Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lifestyle Change

Some of my most popular posts on this site have to do with my experiences with gestational diabetes... so what happens after the babies?

I'm now almost two years postpartum with my second baby. Having gestational diabetes greatly increases the likelihood of me developing type 2 diabetes, so how about an update?

My Red Flag: For most of the month of April, I felt very sick. We weren't sure what was going on, between migraines and extreme fatigue... things were rough. One day, after a very high carb meal, I felt very, very tired. It struck me to test my blood glucose... It measured at 206 ml/dL. *bad news* ... I then tested my fasting blood sugar the next few days, and noticed it was running a little bit high. It hit me hard, I started testing my blood sugar daily and after meals. Good news is that this is not completely foreign to me and I knew what I was doing.

I contacted my doctor and I went right back to the basics:

  1. Changing my diet. Since having baby #2, I have found that my body does much better on a consistent carb diet. I stick with the diet plan I did when I was pregnant and my moods are better, and I have much less trouble with my weight. Now, when I travel, I like to loosen up the rules a little bit. So I will allow myself to go over my carb limit, but I also know that I must exercise extra. This weekend, after I had a big ol' pancake breakfast, I also went on a 3 mile hike. The breakfast was delicious, and my blood sugar was happy! ;) 
  2. Exercise. Not only does exercise really help regulate my blood sugar, but it helps my moods. I started using my FitBit tracker to do challenges with friends. I am surprised how much it really has kept me accountable for my steps. And I find that I am quite a bit more competitive than I expected! I have even started looking into ways for me to meet my step goal daily! 
  3. Sleep. As a work from home mom, it is difficult finding that work/life balance. Sometimes life takes up more time during the day... Especially, with two littles! So I find myself trying to catch up on work and life at night while everyone sleeps. After weeks of staying up until 3 AM to work... the lack of sleep was catching up on me. I find my blood sugar tends to go crazy when I don't get a full 7-8 hours of sleep. I have begun telling myself it is NOT selfish to take care of my needs: taking time to prepare my meals and snacks, taking time to exercise, taking the time to go to sleep. It is really hard to be the perfect mom when I'm not at peak physical health! 
  4. Stress Management. Being a mom is hard. There are a million things that need to get done, there are always new things to do and new messes to clean up. One of the things that has really helped with my stress management, is taking a step back and asking for help. I found myself trying to do everything with managing my team and doing everything at home. It is amazing just how many people are willing to help if you just give them a chance! :)
So, since I've gotten back to basics, it's not much of a surprise, my blood sugar has begun to regulate again. Amazing what just taking care of my body has been doing. 

Are you trying to figure out what to eat and get out of your eating rut? Make sure to follow me on Instagram {@JammingParsley} and see some ideas of what I eat! :) 

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