Category Archives: Inspiration

Conversations

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The past two weeks of living with Bell’s palsy had not been as difficult as I had initially imagined. The words of encouragement and well wishes which I have received and continue to receive from family, friends and colleagues have been most helpful in getting me through the first few anxious days following the onset of the palsy and in overcoming continuing but decreasing bouts of insecurity. I would like to share with you a few of the conversations (or lack thereof) I have had since I first noticed that I cannot completely close my left eye.

Superfreak
Saturday, June 11, morning
Me:                  I’m a freak! I’m a freak!
My husband: No, you’re not. You are beautiful. Continue reading

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Being Large

weight-loss-494284_1280I’ve been doing some retail therapy lately and been so thrilled to be able to buy decent tops in Tokyo. A few years ago, even after my weight loss, my choices of blouses in Japan were limited to a handful. These days, though, I have found more shops carrying wonderful Large size tops. What I find remarkable is the fact that I’m now comfortable asking, “Do you have this in Large?” Continue reading

Despite diabetes

Note: I’m participating in this year’s Diabetes Blog Week. Here is today’s theme – “In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of “I can…” that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So let’s kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could?  Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)” 

Tokyo marathon medal

See my Tokyo marathon medal?

In September 2007, I was officially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was scared, confused, depressed and very angry. I asked my doctor two questions.

Are you sure?” to which he said, “Yes”.

Can I still run?” My doctor, who was a runner himself, responded without any hesitation, “Of course. What has diabetes got to do with running?” Then in a softer but emphatic voice, he ordered, “Don’t stop running.” My doctor’s words and demeanor assured me that I would be fine.

Continue reading

Look up

anonymous-376540_1280On a recent visit to the gym, I noticed a new gym member. She was noticeable because she was almost inside the locker while changing into her gym wear, and she walked around the gym with her head down and her hair covering her face. I instantly recognized myself in her.

Like her, I used to walk around the gym looking at the floor. I avoided eye contact with others, I refused to look at the ceiling-to-floor mirrors, and when I stepped on the scale, I made sure there was no one close by. I used to change into my gym clothes while still wearing my office shirt. I was carrying extra weight (a lot of it), I was embarrassed and worried that the fit and slim gym goers would think I did not deserve to be in the same room as them, and I did not want anyone to notice me until I reached my ideal weight.  I don’t know if this woman’s reasons are the same as mine but I’m willing to bet that they’re not that different.

It took more than a few trips to the gym before I peeled my eyes off the carpet. It could have been the constant cheerful greetings from the gym staff, or the small helpful gestures and encouraging words from fellow gym patrons, or the sense of pride that slowly swelled in me every time I stepped inside the gym, but one day, I looked up. Then I looked around me. Then I smiled at the lady struggling with the leg curl and later asked a beefed up stranger to teach me how to use the rowing machine. Then, I looked at a mirror and noticed the promising outlines of my biceps. I remember thinking, “Why didn’t I look up much earlier?”

I wasted a lot of time worrying about what others thought of me, when in fact my fellow gym users were too focused on themselves and their workouts to even notice me, much less judge me. Contrary to my fears, those who noticed were supportive and helpful to insecure beginners like me who had no clue how to use exercise machines or do squats properly and safely. Many of them were once overweight and beginners themselves. Not once did I encounter anyone who laughed at me, at least not openly. And, forget about being invisible – if you are the only one who goes around the gym obsessed with the parquet flooring or who changes into your sports wear while fully clothed in your business outfit, you will be noticed. 

Maple leaves by the roadside

Maple leaves by the roadside

I’m not saying you shouldn’t look down once in a while. You don’t want to trip while walking, do you? And sometimes you’d find art on your pavement.

 

 

 

 

 

But most of the time, all you see is asphalt, a gray brownish sidewalk, or just plain old dirt.

Pavement

Pavement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, when I run I’d rather see this:

Fishing boats

Fishing boats

Wouldn’t you? So, the next time you are feeling insecure and feel your head bowing down, look up. The view is usually so much better. And, more importantly, you (yes, you) deserve to be seen, to walk around with your head high, to be confident, because regardless of how you look, or how imperfect you feel, or how small you think you may be, you are not; you are awesome.

Look up.

The last days of autumn

Autumn never stays long enough and winter arrives too early; this year, winter arrived far too early. Over the past four weeks, I’ve watched the golden trees along my running path discard their red, gold and yellow leaves; I’ve suffered the autumn breeze turn into a blustering frosty wind; I’ve observed the migrating birds fly south.  Continue reading

Slowly but surely

turtle-152080_640A few weeks ago, I’ve had a pleasant surprise. As I was going through my journals, I discovered that I had lost between nine to ten kilograms (the number is still fluctuating) in the past six years. That’s about 1.67 kilograms a year. Of course, I was extremely ecstatic.  Continue reading

Kindness of strangers today

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First act of kindness
My hubby and I took our car for its biennial car inspection (shakken) this morning. At the testing center, I could not figure out where to get the forms we needed. Then, out of the blue, a guy wearing greasy overalls with the Nissan name and logo asked me what I was there for and, after I told him my purpose, asked to see my documents. He leafed through the documents, signaled for me to follow him and then led me to the building next door so I can pay the required fees first and get the necessary forms.

While I took my wallet out of my bag, the cashier asked him if I was a client. He shook his head and told her that he was just helping me out because I looked like someone who didn’t know what I was doing (true!). When the cashier told him that he was kind, he casually shrugged his shoulders and said that he just happened to have the time before the first round of inspections. Continue reading

Diabetes Blog Week: May 16: Diabetes Life Hack

Our Friday #DBlogWeek topic is one I find really fun – Diabetes Life Hacks.  Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes, everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel ofProbably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.) 

As a non-insulin injecting type 2 diabetic, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of tricks to share since my diabetes management is not all that complicated. Whatever few tricks I have, I hope some of you find them useful.

Exercise plays a major role in my diabetes management. Those who have read some of my posts will know that exercise plays a major role not just in my diabetes management but in my life and sanity in general. By running and keeping myself fit, I keep a lid on diabetes. Even then, I need motivation to peel myself off the couch. My tricks in this regard can be found in this post about motivating myself to run.

In addition, I have found the following to be valuable in dealing with diabetes: Continue reading