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Discipline and Gestational Diabetes

16 November 2011

For the past week or so, Crystal from Money Saving Mom, has been posting about discipline. I was reading her posts, thinking of an idea to meet that day's challenge, turning off the computer, and then forgetting all about it until the next day. I guess that I just wasn't disciplined enough to do the 21 days to a more disciplined life challenge!

A few weeks ago, I found out that I have gestational diabetes, and last week I attended a diabetes education class and received a monitor.  After several days of monitoring my blood sugar levels, I thought I was doing pretty well.  After dinner my sugar was usually a little high (120-130 when it was supposed to be under 120) and first thing in the morning it was between 100-110, though it was supposed to be under 90. But throughout the rest of day I was low, so I figured it all evened out.

Because of this, I wasn't following the plan exactly as I was supposed to.  I had the occasional small sweet with my snacks, or an extra cornbread muffin with dinner.  I also basically ignored the whole exercise plan. I have 3 young kids and I'm pregnant. By the end of the day, I'm tired and sore. I just couldn't imagine adding exercise into the mix.

Then I went to see my midwife. We discussed my numbers and the next thing I knew, she was handing me a prescription for Glyburide. I was shocked. They only give you a prescription if you're "not doing a good job," managing your diabetes with diet and exercise.  I had gestational diabetes with my daughter 7 years ago and I never had to go on medicine or insulin. I felt like I had failed.

My midwife told me that it was just the way my body was functioning (or not functioning.)  My pancreas was not kicking into gear overnight. This meant that my sugar was high all night, and that was not good for the baby.  Even though she said that it was nothing I was doing or not doing, I knew in my heart that I was not being completely honest with her, or with myself. I was probably having too much sugar and too many carbohydrates in the evening, and I wasn't exercising.

And so, I've realized, that what I need is discipline. I need to be more disciplined in what I eat and what I don't eat. I can't just plan food for my family, I need to plan food for me. I need to change some definitions of what I consider healthy.  I need to sit down and eat actual meals rather than snacking throughout the day and picking at my kids "scraps."  I need to make sure that I'm drinking enough water. And, finally, I need to figure out a way to exercise.

Previously, when I read Crystal's posts about discipline, her plans didn't really work for me because I didn't have focus, and I didn't have a compelling reason to follow through on my goals.  I was picking tasks and goals that I've been putting off for practically a lifetime, and truly, although they were things I wanted to accomplish, I didn't yet need to accomplish them right now.

However, my health and the baby's health, are compelling reasons to stick with my goals. I am now hoping to use discipline to help me control my diabetes by controlling behavior.


1. Make dinner plans that incorporate more protein into my dinners and carefully control the carbs (This is a delicate balance, because if I don't have enough carbohydrates, I then have to worry about ketones!)

2. Eat complete breakfasts and lunches that I eat all at one time rather than picking for 1-2 hours.

3.  Eat breakfast as soon as I get up.

4.  Exercise a minimum of 10 minutes a day after dinner. If time permits, go to the gym and workout for at least 30 minutes.  If not, institute "clean and climb."  I have a fairly small house, but we have 4 stories- so lots of stairs. I tend to avoid the stairs if I can, so I have piles of "stuff" at the top and bottom of each set of stairs. I decided that I would take at least 10 minutes a day, where I would focus on carrying "stuff" up and down the stairs and putting it away as quickly as possible.

Hopefully, by sticking to these goals, I can control my diabetes without having to take medicine. If not, I'll take the medicine, but at least I'll know that I was doing everything I could be doing on my own, first.

Have you ever had gestational diabetes? What worked (or didn't work) for you?

By way, Crystal's most recent post in the series was "Accountability is Key."  I am hoping that, having posted it about it, I will feel more accountable. If you'd like, leave me a comment that you read the post and that you WILL be checking back to make sure that I'm sticking to my goals. Whether I know you in real life, or just through the blogging world- there is nothing quite knowing that someone will be "checking in on me," to keep me in line!

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