Diabetes & Depression: All in your head

It’s estimated that as many as 30% of diabetics also suffer from clinical depression. While the “which came first”/”which causes which” argument hasn’t been settled at this point, it’s clear that treatment and care plans for diabetes should make provision for the complicating factor of doing what needs to be done to avoid diabetic complications while simultaneously managing a serious mental illness.

For me, I believe the depression came first although the very nature of that disease – the distorted thinking, the lack of desire to do much of anything, the belief that I’m not worth the effort it will take to keep me happy and healthy – make it difficult to say for sure. I’m pretty sure that I was depressed in college, possibly even as early as my teens, and I wasn’t diagnosed with diabetes until age 29, so it’s likely that the depression pre-dates the diabetes for me. Given that I use(d) food to soothe myself when l’m in the middle of a bout with depression and that nearly all physical activity other than chewing and breathing used to stop when I was depressed, I would even call depression out as one of the “causes” of my diabetes.

Regardless of how and when they started, I deal with both diseases regularly: diabetes every minute of every day, depression at least once a month – every month – without fail. As exhausting as it is to keep my diabetes management mojo going on a good day, when I’m depressed it’s a whole lot tougher.

bigstock Sadness And Happiness 50402351 300x200 Diabetes & Depression: All in your head

Over the last 19 months, as I’ve focused on Project: Happy/Healthy Me, I’ve learned a few things that help me deal with my depression more effectively. Tactics that work for me include:

  • Recognizing that it’s back and that I’m depressed again is a great first step. When it’s really bad, this can take me anywhere from a few days to a week or more. If you have never experienced it, it’s tough to explain how that happens but remember that depression means that my own brain is working against me, creating thoughts that aren’t true but feel completely valid. Once some part of my brain breaks free to see that it’s just the disease talking, I can implement better coping techniques.
  • Keeping up my healthy daily routines as much as possible. I get quite a lot of physical activity and track my food intake every day, so I try to keep those habits going even when I’m dealing with the crazy thoughts that would have me stay in bed and eat simple, starchy carbohydrates for the rest of my life. That’s not nearly as simple as it sounds but it’s easier now that I make natural and planned physical activity so much a part of my everyday life. When the depression hits, I still go out before work each day but I might take a simple walk instead of incorporating jog/walk intervals. Both diabetes and depression benefit from exercise and walking is such an easy way to get my day off to a healthy start. Once I have a walk under my belt, it’s much easier to continue making good choices for my health even as I put up with my depression symptoms.
  • Calling myself out when I start giving small things more importance than they deserve. I overreact on a good, non-depressed day and it only gets worse when you add in the disordered thinking that accompanies depression. Suddenly, the fact that I haven’t completed any of my duathlon training planned workouts in a week means that I’m a terrible person and am destined to re-gain every pound I’ve worked so hard to lose. The truth is that I’ve been very active in ways other than running or biking and my fitness level will carry me through the event next month even if I never follow through on another workout from the training plan. (Not that I plan to skip another month of workouts, but with depression, anything is possible.)
  • Treating myself kindly, as I would a friend who was suffering with a chronic illness; skip the self-abuse. While it’s easier said than done, taking excellent care of myself while I’m depressed pays off almost immediately with improved mood and cognitive function. For me, this could mean going to bed a little early, using a favorite body wash with my shower, or scheduling a massage. If I pretend that it’s a friend who is suffering, this becomes more natural and less awkward.
  • Incorporating more mindfulness into my daily activities. Whether it’s yoga, quiet meditation, focused breathing, or simply focusing intently on my surroundings with each of my senses, the more I am present in the here and now, the easier it is to keep an even keel.

Even with these strategies, there is no “cure” for depression. Some months the symptoms are worse than others and at those times I call my therapist for a check in – somehow just talking with her brings a better focus on what’s real and what is not.

If you suffer from depression, know that you’re never alone, no matter what your brain might be telling you to the contrary. You are lovable and loved more than you know, so when things get scary, reach out and find help.

  • To find a therapist in your area, use this helpful website
  • Psych Central hosts an online depression support group which includes both message boards and weekly chat sessions. Depression tries to isolate us so being around others – even virtually – is a great way to put the disease back in its bottle
  • If it’s all too much and you just can’t bear another minute of feeling this way, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – it’s staffed 24/7/365 with trained professionals who will help you. Nothing – absolutely nothing! – gets better if you hurt yourself so don’t let this stupid disease win!

Just as with my diabetes, I know I’ll need to continue refining my depression self management plan for the rest of my life. There is no cure for my diseases but with careful planning, strong partnerships with medical professionals, and a little bit of luck, I’m confident I will live a long, healthy life.

What makes you happy?

An important component of Project Me involves improving the quality of my life. I threw that om the list of deliverables for Project Me because I’ve  done the whole “lose weight, get in shape, be more active, and eat less” thing before and always ended up gaining every single pound back and more, so clearly something was missing from those previous efforts at better health. Also, pursuing better health without incorporating happiness somehow feels incomplete.

I deal with depression at least once a month. Some months are worse than others but generally it makes getting out of bed and, really, even just giving a damn about anything, difficult for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how serious/strong it is. (Or is it based on how strong I am that month? Interesting thought.)

In any case, as far as I can tell, the depression started a really long time ago – at least in college, if not before then – leaving me with not a lot of answers to the important question, “What makes you happy, Denise?”

 What makes you happy?

Happy day! by ricco via Flickr

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time since I started on Project Me thinking about happiness and even joy – the emotion of great delight, which has been rare in my life, as you might expect – and I feel I’m making progress at understanding what makes me happy. As part of that research, however, I’d like to hear from all of you: what makes YOU happy? When was the last time you felt joy and what part of the experience do you think  pushed you from mere happiness to actual joy? Please share in the comments or send me an electronic mail message if you’d rather not share publicly.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Project Me: July review and goals for August

My goals for July were:

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program (I’ll be starting week 5 of the program this week if all goes well with the surgery), be able to jog 30 minutes straight – I’m very, very close to being complete – just finished Week 7, Day 2 – but I’m not done yet. I’ve developed some sort of mental block about running and I just don’t want to do it. I walk every day, though, so it’s not as though I’m not burning calories, just not running
  2. Make an appointment with a personal trainer to develop a strength training program I can begin – complete fail. I do not like strength training, never have, and while I say that I want to start doing it, in my heart I do not. I’m going to face reality on this one and move it to the backlog for consideration at a later date. [Note that I DID take a Pilates Reformer class this month, though, and that seriously kicked my butt. Nothing like using your ~200 pound body for resistance!]
  3. Reach out to friends & family to make sure that I have scheduled time with at least one person I love every week this month – I think I did pretty well with this one. The surgery at the beginning of July really threw a wrench into the first two weeks of the month because I was on heavy duty pain killers for five days then trying to figure out how to eat semi-regular foods with my new (fake) teeth. Still, I saw my childhood penpal from the UK while she and her family were in San Diego the weekend of July 19th, I went to an event downtown for healthy living bloggers at a great Mexican food restaurant, met fellow San Diegan blogger Kay Lynn for coffee after Weight Watchers, and went to lunch with my BFF, so I think I’ll mark this one as “done”

My revised goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 23.8 more pounds in six five months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 4-1/2 more inches in six five months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

Given that, what am I focusing on for August?

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program, be able to jog 30 minutes straight – I’ve started it, so I want to finish. It’s not as though it hurts to jog, I just don’t enjoy it
  2. Attend one Pilates Reformer class per week – if I’m not going to do traditional strength training, perhaps I’ll fall in love with the painful experience that is Reformer class!
  3. Consume no more than 20 ounces of latte drinks each day – I’d gotten into a bad habit of swinging by Coffee Bean on my way to work and after dinner, each time picking up a large latte. That’s 400 calories a day and it’s nearly pure sugar because of the milk, so I’m cutting that in half. I want to chew my calories and I want them to have a reasonable amount of fiber, too!
  4. Complete six cardio workouts of at least 45 minutes each a week – I must increase the number of calories I’m burning if I’m going to make my weight and waist measurement goals for the year. I’m currently doing 5-6 cardio workouts each week but they’re 30-45 minutes each and I really need to do 45 or more for maximum calorie burning. No, I’m not getting obsessive here, although getting at least an hour of moderate intensity exercise per day has been proven effective – by the National Weight Control Registry – at maintaining a significant weight loss, which I hope to be doing by this time next year!
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a good month

Given that last month started off with me losing 15 teeth, I think I ended the month pretty well. I’ve been fighting with the depression again for the last 10 days or so but I’m not letting it knock me off my healthy routines. Being able to buy non-plus size clothes now is a great motivator, as is hearing that I look “ten years younger” from work colleagues, but honestly, just knowing that each step I take is a step away from early death brought on my diabetic complications is really the best motivation I’ve found to get the shoes laced up and get me out the door for a walk every morning.

You cannot imagine how good it feels after so many years of adding more and more drugs to my daily routine and still seeing my blood sugar and triglycerides rise and rise to see my well-controlled blood sugar readings each morning! When I wonder if it’s worth it to get up earlier to walk or not to eat a sweet dessert that looks yummy, that’s what I remember: sitting in my endocrinologist’s office on November 29th of last year listening to him tell me that there were no drug therapies left to try and I needed to start daily insulin injections.I’m off all but two of my medications and I have to keep monitoring my blood sugar and adjusting my nightly insulin to make sure that I don’t go too low in the mornings. Is it worth the sacrifice to feel this way? Absolutely, without a doubt!

What motivates you to make healthy choices? And, in a related thought, do you have any great songs that you listen to while working out? I find that jogging/running isn’t nearly so awful if I have great music to listen to, but I’m getting bored with the same songs every day, so I need new material, friends!

Pity, party of one

The six days since my oral surgery have been challenging.

My blood sugar was way up for the first day and that was scary but then it went back to normal and that was good.

I’m not allowed to workout. My normal routine is anchored by my daily workouts, so this has been challenging. I’ve taken a few VERY slow walks (~1.5 mph or less) with sitting down stops built in so that my blood pressure never rises.

I can’t eat much of anything. Tried rice but that nearly got stuck in the dental flipper/fake teeth thing that I’m not taking out until tomorrow morning at the dental appointment. Laughing Cow is a major win, though, as is Panera’s French Onion soup (no croutons or cheese). Went through a brief infatuation with Jamba Juice’s Peach Mango smoothie but having three in 24 hours was bound to end in antipathy.

But here’s the thing: I’m fine.

I’m a girl who likes my routine – hence sitting around quite happily for years without dealing with my medical & dental issues all while being 100 pounds overweight and diabetic – and this whole experience has been absolutely devastating in terms of my normal way of life. No morning latte. No trips to the gym. No brushing & flossing my teeth twice daily. No getting up and going to work. (Dread to think how bad my work inbox is after being gone for 10 days!) So I’m all over the place emotionally. And then there’s the whole “half your teeth are gone, luv – now what?” thing.

But I really, really am fine.

I forced myself to smile – really, really smile – at myself in the mirror this morning and oh-my-gosh, the fake teeth thing is beautiful. I’ve never had straight, even teeth before and wow, it’s sort of amazing. (Don’t want to think about what’s underneath the flipper and I don’t have to see it until tomorrow, so we’ll deal with that then.)

My blood sugar is right where it needs to be. No working out needed, just eating moderate portions of foods with plenty of protein and/or fat.

I lost about two pounds this week. I say “about two pounds” because I haven’t weighed in two weeks so I can’t be absolutely sure. I am sure that I weigh less now than I have in a very long time. I’m not exactly sure when I last weighed the same as I did yesterday morning but I think it was 2002. I definitely weigh less than I have the entire time I’ve been blogging. (Not just blogging here but also here.) I weigh less than I ever have in the time I’ve known my husband. I weigh less than my husband. (You can’t imagine how wonderful that is to be able to say!) The left-most number on the scale is so close to a new number that I nearly can’t breathe when I think of it.

In terms of Project Me, I’m only 5.5 points away from being merely Overweight on the BMI scale. I started February off 8 points higher than I am now and I still have six months left in the year! I had to send back a size 20 Petite jacket that I bought for FitBloggin (before I realized how blazingly hot it was going to be in Portland last week) because it was way, way too big. I just bought clothes from Gap, including jeans. Gap doesn’t have plus sized clothes, people!

This week is just another user story (aka mini-project) I needed to complete for Project Me. I am diabetic, I haven’t taken care of myself for many years including my gums, and 15 teeth needed to be removed so that I can be as healthy as possible. The depression tried to use this as a way to scare me into living small again, but I’ve seen through it and I’m gently reminding myself that I’m stronger than this oral surgery detour, that I’ve got goals for 2013 that I’m well on my way to achieving, and that part of living – really living! – is dealing with pain and fear and uncertainty.

me smiling 300x199 Pity, party of one

me, just as I am

So good news: I’m definitely alive. And even better news for me? I’m ready to write here again, so get ready to hear more about whatever comes into my head. I’m done worrying about what I ought to write and now I just want to tap-tap-tap everything. Ready?

 

The 13 minute catch-up post

I have 13 minutes before the next discussion session starts at Fitbloggin, so let’s see what I can tell you about my life in that amount of time.

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my view through the hotel window

  • I’ve done so-so with my June goals. I worked out most days this month but not a single strength training session and I never made an appointment with a trainer. I’ll do a real June Project Me review coming up soon but expect to see “work in some strength training” on my July goal list.
  • My blood sugar is fabulously under control. In fact, I’ve begun slowly reducing my nightly dose of insulin because I kept having yucky low blood sugar readings after (or worse, in the midst of) exercising in the mornings.
  • I’ve started an eight-week Learn to Crochet course and am looking forward to making loads of wooly things!
  • I hit the big four-oh. Forty pounds lost since February 1st. I don’t see it in the mirror but other people have started to notice, for what that’s worth. (I’ve also lost three dress sizes which is both gratifying and frustrating. Gratifying because I can wear clothes I’ve had stuffed into a box for three or so years. Frustrating because I forgot about those clothes for so long that they are now too large and have to go to the tailor. (Yes, too large is a nice problem to have.)

That’s all of the good stuff. For the not-so-good stuff…

  • Still battling the depression. It’s not going away but I’m still working out and still eating properly – I just do it with a piss-poor attitude and lots more whinging.
  • I will be having 15 – yes, really, 15 – teeth removed surgically on Monday. Turns out that diabetics have a much greater chance of developing periodontal disease, which would have been good to know when I was diagnosed in 1996 but whatever, and also that both my mother and grandmother have had major gum problems. So I have to have 15 teeth removed and I will have a temporary partial (aka a “flipper”) for 6-9 months that will look acceptable in normal life but cannot, under any circumstances, chew food. In other words, I will  not be able to chew food in public until after Christmas. I’ll pause a moment to let that sink in. OK, so now I have to figure out how to keep myself moving forward with my diabetes self management while I can’t eat food in public. Or chew meat at all, really. Definitely will give this more thought and words here.

How was your June? Any big plans for the upcoming Independence Day holiday (if you’re in the US)?

Project Me: April retrospective and review

My goals for April were:

  1. Make appointments with my optometrist and a periodontist – DONE. My eye appointment was on May 15 and my periodontal appointment was on May 22.
  2. Take 10,000 steps per day at least 5 days a week – DONE. (Note that this was before The Depression kicked in.)
  3. Cook one meal at home in April – if I can’t manage that, I might just give up on cooking entirely. I think I’m ready to call Uncle on this one. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that I don’t really want to cook at home. I have been successfully improving key areas of health and happiness in my life for three months now without cooking at home, so I don’t really have enough motivation to overcome my dislike for all of the hassle, planning, and MESS that comes with cooking, either. So I’m officially stating for the record that I am no longer beating myself up for not cooking at home because I am making great food and eating choices while eating out and I can afford it, too.
  4. Make an appointment with my hair stylist for highlights – DONE. My appointment was on April 19 and I just love the sunny look of my hair now. (You almost can’t see the gray at my temples. Almost.)
  5. Do something fun at least once a week – I might have accidentally had some fun every week in April but I didn’t really concentrate on it, as I’d intended to do when I set up my goals. This definitely requires more focus!

You might have noticed the date on this post – May 30 – and wondered to yourself, “Why has it taken Denise an entire month to update us on her progress?,” or even, “What happened to May???”

What happened indeed!

The short and simple answer is that I have been fighting with a major depressive episode for roughly the last six weeks. This is not the usual blip on the radar that passes through my universe every month and then goes away without doing much damage, rather this is a terrible beastly thing that devours my happiness, my self-esteem, and any desire I might have to be creative and clever.

Lots of good things happened in April/May, too, especially in regards to my health. I was able to tick off several of my overall health goals for the year before the end of the first third of 2013, and I’m so happy & proud to be able to say that. (Related Note: Look for a reassessment of my 2013 Project Me goals coming soon!) The scale was kind, too, and although I am trying very hard not to let that be the primary barometer of “how I’m doing”, it’s hard to miss the fact that I’ve donated five large trash bags of clothing and shoes to charity since February 1 because things keep falling off of me.

I truly hope that I’m turning the corner and am on my way out of the worst of the depression, so I ought to have my Goals for June up by the weekend. Bless your hearts if you’re still here and still reading!

Support Oklahoma’s recovery from this week’s storms

I have many updates to post here. Depression is such a beast because it zaps me of any desire to be creative – even makes me question whether I have ever been creative or have any potential to be creative in the future – so I allow myself to be paralyzed by insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. Isolation kills when it comes to depression and the best thing in the world to do is to shine a bright light into the dark places, but the illness fights hard to keep its hold on me. I’m coming back, slowly, so expect a real post in the next few days.

In the meantime, however, I have been horrified by what I’ve seen on TV and social media from Oklahoma this week. I cannot imagine how you begin to put your life, your family, and your community back together again after the total devastation these storms have wrought, but I know that they will need support from the entire country and even the world.

I became aware of a wonderful effort going on right now to provide financial support for those affected by these storms and I want to share it with all of you in hopes that some will be moved to contribute in whatever way you are able.

(My dear friend, Marla, is one of the generous artists who has contributed one of her amazing pieces to this campaign, and I could not be any prouder of her.)

Tragedies such as these always remind me of the blessings in my life – and they are MANY! – so I’m hoping that I will be paying far above the normal retail for the painting of Marla’s that I’ve got my eye on for TCB’s birthday. (Hope you’re not reading, Honey!) I cannot be there in person to help pick things up but I can be there in spirit and with financial support; we each do what we can.

Fat

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I’m fat. Yes, I know this isn’t news to those of you who’ve met me in person or who follow me on Facebook. It isn’t really news to me, either, except…

Except that in my head I’ve already made the switch to being trim and fit. I work out every morning. I don’t eat junky snacks or brownies or white carbohydrates of any kind. I monitor my thoughts at all times to catch any automatic negative self-talk. When asked why I’m not having the aforementioned brownie, I say – both to myself and the person asking – that I’m choosing  not to because it’s better for my health. Not that I can’t have that because I’m on a diet and it’s a “bad” food. (You know there’s no such thing as “bad” or “good” foods, right? Please humor me and nod your heads now.)

I’m doing all of the right things and my blood sugar is in nearly perfect control – not just good, but perfect!, and I’ve lost some weight. So in my head, I’ve already made the switch and I must be magically not fat now.

And then a very nice colleague of my husband’s, at a volunteer function, congratulated us on the upcoming birth of our child while gesturing at my stomach, and a little part of me wanted nothing more than to simultaneously burst into tears while melting away and disappearing completely.

“I’m still so fat. This healthy lifestyle thing isn’t working. I need to go on a diet, pronto, and make this go away. I can’t eat “healthy” portions of normal foods, I need to weigh and measure everything. I can’t trust myself because I’m still fat.”

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funhouse by Jessi *AfterImage* via Flickr

That’s what swirled around in my head for the next hour or so after I escaped to the local shopping center to walk around while dealing with my thoughts. I posted something about the incident on my Facebook page about how I’d lost 25 pounds but it wasn’t enough to make me not fat. Friends began writing lovely messages, particularly one who’d just seen me the day before and told me how great I’d looked, but in my heart I knew it was all true: I’m so fat that I look like a pregnant girl. And then one friend – my dear,, wise friend Rosa – wrote something I’ll never forget. She told me to go to the grocery store, pull five 5-pound bags of sugar from the shelves, and see just how insignificant 25 pounds gone from my body really was.

And, just like that, the inside of my head snapped out of its funk and I could see clearly again. Yes, I’m still fat, but:

  • I’m no longer Morbidly Obese (just Obese)
  • My blood sugar readings are half what they used to be. (Yes, really – half!)
  • I workout every morning for 50 minutes at a time and I’m working my way up to the recommended 60 minutes a day
  • Most of my clothes and all of my undergarments no longer fit because I’ve lost so much weight from my waist and midsection
  • When my husband says, “Let’s walk to dinner,” I smile and tell him that sounds like a great idea instead of scowling and saying, “Yeah, right”
  • I’m confronting my depression every time it pops up – and it does so on an alarmingly regular basis – instead of letting it bring me down and ruin my happiness
  • I am happy, people! Deeply and unreservedly happy. Not the manic faux-happiness that is the flip side of my depression but real, quiet, deep-down-in-my-heart happiness

So I stopped ignoring the rumbling in my stomach after waiting too long for lunch, walked to a nearby restaurant, ordered food that sounded delicious in a portion size that I felt comfortable would be enough to get me to dinner but not enough to fill me up completely, and then sat and ate with enjoyment. By myself. Without worrying that others were judging me for what or how much I was eating.

Yes, I’m still fat, and that’s OK.

Doing my bit for Science

Having diabetes stinks. No really, it does. It’s not the dread Death Sentence some media outlets like to make it out to be but it definitely does stink.

(Did you know that insulin can make you gain weight? Insulin which most Type 2 diabetics will end up needing at some point in their lives? Basically, you need to lose weight to help control your blood sugar but the drug that you need to help you manage your blood sugar will make it tougher to lose weight. Just one of the special little gifts that come with your diabetes diagnosis – yay!)

Then you’ve got the stigma attached to being a person with Type 2 diabetes. Because one of the risk factors for Type 2 is being overweight, there’s a perception that we “deserve” this disease because we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t fat. Seriously, I’ve had people tell me that to my face. Whether that’s true or not, no one deserves diabetes and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Three times yearly visits to the endocrinologist (diabetes doctor). Keeping track of what you eat versus your pre- and post-meal blood sugar readings so that you can try to figure out which foods don’t send your body into orbit with extra sugar. Finding it harder to lose weight even as your doctor tells you that you “really ought to” focus on losing some weight. Is it any wonder that so many diabetics also battle depression? And of course, depression can make getting out of bed a huge accomplishment, much less exercising and planning nutritious, low calorie meals. It’s all much easier with support from friends and family but the depression and shame can make it tough to reach out.

Enter Ginger.io, a company dedicated to using big data to help make new discoveries for treating chronic diseases like diabetes. I recently signed up for a pilot they are running to gather passive data about activity levels among Type 2 diabetics that can be used for several purposes.

sanofi landing page 122712 c 300x232 Doing my bit for Science

In essence, each of the participants downloads an application to their smart phone and then just goes about their daily business. Every day I receive a one-question survey about my mood the day prior, and once weekly I answer a survey about how I’m doing with my diabetes tasks and another about how my quality of life has been for the past week. Simple Simon. The application then tracks how active I’ve been – not with steps or calories burned or anything like that, but how many miles I’ve traveled, text messages I’ve sent, and phone calls I’ve made. Right now the application just gives me interesting tidbits about how my activity this week compares to what I did last week or today’s travels versus yesterday’s, but the plan is that in the future, if I specify people in my support circle, the application will track how I’m doing and alert those that I specify when my activity drops and my survey results show I’m not doing well.

Imagine that: I’m dealing with depression and struggling with my diabetes, and then TCB will just know as if by magic that I need help. Wow.

In addition to the selfish part of this exercise, the application is also gathering important behavioral information about a group of folks with Type II diabetes that can then be used to help create new methods for treating diabetes and those suffering from the disease.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Type II diabetes and this program sounds like something you’d like to hear more about, click here to find out more or to sign up for the on-going pilot today.

Insert clever post title here

So much for keeping up with the regular blogging, eh? I’m chalking it up to the terrible sadness that accompanied the end of Blogger Road Trip 2012 and leaving Shauna behind. Sniffle, sniffle. I’ll be alright eventually but I still hate that I can’t just say something silly to hear her laugh as we’re getting ready to go out.

I want to write something clever and insightful but I don’t think I have it in me right now. Since my return to the real world I’ve been consumed with work and my volunteer obligations, neither of which makes me feel in the slightest bit clever or insightful. Still I’m fairly certain this funk (code word for depression) will pass and I’ve been composing a post in my head about my joining Weight Watchers – which I did last Saturday morning – and why I have been binge eating as a result. Perhaps over the weekend it will make it from my head to this page.

Fabulously good news is that Lori is back to blogging at her original site. After meeting her in person I am even more convinced than before that her great writing and amazing design sense are an unbeatable combination and should be enjoyed by everyone, so do go over and give her a read (if you haven’t already).