Diabetes – Know Its Common Facts

The human body is a sensitive structure as it is vulnerable to minor complications which might make it to succumb to serious health illnesses like diabetes. When the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body is unable to utilize the insulin produced by the pancreases, the body’s blood sugar increases rapidly thus increasing the risk of diabetes. Below are four diabetes facts that ought to be known and well understood.

Facts About Diabetes

 

Types of diabetes

Basically, there are two different types of diabetes and these are; the type 1 diabetes and the type 2 diabetes. The type 1 diabetes arises when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. This inhibits the release of insulin to the body thus causing a lot of sugar molecules to build up in blood.

On the other hand, the type 2 diabetes arises when the body fails to use the insulin that is produced by the pancreas thus leading to the buildup of sugar molecules in the blood stream. The type 1 diabetes is sudden and its symptoms can barely be detected whereas the symptoms of the type 2 diabetes are mild and easily noticeable.

Signs and Symptoms

Casualties of diabetes are likely to experience different signs and symptoms when they have this complication. However, the most common signs are:

  1. Increased food appetite
  2. Frequency in urination
  3. Fatigue and weight loss
  4. Blurred vision during daytime
  5. Slow-healing wounds
  6. Stomach ache which leads to frequent vomiting
  7. Feet and finger numbness

Treatment

There are very many vaccines that can be used to treat or reduce the pain that come as a result of diabetes. Recently, the FDA approved two main vaccines. These are: The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine and the Nanoparticle vaccine. The BCG vaccine helps in the reversal of type 1 diabetes. The Nanoparticle vaccine was first tested in mice and then later tasted in human beings and was confirmed to be effective. The chief advantage of the afore-mentioned vaccines is that they have been licensed and produced to stringent clinical standards. They are thus very safe and effective for use.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure and that is why medical experts advice everyone to use the following methods to prevent this undesirable illness. The methods include: Exercising on a regular and daily basis which will boost your insulin sensitivity thus keeping your blood sugar within the normal range. It is also advisable to have a balanced diet that contains plenty of fiber and whole grains. This will increase your blood sugar control.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious condition that can affect the entire body. It also reduces life expectancy and has significant impact on quality of life. Unfortunately, currently there is no cure for diabetes, however due to the technological development our society has endured, people with diabetes can today live an enjoyable life by learning how to manage the condition.

diabetes doctorIf you are diagnosed with diabetes that means that your body is unable to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. The main source of energy in our bodies comes from glucose which is a form of sugar. By having an unhealthy level of glucose in your blood, there is a chance for you to develop short-term and long-term complications.
For our bodies to be healthy we need to convert glucose from food into energy. This is where a hormone called insulin comes into play, insulin is vital for the conversion of glucose into energy. If you have diabetes then insulin is not produced sufficiently by the body. What this means is that if a person with diabetes eats food that has glucose in it, it can’t be converted into energy.
Instead of converting to energy, glucose stays in the blood, hence the high blood glucose level. Blood glucose level can be managed through self-care and treatment.

There are three main things you need to know about diabetes:- There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes

  • There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes
  • There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes
  • All types of diabetes are complex
  • All types of diabetes are complex- Anyone can develop diabetes
  • Anyone can develop diabetes

Diabetes can be very dangerous, it can cause potential complications such as heart attack, stroke, limb amputation, depression, kidney disease, anxiety and blindness. This is what we know about diabetes so far:- It’s the leading cause of blindness in working age adults

  • It’s the leading cause of blindness in working age adults- It’s a major cause of limb amputations
  • It’s a major cause of limb amputations
  • It’s a major cause of limb amputations
  • It’s a leading cause of kidney failure and dialysis- Affects mental health as well as physical health
  • Affects mental health as well as physical health- It increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to 4 times
  • It increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to 4 times

All types of diabetes are increasing, type 1 diabetes accounts for 10% of all diabetes, type 2 accounts for 85% of all diabetes. Type 2 is increasing the fastest, there are a lot of people who have type 2 diabetes that is damaging their body, unfortunately they are not unaware. One of the major consequences of the obesity epidemic is type 2 diabetes. There is a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in Chinese, South Asian, and Indian.
In type 1 diabetes, symptoms are often fast and life-threatening, subsequently it is diagnosed a lot faster. Type 2 basically has no symptoms at all. Common symptoms include passing more urine, always feeling hungry, blurred vision, mood swings, feeling dizzy, being more thirsty than usual, headaches, etc.

Living With Diabetes: Defeat the Devil Without Getting Depressed

Our growing love for fast food, avid interest in idiot box more than outdoors, stress and tension have led to a sudden surge in the number of diabetics across the globe. Uncontrolled sugar levels can damage kidneys, cause diabetic retinopathy, or even result in gangrene that may even require amputation of a body part. That is why diabetes is also called a “silent killer.”

This makes it really important for an individual to learn the tricks of living with diabetes and also to find ways to control it.

Diabetes is of mainly two kinds – Type I & Type II. Additionally, gestational diabetes may develop in pregnant ladies. So if you too have been diagnosed with this disease, then here is a 5-step guide that will make it easier for you to live with diabetes:

* Early Detection Offers Maximum Protection – Living with diabetes becomes much simpler if you are able to detect this problem early.

Some of the common symptoms observed in patients suffering from diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, sudden weight loss even without diet or exercise, tingling sensation in hands and feet, itchy skin, and excessive tiredness.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, get your blood sugar levels checked without any delay.

* Acceptance is the Key to Success: It is usually observed that the patients detected with diabetes are usually in a denial mode. Acceptance of the fact that you are suffering from the problem is half the battle won.

* Proper Care Will Scare the Diabetes Monster: Once the patient is diagnosed with diabetes, he needs to get his blood sugar level checked regularly and also take medicines as per doctor’s prescription to control diabetes.

* Right Food, Regular Exercise Will Fill Your Life With Smiles: If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to stick to a strict diet and follow a regular exercise schedule. American Diabetes Association (ADA) website suggests that by consuming the right kind of food, you can control your blood sugar level and, in fact, reverse diabetes.

Stop Diabetes and prevention

Obesity is one of the major causes of diabetes. Therefore, besides right food, regular cardiovascular exercises will enable you to burn fat and calories, helping you reach ideal blood sugar levels.

* Bid Adieu to Smoking and Drinking: Alcohol is nothing but fermented fruit juice, which can instantly cause your blood sugar level to shoot up. So if you are looking for healthy ways of living with diabetes, then getting rid of smoking and boozing habits should be on the top of your priority list.

Remember, if you want to control diabetes, you must first learn to control your urges and have a firm grip on your mind.

Living with diabetes is not a child’s play, but by following the tips mentioned in this article, you can surely lead a healthy life without having to feel that you are sitting on a ticking time bomb.

Truth About The Cure for Diabetes: It’s is Not a Blood Sugar Disease

In order to properly cure a disease, we need to fully understand its cause. Recent studies that aim to dig deeper in the roots of Diabetes Type 2 concludes that it is not a blood sugar disease, and appropriate solutions should be done in order to fully cure a Diabetes Type 2 patient.

Traditionally, type 2 diabetes or insulin-resistant diabetes, has been regarded as a blood sugar disease with conventional medicine focusing treatments on blood sugar levels. Emerging research has now demonstrated that blood sugar imbalance is simply a symptom of diabetes, not the underlying cause.

high blood sugar diabetes

Diabetes is a disease of cellular miscommunication and faulty insulin and leptin signaling. According to Dr. Ron Rosedale, nationally recognized expert on nutritional and metabolic medicine, “Efficient communication between cells determines our health and this communication takes place by hormones.” Poor nutrition and exposure to environmental toxins create cellular inflammation, and this toxicity in the body causes cell membranes to become inflamed, leading to a disruption in the communication within and in between cells.

Cellular miscommunication desensitizes hormone receptors within the cell, affecting the cell’s ability to respond to hormones. Insulin, a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas, has many functions in the body, one of which is moderating blood sugar levels and directing sugar from the blood into the cells where it is metabolized for energy. A diet high in sugars creates spiked levels of insulin in the body as the pancreas responds to elevated glucose and insulin signaling is ignored by desensitized hormone receptors.

Glucose remains in the blood while the pancreas attempts to lower blood sugar by producing a second wave of insulin. Repeated insulin raises and cellular inflammation leads to insulin resistance, which then leads to insulin-resistant diabetes. Leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells, regulates hunger signals and induces the body to burn fat, instead of sugar, for energy.
Diabetes and Leptin Resistance High blood sugar causes sugar to be metabolized in fat cells leading to rising leptin levels. Like insulin, if these cells are not able to hear leptin signals because of cellular miscommunication, continual surges of leptin are produced, leading to leptin resistance. The brain perceives leptin resistance as low levels of leptin in the body, causing hunger signals to continue even after a full meal.

The body then begins to store fat instead of burning it, and leptin resistance affects the liver and other organs’ capacity to metabolize sugar, which in turn affects insulin levels, leading to insulin resistance.

Understanding the true cause of diabetes, a new wave of doctors are curing diabetes in patients using nutrition and detoxification protocols designed to remove inflammation at the cellular level and facilitate insulin and leptin signaling. By giving patients a nutritional overhaul and opening up elimination pathways, cells begin to heal and function as they were designed to. Hormone receptors become sensitive again and can receive insulin and leptin messages.

The Right Diet to Cure Diabetes

diabetesThe appropriate diet to reversing diabetes, therefore, consists of three main goals. First, lowering insulin by eliminating all foods that convert to sugar in the body, such as refined carbohydrates, starches, processed sugars, and grains. Second, removing foods that cause cellular inflammation, such as excitotoxins (like msg and aspartame, found in most processed foods), rancid vegetable oils like margarine, pasteurized dairy and meat from animals raised on industrialized feed lots, treated with hormones and antibiotics.

Exchanging these foods for healthy alternatives like fresh, unprocessed foods, raw dairy products and grass-fed animal meats, ensures nutrition while eliminating toxic by-products. Third, increasing healthy fat consumption like oily fish, nuts, avocados and olive oil, to balance leptin levels.

A further detoxification may be necessary to help remove any cellular inflammation that is left in the cell membrane caused by exposure to environmental toxins, such as neurotoxins found in chemical house-hold cleaners, heavy metal toxicity from sources such as mercury amalgams, and bio toxins, such as molds commonly found in homes.

It’s severity may often be because of our traditional way of looking at it, being a blood sugar-related disease. Now that you know the truth about Diabetes cure, you will have more options when it comes to improving your health by targeting the main cause of Diabetes and going beyond a blood sugar regulating diet.

The Correct Meal Plan To Control Diabetes

diabetes food readingIn some individuals, the body fails to convert the given glucose into energy. This condition is referred to as diabetes. Insulin- a hormone, is employed for changing glucose into energy. Folks suffering from diabetes either have inadequate amounts of insulin in the body or their body is not able to utilize the given insulin properly.

There are a few symptoms that indicate the presence of diabetes. A few of these symptoms include increase in appetite, dry skin, vision issues, breathing infections, weakness and fatigue, extreme urination and several others.

Diet can play an important role in keeping diabetes under check. The purpose of a diabetes diet is to provide you all these essential nutrients and also create a balanced sugar level in the body. There are several factors that you should consider when deciding a diabetes diet. A few of these factors include your age, sex, height, weight and the quantity of physical activity. Also, you may adjust your diet in accordance with your insulin treatments. If you are dealing with other problems such as high cholesterol or blood pressure, make sure that your diet does not aggravate these problems.issues.

At the start of your day, you can have warm water and a glass of fresh lemon juice. Your breakfast can include fresh fruits, for example oranges, pineapples, guavas and pomegranates. You can also take bread with butter and fresh milk in the breakfast.

Go in for green leafy vegetables for lunch as they have a high nutrient price. Ensure that you steam these vegetables and not use unhealthy cooking strategies such as deep frying. You can eat celery, brinjal, cabbage, asparagus, spinach and so on. Opt for unprocessed wheat breads for lunch. You could also include curd or buttermilk in your diet as it aids in digestion.

Main symptoms of diabetes in the bodyA salad made of fresh vegetables and cottage cheese can make for a pleasant meal for dinner. If you still feel hungry, you can have a tumbler of milk along with a light snack.

One food that proves to be extremely beneficial for diabetics is bitter gourd. This vegetable comprises of plant insulin that lowers your blood sugar levels. If you can not eat the plant, attempt to drink bitter gourd juice in between meals.

You should avoid several food items, including white flour products, whole grains, soya bread, unpolished rice, sugar, sweets, chocolates, pastries, pies, puddings, refined cereals and tinned fruits and vegetables. Additionally, you should not have tea, coffee and cocoa because they will be able to affect the gut. Diabetics should also refrain from alcohol.

With eating healthy, you also need to change your cooking techniques a little . You shouldn’t fry food items but instead bake, boil, cook or saut them. You need to also steam or microwave fresh vegetables before eating them. Among the non-vegetarian food items, you must eat more of low fat turkey and fish and less of high-fat red meat. You should reduce the intake of condiments, for example ketchup, mustard and salad dressing as they can also contain sugar. Also, you should rinse processed food in water before eating.

Today I’m Thankful for Contrast in My Life

Today is a time for me to acknowledge all the things I am thankful for in my life. And even though that might sound like an easy task—after all, I live in the most prosperous country in the world and I have a roof over my head and food in my kitchen—it’s actually not that easy when you get right down to it. I believe it is hard for me to adequately express thankfulness on a day-to-day basis because my normal life is filled with so much abundance. In order to feel really good about something, usually I need to feel bad about it first. After all, experiencing joy in life is all relative, isn’t it?

Einstein Was Pretty Smart

I’m not talking about Einstein’s theory of relativity here though, I’m talking about those times in my life where what I lived through was so unwanted that anything else would make me feel grateful. Being thankful…for me anyway…requires contrast. You have to have a few rainy days to better appreciate the sunshine. So from all the experiences I’ve been through in my lifetime, here are a few that offer the most contrast, and allow me to quantify my gratitude.

Hunger is no game

Last week, I experienced one of the joys of turning 50 when I got a specific test done to make sure my digestive system was not in danger of developing cancer (okay…it was a colonoscopy…which is just awful, BTW.) As my son told me, “I’ll be honest, my burning interest in medical nanotechnology has nothing to do with a half-baked dream of living forever, it’s entirely motivated by my desire to never have to get a colonoscopy.” Part of getting ready for that test was to be on a liquid diet for 24 hours. I had to go to Kroger for a few items and it hit me as I walked through the store with my stomach growling that day…rarely do I know what it feels like to be hungry! Today I am thankful for plenty of good, nutritious food, and also the financial means to make a donation to the Mid-South Food Bank.

Is it time for Wheel of Fortune yet?

Caitlin went through 3 surgeries and months of halo traction to correct severe scoliosis

My daughter is by my side today…happy, healthy and ready to go see Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2! Most days I tend to overlook what a blessing it is to have this angelic girl with me. Every day we get up, rush around to get to school or work, then come home and eat dinner and chill out until bedtime. Those normal days are filled with such amazing moments of ordinary that I don’t remember to feel gratitude for them. So let me contrast that with the long hard days she had in Shriners Hospital for Children St. Louis undergoing back surgery for scoliosis back in 2003. For 4 months she lived at the hospital and endured so much. Those weary hospital days from years past help me to appreciate the so-called normal days of today even more.

Hurricane Sandy type days with no electricity

Every day I get to charge up my iPhone, turn on hot water, brew coffee, watch TV, wash clothes, etc. The list is endless all because I have electricity! But I don’t even give it a second thought until it’s gone. I’m guilty of taking electricity for granted. Storm moving in? And the big game is on? It better NOT take the power out! Personally, I don’t see how the people in NJ and New York have handled the post Sandy aftermath as well as they have. Living with no electricity is seriously depressing. (I hope they all get back to normal soon.) So today, I am very thankful to have mine up and running. Thanks, MLGW!

Coming out of the political closet

Voting Day 2008

It’s been two weeks since the presidential election and I am thankful that the country has shifted the debate about politics to other topics…like Thanksgiving dinner. But those last few weeks of the campaign really took its toll on me because I’m very empathic (which means I pick up on the feelings and emotions of other people like they are my own). The harsh words and divisive comments from both sides were hard for me to bear. To make matters more awkward, probably 99% of my close friends and acquaintances voted for the other candidate. Believe me, it was a really tough decision to make. In fact, Romney basically had me at “Hello” in the first debate…but lost me at “voucher”.  My daughter receives SSI (Supplemental Security Income Disability). If that program shifted to the state of Tennessee (where over 7,000 disabled Tennesseans are on a waiting list to get support services) we would never see financial help again. And to be perfectly honest, we need that help. So today I am thankful for the friends and family that still love me even though I voted…okay I’ll say it out loud…Democratic. That’s right. I voted for President Obama in the general election earlier this month. (Please don’t hate me!)

It’s the most amazing iPhone yet

He looks good for just waking up!

For the past seven months, my son has been living in Osaka, Japan as he continues to work on his graduate degree in International Business. That puts him about 6,816 miles from home! Of course, Caitlin and I miss him because he is so far away. The time difference itself (+15 hours…so if it’s 7am here, it’s 10pm in Osaka) is huge. But contrast that distance with the feeling  of closeness we get to have with him when we FaceTime with him on the iPhone. We called him yesterday to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving (even though they don’t celebrate it over there) and he could have been in the next room! I’m thankful for my son…and technology that keeps him close even when he is far, far away!

You can get too much of a good thing

Yes, it is possible to lose heartfelt feelings of gratitude in the midst of so much abundance. But when we recall a time or two when things were more difficult, we can make today a fantastic celebration of all the blessings that fill our lives. As Victor Hugo so eloquently stated,

Sublime upon sublime scarcely presents a contrast, and we need a little rest from everything, even the beautiful.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 10 Spiritual Lessons from the London Summer Olympics

The London Summer Olympics are officially over. No more NBC tape delays. No more ill-timed WWII historical documentaries. No more inexplicable Ryan Seacrest sightings. And…most regrettably…no more daily doses of dreams-really-do-come-true stories from athletes around the world. I find myself feeling a bit sad and somewhat lost. Who is going to inspire me on a daily basis now?

Although it’s been a while since an athlete with Type 1 diabetes battled for gold. (Remember swimmer Gary Hall, Jr. who won 10 Olympic medals, including five gold medals, three silver medals, and two bronze medals? He was just inducted into the U.S. Olympics Hall of Fame this year.) There were many other 2012 Olympic athletes who touched my heart and taught me a faith lesson or two. Here are my top 10 spiritually thought-provoking athletes from the 2012 Summer Olympics:

1.       Jordyn Weiber – God doesn’t pick favorites

2012 National Team (Photo credit: USA Gymnastics)

It was gut-wrenching to watch Jordyn’s reaction to the knowledge that she would not compete in the All-Around Gold Medal competition. The IOC rules seemed so unfair. How could God let her dream fade away in front of millions of people? But the real truth is this…God doesn’t favor the outcome of any one competitor over the other. For every tear she cried in London, there were many girls still at home crying buckets of tears because they didn’t make the Fab 5 gymnastics team. Sometimes…life just doesn’t seem fair…but you have to go on anyway.

2. Ali Raisman – Always be ready to shine your own light

Fourth place. That’s what she got in the All-Around competition, and then again in the Beam competition. Or so it seemed until she won the tiebreaker and received the Beam bronze medal instead. I loved watching her coach file a protest with only seconds to spare. The whole time this craziness is going on, Katy Perry’s “Firework” is playing in the background. Ali had to step up moments later and deliver the floor routine of her lifetime. Do you think the lyrics inspired her gold medal high-flying performance on the floor exercise?

“You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine

Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause baby, you’re a firework

Come on, show ‘em what you’re worth

Make ‘em go, oh oh oh

As you shoot across the sky”

3. Allyson Felix – Having faith means never stop believing

First, there really needs to be a Morgan-Freeman-Tells-The-Story-Of-Your-Life app available on iTunes. (There’s not because I looked.) It was only from the Visa ad that I learned Allyson missed winning an individual gold medal in the 200M race to Veronica Campbell twice—in 2004 and 2008. Just hundredth’s of a second separated her each time from Campbell. How did she find the faith in herself to go through all those grueling days of training, Olympic trials, then the heats to get to the finals one more time in 2012? I guess she just never stopped believing, which is really what faith is all about.

4. Oscar Pistorius – Spirit is stronger than the physical body

Oscar Pistorius makes history (Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

Here is a man born with no legs who goes on to not only compete in the Olympics…but makes it to the semi-finals in the individual 400M competition and anchor the relay team in the same distance. No fibula from birth and he goes on to achieve an [almost] impossible dream. If that doesn’t illustrate the verse, “with God all things are possible” I don’t know what does.

5. Sanya Richards-Ross – Letting go is the key

I loved Sanya’s story because it perfectly illustrates a spiritual truth that I struggle with daily—letting go. When she ran her 400m race in 2008, she started too fast and fell behind in the final straight to end up with the bronze medal. This time a lot of her training had to do with her mind. She knew that even if it looked like she was behind, if she ran her race in the flow, she would have that boost of power when she needed it most. That’s kind of like life. I’m always trying to do things on my own power, fearful that I won’t be able to complete the race. All I really need to do is relax…run at my own perfect pace…and let the Holy Spirit give me the extra boost of supernatural power when I need it most.

6. Sarah Robles – Spiritual wealth is not a stipend

I don’t know much about this weight lifter competitor, other than the fact that she almost broke my heart when she said she lived off a $400 stipend and sometimes had to eat canned beans and less than healthy food for training because that is all she could afford. Fortunately, the little bit of publicity she gained from the Olympics spotlight has helped her find a sponsor. She may not have a fat bank account, but she has a heart of pure gold.

7. Mo Farah – Cost of being a champion is high

Mo Farah makes history at the Olympic Stadium (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)

This long distance runner has a smile and an inner light that could illuminate the entire Olympic stadium. When he was running the last few seconds of the 5,000M race, I was jumping and screaming with the rest of the crowd. I know he gave up a lot to reach that moment—moving to Oregon and choosing to only “eat, sleep and run.” Sometimes being the leader…whether it’s in front of a group of world class distance runners, your country, or even your cubicle at work…requires sacrifice. No one ever said the journey would be easy.

8. Michael Phelps – The last will be first

When Michael Phelps finished fourth in that first race he may as well have come in last. I immediately jumped on the Ryan Lochte bandwagon and believed the hype (did you see Lochte rolling giant tires?) But Phelps came back strong with his superior talents and made Olympic history. What I learned from him is that it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish. And wow, did he finish strong.

9. David Boudia – Grace means getting to start over

10-meter platform diving. First, I have no idea how anyone gets the courage to jump off that platform, much less do intricate, twisting maneuvers (sometimes begun by doing a handstand on the edge of the platform)! I was amazed by all of the divers’ courage. But Boudia exemplified an even bigger spiritual truth. Through God’s grace, we all get to start with a clean slate. Boudia was 18th after the first round of diving…barely even made it to the semi-finals. But in diving, previous scores don’t carry over. You start fresh. And with that new beginning, he went on to dramatically win the gold medal. “You can get really overwhelmed with a lot of different things,” Boudia said. “Knowing that I’m not in control of what happens has been just so peaceful and content in my heart.”

10. Gabby Douglas – Listen to the children

After all was said and done…my very favorite faith lesson moment from the Olympics happened after Gabby Douglas won the gold medal in the All-Around competition. With the entire world looking on, she took that moment in time to praise God when she said, “God has given me this awesome talent to represent Him. Glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on us.” What a profound and inspirational witness she gave in two short sentences. I guess teenagers really do know everything.

The world loves to be inspired. Inspiration can be defined literally as breathing in. Could the Holy Spirit be connected to the word inspiration? The ancient Hebrew and Greek words for spirit were the root word that meant breath. In other words, our spirit (or life) is sustained by breathing or inspiration.

In the same sense, the ideas and motivations stimulated within our mind can be in a sense breathed in…inspirational thoughts just happen. They are a by-product resulting from our very own life force (or spirit). In my mind, inspiration and Spirit are one in the same. When we are inspired it’s like the Holy Spirit tugging on our hearts saying yes…you can achieve great things or overcome great obstacles in your own life, too. Let me help you.

I will miss the Olympics…and the athletes…and their stories. But most of all, I will miss breathing in that daily dose of connection to a world of possibilities. If I learned anything from London, it’s not to wait around four years to make something happen. I have the power to begin today. Thank you Olympic athletes…may the next four years shine brightly on all of you.

Should 50 be the new 50?

I started yesterday morning with that wonderful force of internet nature known as a Facebook birthday. You know what it’s like…Whether you spend much time on Facebook or not, when it’s your birthday multitudes of people post happy birthday wishes on your wall. It was an especially sweet day for me because I, for one, love being recognized on my birthday. (Not everyone feels that way, of course.) I noticed one message in particular that offered me encouragement for my 50th birthday milestone by saying, “Remember, 50 is the new 30!” Which got me thinking…do I really want to feel like I am 30 again?

My thirties didn’t really do me a whole lot of favors when it came to hair styles, marriage, or career development. Quite frankly, I am extremely happy that I actually survived my thirties without completely losing myself. The one final straw that helped me make the decision to seek a divorce occurred when my psychologist diagnosed me with Situational Depression. My failing marriage was sending me straight to a regimen of anti-depressants just to function. After watching my own mom suffer so many years with Clinical Depression, I knew right then I would not sacrifice my mental health for anyone. My kids needed a mom with her mental abilities intact.

As a result of that experience, I personally never want to be 30 again. To be fair, I will happily accept compliments from anyone who says, “Wow, I never would have guessed you to be 50!” (True confession. I believe that a little bit of vanity keeps you honest.) I really don’t mind entering my next decade of life. So let me go out on a limb here and promote a new thought for everyone passing the half century mark along with me…

Let’s make 50 the new 50!

I think it’s time to embrace everything that is good about turning 50. I am excited to start a new decade of growth while at the same time having enough life experience behind me to make the journey go more smoothly. (Although I fully believe there are no wrong turns on one’s Divine Path, there sure can be a lot of detours!) At 50, I’ve learned enough life lessons to keep me from making huge mistakes. And, I finally understand that being my true authentic self cuts through the white noise of the world. People who want to know the real me will be drawn to me…but if I constantly keep putting up false images or notions of what I think I should be, I won’t attract the best circumstances into my life. Now that I know all of that, I am ready to get started! I don’t want to waste a minute of the next ten years because there are so many things I want to accomplish. So with that in mind, I decided to go to my future self for a little advice.

A letter from my future 60-year old self

Dear Fabulous 50 Janet~

Visit notsalmon.com for more fabulous posters like this one!

You just celebrated your 50th birthday so it’s the perfect time for you to hear a few words of advice from “Janet circa 2022″. First, continue to lead a healthy lifestyle because it works! Keep the commitment to regular strength training and cardio workouts because I like looking strong, slim and toned at 60. You must use weights! (By the way, I’m proud of you for taking care of those nagging bunions back in 2011, because I am still wearing high heels and skirts!)

Don’t delay on getting started on that book you keep talking about! For every fear you faced in your forties, it’s now your time to share what you learned with others. Remember, there are 7 billion people in the world and none of them can accurately read your mind. You need to write those thoughts of yours down! Over the next decade, you will continue the soul journey of discovering your authentic self. As you get closer to God and Higher Self Janet (or HJ as you like to call her) you’ll experience sanctifying grace, so it’s important to share what that means with others. Listening to your heart and encouraging others to do the same is what your life is all about. Do not delay getting started. (Yes, you will still face a daily battle with procrastination. Don’t let it take away your productivity.)

Finally, know that God loves you so much! And He and a multitude of heavenly angels are pulling for you to succeed. Just remember to choose love at every possible turn and the next 10 years are going to be fantastic…just like you are today. So get started with the next decade girl…it’s your time to shine!

Hugs to you!

Sensational 60 Janet

The Top 5 Lessons I Learned in my First 5 Decades of Life

Riding solo during the early years

June 27, 1962. It’s been almost 50 years since I entered this world and started my soul’s journey. I’ve spent a lot of time lately reflecting on the people, places and things that have shaped my life. I realize that for me, life is like a cosmic playground of sorts. Every day I am getting the chance to learn something about myself and my role in God’s great big universe. I wish all the things I had learned over the years were wrapped up in pretty packages with happy endings…but that’s not how life usually works. Whether I like it or not, I believe that life is meant to teach my soul a lesson or two. How I learn those lessons…and more importantly, how I put that knowledge into action for my divine purpose…is what determines the level of joy in my life. So with my big birthday coming up on Wednesday, here are the top 5 lessons life has taught me so far.

Lesson 1 – (age 0-9) – When the world is scary turn to God

My childhood was not easy. In fact, for the better part of my first decade, life was hell on earth. I had two parents that were unable to cope with the demands of living in the real world so they escaped it by alcohol abuse (Dad) or mental illness (Mom). That left me out on my own to figure out to deal with constant fear. In those early years, I found Jesus…or rather, He found me. Somehow the recording that started looping in my brain at a very young age included Him. As I hid under my covers and said prayers, I would always say, “I hate the devil. I love God. And I know that God is with me.” Thank GodliterallyI could count on Him. At that point in my life, there truly was no one else to turn to.

Lesson 2 – (age 10-19) – The best moments in life come after the greatest disappointments

Mom, Dad, and my sister, Jennifer in April 1982

My teenage years were better as far as my home life. Dad went on the wagon and Mom…well, she did pretty well while she took her medicine. Both of them worked diligently (they demonstrated to me what a good work ethic looks like). But even in the best of circumstances, the second decade of life is filled with emotional land mines. Boys didn’t like me (never went on a single date in high school). I developed Type 1 diabetes at the age of 16. Instead of worrying about getting a driver’s license, I had to figure out how to manage a complicated, chronic condition that further set me apart from the crowd. To top it off, I didn’t make majorettes at the University of Georgia either. All of those things were pretty devastating. But I soon learned at college, that smart, hard-working and dependable actually gets you somewhere. For all of the times I felt like a loser in high school, I definitely turned it around in college. Being named UGA’s Outstanding Junior Woman…making the majorette line…becoming a member of Mortar Board…being named a finalist for Miss Greek Week…earning the office of Chapter President for my sorority. All those moments were standouts because I knew exactly how the other end of the spectrum felt.

Lesson 3 – (age 20-29) – Perfection is unattainable (and unnecessary)

4 generations of women–only the dalmation cutie has complete confidence

My 20’s were one big blur of living the life I thought was expected of me. Instead of moving away from home after college and living off macaroni and cheese with roommates, I instead moved back into my old bedroom at my parents’ home, found a job and bought a car I couldn’t really afford on a $12,000 a year salary. With the first serious relationship I had (which also happened to be long distance, and a short six months in length) I slid into marriage. Almost immediately I knew things didn’t feel right, but my thoughts were along the lines of “what would people think?” instead of “how do I get myself out of here?”  Before I knew it, I had two children and my mothering instinct kicked in. I had to stay. It didn’t help that my daughter battled meningitis at seven weeks of age and put us on the roller coaster of raising a child with developmental delay. And then at age 3 or 4, we knew she would never catch up. The image of a perfect family was just that…an image. More like a shaky house of cards built on broken promises. My life was not perfect…even though I went to church, took care of my kids and tried to figure out how much pain I was supposed to endure after saying “I do.” It was only upon looking at the world through the eyes of my special needs daughter that I was able to finally see that perfection is made up of what other people call deficiencies…that being whole is a sum of jagged parts that come together beautifully to create a body of love that no one could fathom. Caitlin’s IQ may be in the intellectually disabled range…but her ability to teach people about love is off the charts. She taught me to find beauty in brokenness.

Lesson 4 – (age 30-39) – Delaying a difficult decision doesn’t make it any easier

In my 30’s, thoughts of escaping from my marriage surrounded me constantly. Fear reared its ugly head every time I considered the possibility of divorce. How would I make it financially? How could I take care of the kids and work outside the home? Plus, the thought of breaking the news to my kids made me feel physically sick. For every part that Caitlin would not be able to understand, my highly intelligent and emotionally internalizing son would feel them tenfold. I might as well have taken a hammer and hit him over the head if I decided to affect his life like that. I just couldn’t stomach the thought…so I didn’t. I procrastinated. I waited almost ten years and countless anguishing nights before I finally decided to say it was over. The meeting at the kitchen table to tell the kids the news of the divorce seared my heart like a branding iron. But just as open wounds heal; things eventually started to become a new normal…Life did go on.

Lesson 5 – (age 40-49) – God’s unconditional love for all includes me, too

You would think my 40’s would have been a piece of cake (no diabetes pun intended), but there was a nagging life lesson I refused to learn…Somehow I had made it to my fifth decade of life never fully believing that God loves everyone, warts and all, including me. Sure, I believed it for other people. I could encourage others to not give up…to feel His love…to know they were not alone. But deep down, that good news was for other people, not me.  I kept dating the same type of guy, never finding fulfillment or completion with any of them. About two years ago, when my last relationship ended I finally sat down and took a good hard look at myself and recognized that I was holding on to a deeply rooted sense of insecurity regarding my own self worth. Maybe it stemmed from the fact that I had a difficult start in life…but I rather believe that it was a soul lesson God wanted me to learn all along, and the circumstances were set up in my favor so that I finally could learn this lesson. So I got serious about learning this valuable lesson. I’ve been on a soul discovery journey for the past two years and I feel great. Yes, God loves me just the way I am. And I believe that all He wants from me is to recognize that I am worthy of His love…because of grace.

It’s funny how grace came up as the one word to sum up my 5 decades of life lessons. Caitlin likes to talk to her imaginary friends from pictures on the computer. (Personally, I think she is talking to her angels in the form of Avatar or Hunger Games characters.) The day before yesterday…out of the blue…she told me about her new friend that she named “Grace”. I knew that it was a message for me. (When Caitlin comes up with stuff like that…I just sit back and listen. The girl has a stronger connection to the Spiritual world than I ever will.) We all need grace. And luckily, when we live our lives expectantly, trying to understand the lessons being taught…that’s exactly what God gives us…grace.

Listening for angels–even on the radio

Ben’s question really made me think

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post inspired by Ben Breedlove, the young man who passed away on Christmas night 2011 after suffering his 4th heart attack due to a condition called HCM. As you may recall, Ben’s heartbreaking story captured the nation because of its uniquely poignant yet hopeful message. You see, even as Ben faced the grim reality of his condition…he made it a point to share the message of God’s love and urged us to take a stand about what we believe when he asked one simple question: Do you believe in Angels or God?

His answer was, “I do.” And so was mine…at least the part about believing in God. But as an active Methodist, I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to believe in angels! As silly as that may sound, Methodists as a whole are pretty conservative bunch of worshippers (don’t dare clap after an inspiring choral anthem…because it’s not polite to clap in church). Even though the iconic Baptist minister Billy Graham wrote an entire book about angels, a lot of people I know think you are getting outside the confines of “normal/acceptable religious” teachings if you start talking about angels. But Ben’s gripping question gave me the freedom to answer back…Yes, I do believe in angels, Ben!

Learning about angels

Billy Graham’s book about angels is a good resource

So over the past few months, I’ve studied up on angels. A few personal clarifications…no, I don’t pray to angels. I still take my prayerful requests directly to God. But, I do ask my angels for their help, and also ask them to deliver clear messages that I can immediately understand. (It’s much nicer knowing I’m not making stuff up.) My belief is that God created an infinite universe of love and assistance and He wants me to take advantage of everything available to accomplish the purpose He created my soul for in the first place…And that reason is to do the job that only I can do(aka the Divine Plan for my life).

It didn’t take me long to figure out that it is much easier to know when the angels are trying to get my attention by specifically asking them to give me a clear, irrefutable sign that I am going down the right path, or am having truthful thoughts about a certain thing. And wow, let me tell you…the angels really come through! Today’s angel story took place a while back as I was driving into work one morning and had an inspiration for the book I want to write. Well, I felt divinely inspired by those thoughts so I asked God, still driving to work at this point, if He would send a message from my angels that I COULD NOT MISTAKE. (I know I may have been a little demanding, but I really wanted to hear a message from my angels that couldn’t be passed off as a mere coincidence.)

Ask for a sign…and you will receive one!

Immediately, a song came on the radio station I was listening to–K-Love, a Christian music station–that my daughter, Caitlin, had recently downloaded. The song was called “White Flag” by Chris Tomlin and she had been listening to it over and over (and over) again on iTunes. In fact, she had exactly 2 songs that she liked and had downloaded–that song and a much older song called “Move” by Mercy Me. Well, I perked up in my car because I thought, “Wow, that was pretty good timing God…to play one of Caitlin’s very favorite songs right after I made the request for a message.” But, in the back of my mind, I still felt like that could have been a coincidence…

Always ready for music–sweet Caitlin

Remember how I said she had two songs? Well, after White Flag ended, the DJ came on and started talking…He was giving the intro to the next song he was going to play, and I could hear part of the song in the background and I could have sworn it was the “Move” song…That started getting me really excited. As the DJ continued to talk, I heard him say that he had a special request for the next song from a young girl listening that morning. “She wants to hear ‘Move’ by Mercy Me…and young lady, will you tell me your name?”

Do you want to guess the name of this random caller from radio land who requested the second of only two songs my daughter was currently listening to?? Yep, her name was Caitlin!!  I was so excited. I couldn’t believe how direct the message was from my angels! (By the way, I said “thank you” and took that as confirmation that I am on the right track for my book. )

Angels are always listening

If you’ve never thought about your angels before, I encourage you to acknowledge the fact that yes…you do have guardian angels with you all the time. They love you and want to help you. If God is the General of Love for the universe, then the angels are His foot soldiers. They want to love and support each and every one of us while we are out here in the trenches of life. And when you experience a divinely inspired moment as a result of one of the angel’s messages from God, you will want to feel it again. That’s what happened to me. Next post I will share another real life angel story that brought tears of happiness to my eyes. Until then…may your angels protect you and keep you close. Blessings to you!