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Monday, July 05, 2010

After my hassles of last Tuesday (see the previous blog) I got my blood results today.

Great!! That is the only word to describe them – especially as I was expecting problems after Tuesday!!

My A1C was – 5.4

My cholesterol was 4.2
And, because of the problems on Tuesday – the Doctor had them do a full work up – and everything is “normal”

In Dec 1996 I was diagnosed Type 2 diabetes – with a BG (Blood Glucose level) of 18 (324) I was put on Diaformin tablets, causing a violent reaction to my bowels!! This reaction lasted about 5 years, despite being assured the reaction would clear “soon”!!
Obviously, as with most diagnosed Type 2 s – I had had high BGs for some time before diagnosis.
This was a wake up call – I attended classes to find out how to control it. I ate sensibly.
I did not restrict myself though in what I did, seeing it as more of a challenge than a problem. – at Easter 1997 I took a trip to Europe, USA and Fiji. I watched what I ate, within reason as I was staying in hotels and therefore was limited in my food choices. This trip was quite fun as I need a toilet very frequently – but I managed and enjoyed myself too!!
During that trip my BG started gradually to fall.
I have made several other trips to Europe and within Australia since, always watching what I ate as far as possible, all involving long plane trips and hotel stays...
By 2004 my BG had come down to round 6 (108) Since then it has dropped gently but steadily.
3 years ago my tablets were reduced to ½ tab twice a day. And a year ago that was removed. I was medication free, and have remained so for the past year!!
Since I have included regular exercise in my program (the last 16mths only – until then I had controlled it by food and gradual weight loss only) my BG has dropped further, a year ago it was 5.6
6 mths ago – 5.5
And Tuesday last – 5.4

So – to anyone reading this – it CAN be done – weight loss, food control and exercise. And I can assure you that it worth the effort – I now only get tested every 6 or less months (actually its when my doctor can catch me!!) and I don’t have to test every day. I have energy and don’t get as tired – but I do still have regular eye tests – as once a diabetic, always a diabetic – the BG can rise by itself as one gets older, though I will do my darndest to prevent that.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 7/19/2010 7:02PM

    Fantastic results! Way to go!!!

and thank you for all your support too :D

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MARKAMURKA 7/14/2010 7:46PM

    Congratulations. I'm so happy for you.
I hope a lot of people get to read this.
You set a great example, yes, it can be done with diet and exercise, still not a lot of people are actually doing this.
The full effect of those years with high BG won't disappear totally from your body but you have done a lot to lessen that effect. And it is no miracle, you have done it yourself.

edited: I've just read some of your earlier blogs.
About Curves, Stretching and 3kg weights. Wow!

Comment edited on: 7/14/2010 7:55:33 PM

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DANA11675 7/12/2010 1:38PM

    This is wonderful news and congratulations. I've been recently diagnosed and reading this story, gives me hope and I NEED that so much right now. **Dana** emoticon

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KRITTERKEEPERS 7/10/2010 11:59PM

    emoticon Great news! Keep up the good work!

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ANGELBELIEVER 7/10/2010 11:31PM

    You have done such a wonderful job taking care of you and I am glad you are doing so because you are so worth it! Thanks for sharing your good news with us. emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 7/10/2010 6:23PM

    Well done! emoticon emoticon

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KITTYF54 7/10/2010 12:08AM


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JEAN524 7/9/2010 6:18PM

    That's fantastic. Keep up the good work. emoticon emoticonLove, Jean

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JOANOFSPARK 7/9/2010 12:48AM

    emoticongreat blog as usual....*grin* yeah, people need to realize that it can be done..but as you said, once a diabetic, always a diabetic, even though your blood glucose is under control....you can never let yourself get complacent and think that just because you have some good readings that you are off the hook in staying on track, eating healthy and exercising.....I know... I've done it in the past, thinking that I did not have to pay any attention to what I ate, or even how much.......I certainly got enough exercise at work.....but that was not enough to keep my blood glucose levels from getting out of whack....If I had kept control all those years instead of just playing at it when I got scared, I would be in much better shape than I am in now.....and I knew better....I really did....I had a prime example living with me...my husband...who had a stroke because his BG was out of control and his mother who lost both legs because of the diabetes......You would think that I would know better.....but sometimes it takes a serious illness to wake us up to the reality of what we are doing to our bodies...

*gulp* sorry ..did not mean to make a speech.....*grin* but you know me, Ann...never could shut up.......*grin*

Comment edited on: 7/9/2010 12:54:58 AM

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MARIADALE 7/7/2010 8:47PM

    way to go

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BRENDY_28 7/7/2010 7:10AM

    this is good news! way to go!

by the way, thank you for welcoming me to the CT :D Appreciate the shout out.

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WILLOW49 7/6/2010 9:17PM

    What wonderful news!!!
emoticon emoticon

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HIKERMOMOF3 7/6/2010 8:43PM

  Thank you for your encouragement. I was diagnosed with Type 2 about a month and a half ago and since then I have been determined to make the changes I need to in order to reverse it. So much of the time I have only been hearing from people who are trying to manage it. Thanks again. emoticon

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WOOFGANG 7/6/2010 7:15PM

    I understand you didn't want the congrats - but truly, you deserve it! So many people do NOT understand how they can have such a positive impact on their own well being by following healthy guidelines. Truly, no one can think that processed foods and sugars and high fat diets etc. are "good" and healthy, in this day and age, people must realize how bad they are for you, yet people eat like this all the time - and then have to suffer the ill effects from a diet so poor.

So again, congrats for taking control of your health and doing all you can do to improve your life - that is a huge accomplishment and I hope many, many people read your blog - so many already have so you have spread the spark! I guess it's one thing to hear the doctor's tell you that this should be done or that should be done, but when we can see that this has actually happened to someone and they have improved their lives, it hits home. Or at least, I hope it does for many - so one more time, congrats! And thank you for sharing your experiences - that is truly sparking!

Also, I was teasing you about the strange way of listing an A1C - sometimes joking doesn't come across well electronically so sorry if it did not seem like I was teasting. I have never heard it referred to as you mentioned, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get discussed in those kinds of numbers - I was just giving a little "poke" - no offense intended and certainly none taken (I'm a Brit living in the U.S. anyway LOL)

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GRANDMAAMIE 7/6/2010 4:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TRIGRAMPS 7/6/2010 3:58PM

    That's fantastic! Good inspiration for everyone!

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2RICKIE 7/6/2010 3:34PM

    emoticon news! emoticon on getting things under control with diet and exercise!

emoticon to keep those doctors away, except when you need them!


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NAPITOVSFAME 7/6/2010 3:27PM

    I am a nurse in an ER in the USA. I see people all the time for the problems you are dealing with and it is all because of lifestyle. Congradulations in making those changes. That is truly to only way to have a healthy and happy life. I loved the pictures. I had no idea it is so beautiful in Australia. Keep up the good work. You must feel fantastic. emoticon

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WOOFGANG 7/6/2010 10:20AM

    Congratulations - great news. I hope everyone sparking reads your blog - we have so much control over our own destiny and don't realize it until we have to "fix" something - everyone please pay attention and know that you really are what you eat!

BTW, just as an aside, the 5.4 A1C (not sure what "strange language" you are talking about as I do live here in the U.S.A. and have never heard of an A1C being referred to as 97.2 instead of 5.4...) is great. Congrats!

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    I'm so proud of you! You're working so hard and now you're reaping some of the rewards. WooHoo is RIGHT! Love ya, Dawn

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WHEREISCLARK 7/6/2010 10:01AM

  emoticon emoticon

You are an inspiration!

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SARAHCAT24 7/6/2010 1:04AM

    Wow. Congratulations! Your hard work really has paid off. Thanks for sharing your story.

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 7/5/2010 11:32PM

    Wow! I want to do that too.

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TAMMYTH64 7/5/2010 11:05PM

    Totally awesome! Just keep doing what you're doing! I'm on that journey myself. Check out my last 2 blogs. I agree! It can be done but the diet and lifestyle will have to follow us for the rest of our lives.

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DJ4HEALTH 7/5/2010 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/5/2010 10:37PM

    Fantastic!!! You are an inspiration to me. My blood glucose in January was 330 (my A1C was 12) I was horrified. But I have lost weight, exercised and definitely changed to eating a more healthy diet. My #'s have slowly declined, too. I hope one day to be in YOUR shoes! Thanks for sharing.

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KATIESMOM8 7/5/2010 10:32PM

  Many, many heartfelt congratulations to you. What you've done is one of the hardest things of all, and you stuck to it and won. Best wishes to you in your brand new future!

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    congrats, and yes it can be dun I know first hand since my mom lived as a type 2 for 25 plus years till about 2005 when she got told she wasn't diabetic any longer and was discharged from her endro's care. She was never on any medications, just watching what she ate and doing a little walking that she did.

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TEXASG-MA 7/5/2010 9:42PM

  Absolutely wonderful. Really awesome. Keep going the way you are and you might not ever have to go back on the meds. I think you have down great. I'm so glad you came out of it this way. It is really encouraging for others that have the medical problems. Good luck to you on your continued journey.
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BOBBI97 7/5/2010 9:32PM

    Great Job...Teaching others as they see this blog may help them also and do what you did so hopefully they will see this and do it so thank you Helen for guilding me here to see this wonderful blog...

"Great Job"

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOOKWERME 7/5/2010 9:22PM


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BRIGHT551 7/5/2010 8:38PM

    WooHoo!!!!! Congrats!!! This is awesome news!!! Keep up the wonderful work!!!!

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NURSNANA 7/5/2010 8:26PM

    Hey Ann! WOW! WooHoo!! You are doing GREAT! Yes, I saw a lot of diabetics as a nurse. And sadly, a lot of the major complications that happen when Diabetes is not taken seriously. I have seen many patients get off their diabetic medications completely! It can certainly happen with weight loss, exercise and following a healthy diabetic food plan. It is well worth the effort to get the blood sugar down, because when it is running high, it is doing damage to your body. And, of course as mentioned.....if they go back to their poor eating habits, and quit exercising and start gaining the weight back....they will be right back on the medications. My family has a lot of diabetes, so this motivates me to eat healthy and lose weight. So far, my blood sugars are great. I know that could change, and I am seriously concerned and trying to avoid this disease.

I am very proud of you Ann! Keep up the great work my friend! I bet your doctor was very pleased with your new lab report!!

Take good care!
Nancy Nurse :)

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JOYSGARDEN 7/5/2010 8:19PM

    Awesome! You give the rest of us hope, by showing us it can be done!

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    WooHoo indeed!! That is fantastic news Ann!

Great blog, I am voting for it!


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HAPPYBASKET 7/5/2010 7:37PM

    Now! That shows your fortitude. You are a strong person & don't let anyone ever tell you differently. When DH who looks like a vision of health, works hard amazed the Dr's by having a slight heart attack, they did a "Rotor Rooter" LOL & when he came home, our DD who had flown half way across the country in concern for him said"OK Dad you are going to go onto a vegetarian diet for at least a month & see what happens with your collesterol. Well, we all ate vegetarian & his Colesterol had dropped almost 100 pts!!! It turns out that he just seems to build Colesterol so he decided to stay vegetarian & that is the way we ate for a long time. I have forgotten the type that we were because we did eat pork, chicken & milk products. We stayed like that un til 10 years later he wound up having to have a 3 way by-pass. Now we have cut back so we only have a meat about 1 or 2 times a week & we aren't suffering from it either. Incidently we all kn ow how much stress plays a part on our bodies. Our Son had passed in June that year & he can not show any emotion & he had his heart attack the last of Dec. uh huh. But it take fortitude & you have proven yours & hopefully you won't ever be talked to like that again. A new Dr. I hope? emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LACEEJO11 7/5/2010 7:32PM


I am impressed!! Keep up the G R E A T work...and make sure you don't change Drs....the next one might be able to out run you!!! )))SMILES(((

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JULIAJEAN2 7/5/2010 6:43PM

    I am totally amazed by the results of your hard work and persistence. Congratulations on you efforts at taking back your health. Thank you for posting your results as I too have these health problems. You are a miracle in progress and an inspiration to the rest of us.

My best to you on your continuing journey to health and fitness.

Julia emoticon

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HOPE2BE 7/5/2010 6:40PM

    That's absolutely emoticonI know I've been watching what I eat and exercise daily and also drink lots of water. My numbers too have been going down. I haven't heard the latest AC1 yet but I'm sure he will run one next time. I've had a couple of steroid shots for bursitis so it went up but he knows to look for that.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 7/5/2010 6:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You have done an OUTSTANDING job on controlling your diabetes and cholesterol. I know you will continue to pay attention to your numbers and take great care of yourself. You are such an inspiration!!! Thank you for posting this so that others can see what following a healthy diet and hard work can do!!!
Blessings and hugs, my friend,

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DEBALDERMAN 7/5/2010 6:23PM

    I'm glad you've gotten your diabetes under control. Just remember, though, that you are never "cured", just controlled. My HbA1C was 5.4 in May, but I've still seen my blood glucose levels spike if I eat the wrong foods, or over-indulge in a treat!

Keep up the good work, continue to watch your diet & exercise.

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GEMINI-SKY 7/5/2010 6:20PM

    What a Great tribute to your constant attention and determination. I'm newly diagnosed and trying to figure it all out. It's great to hear a success story that will give me confidence that what I'm doing is all worth it.
Thank You so much for your Blog. I needed that ! ! !

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NELLIEC 7/5/2010 6:14PM

    That is absolutely wonderful!!!

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SANDYZEE 7/5/2010 5:10PM

    That's wonderful, Ann.

Kudos to you!

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/5/2010 11:15AM

    emoticon You are one of the few that really takes the lesson to emoticon.

I am so proud of you for sticking with a plan and lowering that blood sugar levels. KUDOS!

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VXWALL1942 7/5/2010 10:20AM

    Congrats! What an awesome achievement. Would that I had known early on that this disease could be controlled by diet and exercise. Unfortunately, that was not the case and I take insulin 4x day besides metformin 2x day. I'm proud of you as I know what your commitment has had to be to get here.


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MS.ELENI 7/5/2010 9:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 7/5/2010 8:47AM

    That is an amazing and inspirational story! emoticon emoticon As a nurse I am well aware that diabetes type2 can be reversed, it isjust a pity that a lot of the medical profession do not believe it! Once again! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MILLYMOUSE1 7/5/2010 7:52AM

    Hi Ann that is a great result for you BG as is your cholesterol mine was 5.7 last test. We can repair our body, it is just up to that persone to do it
Keep getting stronger, fitte, healther and slimer

Love Sandra emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Drinking 8 cups water a day but dehydrated!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This morning I had an appointment with the dietician for an electronic test to check if my muscle mass had increased and my body fat decreased – but before that I had a blood test done as part of the regular monitoring of a diabetic!!
When they take blood usually I have no problems – big veins that jump out and nice easy flowing blood. Today the blood flow stopped half way through!! So it was a cold morning – we thought little of it – until they had to get a syringe and pull the blood out – “your dehydrated” said the nurse – “how can I be I drink at least 2 lit water each day as well as tea.” “Yes but its not getting into the cells!!” “Oh!” Said me!!
Then I went up to the dietician and we talked and it slipped my mind to ask him, but I really didn’t think it was a problem!!
Then he did the electronic test!! Oooh!! Bad results!! So bad he repeated them because he did’nt believe them!!
Basically it showed that my body fat had gone up – my muscle mass decreased and that I had only 34% fluid in my body instead of the recommended 45% yet I have faithfully followed my eating program and continued my exercise program, recently extending it to include Curves.
OK – so why – when I hadn’t lost weight but had only gained 1lb – and my body size is the same – I feel great, and have energy but I do tend to run out of energy fast!! I drink 2 lit + water a day!! There were none of the normal signs that one associates with dehydration.
There are 2 essential nutrients in the body that are important for fluid retention and its transportation to the cells. One is potassium – and I get plenty of that and the second is carbohydrates!! I have been restricting my carbohydrates in my diet to about 130g a day!! This is not excessively low but is low!! And the protein has been high at round 115g a day. Again not excessive but enough!!
This has to be the cause!! We decided that I need to increase the carbs to round 150g and drop the protein to round 80g /day.
Carbs are stored as gycogen in the liver and muscles and that is how we get energy to move, but more, how our muscles can burn our body fat during exercise. If there are not sufficient carbs in the body to keep the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles they will become depleted and dehydration will occur.
This has happened since I was last tested 3 months ago – and may even have happened very recently, since I started Curves!! In fact that is likely since there are no real signs of being dehydrated, only of muscle tiredness with my getting Delayed Onset Muscle Pain.
This is an unusual thing – the dietician has never met it before – and if the carb increase doesn’t fix it I need to see the Doctor for ….. well we have no idea what!!
It also does show that care and regular monitoring is necessary on a low carb/high protein diet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LACEEJO11 7/5/2010 7:37PM

I use to low carb and got into trouble with my B vitamins...now I just eat right, portion control, lots of natural, (rather than man made foods)....It seems to work a lot better for me, and I am sure not as tired all the time!!

Best wishes!!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 7/5/2010 6:39PM

    How interesting is this...I know that although I am on limited carbs (diabetic), I am on even lower amounts of protein (CKD-kidneys) and no one has ever brought this to my attention. Every time I go to the dentist she says I have chapped lips...I could never understand that...every time for the last 7 years. I know that I drink at least 15 plus glasses of water a day...for a while the doctor has me drinking at least 2-25...I was never hungry but never out of the bathroom either.
Keep us posted on how this is working for you as far as being hydrated.
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LP2278 7/4/2010 6:13PM

    You could be dehydrated even if you are getting 2L of water a day. You should drink .25L for every 15 minutes of cardio, so a half liter for a 30 minute workout. This volume of water is in ADDITION to your recommended 2L of water a day. Try drinking more and see what happens.

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/4/2010 7:45AM

    WOW.. what a thing to come up with :) ONLY YOU! emoticon

Hopefully the new program will make it work out for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you my emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 7/1/2010 5:52PM

    Wow that is quite interesting. I agree we need our carbs. i try and eat the right amounts in proporton to protien and fat but some days the tracker tells me i am low in carbs. i am geting o learn what is hig in healthy carbs and a pear is one of them! emoticon

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VXWALL1942 7/1/2010 9:48AM

    Fascinating information. Who'd have thought of dehydration with your current practices and carbs and protein? Not me for sure. Thanks for your always enjoyable and educational blogs. I'll be watching my % of hydration from here on. Is 45% for you or the general norm?


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    "... when it rains, it pours."

I am glad you have a handle on this situation - it could be very serious.

I never skimp on my carbs.

You will overcome this too!


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MS.ELENI 6/30/2010 9:06PM

    I am glad the problem has been found.Now to get it corrected. Getting older is not for the weak. Hope you feel better soon

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BIG_SCOTS_LASS 6/30/2010 8:30AM

    Not getting enough carbs is never a problem for me, as I'm a real carb junkie - bread, potatoes, rice, pasta (chocolate, cake, pastry!)
I love carbs and could never do Atkins, or whatever - I'd go mad! My SP recommendation for my calorie range is 207-299g carbs. Yours will obviously be lower, with you being on a lower calorie range, but I wondered if you were following SP's recommendation or if you were doing your own thing?

There's so much to be considered with this whole nutrition malarkey - it's hard to get it exactly right. You wonder how our ancestors survived without all of this information, though, eh?!

Best of luck with the carb experiment. I hope it makes a difference and you start to see the results you want.

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ROSIELLE 6/30/2010 6:30AM

    Oh my goodness...who would ever think that you could develop that kind of problem? It's a real reminder that, nutrient wise, we need everything in moderation. Good luck with the new diet, and please keep us posted! I, for one, try to follow tha low-carb and high-protein approach too; I'll definitely be interested in your outcome. Hang in there emoticon

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YW84FRIDAY 6/29/2010 4:13PM

  Thanks for sharing. I wonder if that isn't why my muscles are so tired lately?? Hmmmm...I'll have to check and see.

Thanks again.


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MARIADALE 6/29/2010 2:06PM

    Water needs increase with body weight... the 8 cup a day recommendation assumes a body weight of about 150 pounds

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MRSJERRYBUSH 6/29/2010 10:43AM

    Oh, boy, am I confused! Think I better go back and reread all this again. Edie

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HAPPYBASKET 6/29/2010 10:22AM

    This is so interesting, dear friend. How great of you to share this info. They always have trouble with taking blood from me & just this last time they told me to drink water before I came to the lab. Your blog was so interesting that I even asked my DH to read it because he never drinks water & complained of being light headed. So He is drinking a little more now but I think after reading this he will be convinced. He was amazed with your report. Thank You. emoticon You are my guiding emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SMOOCHIEFACE 6/29/2010 9:48AM

    Thanks for sharing! That IS really useful. But then, most of your posts are full of interesting/useful things.

I just bought a fancy-dancy scale that reads your hydration level, but didn't really know what the number should be. Mine's been reading about 34% every day.

So... 45%. I am drinking my 8 glasses of water also, usually more, but it's so hot here (even inside my house - broken AC) that I guess I'm dehydrated too! I'll up my carbs for a while and see if that helps!!!!

Thanks for the info!!


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DGRAZIA 6/29/2010 9:27AM

    Facinating blog post! I love my carbs, but have not been eating as much; and have trouble with gultens..so sticking to other carbs. I will have to keep an eye on this too. Let us know how it all turns out. I always thought removing any one of the elements was not good..but most diets would either have you remove carbs or fat..or lower your protein. It was enough to drive you crazy:-) So nice to be here and find real good sense help.

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CRISPINI 6/29/2010 9:05AM

    Wow, this is very useful information. Thanks for posting!

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    WOW! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I am going to look at this a LOT more closely. It sounds as if it could be the answer that "we" have been looking for. Keep us posted. I'll be watching. I'm going to follow your advice and raise my carbs & water intake as well. Love ya, Dawn

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IRONGRANNIE 6/29/2010 6:02AM

    This is interesting. One of the reasons those fad diets show quick weight loss is the effect on glycogen stores. For each gram of glycogen stored there is 1 gram of water stored too. Low carb diets cause glycogen depletion and the resulting water lost is the "weight loss"

I hope your increased carbs fix the problem. Could I give you some of mine????

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SUSIEPH1 6/29/2010 2:16AM

    This is most interesting Ann. I suppose I should get myself checked too...any way hope they get to the bottom of the problem will be most interested to hear the outcome ...Take Care my Friend

Cheers Susie and Bobby

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JOANOFSPARK 6/29/2010 1:39AM

    wow....that is something that I had never thought about......you think the more water we drink, the better it is, but obviously it does no good if it doesn't get to the cells. I guess that is why my dietitian kept telling me to make sure that I got enough carbs...in a day....and I know there are days when I am consistently low, so I will try to make sure that I do get enough from now on....though I usually do try to make sure.....*shaking my head* interesting..another whole new slant to this stuff....but it is good that they found out that you were dehydrated.....so you can start doing something about it......I do hope that it is just that you are not getting enough carbs and just eating more will fix it.....
sorry, I rambled on a bit........but I will be thinking about you.....

Comment edited on: 6/29/2010 1:41:14 AM

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Ever seen a baby Echidna

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ufortunately this isn't me - it was sent through email by a friend!!
Prepare to say "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!"

Apparently I have been told this is a hedgehog - not an echidna!! Though they are very different animals it would be hard for the average person to tell the difference at this age!!
Thank you for correcting me - Big_Scots_Lass!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRITTERKEEPERS 7/11/2010 12:00AM

    Absolutely the cutest!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 7/5/2010 6:42PM

    Absolutely adorable...whatever it is. Thank you for sharing!!

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VXWALL1942 7/1/2010 9:52AM

    Awwwww! You got me. Think I'd like one for a pet. Wonder if they are as sweet and lovable as they look.


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BIG_SCOTS_LASS 6/30/2010 8:16AM

    Um, that's not an echidna, it's a hedgehog. I posted the exact same photos in a blog back in April, which were sent to me by a friend who works for the Forestry Commission. I even used the baby hedgehog as my profile photo for a while. I don't think you saw it, as you didn't comment on it, but I thought I should set the record straight - hedgehog, not echidna, which is a different creature altogether.

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JOANOFSPARK 6/29/2010 1:42AM

    awwwwwwwwwwww it's so cute.......awwwwwwwwwwww....... emoticon I just couldn't help it.....

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LIBBYFITZ 6/28/2010 12:05PM

    Just beautiful!!! emoticon

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 6/28/2010 11:27AM

    I've seen those before, but not in the same order - AWWWWW!



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GOEGIRL 6/28/2010 10:44AM

    omg - the cutest thing EVER!!

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SMOOCHIEFACE 6/28/2010 9:28AM

    So cute!!!!! Are they related to hedgehogs?

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MARIADALE 6/28/2010 8:55AM

    The awwwwwwww was automatic!

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MILLYMOUSE1 6/28/2010 7:25AM

    I have seen that email, aren't they just gorgeous. We have them here in Tassie I just haven't seen a baby one

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SUSIEPH1 6/28/2010 5:53AM

    How absolutely gorgeous Ann ..
We had one of those in our garden at St Georges Basin near Nowra years ago .. when my then Husband David was a Pilot in the Fleet Air Arm in Nowra
David was attached to the Aircraft Carrier Melbourne .. in the 70's ... We actually lived off base at that time ..and we also has a Kookaburra that would come in and knock on our window for his Mince meat every night ..
This brings back lovely Memories ..
Thank you so much Susie emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/28/2010 5:54:11 AM

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ROX525 6/28/2010 5:41AM

    Awwww! I want one!

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Stretching - particularly for the Mobility Challenged

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A couple of days ago I asked Anne Burnell a question that had been niggling at me for a few days – I thought her answer was worth posting for others to see – particularly for those who are mobility challenged and finding holding stretches for the advised time difficult even painful – as I was!!

Anne Burnell’ s qualifications

I am Faculty Presenter for the National Council on Aging and an Education Provider with the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America, the Aquatic Exercise Association, and Stott™ Pilates.

As an Instructor Trainer worldwide for Stott™ Pilates I am involved in certifying personal trainers, many of whom work with Seniors. Other certifications include: Seniors Group Instruction, Nia Technique (Black Belt), Kickboxing, Cycling, Aquatics, Pre & Postnatal exercise.

Seniors institutions across the country are practicing the Stronger Seniors® Chair Exercise Program, which I developed in 2003.

I teach at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the University of Illinois at Chicago, The Center for Older Adults, the Peninsula Spa, , Core Pilates, and Elements in Motion, a Stott™ Pilates Certification Center Chicago


On stretches - the Curves staff state that stretches should be held for 15 - 30 sec until the slight discomfort goes and you feel that slight release in the muscle (not tear!!)
SP states that stretches need holding for 15 or so sec
But in your "Stretch" DVD you only spend a very short time (3 - 5 sec) on each stretch, then repeat the stretch 3 times!! When I do the DVD at the speed you do - I'm fine and this week that has worked well to sort out the pain from my muscles!!
But what is correct - or is it - whatever works??


There is lots of debate over stretching, and of course the experts disagree.

Whether it is wise to try and change the resting length of a muscle,
or to relieve tension that is held. The rule of 15-30 seconds is due
to protective tendons that relax after about 8-10 seconds and allow
muscles to stretch. The 15-30 second stretch will not really change
the length of a muscle.

When you repeat a stretch as in our video, muscles and tendons
have a kind of memory of how far they went before,
and upon repitition they can release further. It's like your body
knows it's safe, so it allows more range of motion. We use this
moving stretch, rather than static or held stretches in our videos.
It is my opinion, it causes less micro tearing in the muscle and is
actually an active way for you to increase range of motion.

There is no single opinion on this subject. Listen to your body and stretch with an objective.

I would add a proviso here to this – as was pointed out by another friend -

but always be cautioned against "bouncing." It is unsafe to "bounce" into a stretch. ex = some people cannot bend & touch their toes with their fingertips, so they will "bounce" into it to gain distance - - - this is NOT a stretch & can harm delicate muscle groups by yanking them all at once beyond their comfort zones.

The trick is to gently but regularly stretch the muscles and they will begin to respond more & more as each exercise session is followed up by others. Within a month one could really be doing good stretches - - - and then, if you wanted to lengthen them a bit, that would be ok. HOWEVER, the best part of a stretch (and an exercise move as well) is to HOLD it slightly and in good form to get the full benefit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 7/5/2010 6:44PM

    Thank you for sharing this great information with us. I read this last week but evidently lost my response.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYMAC45 6/26/2010 10:20PM

    This was very informative. Thanks for posting,

Comment edited on: 6/26/2010 10:23:18 PM

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PUDLECRAZY 6/26/2010 10:08PM

    Great info. Thanks!

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    Thank you - this was a great read!

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MARIADALE 6/24/2010 4:48PM

    good info...thanks for sharing

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LIBBYFITZ 6/23/2010 11:32PM

    Thank you for sharing this information. emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 6/23/2010 11:02PM

    Great info Thanks Ann...

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MS.ELENI 6/23/2010 8:52PM

    You are so wonderful about sharing info with us. Thanks.

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GOEGIRL 6/23/2010 8:40PM

    Good info - TFS!

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 6/23/2010 7:32PM

    How interesting!! Thanks for the information!!

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Realising just how far I have come!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This week I have , as some of my readers will know, been trying Curves out!! They gave me a week trial, but I felt I needed longer before signing a contract and paying, what seems to me, a lot of money!! So I suggested a month trial off contract they have agreed!!
I am happy because I feel ready to make this change however it is a huge leap from the sedentary, handicapped 65yr old of 16 mths ago!!

OK – so what is the history to this??

Some of you will know that I joined SP 16mths ago as a totally sedentary person – one who hated exercise and would not even move unless it was necessary. This had been going on for several years.
I read a lot of SP’s ideas and decided that maybe a little movement would be good – so I tried a couple of the exercise videos!! No go!!
I have severe osteoarthritis in my knees and signs of it developing in hips and ankles of both legs!! In case you doubt this – I will tell you I have NO cartilage in my knees, just bone grating on bone and both knees have collapsed inward giving walking and stability problems!! I was also on strong pain killers.
My doctor suggests a 2 leg transplant!!
This makes exercise difficult – however not impossible.
I could find no suitable water class in the area – nor gym work – so where to go next??
Fortunately a friend from SP recommended Chair Dancing – I got the DVDs and tried – only doing 1 exercise at the start, then working up to the whole 20 min DVD.
Then the warm up from the aerobic DVD and so on – and now I sail through 45 min Chair dancing, use 3kg weights for strength – and have a DVD library of 12 or so that I rotate.

You will gather I knew NOTHING of exercise – had no idea about Warm up and cool down or stretches and their importance to the body!!
And I suffered – I was so sore at the start – but I didn’t give up – I actually decided that either the exercise would kill me or the weight I was carrying would kill me!!

This week I have started a totally different form of exercise at Curves – far harder on my muscles, but I needed the challenge that it has bought. I was getting stale – my Spark was getting dimmer!!
And I have been sore!! But this time it was different – I knew why – I knew that I had made mistakes and I knew how to correct this mistakes!! And best of all – I knew it was just muscle soreness from different work – that it WILL go over and that I can, hopefully, work through it!!
Wow!! From knowing NOTHING about exercise 16mths ago to knowing that I need a longer warm up, cool down and stretch session, and to being able to feel my body to know that I am not doing any injury but that I will probably be able to work through the pain!!
I have done 3 days there now and yesterday I put the ideas into practice, I did a longer warm up (15 mins), and then repeated the machines at full pace, but taking my time on each machine that I did and taking care over technique, then I did a longer cool down on the recovery station, 3 periods at least – I don’t worry about the call to move on – I go at MY pace, then I spent 15 mins stretching – doing the stretch circuit 2 times!! and was fine, and no one said “boo” to me – they didn’t try to rush me – they let me do it at my own pace!! – I also came home and spent 45 min doing extra stretching.
I have learnt that stretching is sooooo important – that proper stretching increases the effect of the exercise by 29%
Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, long before he became Governor of California, when he was known for his body building said something like: ALWAYS REMEMBER TO STRETCH - - before AND after - - and if you do not have time to do the exercise, at least do the stretching. The stretching is the key to full benefiting of the exercise – this was told to me by a dear friend this week when I said how valuable I was finding stretching!!

Today I did 45 min stretching and only get pain if I stand for an extended time in one place – so things are getting better!!

That is a quantum leap!!
However I should add that I still don’t enjoy exercise – but that I acknowledge that it is an essential part of sensible weight loss!!
Not only of sensible weight loss but of regaining flexibility and mobility and best of all – of being pain free in my legs – as I was before I started the different exercise, and am almost again now!!.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODSBABYGAL 9/1/2010 5:16PM

    Thanks for the reminder on the importance of stretching and how I need to take my time.
I am so glad that Curves allowed you that month trail it makes good business sense.
Keep up the good work emoticon emoticon

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 7/5/2010 6:49PM

    So glad that they went along with extending your trial period. Keep up your great work and be safe. Keep us updated on your progress...
I would love to go to Curves but there isn't one within half an hour drive from us. That doesn't work for me...
So I will keep walking, biking, swimming and doing all the exercises I can and modifying those I can't quite do. WOOHOO!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOANOFSPARK 6/23/2010 3:36PM

    emoticon You are so inspiring....you have come such a long way in 16 months. I knew it was painful for you but not quite how bad. I think it is absolutely wonderful that Curves agreed to your request for a month's trial; that will certainly give you a chance to see if it is really for you long term, although it certainly seems to agree with you...so far and you've taken away a lot from it already......Good for you......

you are emoticon

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SM-ARTGIRL 6/23/2010 9:23AM

    You amaze and inspire me emmabe, truly you have come such a long way in this journey to health!
Curves is the only strength training I feel comfortable attempting, finding it challenges me still, after a few years of going.
Esp since I made the decision this year to change to a Curves closer to home... it helps to get measured & weighed for me to stay motivated.
I also love the stretching, I spend almost as much time stretching as on the machines!

Yep: emoticon

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CAROLYNVIL 6/22/2010 2:44PM

    I hate excerise also, I tend to talk my self out of it. I have arthritis in my spine and neck,so I'm not very limber. I'm also 70 will be 71 end of this month. I love to walk but it has become too painful. I will try strecthing ( something I have not been doing) didn't know it was so important.thank you for the information. carolyn

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    I don't like exercising either - not even my daily walks - but I do them!

I have found that the days when I really hate getting started seem to turn out to be the days I needed it most.

You are doing so well!

I loved this blog and have voted for it!

Have a wonderful day - you shall find your spark again! I don't think you lost it, I think maybe you just put it into the closet or a drawer - you shall find it again.

Love you,

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SPARKLE72023 6/22/2010 12:13PM

    That's my buddy!!! We should form a private group - complete with T-Shirts that say:

That's wonderful that Curves has been so agreeable and accomodating to your needs. Wow! It's hard to believe how far you've come and how much you do with all that terrible "bone on bone" grinding pain 24/7. You are one tough cookie and can meet & beat any challenge!

Thank you for the ongoing inspiration for the rest of us to not give up with our exercise programs.

Comment edited on: 6/22/2010 12:14:05 PM

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LOSINGITALL4ME 6/22/2010 11:10AM

    That is fantastic that you are venturing into new exercises. Wow! That is great Curves is willing to work with you too. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. You are such an inspiration to us! Keep it up and keep us updated. emoticon

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AGGIE56 6/22/2010 9:46AM

    I love those Curves machines! They really helped me get started and build up my strength in so many areas of my body! You'll love how you feel after a couple of weeks. I felt so much stronger and energetic. Good luck with your efforts! No doubt they'll pay off in the end! emoticon emoticon

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MS.ELENI 6/22/2010 7:34AM

    You always amaze me. You are such an inspiration to so many of us. You are the best. emoticon

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IRONGRANNIE 6/22/2010 3:57AM

    You have certainly come a long way!!! I am going to town tomorrow with DH and I think I will check out Curves so I know what you are talking about. No chance of me joining though, it's too far away.

I could not agree more about stretching. I spend quite a bit of time every day stretching and almost as much time extolling the virtues to DH when he complains of aches and pains!

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LIBBYFITZ 6/22/2010 3:07AM

    I am so pleased for you. You cetainly have come a long way in 16 months! Well done! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MT-MOONCHASER 6/22/2010 12:47AM

    It's good news that Curves will let you go for a month trial period. It sounds like this might help you quite a bit. I hope this works out for you.

Now that it is winter there, how cold does your area get? We're just now getting some reasonable summer weather. We were a bit above 25C today, warmest in quite a while. Highest we usually get in summer is about 40C. More usual temps would be in 30-35 range in July and August. Winters get to about -35 to -40C.

Have a good week.


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SUSIEPH1 6/22/2010 12:45AM

    Way to go Ann! you are one remarkable lady .. definately a motivator ... of the first water..
I think you are really going to reap the rewards from Curves..I might try it out at a later stage in my redevelopement ...
Cheers Susie and Bobby
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SANDYZEE 6/22/2010 12:27AM

    I am so encouraged by your progress and courage. Yes , courage, don't modestly try to deny that. LOL

Wow. Wow . Wow is all I can say.

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