Monday, September 27, 2010

Two topics: My newest story – a 6.4 A1C and Step out to stop diabetes!

Step Out to Stop Diabetes!

Hello everyone! As written in last week’s blog, I am participating in the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out to Stop Diabetes walk-a-thon on October 24 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Thank you so much for all of the donations that we have already received! Only a week into fundraising, and I am thrilled to report that I am 32% of the way toward reaching my goal of raising $500 for the education, research, and advocacy programs that the ADA provides to help fight diabetes.

There is still time to help me reach my goal! Please click here to visit my personal step-out page, read all about why I’m participating, and become a sponsor.

Topic #2: My newest story – a 6.4 A1C

I was convinced that I had a 6.7 A1C, which in Type 1 diabetes world is pretty darn good. But I wanted the 6.5 that I had achieved back in April.

All diabetics get A1C tests, as well as oodles of other blood work, to see how well we are managing our diabetes. I get mine done once every three months.

I have not been the perfect diabetic lately. I’ve been so busy! So stressed! Running from appointment to appointment. I had minor surgery on two of my fingers almost eight weeks ago. I haven’t been exercising as I normally do. Okay, I admit it. I’ve gained a few pounds over the last two months. And yes, I’ve been sneaking snacks of low-fat ice cream and full-fat potato chips loaded with yummy salt and oozing comfort. I was thinking about those 200 BG’s I’d corrected for, and those morning highs. Most of all, I was dreading the strict lecture I convinced myself I would receive from Dr. W about tighter control over my blood sugars.

I would be lucky if it was a 6.7. And I was beating myself up for it. I had achieved so much by reaching that 6.5. And I let it slip away.

I went to Dr. W this morning for my quarterly appointment. I asked the receptionist for copies of the lab results as soon as I stepped through the door. I thought about the records I had compiled of my eating, exercising, and bolusing for the appointment. And I regretted doing it already. They would show Dr. W. exactly what a bad girl I’ve been. He’d have the proof right in front of him.

Judge and jury pronounce me as guilty. Lock me up and throw away the key.

The receptionist handed me the white pages filled with courier style blank ink. I’ve skimmed these a million times. In range. Out of range. Kidney function and cholesterol – which are all perfectly fantastic by the way. Something to still be proud of – since they weren't always that way. A bit anemic. Yes, I knew that.

And there it was, what I least expected. A1C – 6.4!

I was so surprised! How did that happen? And then I had a BIG realization sitting there in the waiting room smiling from ear to ear.

I realized that I had created a story, a very self-damaging one actually. Leading up to today, I was beating myself up for being the “worst” diabetic ever. I thought I hadn’t been managing my diabetes as I know I can or should. In my mind, I wasn’t living up to some pretty high expectations I have of myself. I had been telling myself that I let my health go.

And I really hadn’t. It was all in my head. The proof was right in front of me. Facts don’t lie.

And so I realized that I had to change my story. We all create the stories of our lives. Our realities. And I had the opportunity – right now, in this instant – to change one that wasn’t serving me.

I re-assessed. I do check my blood sugars regularly and adjust my insulin accordingly. I keep track of my eating, exercise, and sugars as much as possible. I exercise most of the time, eat healthy more often than not, and still meditate and journal to keep my stress levels as low as possible. Okay, so fine, I cheated here and there, but clearly, that’s okay if it’s within reason. All of the things I mentioned in April’s blog about reaching a 6.5 A1C. None of that had changed. Just the story I had created in my head.

And then I started thinking about all of the other stories I’ve created. The stories with the same moral: “Whatever I’m doing isn’t good enough.” You know the ones. Whether related to weight, hair, skin, or other non-body topics like stuff to do around the house, finances, and so on. There are lots of self-damaging stories that people create, like, “If I had more, then I will finally feel accepted.” “Would people accept me if I had less?”

I do love a good story. I suppose that’s what keeps me blogging. But some stories are just downright awful. And it’s up to me – up to us – to gauge when a story is true – and when it’s just a piece of fiction that’s better off in the trash.

I chose today to throw my tragic-fiction away. And I’ve created a new story for myself. I call it the “I take great care of my health” epic novel. Because with this positive attitude toward health, I expect it to last a while!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Step out to stop diabetes!

Dear family, friends, and d-community members,

I am walking and raising funds for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual fundraising walk: Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes on Sunday, October 24 in Princeton, New Jersey. Every step I take and every dollar I raise will help improve the lives of the 23.6 million Americans living with diabetes.

Please click here now to go to my personal step-out page, and sponsor me as I raise money to help people affected by this disease.

Why I believe in this cause

I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 35 years, since the age of 3. Growing up with diabetes has had its challenges - from the daily grind of managing blood sugars to long-term physical and emotional complications. I feel lucky that I have always had the proper healthcare and education to live with this disease in the best way I can.

But as an invisible chronic disease - a silent killer - most people are unaware of the complications involved in living and thriving with this disease - until it's too late. This can change.

Organizations like the ADA have made living with diabetes much easier. The ADA supports critical research to finding a cure, education through community programs, and advocacy that protect the rights of people living with the disease. ADA's work has made a huge difference in making my life better, as I'm sure it has for millions of others, and can for millions more.

Why Help Stop Diabetes?

Although life with diabetes has improved with the help of the ADA, there is much more to be done!

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors appear to play roles. Diabetes is a disease that is outpacing heart disease, cancer and AIDS in terms of amounts of people affected. Diabetes is a disease that has deadly serious consequences, and there is no cure.

When you walk, you help Stop Diabetes.

I love walking, and it is also one of the easiest, most relaxing forms of exercise for many people, but especially for those living with diabetes. Walking helps control blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and improves overall quality of life. It is also an activity that can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at risk.

You can walk almost anywhere at any time. And walking can give you more energy and help relieve stress.

And walking for the cause helps raise funds for the mission of the American Diabetes Association: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

Please give what you feel comfortable giving.

I am asking you to make a donation to my fundraising efforts - that you feel comfortable with. Every dollar does make a difference. I have set a fundraising goal of $500, but I'm comfortable with raising any amount - as long as it goes to helping people in need. Please know that I am grateful for your support.

I hope you have a great day. Warm wishes, Ophir

Monday, September 6, 2010


Money stresses me out. Okay, there, I admit it.

Yeah, and who isn’t stressed about money? Monks living on top of a mountain? Even they need to eat, right?

This recession has forced me, and many of us, to re-examine our relationship with money. But to be totally honest, I’ve always had a confused relationship with the topic.

Sometimes I’m a budget conscious restrictor, and other times, I’m a spendthrift permitter. I’ll go on a shopping binge or spend tons of money on eating out because at that moment I just want to have fun. And then I’ll feel guilt and self-loathing for spending carelessly during a tough recession the week after, tightening my belt and shutting off lights after people (okay, I don’t feel bad about that). And then I’ll spend carelessly again.

Money seems equal to living life to the fullest in my world – some of the time. You need money to travel, go to the Opera (not that I do that), buy clothes, eat out at fine restaurants, live in a furnished home (only some of the rooms in ours are), and so on…

I started looking at this topic around five years ago as a place of self-growth potential, and I’ve contemplated my relationship with money even more this past year. I already know the source, the messages I have heard and adopted as my own. I already examined what prosperity really means to me. I know that the key to prosperity is to create your own inner prosperous vibe – which you can do through gratitude. I also know that the stress doesn’t serve me. It affects my health and well-being.

And yet the pattern continues. So this morning, I meditated and wrote in my journal, a habit that I am formalizing as a part of my daily routine. And I’d like to share what I found to be an enlightening moment with all of you.

I read an article a few months ago, “10 Practical Ways to Increase Your Abundance” by Robert Holden. I tackled exercise #3, “Money: I have a healthy relationship to money.” The exercise tells us to list 10 things that are priceless that money can’t buy. I came up with 15. Here they are:

• Love
• A sense of well-being
• Balance
• A healthy attitude
• Peace
• Security and safety
• Gratitude
• Connection to spirit
• Natural beauty
• Happiness
• Nature
• Connection to my authentic self
• Prosperity and abundance
• A smile
• A compelling story!

I think that most of us know these things logically, but I know that I can lose sight of them when going through the day-to-day motions of life. I’m sure many of us do. When an unexpected bill arrives, or when there are challenges at the workplace, or when I really want to go on that trip or buy something for the house. Thinking of how rich I am with happiness is not the foremost thing on my mind.

But taking the time to journal or meditate, writing lists like the one above, helps me remember that I’m already rich.

Want to help me add to the list? Send me your thoughts on things that are priceless that don’t cost a dime!