Willpower, It’s Fueled by Glucose

Willpower isn’t about pushing yourself to extremes. It’s about making conscious choices and following through on those choices. Blood sugar levels can help or they can get in the way

WillpowerWillpower, what is it?

It’s that thing that gives you the strength to persevere.

It helps you build a path to a better life.

But…when depleted, it’s the thing that leaves you overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to carry on.

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney explores willpower, what it is, how it works, and how you can put it to work for you.

The authors take an unexpected turn in their discussion of how to corral your willpower. Among the advice about getting organized, setting priorities, and working on one thing at a time there’s a discussion of blood sugar levels. Turns out that glucose to the brain literally fuels willpower. Too little glucose and willpower disappears.

What a revelation for a person living with diabetes!

A whole section of the book shows the effect of low blood sugar on a person’s ability to make decisions and follow through. We’re not talking about the “I’m a little peckish,” kind of low blood sugar, but the you get it together enough to test and you end up staring at a number below 70 on your glucose meter—sometimes a number way below 70, like 45.

Actor Jim Turner, who lives with type 1 diabetes, shares various experiences he’s had when dealing with low blood sugar. In one instance he’s at the beach with his young son and he can’t decide whether to  take his son to the bathroom or get some food to bring his blood sugar back up. There he stood paralyzed.

As a person living with diabetes these scenes are a bit frightening. The mere idea  a hypoglycemic episode can take away my ability to make the simplest decision left me feeling helpless. My head filled with what ifs. What if that happened to me? What if I was driving and totally lost track of things? What if I put my children in danger because I couldn’t make a simple decision?

Then I read the section on how to put glucose to work for me and I felt better. Understanding that I need to feed my body and my mind in a measured, consistent way helped. When you’re sick, the authors say to save your glucose for your immune system—in other words, rest and recover. And most importantly, when you’re tired, sleep.

In short, willpower isn’t about pushing yourself to extremes. It’s about making conscious choices and following through on those choices. Blood sugar levels can help or they can get in the way. Understand that and you’re in a better position to persevere and make your life better.

 

Can a Dog Be Your Exercise Plan?

Forget the treadmill. Get a dog!

Source: Flickr cc johnlemon 2.0

 

The Well health blog in yesterday’s New York Times boldly proclaimed Forget the Treadmill. Get a Dog.

Oh, if only it were that simple. Get a dog; take it out for walks daily; and your daily exercise needs were met. The data from several studies show mixed results. Not everyone went out for walks. Some just put the dog out in the yard to run around. Others complained about the weather. And some said they were too old or frail to walk the dog. Still others hired someone to walk their dog!

“If we’re committed to a dog, it enables us to commit to physical activity ourselves.” Said Dr. Rebecca A. Johnson.

There is something that is extra motivating in doing for others—whether they are human or canine.

 

 

This Is NOT Helpful…

They put a bunch of data from other studies into a one big pool and came up with…a statistic. That’s it. …

Source: Flickr - couragextoxlive

Diabetes Can Shorten Life by 6 Years, the headline screamed.

“A 50-year-old with diabetes dies six years sooner than someone without the disease…”

Oh my! I know a 50-year-old who happens to live with diabetes. What can be done to help her avoid this awful fate? Continue reading “This Is NOT Helpful…”

How to Stay OnTrack With an Android App

Are you looking for a compact, accurate way to track of your blood sugar levels, medication, exercise, carb counts, and test results? As they say, “There’s an APP for that!”

OnTrack makes it easy to collect, store and analyze of all your health journal information using your Android phone.

Are you looking for a compact, accurate way to track of your blood sugar levels, medication, exercise, carb counts, and test results?

As they say, “There’s an APP for that!”

OnTrack

App Name: OnTrack
Maker: GExperts
Price: FREE (donations accepted)

Find more information:
Android Marketplace: OnTrack Diabetes
Product Website: OnTrack Diabetes

OnTrack is a comprehensive Android app that lets you use your phone to record all the numbers and  information you would keep in a health journal.

OnTrack - Journal

Keeping a health journal is one of the most effective tools for managing diabetes.

A health journal gives you the raw data about what works well (and not so well) for you when it comes to managing diabetes.

With a health journal you can record all the things you do to maintain your health.

By reviewing your health journal you can see the trends over time. Are you maintaining tight control? What affect does your favorite meal have on your blood sugar? Are you getting enough exercise? A health journal can help you answer these kinds of questions which are so valuable to living well with diabetes. Continue reading “How to Stay OnTrack With an Android App”

How Inefficiency Helps Me Manage Diabetes

Source: Flickr (cc) faster panda kill kill

To live well with diabetes I need to add regular exercise to my routine.

I am facing up to the fact that I am extremely sedentary. I work at a computer most of the day. Where I live is too far away from shops to walk there. My commute to town means I spend a lot of time in the car.

In figuring out how to add exercise to my routine I’ve been reading up on exercise advice for people with diabetes. Continue reading “How Inefficiency Helps Me Manage Diabetes”