SAM60SUMTHINK's Recent Blog Entries

The functions of insulin - more complex than I'd known!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Last night and today I've been going through information on insulin.
Not just (just?!?) from the diabetic-fear viewpoint that is prevalent, but for connections to other systems. The need to eat in the morning is important...and I know that insulin functions are a huge component so I thought I'd easily find a tidy little fact-based article... and discovered huge amounts of information that go waaaayyyyy beyond the simple answers I sought!

This insulin-info search began simply because someone in my little group here at home (this refers to a group of people who have joined what I call "Healthy Lifestyle RoundTable"; they all are residents of the senior community in which I am spreading the Spark!) is eating one meal a day(since moving here!) and attributing weight gain not to eating patterns but to having also quit smoking when she moved here. Now... I tend to eat only when I remind myself or when I get a headache, so I know that 3-6 mini meals is healthier and insulin regulation is a huge reason. Could NOT convince this lady of this! And she also truly is of the "a calorie is a calorie" thought-process too! Yikes. Gotta get her on track, right? So.... I've been trying to really dig into this whole insulin-metabolism-etc etc issue.

Have found some pretty interesting things!
And some pretty complex ones, too. One that stood out is the neuro-link!! This article is dry, but truly loaded. Consider the possible connection, for example, between functions of the hormone "insulin" with alzheimers. And there are so many more 'connections' that I left not with the quick answer I sought but a ton of more questions! This insulin business is much more... involved than I'd imagined! The article?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 10/4/2014 3:04PM

    Great blog.

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AUNTALICE2 9/9/2014 11:40PM

    I am insulin dependent and am taking 5 injections daily. Insulin is very important for everyone -- not just diabetics. emoticon

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JAXMOMMY 9/9/2014 4:31PM

    It is complex. It is also why when you are a person like myself whose body makes no insulin at all many of the insulin theories don't hold true for weight loss! Your friend or relative does need to know that 1 meal a day will not cut it! Not only for the reactions of insulin, but for the fact that her body will feel it is in starvation mode and will hold tightly to every bit of fat! Spark people anyone?

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GOANNA2 9/9/2014 7:17AM

    I've just signed up for a course on diabetes manage-
ment on the free University site COURSERA. can't wait
to learn a bit more about all this. Boy, you will have
your job cut out for you trying to convince that lady.
Good luck and thank you for the link. emoticon

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CETANISTAWI 9/9/2014 2:29AM

    Lots of new research coming out on this all the time...enjoy your search!
(And you're not responsible for anyone but yourself, dear. Therefore, the only one you need to get on track, is you. Makes life a lot simpler, and much more pleasant)

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Be Your Own Version of Yo-Yo Ma!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

"I learn something not because I have to, but because I really want to. That's the same view I have for performing. I'm performing because I really want to, not because I have to bring bread back home."
...Yo-Yo Ma
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Yo-Yo Ma has an incredible talent, but could he have achieved all he has if he approached his art as though it were a chore? NO.

One secret of success is to do what we enjoy. Yol-Yo Ma is a wonderful example for us to consider as we think about achieving our own goals. Having a goal is not enough. We have to truly enjoy the things that will guide us toward getting what we want. It is not always the goal itself, but the whole package of what it represents.

In the case of weightloss, which is what brings many people to SP, it's just not enough to wish ourselves thin. Or even to follow a tried-and-true plan of nutrition and exercise.

We must WANT to do the things that eventually lead us toward that 'goal'.

Perhaps many people fall off track because they focus on the end result without every truly enjoying and appreciating what activities lead to it.

After all, do you really think Yo-Yo Ma would be famous with those strings if he didn't like music?

Don't think just of the goal.
Think of this minute.
What you are doing.
What you will eat.
How you spend your time.
These are not trite or irrelevant issues:
these form the substance that helps determine your success in
self actualization as you grow toward a healthy lifestyle.

Don't just think of the destination and chalk off the markers of having accomplished this or done that. Lifestyle change can be FUN! That is a key to success, so grasp hold of it!
Be your own version of Yo-Yo Ma:
Do what you love of the things that nourist you,
so you can be the best you can be;
when you follow your heart.
Get out of the rut;
explore your options and you'll discover they DO exist!

Like I always say:
ENJOY the journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 9/10/2014 11:38AM

    Absolutely essential to seek out what makes us feel terrific about life.

Workouts only "work" if they aren't really "work" cuz we're having too much fun pumping it up in our own special way.


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JUMPINJULIE 9/7/2014 8:29PM

    Great blog. Very true.

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JENNEINAZ 9/5/2014 12:44PM

  This is so true. I am practicing my music and learning Japanese because I want to not because someone is telling me I have to and it makes all the difference.

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COMPCHIC52 9/5/2014 8:08AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AUNTALICE2 9/4/2014 9:40PM

    Thank you! I needed to be reminded to live in the minute and enjoying the journey! emoticon

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JAXMOMMY 9/4/2014 6:32PM

    Awesome blog!! Thanks for sharing! So true! We have to love what we are doing and I do! I love exercising! I admit, right now I am not at the point of loving the healthy eating, but it will come! I just need to get more creative and enjoy it! Thanks for sharing this fabulous quote and blog! ~~Melissa

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Busy last week, ready to slow my pace!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The past week has been rough for me. Nothing dramatic in the long-term, but stress-filled and stressful. Constant obligations, taking my son down to the VA Hosp for a procedure, hauling grandkids to appointments, appointments with restaurant manager, baker and florist to make arrangements for my mom's dinner party to be later this month.... among other things. BUSY. Wore my out. And.

The week was capped off Sunday by a big pig-roast that my son did for over 100 people.... He also had 400 clams which were included 4 hours after the first serving of food; yup, food rolled out for both a lunch and dinner. He'd asked guests to bring a dish, and wow did they ever! The healthy options were fantastic! I saw only ONE mayo-type salad! (My contribution? Corn, peas, crinkle-cut wedges of carrots, roasted peppers, red onions in a salad flavored by ginger balsamic dressing)

Ok, it started to pour after a few hours, but everyone had had their first meal by then and we actually enjoyed having to huddle our chairs under the canapy coverings; some people were in the garage, the teenagers hung out in my son's Man Cave, the little kids stayed in the pool (no thunder or lightning) or played games. When the rain became just a mist, many men returned to the horseshoe pits. Rain didn't stop anything: everyone adjusted nicely.

The only negative was that my ex and wife AND two of my ex's pals and their wives were there. This was hard for me. (The six of them were all going out to parties, dances, dinners years ago while I was married and home watching my boys. Adultery really stinks, y'know.) They sat back like honored guests while I dased through pouring rain going from canapy to canapy to house and back as I helped with serving, hauling, carrying chairs etc etc.

I was drenched; everything right down to covered skin was soaking wet, dripping water for hours! It was physically and emotionally draining; I spent Monday practically catatonic with pain and being overtired. The day of rest helped and I'm almost back to normal. NO BIG FLARE. Kewl, huh?

Today I return to my pool exercise after a two-month break. Wow, I've got to RUN so I'm there on time!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 9/7/2014 8:27PM

    Sounds like a fun time the pig roast but very tiring. I'm glad you didn't have a flare up.

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HAWTGRANNY2014 9/3/2014 7:46PM

    Sounds like it was fun. Who cares about that old cheating ex anyway. You are too good for him! You should have smiled and let him see what he was missing lol.

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JENNEINAZ 9/3/2014 12:01PM

  You did amazing! I hope you have a good time in the pool.

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DDOORN 9/3/2014 11:25AM

    Good times...worth the energy expenditure, I'm sure!

Enjoy your slow-down! :-)


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GOANNA2 9/3/2014 9:18AM

    WOW! What a busy time for you. Glad that it all
went well. i hope your son's procedure went well.
That was horrible having to watch your ex and co...
I am glad you are getting back to normal and didn't
have another flare up. Go and enjoy your pool time
Sam and forget about your troubles. emoticon
Have a great September.

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COMPCHIC52 9/3/2014 5:08AM

    wow you have been busy . it is great though that you are staying busy this is what keeps us going as we get older. sorry about the rain. emoticon Pool work sounds fun fun. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AUNTALICE2 9/2/2014 2:33PM

    Well, it sounded like the gathering was a success despite have the whole ex's thing going on. I would not let them eat at my happiness. It gives them power over you. And they are no longer in your life. Just through your children. Consider yourself lucky he cannot cheat you anymore. I am cheering you on!! emoticon

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LEXIE63 9/2/2014 1:44PM

    It is very cool that you didn't have a flare-up. Enjoy your swim!

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First lifestyle support group meeting went well!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First: Please note that my keyboard has for weeks been refusing to type every letter I hit, so you'll see words that are missing 'something'. Consider it a game, and read on, ok? Thanks for unerstanding?!

Tonight I held the first meeting for what wil now be called "Healthy Lifestyle RoundTable"! After lots of thinking and planning, my pet project EXISTS!!

Purpose? A social networking group (for the senior community in which I live) for people to have in-depth discussions on a myriad of healthy lifestyle topics. Originally, it was to be called "W8 RoundTable" to start with overweight people an then fanout. I had wanted to have it be for everyone regardless of circumstances physical or otherwise, but had been swayed to focus on weight. Tonight those in attendance all agreed with my original concept and said "GO FOR IT".

I'd hoped to bring SP flyers with me, but they seem to have become hidden. What a shame that the features most important to me keep disappearing or become so hard to find that you only have a chance to find them IF you know they exist. But. After 20 minutes of searching for the flyers, I gave up. Instead, people knew that much of what we do will be totally in sync with SP because I told them about it, gave out the site information to them for those interested in joining.

One interesting topic that explains this unanimous support of lifestyle rather than 'yet another diet' is that many people there do know how to lose weight... but once their method of getting to goal reaches goal... they just lain didn't know how to maintain. Of course, I inserted "yes, that's why ...etc"!! lol, I'm such a SPer!! To me, a huge memory of this meeting was: I was shocked at the number who stated they'd lost a lot of weight and regained that and more. Sure, I knew SOME would have experienced this, but... so many?! This is better proof than any distant study in showing that gradual, enjoyable changes to lifestyle is more effective and lasting than any 'diet'.

In making preparations before tnight, I got the information that covers all people on Medicare or insurance working with Medicare. Sure glad I did. Told them to get out their 2014 Medicare books, turn to Section 3, Page 46 and have that paragraph in front of them when calling their providers' customer service. Every insurance provider will handle the details differently, but must comply with Medicare law: anyone with a BMI of 30 or more can receive up to 22 free nutritional consultation visits (etc etc) during one year.

So if on Medicare and have a BMI of 30+, call the insurer, go to the primary physician for a referral for nutritional consultations.... and be sure that you go to a Registered Dietician or other qualified person who accepts your insurance. RD's LOVE seeing SP print-outs of nutrition logs, summaries and other reports: it helps them work with us in detail. I truly believe that people doing this benefit more than many others, because we are so in tune with what we need. Anyhow. Back to tonight's meeting...:

Maintenance. We all talk about goals. But reaching the ultimate weight-goal and staying there seems to be a truly defeating attempt for many people. Key words in that? "Seems" and "attempt"; think about it! We sure did discuss this tonight: how they reached their goals and then felt unsure about what to do!

One lady said she lost 150+ pounds in less than a year on a doctor-'supervised' Medifast plan; then she was under stress while moving and at a hectic time of work all while preparing for a large family gathering for Thanksgiving! Her doctor said, "you can go off the program for the week while your company is here and you're moving; eat what you want". This and other all-too-similar tales with just different details explains why those who attended AND those who were busy tonight but interested... all said "No 'diet'? GREAT! I just want to get/be healthy!" Wow. Huh?!

This and next week's meetings are the groundwork for setting the loose structure. Using principles very like those of SP, I wrote on a sheet of paper and circled separately each grouping of categories with organized sub-groups. For two hours, truly substantive conversation FLOWED. It was wonderful!

You should have heard how each time a person mentioned a challenge, at least one other discussed workable solutions. You'd have thought these folks were all long-time Sparkers. Sure am glad I provided paper, pens and oter supplies because everyone was busily writing down information the entire time. Sharing the way we all did tonight felt... great. Absolutely fantastic.

When I reserved the room for a two-hour period, I didn't really expect everyone would be thoroughly engaged the entire time... Wow, was I ever wrong! So. The beginning of my real-life support group for healthy lifestyle and all it includes.... is looking promising for future meetings.

Am expecting more people to join in next week, especially since we're expanding the scope to appeal to even those maintaining a good weight and who are active. Their input will be great. And one should never forget that they have -or should have- goals too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 9/1/2014 1:00AM

    Awesome sounds like so much fun.

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COMPCHIC52 8/21/2014 3:44AM

    How exciting!!

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AUNTALICE2 8/20/2014 6:52PM

    Am wishing there was a group like this here! I go to bariatric support groups and my dietician. But would love to have a group like yours!! You go girl!! emoticon emoticon

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JENNEINAZ 8/20/2014 10:16AM

  Great job!

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DONNABRIGHT 8/20/2014 9:51AM

    Oh, how I wish I could attend this!

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DDOORN 8/20/2014 9:02AM

    Um...of COURSE it went well! You had any DOUBTS? :-)

Maintenance...always the greatest challenge of ALL when it comes to living a healthy and well lifestyle!


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FOXXTROT_LOUISE 8/20/2014 8:01AM


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LEXIE63 8/20/2014 5:04AM

    Wow! That is a really productive way to spread the Spark. :-)
Good for you!
P.S. I enjoyed the impromptu game of spot the keyboard glitch. LOL

Comment edited on: 8/20/2014 5:05:03 AM

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support that helped me and keeps on giving though gone

Sunday, August 03, 2014

We can be motivated to reach a goal and then dissuaded or recommitted or continuingly find reasons to stay on track. The very same situations can at different times trigger unlike responses or emotions. Sometimes a negative thought or experience is cited as reason for going off track. Sometimes the negative event encountered strengthens us. I truly believe that we should do our best to allow every experience or encounter, failure or loss... strengthen us.

A question in one of my teams today made me want to share more than the answer... and to blog my thoughts.

The question in the team asked who did we first tell about our commitment to creating a healthy lifestyle. I told two people immediately... and either on the same day or within a day or two of one another. This was in 2007. My answer and thoughts about it:
My R.D. (dietician) or my P.T. (physical therapist).
Can't rmember which I told first.
They both supported me wholeheartedly.
Both were younger and mch healthier than me.
And 2 years ago they both died suddenly and unexpectedly within 4 months of one another.
These collective facts stress to me the importance of doing what we can WHILE we can to be the best we can be... or at least enjoy our efforts to TRY to reach those goals.

I could have said "sheesh! They looked great, were athletic, 'had it all'... and what good did it do THEM, huh?!?" But my reaction was the opposite.

Linda and Sharon believed in me. Believed. In. Me.
They were MY support 'team', my support system.
And they are gone.

For five years they each nurtured this journey of mine and helped me reach a much better place. Their deaths don't mean I can or should even slow down. Ok, I DID feel a little lost for several months. That IS true. These two women wer the ONLY people in this whole world who together SAW how hard I have worked to create a healthy lifestyle. My doctor sees improved bloodwork, but not enough weight loss to reflect the exercise and the care to activity that I now do. But these two ladies saw what I was doing, and without fail cheered me onward.

My journey is slow in ways that show to others. A frustrating fact. But I owe a lot to these two ladies because I no longer really care what others assume when I KNOW I am doing my best. THAT is HUGE.

The reason I'm saying all this is because there are many 'lessons' to be gathered from it.

Interestingly, the two people I first told are the ones who became my most staunch supporters. Ok, they were professionals in fields that were necessary for my journey, but they went beyond requirements for me. They went out of their way. They loved that I was active in SP and put the use of tools and articles as my priority with use of personal interactions as supportive. Would I have stayed here without that support? I have no idea! I could GUESS the answer to be yes or no, but... who knows.

Sharing the decision to focus not just on losing weight or on 'getting healthy again' but sharing that we decide to truly focus on overall BALANCE and healthy LIFESTYLE is important.

I've said and written this many times but the truth is that living in a healthy way is the best measure of success when you consider the befores and afters of changes such as those we each seek. And sharing the goals with the RIGHT someone/s is invaluable. The right someone is not always a friend or relative; it might be a stranger or like me you'll find a health professional who is overjoyed that you focus on well-rounded changes instead of singular ones.

In my view there is a right one and there is a wrong way to share this goal:
Wrong way: "Hey, doc, I'm trying to lose weight so I joined Spark People. What do you think?"
Right way: "hey, doc, I want to lose weight but my real goal is all over improved healthy lifestyle. I joined SP and am really learning a lot about myself. Have you ever looked at the site?"

I tried the second approach with my GP. She'd heard of the site, but slim athlete that she is, she still hasn't found time to look at it. I get that. She is THERE in healthy lifestyle. And she still says there's no mystery to weight loss; just eat less, move more. Yup, the skinny lasses who try to be understanding really DON'T. But these days I'm alone in my support... with a little help here and there from SP friends, even though the vast majority of my friends have different issues and hurdles. And I'm so grateful to those two ladies who gave me the in-person support that strengthened my resolve to stick with all I do for myself here on this site.

Maybe someday they'll look down on me and say to one another, "holy cow, look at SAM! Doesn't she look GREAT now that she lost that weight?!" And at that point my outside will have finally caught up with the way my insides feel so much healthier already!

I am currently talking to some women where I live, sharing that healthy lifestyle is integral to their weight loss and other health goals. They want me to lead a small support group. People have supported me, believed in me. Am I ready to help others?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 8/20/2014 1:28AM

    Sam, you are amazing! What a fantastic way
To share with others about that healthy
Living is more than 'DIET'.

I wish I could be there to join in. Wow, 22
Visits covered by Medicare to see a RD is
wonderful. Our Medicare pays for 5 max
To see a specialist. Go girl! You are making
A difference. Too bad you didn't have the
Spark Flyers to give out. Good luck with
Your next meeting. emoticon

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AUNTALICE2 8/19/2014 9:00PM


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PMRUNNER 8/6/2014 6:10AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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DDOORN 8/5/2014 10:08PM

    Sorry so late to your wonderful blog! Absolutely you are BEYOND ready! And I know you already know this but helping others helps ourselves so much as well! Hoping you've jumped in with this.

It is so terrific when we are fortunate enough to come across others, be they professionals or not, who love what they do and do what they do with HEART! The best compliment we can pay folks like your two supporters is to pay it forward to others...which you have done in SPADES here within our SparkFamily and I'm sure elsewhere in your circles.

Thank you for all that you bring to our SparkFamily!


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JUMPINJULIE 8/4/2014 9:02PM

    Great post. We can do it.

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JENNEINAZ 8/4/2014 12:11PM

  Take the support wherever you get it. And sometimes it comes in the most unlikely places!

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LADYDL 8/4/2014 9:44AM

    Sam, thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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COMPCHIC52 8/4/2014 4:43AM

    wow that was amazing and I am so glade you shared it. I am so glade I got to read it. It is amazing seeing a question that is asked can bring out a flood. Sorry that you had lost that support but you know that they would be so glade you go on doing what you need too. if your asking people if they think you are ready to support others and help them though there journey..I would say yes you are ready and in turn it will support you with face to face people. we all need people. emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 8/4/2014 3:56AM

    Thanks Sam. A lifelong journey to good health
is what I am aiming for too. emoticon

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FIT4MEIN2013 8/3/2014 11:11PM

    Great introspection!

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AJB121299 8/3/2014 10:27PM


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