).
I got there, peed in a cup, had some blood taken, weighed in and measured my blood pressure. For someone who has a severe case of “White Coat Syndrome”, which is when you get nervous just seeing, being near or even thinking of a doctors office, the last part always seems a little stupid. And it was this time too, because it was through the roof.
I got into my endo’s office and we chatted a bit about life in general, before we got into the whole diabetes thing.
Once again, I was complimented by her on how well I’m doing. This is still a weird feeling to me, after having basically been a disappointment and being scolded for the other 28 years I’ve met with endocrinologists.
She told me that there probably isn’t much more I can optimize about my care without having a lot more hypos. “Watch me” I thought to myself, as I still think I can, and I will keep trying to optimize and improve until the day I die.
Anyway, to the value that every diabetic has been conditioned to regard as a sign of life or death: my HbA1c was 6,2% this time, or 44 mmol/mol.
This is the lowest I can ever remember having during my 30-year career in and with diabetes. I asked my parents, too, and they can’t remember anything lower either.
The fact that I’ve put so much emphasis on it and then receiving exactly the result I was hoping for made me ecstatic. Happy, euphoric and close to tears of pride. In my opinion, with all right. (And I have yet to celebrate this properly!)
After we had discussed some other topics, and I had received all the supplies I needed from their office (making it feel like Christmas every time I go there!), I got into my car and drove off, full of joy!
I got home, told my husband about the result, he gave ma a huge congratulatory hug, and I was so darn pleased with myself. I posted a rarely-seen-selfie and got on with my day.
Later in the evening it hit me though. I was sad. Despite my excellent HbA1c result. Despite the praise and the congratulations. I felt saddened.
It took me a good few minutes to figure it out, a little EFT tapping and some meditation came in very handy at that point.
I was sad, because that result didn’t mean anything, really.
Fine, it means that I’m reasonably well controlled in my diabetes. It means that I’ve come a long way from where I started a few years ago after a long diabetes burn out, giving me double figure HbA1c’s. And it gives me a little hope for the future.
But it also means that I’m not really awarded in anyway for it (unless I buy myself something pretty, or have a glass of champagne to celebrate). It doesn’t give me a break from diabetes, not even for a minute. It doesn’t stop the poking, prodding and always having to be on alert. It doesn’t mean I can live carefree and forget about everything.
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/blog_hba1c-1.png1200800Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2015-04-02 18:42:502015-04-02 18:42:50HbA1c, just a number?
When you start on a new journey, you ideally want to know what the eff you’ve gotten yourself into.
Not least when it’s about your health, well-being and future life.
I get that. I totally do.
And I’ve got something really special up my sleeve for you today!
This is one of my biggest secrets in doing what I do. You could see it as a 4-year short cut, as that’s how long it took me (well, plus 26 years…) to get to where I am today.
Diabetes Sweet Spot
Let me explain this diagram a little (?) more in detail…
First up we have
Sexy Food and Water
What I mean by this is real food that makes you feel your absolute best, fuels your body, your mind and your soul whilst not jerking your blood sugars around.
In my experience, and many others that I’ve helped and talked to, the mentality of “eating and covering for it” simply doesn’t work.
Eating a lower amount of carbs than we generally do today is very beneficial to most people. Even more so if you’ve got diabetes as a constant companion.
Picture this, a doctor tells their patient, who is lactose intolerant, to drink 1 liter of milk a day, “because it’s good for them”… Do you see the flaw in logic here?
If that patient does drink that milk, “like the doctor said”, they will be in a world of pain, discomfort and also spend too much time on the porcelain throne. Because their body is unable to process lactose properly.
Now, picture this; a doctor/CDE/nutritionist tells a person with diabetes to eat 60% grains and carbohydrates with every meal, “because they need it”… (Wait, where have I heard this before…?!)
Carbohydrates, no matter in which form (pasta, rice, bread, cereals, pastries, cookies, ice cream….) turn into pure sugar (glucose) as soon as it hits your mouth and the enzymes in your saliva.
And what do people with diabetes not produce (enough of)?! The hormone that lets energy, in the form of sugar, into the cells, namely insulin. And if we can’t produce it ourselves, we have to add it in a much less precise and guesstimating way in comparison to our well-oiled-running-like-machines-bodies.
Ergo, removing some (or even all) of those sugar-shape shifter-carbs from what you eat is a great idea.
That would be the same logic as for our lactose intolerant friend I mentioned before – to take away what your body can’t process properly to reduce pain, discomfort and make life easier.
(I’ll happily talk more about this, if you don’t agree, let me know in the comments below!)
And water. Tons of clean, clear water infused with alpine air (in a best case scenario).
You need water not only for hydration, but also for moving energy/sugar around, to keep the insulin you take active and to flush your system of toxins and other stuff slugging around.
Medications & Supplements
Even if you do everything else right, it doesn’t disguise the fact that you’ll still need insulin. Just a lot less of it, which in my books is a definite winner! Today, I’m taking 1/3 of the amount of insulin that I used to a couple of years ago.
When you start taking better care of the other areas in your life, you’ll usually get the privilege to cut down on, or even completely stop taking, other medications you might be on.
For me it was the case with my blood pressure medicine. I could cut my dosage with 75% after I started eating better, relaxing and taking better care of myself. But just because I was able to cut down, it doesn’t mean I don’t have to take them at all, I still do. Just a much smaller dosage.
And I still haven’t needed medication for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is usually treated with hormones.
I generally recommend a series of supplements, which I’m currently taking myself as well. Yep, all of them:
Vitamin D3, Omega 3, Antioxidants (in the form of green powders), Probiotics, Vitamin B Complex, Magnesium and Zinc. Sometimes I add Chromium to the mix as well.
But these aren’t set in stone; it really depends on you and your own journey.
Self-love & Attitude
Oh, how I can go on about the importance of self-love!
The fact is though, that when you start seeing yourself, your body, mind, soul and brain (and every little cell in between) as one Team, shit starts to shift.
This means that you don’t think of your pancreas (for example) as the bad guy for having applied for (way too) early retirement. Or hate your immune system for attacking your pancreas, thyroid, skin (or whatever else it’s decided you could do without).
And how do you get to your Team Me status?
A lot of it comes from self-love, making sure you feel good and love yourself.
What is self-love then? Here are some ideas:
Eating well. Healthy, healing real food full of happiness and love.
Water! It purifies you, makes sure you get energy to your cells and hydrates every part of you.
Breathe deeply, truly and all the way into your toes.
Stretching or going to that yoga class you know you love.
Rocking it out to your favorite tune is the pure definition of self-love!
Make Gratitude your Attitude! Tell yourself what you’re grateful for every day, either just mentally, or write it down in a journal, or make a gratitude jar.
“Do nothing” days
Reading your favorite magazine with a cup of tea/coffee/or hey, even bubbly.
Treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi.
Treating yourself to that one thing you’ve been eyeing up lately. It’s ok to be materialistic, too!
Putting up boundaries. What’s ok for you and what isn’t? Break up with those things that aren’t.
Prioritizing good sleep is good self-care. (Danielle LaPorte said that, and I know she’s right!)
Put. Away. Your. Phone. I promise you, you don’t need to know what is happening on Facebook every second of the day.
But how can you make sure you don’t forget about loving yourself?
Here are my Top 3 Tips:
Schedule it. Otherwise it’s the easiest part to neglect for me (even though I really know I can’t afford to).
Make it a daily practice. Can you feel the benefits of it when you meditate? Make sure you practice it regularly. Does a long walk in the sunshine do you worlds of good? Get hooked on them!
Make yourself your first priority. It sounds really selfish, but it’s not. Think about it, how can you be there for others if you’re not feeling well yourself? Make a team out of your body and yourself, call it “Team Me”. This team always has priority over everything and everyone else. Fact.
De-stress & Movement
This point goes much hand-in-hand with the previous one.
If you’ve changed your attitude about yourself and diabetes, you will have a lot less stress in your life. That’s a promise.
Meditation, eating well, and all of the others I mentioned above help de-stress you and your life.
As does exercise, for example.
I’m not saying you have to turn into an instant iron man competitor, ultra marathon runner or Olympic-grade swimmer right now. (Although if that’s what you want, then by all means go ahead! You have all of my awe and respect)
Start s l o w l y, gently and build on your exercise and fitness level every day. It’s not more difficult than starting with a short, brisk walk outside.
After a while, the walk will automatically become longer or more intensive, as your body feels it can perform better. Before you know it, you might even want to try jogging or hiking in the mountains.
And all of this while not even thinking about your daily walks as exercise! How flipping great is that?!
It doesn’t have to be a walk though, anything exercise-y that floats your boat is awesome, be it yoga, zumba, dancing on your own to your favorite tunes, body exercises, stretches, skiing, swimming, or a royal mix of them all.
The most important point is that it shouldn’t feel like exercise – you should do it by yourself, without thinking “this is hard”.
The rituals you set up for yourself is what you can lean back on when times get a little less rosy and sunny, for example.
If you feel a little lost, you know that your ritual (or routine, but that’s a boring word) can be a saving grace.
Also, if your body knows approximately when or in what order something will be given to it, it knows to prepare for it.
My daily ritual looks a little something like this…
I wake up at 7:30am, find myself a centering thought for the day, after which I check my blood sugar (both on my cgm and manually). Then I check the main notifications on my phone (I want to change this)… Then I get up, take my supplements and proceed to my morning meditation. After a shower and putting some clothes on, I open my laptop and work until lunch, before which I check my blood sugar manually again. It’s a healthy, happy meal. After checking the notifications again…. I go back to my computer and work for another 2 or so hours. Then I go out for a walk (my daily walks are holy) as an afternoon break, after checking my blood sugar. Back to work (client/computer/meeting) until it’s time to make dinner and check my blood sugar. After dinner, my husband and I talk, go out for a date or do something productive. Before bed time there’s the last batch of supplements, taking my make up off with coconut oil, checking my blood sugar and showing gratitude for the day I’ve just experienced. Lights out, sleep.
Of course this differs when I have something special to do, but this is my ground framework.
But this way things like checking my blood sugar becomes part of my routine and it doesn’t feel as difficult or even impossible to do it. I even miss doing it if I somehow skip it in my routine, or have ran out of test strips… (I know, I’m a little weird. But I’m happy that I am, life is that much easier when you’re a little weird.)
Et viola, if you get these areas right for YOU, you’ve entered into what I love to call the Diabetes Sweet Spot.
This diagram is essentially a summary of the last 30 years of my own research and experience, and if you do need some help on the way here, I’m all ears and would love to help you.
Have you found your Diabetes Sweet Spot? How did you get there? And how long did it take you?
Sure, food is a big part of losing weight. But it’s not the only part.
This is such an important realization to make, if nothing else to stop yourself from buying into the next fad diet with some super formula that will make you loose weight faster than lightning.
That’s nothing more than excellent PR and marketing work. Rarely there’s any science at all behind it.
The following tips are true for the vast majority of people, whether or not you have diabetes, metabolic syndrome, adrenal fatigue, other problems with endocrinology, or just plain don’t-know-what-to-do status.
1. Mental Clarity
The major, number one on the list of weight loss tips is: Mental Clarity.
This is so important I could talk about it all day.
What you eat and how/if you move is crucial to what happens to your weight.
But so is also your mental state.
You’re probably confused and feeling lost when your weight loss suddenly stops or you can’t keep the 500 kcal limit a day (ok, that last one is i n s a n e). You start wondering what’s wrong with you and why you can’t look like that Victoria’s Secret angel…. (ok, that last one is probably self-explanatory… We all have different circumstances and starting out points; all of us can’t end up looking like a super model!)
So you end up feeling stuck. What’s a girl to do?!
a)Answer these crucial questions for yourself:
– What/who/why am I holding on to this weight for?
– What is my excess weight shielding me from? (This can be mental or physical things, like not wanting extra attention or having been bullied around the time when you started gaining weight.)
– Who will I be when I’ve lost this weight?
– How will people see me when I’ve lost the weight?
The answers to these questions will help you clear your mental blocks around weight loss.
Answering your “why” (as in why you want to lose the weight) is bringing back the enjoyment in the whole process. It’s a motivator, part of the goal and something to look at on days where everything is blah.
So WHY do you want to lose weight?
If that doesn’t work, you might need more help, in which case I’d recommend working with a coach, therapist or practitioner (for example nutrition and/or emotional freedom technique (EFT Tapping))
No sleep – no weight loss.
This has so much to do with hormones, de-stressing and giving your body the time it needs to heal and repair itself.
When you’re depriving your body of sleep, you’re actively stressing it. And let me tell you this, nothing will happen to your weight if you stress! (Apart from if you want to gain a few and feel miserable.)
Stress hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and epinephrine give your body other things to do than to focus on weight loss. They throw your body into a “fight or flight” mode and all your body will care about is surviving. Certainly not about losing weight, it will rather hold on to it in case it needs it for the flight-part.
A night here and there without proper sleep is, admittedly, not going to do much. But when it becomes a habit, it might halt your progress.
This goes for any other stressors as well, not just the lack of sleep. Our new favorite hobby, “being busy”, definitely doesn’t help and is a reason why I think so many are overweight these days.
“Eat less, exercise more”, right?!
God no, please don’t!
Exercise shouldn’t be a self-punishing mechanism, although I know very well that it can easily be one.
You should exercise because you enjoy it. Because you feel that your body feels well. Because your mood improves and you can push yourself a little further every time.
Yes, it’s important to exercise. But it’s just as important not to do it out of hating yourself. You have to love the weight off!
As for what kind of exercise you “should” be doing, I couldn’t care less!
Do what motivates you, what makes you feel good and what makes your heart and soul sing those happy tunes.
Be it power walking (with a good audio book!), running, dancing, weight lifting, swimming, mountain climbing, (aqua-) aerobics, pilates, yoga, tennis, football, floor ball, basket ball… You get the point; whatever it is that makes you feel good – do it!
4. Eating only when you’re hungry
“Ooohhh, it’s almost 12 o’clock, that means I get/need to have lunch!”
Unless you actually are hungry (and by hungry I mean properly so, not just any little rumble in your tummy), don’t eat a full meal.
If you’re not hungry when your usual lunchtime rolls around, there’s no one who says that you h a v e to eat. Save it for when you actually are hungry.
Eating because you’re used to it is frankly pretty silly. It makes you eat more than you need to, and, in most cases, it puts you back on the blood sugar roller coaster. (You don’t want that, whether you’re diabetic or not.)
I’m definitely not advocating any type of eating disorders!!
But I am telling you to listen to your body. What does it tell you? Are you really hungry, or are you just bored? What does it need? Are you procrastinating something that you know you should be doing with a snack or a meal?
Check in with yourself before your next meal, are you really hungry?
This point could (and will be) a whole blog post/a third of my book.
That you are what you eat is clear by now, with everything you eat slowly becoming part of your cells, muscles, skin, bones, organs, hair and nails.
So that what you eat plays a more-than-crucial role on your weight journey is clear as crystal.
Let’s assume you’ve realized that all them carbs aren’t your best buds.
And let’s assume you’ve done something about that. Like starting to eat less processed carbs, flour, bread, pasta and rice, and have started eating more healthy, healing, happy fats. For instance.
And what if your weight is still the same? Or, gasp, has increased?!
If you’ve gone over the point’s I’ve mentioned above, here’s 3 things for troubleshooting Vol. 2.0:
– You’re not eating enough fat, and still eating more carbs than your body can tolerate.
– You’ve fallen for the “low carb baking” train and use almond flour (etc) like it would be water. There is such a thing as eating too many nuts, and in this case, I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening.
– You’ve heard dairy is basically a “free food” instead of the carby stuff, so you use it. A lot. But it might be that your body cant handle all that diary, and reacts with bad skin and weight gain.
No bueno. Dial back on these things one by one until you find which one(s) is(are) your culprit(s).
Patience, my dear, patience.
Being someone who has close to zero patience (working on it!), I understand you completely.
You’ve made all the changes needed; you’ve even given up on bread.
So, naturally, you expect results, like, yesterday.
Except that’s not always the case.
After years, even decades of abusive eating, your body won’t “get it” straightaway.
We can adapt, and your body will adapt to your new, healthier ways. Being animals of habit, the same goes for your body when it comes to weight loss. It knows what it knows and not a thing more. But it can definitely learn new things.
All you need to do is to give it a fair chance to do so, too!
Can you show yourself, your weight loss journey and your body a little more patience? I think you can!
Quick recap of what’s important with weight loss:
1. Mental Clarity
4. Eating only when you’re hungry
Which of these have you tried? Where are you still struggling? Answer in the comments below!
“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
It’s easy to think that “you’re too far gone/old/overweight/addicted/stuck” to make a change for yourself and your life.
I know where you’re at right now. I really do.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know how I’ve struggled with making changes in the past…
Having spent a gross majority of my life (26 years), trying to make the right choices for me and my health and having learned lessons from each and every time, whilst not getting anything right.
Seeing different doctors, nutritionists, nurses and experts, even psychologists. And no one could tell me or even give me a clue of what I really needed to do.
I’ve basically ran on wild goose chases in terms of my health my whole life. Different medications, different diets, different motivators and different dream health care teams (of varying success).
This tires a person out, and can even wipe them out completely. What you’re left with is zero motivation, zero patience, zero happiness and 100% wanting to sleep through it all.
At this point I really started feeling like a pre-programmed robot, dreading the future and being sure I wouldn’t see past the age of 30. I was following all of the books, one at a time, and NONE of them made anything better. At all.
It was after that I started studying again, this time to become a nutritionist. And thank the Universe I did.
Somewhere, somehow I found the motivation of giving it (and myself) One. Last. Try. with all the stuff I was learning at school.
And that’s when the proverbial hammer hit the head of the nail – I managed to create something so much more beautiful that I had ever imagined for myself. More health, more freedom, more wealth, more pride, more self-esteem.
This, amongst many others of my stories, taught me a Big Lesson: It’s in the big hurdles that we gain the most insight into ourselves and the most experience in life.
“Nobody can go back and change a beginning. But anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
Even if you’re 96 years old and realize that, hey, smoking doesn’t serve me like it once used to, it’s better to stop the nasty habit and move on. It doesn’t matter if your last day on earth is tomorrow or in, well, 96 years, there’s always, always, always space to make new positive beginnings.
This is especially true if it comes to improvements in your health and well-being. As we both know, there’s nothing left unless we have this very founding principle in place.
So, what can you do if you realize that there is a change (or even two) you would LOVE to make for yourself?
Realize that you’re not stuck.
You never were, you never will be. I know it’s not easy to break free from old habits, after all our lizard brains make sure that it’s very comfortable right there. But: getting out of your comfort zone and sniffing a bit of fresh air is essential to making a change. How can you get a breath of fresh air today? How can you move out of that couch potato state of mind? It does take making a plan of action for yourself, and not let said plan be defined by your age or held back by your current situation.
What are you afraid of?
What’s stopping you from making the ultimate commitment to invest in yourself, your health and your future? Spend some time identifying what might be holding you back. Then find a way to work through them, or get help from a coach or practitioner who knows exactly in what kind of deep ditch you’re currently sitting.
Find your ultimate motivation.
And make sure this goal is for you and no one else. This is just as true for general goal setting as it is for a lasting life-style change. Why do you want this change? How will you feel once you’re there? What will others think of you?
What’s the one baby leap you can make today to start it all off?
Take one little step a day, but make sure you take one every day. Help yourself to make an easier transition in the not-too-distant future. It definitely helps to set a deadline for yourself, and work toward that, step by step.
There’s always, always, always something to be grateful for. So why not make one of those things to be grateful for that you made a decision to invest in yourself and your health?
The bottom line is, you don’t need to wait for the “perfect moment” to make things happen. You can decide any time you want to that the time is right for YOU to make a change.
“It’s never too late. Don’t focus on what was taken away. Find something to replace it, and acknowledge the blessing you have.” Drew Barrymore
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/blog_never_too_late-1.png1200800Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2015-02-19 18:07:192015-02-19 18:07:19Make A Change – 4 Steps How To
Dealing with any kind of health challenges is, well, challenging to day the least.
And, yes, it’s even more so when you know said challenge (say, diabetes) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
This is exactly the point at which it’s so important to keep believing.
I’m definitely not talking about a religious belief here. No Jesus, God, Allah or Buddha right here. I’m talking about a much deeper, more profound belief, the belief in yourself.
Believing that everything is going to be OK. Believing that you will wake up the next morning. Believing that your blood sugar won’t pull a 180 on you while driving. Believing that the hypo treatment will work in time, and that your body can take (yet another) beating in the form of a hyper high blood sugar.
Having said this, you can’t just leave it all up to chance either. Behind that strong belief lays tons of hard work, dedication, resilience and, yes, pain. There are tons of blood sugar checks, basal tests and some near death experiences behind it, too. As well as many crappy doctors appointments and opinions, bad medical team members and just sheer experience.
But having the trust in yourself that you have the knowledge and tools necessary to pull through this situation (too), is truly one of the most valuable things you can have. Believing that you can handle everything that life throws at you, and that you can do so with ease and grace (well, more or less, although we both know there’s nothing easy or graceful with waking up with a 3am low blood sugar…).
Trusting that everything is going to be OK, and that there will be a cure for this someday (even if it might be “5-10 years from now” 😉 ). Believing that there is a purpose to all this madness of poking yourself with various needles and staying off the regular coke, unless it’s a medical emergency. And believing that you won’t find yourself with missing limbs, vision loss and gastroparesis any time in the future.
This kind of belief system is vital for you to keep going, to wake up every morning and feel that you’ve got this. Knowledge and believing you can is truly powerful. Sometimes you have to dare to be wildly optimistic!
Just by showing up every day, you’re already doing an amazing job and have taken one giant leap towards starting to believe in yourself. Remember that there’s never been, and will never be another you, so it’s better to work with what you’ve got.
Being able to believe in yourself and your capabilities has a lot to do with self-love, self-appreciation and self-esteem. Basically you have to know who you are on the deepest of levels in order to know in your core that this is something you can handle.
Also, for me, attitude and being able to believe like this go hand in hand. So it might be that all you have to do is to dig a little deeper in your attitude closet – you’ve got this. I believe in you.
Let’s set the record straight here once and for all: not all fats are bad!
Sure, the transfatty crappy vegetable oils (cottonseed, rapeseed and processed sunflower oils for example), margarine, the junk food you get at most fast food restaurants or chips/cakes/cookies/candy aren’t what we’re talking about today. (Which are all pretty sorry excuses for food, really.)
We’re talking about the good, healthy, happy, healing fats, like salmon, coconut, avocado, eggs, olive oil, butter, nuts and seeds, for example.
Eating more fat (and less carbohydrates) has amazing benefits on your health.
When you start adding more fat to your meals, your blood pressure is likely to go back to normal.
Fat also has very minimal, if any at all, effects on blood glucose levels (yay for us diabetics!), meaning less roller coaster and more stroll in the park action.
Chances are also that eating more fat will make you lose weight (I’ll explain this more later in this post).
It also keeps you full and satisfied for longer, meaning that snacking and unnecessary meals are less likely to sneak in to your eating plan.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, here are 7 more reasons you need to give your body fatty acids to work with:
Fat = energy
Good fat contains more energy than carbs or protein. This is energy (calories) that the body can use and knows how to use, unlike processed carbs, for example.
Healthy cells need fat
The walls of every cell in your body (the membrane) is made out of fat. If you don’t eat enough fat, you can’t build healthy, properly functioning cells. And that’s putting yourself in a pretty bad place; if you can’t build cells, your body can’t function like it should.
The cells I just mentioned of course also include your brain cells. But fat is needed for more than that – it’s also needed to build myelin, which is insulation for the nerve endings in the brain and helps carrying messages across.
The fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can’t be absorbed by the intestines without fat, meaning you are depriving your body of these vital vitamins unless you eat enough fat.
Hormones are made of fat
Your body produces sex hormones with the help of fat, as well as many other hormones and hormone-like substances (like prostaglandins). Your hormones are vital to your body functioning properly, and any irregularity in hormone production can have some unpleasant or even devastating consequences.
Your skin loves fat!
Your skin is one of the first things to react if you eat too little fat – it gets dry, flaky and feels too tight. The fat we have right underneath our skin also helps to insulate us in colder weathers.
Fat protects your organs
Just as the whole body is insulated by fat, so are your organs on the inside. Especially the kidneys, heart and intestines rely on fat to keep them from harm and in their correct places (your kidneys can actually start “traveling” in your body if you don’t have enough fat to keep them in place.)
There are two common misunderstandings about fat that I regularly hear:
“But isn’t eating more fat gonna make you fat?”
Let’s crush this myth once and for all: fat doesn’t make you fat!
Of course you can overeat fat, but it will be difficult as it’s very satiating. Your body has a natural stop that prohibits you from overeating as easily as you can with, for example, carbs.
“But isn’t fat free of nutrients? How do you get your vitamins?”
The richest sources of vitamins D, E and K2, and choline all come from food sources rich in fat (cod liver oil, red palm oil, grass-fed butter and egg yolks)
Fat also makes vitamins in the other food more available for the body to absorb.
So, where can you add more healthy fats in your day?
Eggs and bacon for breakfast? Avocado and walnuts added to your lunch? Fry the vegetables for dinner in coconut oil? Perhaps you can even have some glorious salmon for dinner?
Fat is healthy and desperately needed by your body, don’t deprive it of this great source of everything.
When you’re first diagnosed with Diabetes, it’s a major shock to the system.
The questions are endless. What do I eat? What medications do I have to take when? I have to inject myself several times a day?! What the what? I didn’t sign up for this!!
But what happens after living with diabetes for a long time? How does it feel? How does one cope? Why doesn’t one just give up?
Technically, this year marks a series of “jubilees” for me and Diabetes.
It’s been 30 years since my diagnosis this year. 26 of those I spent on a clueless treadmill/roller coaster without a mission and without a cause. The last 4 have been the best ones, so far, starting with me radically changing the way I ate. I’ve spent 28 years with around 10 injections a day, 2 years on the pump. 1 year with my BFF Dexter (my Dexcom CGMS).
Anyway, I want to focus on the first one of these – 30 years with diabetes.
Living with diabetes for 30 years is like living with the most loyal companion (or enemy, depending on the day) you’ve ever encountered. It never leaves your side, and you never get even a second to yourself.
It takes a lot to get used to living with it being a part of you. And, because it’s always evolving, dynamic and on the move, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with it. Oh, you don’t react well to gluten anymore? Ok, let’s change that. No dairy either? Ok, well, bye bye cheese. Caffeine makes you hyper react? Ok, decaf it is. And that’s just talking about a few food things, completely disregarding certain forms of exercise, timing of medications, or reactions to certain situations.
It’s a silent friend that never talks until it screams. And when it does, it screams loudly. Scary lows, annoying highs, and the possibility of losing a limb or your vision.
The awful feelings and the taste of glucose tablets (or orange juice when your life depends on it, for that matter). Lengthy doctors appointments and the endless needles. Hospitalizations. Advice you should have never followed, other advice you should have followed from day 1. To mention a few.
There are so many things that are so bad with this disease. Horrible, in fact. But there are also things I would have never learned if I hadn’t had this Constant Companion of mine.
It has taught me discipline, timing and humility. It has shown me that life is here to be lived, not to be wasted. Life is fragile, don’t take it for granted. It has taught me about the importance of self-love, no matter what happens. It has helped me see how strong I truly am, “this too shall pass.” I’ve realized that being stubborn isn’t always a bad thing; it can even help you sometimes.
So, what keeps you going throughout the years?
You simply have to. You have no choice but to buckle up and try to enjoy the ride as much as you possibly can. Until that cure comes “in 5 – 10 years”.
Nothing gets better by ignoring diabetes. Trust me, I know.
The mental part of living with diabetes is difficult from time to time. There’s no point trying to sugar coat (ha!) that.
In my teenage years, I didn’t want to have diabetes. I was angry, disappointed at life and everything felt like a huge burden without any light in any tunnel.
Crap endocrinologists, the wrong advice and general teenage turmoil made me ignore diabetes “for a while”.
This “while” made me loose almost everything; my parents, family, friends and myself. And it almost cost me my life.
“Nothing works, why bother?”, I remember thinking. But it didn’t make diabetes go away. Rather the opposite.
Time and again diabetes would show up, scream loudly at me for ignoring it and smack me straight in the face. I was in the hospital from passing out on the street, and other times because I was in a diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), close to death. And everything in between.
Once I got my proverbial shit together, it still took me years to get back to the excellent care my parents had once given me. Many, many trials and errors, wrong paths and terrible turns followed. As soon as I finally thought I had a foot firmly on the ground, the carpet was pulled out under me once again.
Luckily, I managed to find a road leading towards my path.
Diabetes IS a part of you, whether you want it to be or not. And it’s up to you to find a way to work with it in a way that works for YOU. It has to become second nature to you to check blood sugars, (gu)es(s)timate carbohydrates in a meal, take your medications and to accept your (new) reality. Not to mention finding the small things that make you feel better.
For me it was a long-winded road, the batter part of 26 years, to get to the point where I am today. And I still regularly find out new things about my life with diabetes. It’s a disease that keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure.
You cope because you have to. You don’t give up because it’s not an option. And just for being in this position, you deserve a huge medal! But along the way, you may just find a wonderful path through it all that is made just for you.
What are your biggest struggles and questions when it comes to diabetes? Let’s discuss in the comments below.
https://hannaboethius.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/blog_diabetes_lt-1.png1200800Hanna Boëthius/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/HannaDiabetesExpertLogo@2x.pngHanna Boëthius2015-01-28 20:30:372015-01-28 20:30:37Diabetes & The Long Run
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