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Dawn Phenomenon

You read the title right. In this episode, I break down what causes dawn phenomenon and different ways I try to keep my blood sugar stable throughout the night. As a new CGM owner, I don’t want my alarm going off right when I need to get sleep. Because as you know EVERYTHING can impact your blood sugar.

KEY POINTS

  1. Let’s break it down: What is Dawn Phenomenon?
  2. My personal experience
  3. How to adjust for stable numbers

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Healing in Hindsight™ is managed by host

Taylor Daniele™ and Produced by We Are 8 Studios

Transcript
Taylor:

What's up everybody.

Taylor:

Welcome back to another episode of healing.

Taylor:

In hindsight, your no BS source for thriving with diabetes.

Taylor:

It's me again, Taylor.

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Daniele, I hope you guys are having a good day.

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I am , feeling kind of moody.

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That's why I have this, this lip going.

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I know it's like spring, but I tend to, I don't really follow seasonal trends.

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I'm definitely the person who aware, boots in the summer.

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I know that there were particular colors for fall and spring, but I

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tend to wear fall colors year round, fall, winter colors year anyways.

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I know I'm not the only person, but , yeah, I, so today's episode is it's funny.

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Cause I liked the title because it's kind of, it's similar, like a dirty

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joke, but that's not your thing.

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Sorry, not really.

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Sorry.

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It's funny to me.

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But I think it's something that is going to be, kind of interesting

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for , non-diabetic friends.

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I know definitely diabetic friends and I know the men kind of get it cause you

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don't really ask for this to happen.

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I don't think , and that's talking about high blood sugar numbers in the

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mornings, which is called dawn phenomenon.

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Or as I like to call it diabetic morning wood know.

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What can I say, I'm, I'm corny, but you know, it's a thing, it's a thing.

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And when I got my CGM, I actually started really noticing when it happened, because

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I would start to have alarms and there's technically two different types of, ways

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that you can end up with higher numbers in the mornings, but I'll get into that.

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But I really don't want to talk about, what it is.

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Why it happens and how we can kind of get a handle on it, or at least what

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I've been doing to try and, ease my spirits whenever I get up in the morning.

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And I check my numbers because it's a little defeating when you're trying to be

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in range and you wake up and you have not eaten a thing and your numbers are crazy.

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So let's get into it.

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all right.

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So diabetic morning would let's.

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Talk about it.

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It's, it's such an interesting thing.

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You, you are diagnosed with this and I don't feel like I really would have

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understood this , until I got my CGM, like I knew it was happening, but I really

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just thought it was something I was doing.

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Wrong.

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I really thought that I was just, not doing well.

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There were some mornings where I did have good numbers, but it was

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like I had to either super early or not at all the night before.

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And I'm taking my medication at weird times to try to like,

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outbeat my morning numbers.

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It's, it's a whole crazy thing.

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So let's, let's break it down.

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What is Dawn phenomenon as what it's called?

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So it's basically, while you're sleeping.

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Your body doesn't need as much energy.

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Right?

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And so when you're about to wake up, it gets ready to burn fuel because

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it needs energy for you to wake up.

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Right?

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So it starts to tell your liver to start releasing more glucose, and

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then that triggers your body to release the insulin because insulin

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is what you need to use the glucose.

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But as a diabetic, you usually don't need more glucose in your system at

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the time, because you probably don't have enough insulin in your system.

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Either because you can't make it because you need to manually inject

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it for like my type one folks or you're really resistant to it.

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So it's not that your body doesn't make it.

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It's just really hard for yourselves to accept it and absorb it.

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Right?

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So that leads to just a bunch of glucose floating around in your system.

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And you're not able to actually absorb anything for your

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blood sugar levels stabilized.

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So that equates to crazy numbers in the mornings.

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And it typically happens between 3:00 AM and 8:00 AM.

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And at first.

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I was like, Hmm.

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Maybe it's just like, something that I'm doing.

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And I used to be , a middle of the night snacker.

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And so I'm like, Oh, it's clearly because I'm doing that.

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But since having my CGM , I have realized 100% that it's, it's definitely a thing.

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Now, when I was doing the fingerprint glucose meter, I was definitely

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having crazy numbers in the mornings.

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And.

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My dad actually told me, kind of broke this down for me because my grandmother

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who also is diabetic , was having the same thing and she was really

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stressing out about her morning numbers.

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And it's just like, your body goes through this whole wake-up process.

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And it's just, it's just what it does.

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There's no way for your body to know fully like, Oh, Hey, so.

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We're having trouble with, utilizing insulin.

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So I probably shouldn't start dumping out glucose around this

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time, because I know that you either manually need to give me some insulin

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or you're having some resistance.

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So I need to kind of back off doesn't know that at all.

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It just continues to do its normal programmed function and

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it, it kinda messes with this.

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Right.

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So my dad was telling me like, because we know that this happens like.

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Don't take your morning numbers to equate to something that you like, you're just

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a terrible person or something like that.

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It's just part of the process and, maybe check a little bit later, or whatever.

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But then at that point I've eaten, so it's like, okay, well maybe I should

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check maybe after my first meal to see I'm trending back down, whatever.

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But when I, my first.

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My first two weeks with my CGM, especially the very first week.

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Now, mind you, I'm in the midst of utilizing two different medications.

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Okay.

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So when I got my CGM, I got it in the middle of the week.

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And so I wanted to make sure from a changing sensor kind of thing, I started

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it fresh , on a Sunday or Monday , I ended up going with the Sunday, cause

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that's when I also take my ozempic shot.

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That I was also recently prescribed , that week.

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So my endocrinologist took me off my kombiglyze extended release and my

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glipizide extended release, but it was literally the middle of the week.

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And so I decided to.

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I don't know, I just like, even, even starts stuff like that.

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So I finished out using the common glass and glipizide that week.

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And as I was checking my blood sugar numbers , my numbers were

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actually pretty good in the morning.

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So, I start the CGM.

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Actually, let's see, I got my CGM before I got my new medication with

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my endocrinologist, so I didn't start my CGM until that Sunday.

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And then.

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During that week of my first week of having my CGM, that's when

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I saw my endocrinologist and he scrapped my current medication

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regimen and put me on a and

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So I used my , current, my old medication regimen while going through my first

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week with my CGM until that Sunday.

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So I could start my shot and the syndrome, because I don't like switching

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stuff in the middle of the week.

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So.

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I'm wearing my CGM and still taking common glides and glipizide.

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And I'm having these weird drops around like three, between three

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and two and 3:00 AM in the morning.

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And the alarm on, at least for the freestyle, you can adjust the.

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High glucose number, basically.

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So when, when do you want it to be when your blood sugars, your, I

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think it defaults from 70 to 180.

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I've now changed it to 70 to one 60 because I was doing really well in range.

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So I just slowly was taking it down.

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I think the, the standard for someone who's non-diabetic is like

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70 to 140, so I'm slowly bringing it down so I can keep myself in

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range and the alarms really do help.

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They really do so.

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The low blood sugar though.

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I don't, I don't feel my lows until I'm in like low 60 high fifties.

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When I'm in the mid sixties to seventies, I don't really feel it.

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And I don't, I don't have that.

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The symptoms, when I get into like the 50 random, like high fifties,

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that's when I started to feel the symptoms, but I usually don't

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let myself get that far, but.

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This particular CGM will not let me adjust it to like 65.

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I tried to do that, but it flipped it back to 70.

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So I was hitting under 70, around 2 to 3:00 AM and my alarm was going off.

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And so I would scan myself and an average between I got between 62 and 69.

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And I would sit till I felt a really need to grab a snack or, knock back some juice.

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I have these little applesauce packs do , that I use.

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And.

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So I was fine.

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And actually what I would do is I would sit for like five minutes

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and it was scammed myself again.

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And because I was awake and alert because my alarm was going off, my

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numbers started to take back up.

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So I think I got like 65, one night.

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So I S I scan it.

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I see that it's 65 and then I sit up and I wait, I'm trying to check how I feel

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if I really am super low and I need to get something, and then I scan it again.

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And it's already back to 70.

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And then I'm like, okay.

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So then I sit a little bit longer.

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I scan it again and it's giving me the even sign.

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It doesn't give me that it's necessarily like rising.

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Like usually what I see after I eat, but it just slowly creeps up.

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So I lay back down and go back to sleep.

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And then I wake up like around seven 38 and a scan it again.

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And it's like at like a hundred something.

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I'm just like, wait a minute.

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I haven't had anything in my sister.

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It's insane.

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Isn't it?

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I will say having a CGM, I treat myself like , a product at the

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grocery store where I'm like scanning myself every five seconds.

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I'll like find random things and that will not random things, but like when it

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comes to food, I kind of want to like buy something just to see like what it does.

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Like, I dunno, CGMs are, it's an whole nother ball game when you can

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kind of scan in a moment in now.

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Yeah, I was, I was rising and so.

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I realized though that, because I kept having the crazy low

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drops , that I was actually experiencing the same Mogi effect.

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I hope I'm saying that.

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Right.

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S O M O G Y I, and I don't know why the Y and I are together

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because it makes sense, whatever.

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Somogyi effect.

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And that is when you have a really when you have a drop and then because you drop

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super low , then you have to , either take something or it's because you

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dropped your body's like, Oh, hurry up.

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And then it spikes you back up.

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So even, so it's still kind of like this crazy, crazy thing that.

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Just the motion of rising sends your numbers up.

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And that sounds very familiar to other people that I know where just because

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they're waking up, you have morning wood.

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I mean, we all know what happens.

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It's it's it happens.

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Because I remember asking, I would just be y'all know, real talk here.

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Right.

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I would ask my friends like, yo, what is it with?

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Just.

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Hey, like do something with that, put that away.

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Right.

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And I use that as my guy friends like, why, why is this?

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Like, it's just, it's just waking up, just rising.

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The blood is flowing.

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And so is that, and I'm just like, all right, well, cool.

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I guess, and it's probably why a lot of women enjoy, morning

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sex because it's already there.

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So you might as well utilize it.

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Right.

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I don't know.

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So it's just one of those things that I just thought was kind of funny

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and yet interesting that happens.

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I wish that, it was kind of saying like, Hey, I'm getting ready to lay down, so

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my numbers are gonna start to go down.

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But it, it, unfortunately doesn't, it's seems to be

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pertaining mostly in the morning.

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Now, what I will say is that, I've I've noticed some really interesting

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numbers even throughout the day where I'm like, I'm literally just sitting

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and I'll scan and it's a little higher than normal, and I might've scanned

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it an hour ago and it was fine.

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So, I think that's also where , at least for us.

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Getting some form of movement helps to knock that down.

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I actually played around with, I ate something.

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It was, I was having a food experiment.

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I can't remember what it wasn't that I ate , that normally, it was like, you

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might not want to eat that according to diabetic standards, if you will.

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And it, it made my blood sugar eyes.

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And so I remember an episode of elementary the modern Sherlock Holmes, if you will

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, with , Oh my God, what's her name?

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She's in Charlie's angels.

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Lucy, LouLiu there you go.

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And she, I can't remember, they were working her in Charlotte,

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we're working on a case and they needed to stay up all night.

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And she started doing these like squats, like really fast squats.

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And she, obviously she was playing Watson.

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She was talking about in med school.

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That's what she used to do to, her, her blood pumping.

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And it would keep her awake.

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So I'm watching TV and I'm doing, working on something and I'm noticing

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this rise and it's like, it's going up?

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So I'm like, huh.

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Okay.

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So I start doing really fast, just standard standing squats,

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trying to get my heart rate up.

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I think I did.

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Like twists, like, you just, how you stand and just college, your arms twist.

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And then I did a few high knees and I scanned myself again and sure enough, my

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blood sugar dropped a couple of points.

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And so, granted, I.

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Yeah.

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I do not like cardio.

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I do.

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I do not like Cari.

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I don't like it.

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I don't like when my heart feels like it's about to burst out of my chest and, sweat

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in general, just, it makes me feel gross.

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It makes my.

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My hair shrivel, for the curly girls out there.

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It's, it's just a lot.

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Okay.

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I like weights because you don't even realize that your heart rate

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is going up, but then, it does come down whenever you're resting between.

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I liked the idea of testing my strength, but cardio is not.

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A final one.

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I will say though, I am glad.

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And I don't know if I should really be glad about this, whatever,

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but I don't have to run, to kind of get my heart rate up.

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I just need to do a brisk walk, so I can get on a treadmill hit three.

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And that keeps me where I am and I'm meeting my heart rate quota for the day.

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If I do it for at least 30 minutes or so.

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But it's true.

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Getting your heart rate going is something that will help.

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So that leads me to some things that I've been doing to kind of combat that and

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some things that I've heard others doing, especially for those that take insulin.

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So.

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I've heard plenty of people talk about, the same for those who have

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the Somogyi effect, where you drop really low in the middle of the night.

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And then you're trying to like, get yourself back up and that's having

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a, like protein, and a protein snack.

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Before bed , to kind of help stabilize you , protein and fiber are two things

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that really protein, fiber and fat , you know, especially when paired with

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carbs , help slow down the release.

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It helps make sure that your blood sugar remains stable.

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So especially if you're having a carb-heavy dinner, definitely

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make sure you've got some protein, fat and fiber , in it.

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So that way you're not sending your number skyrocketing simply because , you've

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had nothing but carbs for dinner.

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Usually I try to actually keep , even my complex carbs, even though they're,

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they're definitely good carbs, I try to keep them , to a minimum with my dinner.

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So I try to, go veggie heavy, those types of carbs , and some

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form of protein with my dinner.

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And then like, for those of us who take oral medications , with their dinner.

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So when I was on kombiglyze, I've had to take two tabs of that with my dinner.

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But sometimes my dinner would be like around anywhere between six and eight.

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But I'm not going to bed until like 10 or 11.

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So I did an experiment with myself when I was still using my meter to

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try to see if i can, get those numbers low is I ate my dinner earlier.

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And then I took my medication like right before bed.

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So like, 10 ten-ish.

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So I might like eat my dinner around six and then take my medication around 10.

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So that we, when it was still doing it slow release, it kept me even through

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the morning that worked a little bit , it was kind of hit or miss.

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I did try, eating my dinner later , at one point.

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And then I also tried eating my dinner earlier, but also

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taking my medication earlier.

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And it seemed the average that worked was eating my dinner earlier, but taking

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my medication later seemed to help.

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I have heard of those who are on insulin , still eating their dinner,

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but they don't actually take their insulin until right before bed.

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So that way they have enough in their system.

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So that way it doesn't like send the body into overdrive and needing to

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Basically it's when it's dumping, when your liver is dumping the glucose,

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you have some insulin on standby to help , absorb that up a little bit.

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So your numbers can be a little bit more even , or not as high.

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So it's.

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It's an interesting thing.

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I really try my best to watch my evening routine , with that, because it's

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hard to , always think of that, in the mornings now, especially with having a

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CGM and you can see throughout the day, I don't worry as much when my numbers are

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higher in the morning, because a, I know what it is now that I know what it is.

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It's just my body, it's , Like, when a cars, you need to start it after it's

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been sitting for a minute, it's just, it starts out, the, the engine rev

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goes a little bit higher than that one.

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I just remember my dad was telling me once it gets to the one or a little bit

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below that's when you're ready to pull out when you're warming up your car.

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Right.

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So it starts out and engines revving really high.

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And then after you sit for a few minutes of slowly, just creeps back down, that's

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pretty much what your body is doing.

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It's doing the same thing and it's not the most exciting thing in the world.

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And it's definitely a very frustrating thing because when, part of your

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, diagnosis is managing numbers , not that we want to, because we have to

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think about, the numbers on a scale and the numbers , for A1C and now numbers

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on our blood sugar in the mornings and all these things, I have an exhibit

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with a lot of numbers and I hate math.

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Okay.

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But knowing what it is has definitely helped me adjust and I don't.

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Freak out as much , when it happens.

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Cause I understand my body is just doing its natural thing.

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And that helps me to, prepare for it.

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Oh, I almost forgot one other thing that you could do that I haven't tried

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myself yet, but I've read and communicate with other people that they do is doing

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vigorous exercise in the evenings.

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Because again, having a higher heart rate will lower your blood sugar.

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Yeah.

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So being able to get some exercise in before you lay down could also be helpful.

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I have not tested this myself.

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So please at your own will talk with your doctor.

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Of course, obviously is all general advice, no medical advice here.

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Just thoughts and experiences.

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Right.

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But I prefer to get my workouts in.

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Preferably in the mornings, I'm starting to , do like midday walks , with my dogs

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too, just down the street and back , to get me some kind of movement, in the

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middle of the day, I used to do it when I worked at an office where I would, either

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on my lunch break, cause I usually would just eat at my desk , or my breaks.

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I would just walk around the building a couple of times, sometimes I would just

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have meetings where we would just go outside and walk around to get out of

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the office and get our blood flowing.

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So now that I work from home, I'm trying to do that more as well.

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But evening workouts are just hard for me.

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I always have something going on, that's what happy hour is, and then I'll be

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tired, and you can just like go work out and they go like meet up with people.

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I mean, I guess we're not menial, but people like that, but that

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was my excuse at the time.

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I don't know.

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Maybe I feel like if I had a treadmill in my house, I'd probably

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be down for an evening walk.

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My uncle used to do that all the time and they used to live in Waco.

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They would actually go on night walks.

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So when I would spend this up, I think it's been a, yeah.

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When I spent a summer with them, we would go on evening, walks back

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when, being out at night, wasn't something to be concerned about.

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So, and it's me by myself.

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And even though I've got two dogs, like it's too, it's it was, it was more lit

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where they were, it's kind of dark where I am , even with the streetlights.

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So I think I will not be doing the evening venture.

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If I were to go to the gym in the evenings, that's also when most people

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go to the gym because they're all off of work and crowds and I even.

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Before pandemic.

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I did not like when the gym was crowded, I like when it's empty,

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which is usually why I try to get there in the mornings, because

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nobody wants to be there that early.

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I try to be, I try if I can be there right.

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When they open at 5:00 AM.

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I will.

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I've only done it like three times this year, so far.

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So we'll, we'll see

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anyways.

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Well, that's really all that I had for you guys today.

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We deal with so much and it almost feels like there's a layer upon another

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layer of something, but the more, the more you can do stuff to prevent it.

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So I hope this was helpful in some ways, I always feel like I'm saying that , after

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I talked to you guys, because I want to make sure I'm giving you content.

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That makes sense.

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So with that being said, Hey, Apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcasts.

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Amazon.

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I keep forgetting them.

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Amazon has podcasts now, wherever you can leave me some information, insight,

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whatever, please rate, subscribe, and let me know what you think of the show.

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Let me know if you have a question and you'd like for me to answer, hit me up

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on my DMs and Instagram , or feel free to hop over to healinginhindsight.com

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and shoot me a message.

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I would definitely love your input on how I can make this more.

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Relatable to you, because even though I'm sharing what I'm going

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through, I know many more of you have so many stories to tell.

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So let me know what you think.

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If you're watching on, IETV make sure you hit the heart.

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If you are watching on YouTube, make sure you subscribe all the things.

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What do they do at the end of all these videos, all the pointing around.

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I'm not going to do that.

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Thank you guys for listening.

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And again, I really appreciate all of your support, encouraging

Taylor:

messages and for my fellow diabetics, Peace love and good blood sugars.

Taylor:

I'm out.