Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Progress 3/29/17

149.0 pounds, blood sugar 93, blood pressure 130/88 with 62 resting pulse. I'm only taking Lisinopril and atorvastatin now. I can tell that my chronic leg pain has thrown off my posture. I'm also clear that I need to take next week off.

Watching this interesting video and I like point 5. I'll have to see what works for me, especially on the recuperation and cycling weight. He gave me a number at least, drop 30%. Considering I still have chronic leg pain, though the problem is my back, I'll have to figure out how to deal with that.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Going light 3/27/17

Going to go "light" for this and next week.

Leg Press 210
Abs machine 140
Back Extension 140
Lat Pulldown 115
Chest Press 130, 150, 170 (ok, not exactly light)
Rows 120
Overhead Press 50 pounds and if it feels ok up to 55.

Went on a short road trip vacation over the weekend. I'm guessing that my sense of stress with the workouts has to do with lack of sleep. Not enough sleep to recover from heavier workouts.

# #
Post workout, I weigh 152.2, up about 2.5-3 pounds since Friday. Went on a family road trip this weekend and had more carbs than I've had all year!

Blood sugar is 93 fasting until lunch. I did eat a late dinner and lots of carbs over the weekend. I'll keep an eye on that obviously.

Blood pressure is 137/81 with a 61 pulse. Pulse is great. The rest needs some work. Also ate out more than usual (like a LOT!) so as I go I'll see if that comes back down. Also, decided to take next week off.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3/22 Update

In the 149 pound range this week it seems. Blood pressure is still in the 130s/80-90s range. My fasting glucose was 97 which is high normal. Waist is still 36 inches which seems good.

Doing HIIT on 13 resistance on the exercise bike. Feels horrible, like I was barely moving, yet I was breathing hard enough to have a hard time talking which is the goal. Lifting also feels bad this week. I'm going to calculate a drop back in case I still am not feeling the workout on Friday. Then I'll switch things to a lighter weight and re-increase until the end of June.

Also doing some de-cluttering and that's tiring in it's own way. Goal is to switch in July from de-cluttering and clearing things out to fixing things up!

Here's what I'm lifting this week.

Leg Press 210x10, 225x10, and 230x10. The rest followed the same pattern of sets of 10.
Abs machine 140, 155, 160 - felt hard without a muscle "burn"
Back Extension 140, 155, 160
Lat Pulldown 115, 130, 135
Chest Press 120, 135, 155
Rows 120, 135, 140
Overhead Press 3 sets of 12 with 50 pounds since there is some shoulder discomfort.

Fighting to keep the motivation going!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Busy Week

It has been a hectic week. Got home from a gig and had someone come over to ask me to get involved in their crisis. I went last night to see my nephews perform and the were on 2 1/2 hours later than expected. I had a big leather order this week and a couple of events.

Hoping for a more relaxing week. So did HIIT on 12 resistance this week and this coming week we get to 13! Here's the weight workout for this week.

Leg Press 210x10, 220x10, and 225x10. The rest followed the same pattern of sets of 10.
Abs machine 140, 150, 155
Back Extension 140, 150, 155
Lat Pulldown 115, 125, 130
Chest Press 120, 130, 155
Rows 120, 130, 135
Overhead Press 3 sets of 12 with 50 pounds since there is some shoulder discomfort.

I'll check blood glucose, weight, and blood pressure tomorrow. I realize that doing this daily is tough with my schedule. I've talked with my musician friends about how I need to make lots of leather sales to afford playing music. A friend who is a painter says he's in the same boat. If you have any good paying gigs please share the info and we will try it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day Update

Did the HIIT bike workout on the resistance setting of 12. I did remember to do my weekly fasting glucose check and came in at 80 mg/dL. Weight was 150.2 lbs. Waist is 36 inches! I'll take pictures when our new houseguest isn't around. It feels awkward to pose for pics in the living room while it is someone's bedroom.

My blood pressure was high today at 140/99 with a resting pulse of 68. That pulse is staying fairly consistently low. Sodium was the only thing near "high" on my blood work. So I'll have to keep working on that. I did qualify for more test strips so I will test weekly as long as I can, and not more unless I get a reading over 110, or two weekly readings over 100.

A friend gave me a blood pressure cuff so I tested again when I got home and it was 135/86. I'll just have to keep an eye on all of that. I also need to do my follow up with an optometrist.

I found this good video about keto and fasting and this link on strength.

Tomorrow I go to a funeral. I'll still make it to the gym in the morning and check in sometime during the day. I'm also working on a large leather order. Figuring out how to balance everything I enjoy will be fun.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Skipped workout for today

Shoulder was killing me this morning so I decided not to lift. Been feeling extra tired last couple of days.

I'll do HIIT tomorrow and check in then.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Updates for last week

Still doing HIIT on the bike. I'm was on 11 for the resistance level. It was definitely tough. Going to try and keep going for the 20.

Weights dropped to sets of 10 and I'm changing it up for the next two months. Here is what the first week looked like:

Leg Press 210x10, 215x10, and 220x10. The rest followed the same pattern.
Abs machine 140, 145, 150
Back Extension 140, 145, 150
Lat Pulldown 115, 120, 125
Chest Press 120, 125, 130 for Monday and Wednesday. 120, 130, 150 on Friday. I couldn't resist trying to do close to body weight for the "bench."
Overhead Press 80, 85, 90 and I may stay here for another week
Rows 120, 125, 130

It's definitely getting to feel hard. The overhead press is definitely to failure. I'm going to keep the same weight on the first set at least until the end of March as kind of a warm-up set. Then I will continue to increase set 2 and 3.

Tomorrow I check my fasting glucose again and also see if I can get more test strips.

My blood pressure has been about 125-135/86-90. Not the best yet not terrible either.

My weight ranged between 150.8 to 152.8 pounds.

I had two letters last week. One saying that my A1C (estimate of average blood sugar over 3 months) and my cholesterol were excellent. Everything measured was within normal range.

Right now my hunch would be that my A1C might be in the 5.5 range next time. I will try to fast for holy week to help keep my body insulin resistant (edit, actually mean insulin sensitive here). I'm currently on a fairly relaxed intermittent fasting approach.

We shall see how this goes!

Friday, March 10, 2017

F**K Diabetes

I have been wondering if there were bumper stickers like this, since they have ones for cancer.

I hadn't told many people I had diabetes at first as I was trying to see if I could do at least short-term management with some success. I've had great short-term success.

If this is valuable to share please do so. Please ask me details. I have found what works for me and hopefully some of it may work for you whether you are fighting diabetes, wanting to lose weight for your health, or just get a little more fit.

There was a call in the middle of the night. I lost a Tia to diabetes. All I have to say right now is F**k Diabetes.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting

OK, one of the things I think I'm doing most consistently is a form of intermittent fasting. I'm not doing anything strict. Sometimes I'm fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8 hour period (aka feeding window). Sometimes I'm fasting 14 hours and eating within a 10 hour period (mainly due to dealing with the work schedule). I try to eat as soon as I'm home and no snacking after that. I'm not snacking much. It gets hard when the cultural norm is to snack a lot.

Here is one quick viewpoint on intermittent fasting.

Old Workout

Dragging today so just going to go do my short HIIT bike cardio and lift on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday this week. I'll be on 11 for the resistance this week. I'll post my weight tomorrow. I'm dropping to sets of 10.

This workout in the pictures will get explained more over the weekend and will be my Summer workout.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Quick Summary of My Actions in Dealing with Diabetes

(This is being edited with feedback from friends and comments.)

First thing I did was cut out soda, white flour products (tortillas!), and start trying to figure out what things I could eat. I think that not being sure about what to eat I ended up eating a low-calorie diet. This is also called calorie restriction.

I was testing glucose 2 hours after eating and first thing in the morning. My numbers were still far above average yet slowly coming down.

I started going to the gym right away. I knew of research about weight lifting being positive for diabetics and for diabetes prevention. I also had experimented with high intensity training specifically for diabetes.

I did 3 days of light lifting. I was doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions for a full body workout for 6 weeks. From previous lifting experience I knew that 6 weeks was a good period to allow joints and ligaments to adjust to lifting before going heavier.

Following this same Dr. Moseley I came across his 5-2 Diet and started doing more research on eating. I was trying to figure out how to adapt it. I was losing weight fast and my blood sugar numbers were not moving down as fast as I was hoping for. Yet I tried it.

Then I came across this.

I was experimenting still with a little less wheat bread and more yogurt. I was trying eat more veggies in the meantime.

Then I came across this work by Roy Taylor. I learned about Personal Fat Threshold. That is a threshold on how much fat your body can handle before saturating your liver and pancreas which are factors for diabetes.

This led me back to Dr. Moseley and I was going to try this 500 calorie a day diet for the new year. All of these previous experiments were done in December.

Then I came across Dr. Jason Fung.

I started with a combination of Intermittent Fasting (fasting for 12-16 hours a day, essentially not eating after dinner.). I stopped snacking. And I started fasting 24 hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I would have dinner Sunday, and not eat again until Monday. Repeated this pattern on the other fasting days. This is often called alternate day fasting, except that it is not truly every other day since I was eating both on Saturday and Sunday.

So with 21 minutes of cardio a week, 3 weight workouts a week, and intermittent and alternate-day fasting I was able to lose 38 pounds and drop my A1C from 9.3 to 5.0 in a little over 90 days. I'm going to still avoid snacking for the most part, breads (within reason), and soda.

A1C is a measure that calculates the blood sugar in your system over a 3 month period. It is what is generally used to diagnose someone as diabetic, pre-diabetic, or "normal."

I will still fast when needed. My goals are not weight loss, I was OK with the weight I was.

I will answer questions. This was brief and I know there are many details that are not here. I believe that diabetes is reversible and that I am currently no longer diabetic. I know many people disagree with that. With all of the information on the benefits of fasting and low-process food diets I think I will do my best to continue on this path long term.

Hopefully I'll also get strong. As someone who power-lifted (not for competition) I really enjoyed being strong. Thanks to all who gave me support along the way and I hope to be of support or inspiration to others.

Much Love!


Here's what I said on Feb. 21 -
If my A1C is above 6.5 then I'll continue to fasting 3 times a week. If it's between 6.0-6.4 then it will be two days a week. 5.5-5.9 and I'll go down to one day a week. Below 5.5 and I'll stick to intermittent fasting (daily eating with no snacks, especially after dinner).

Emotional Response to Diabetes Diagnosis - 3/5/17

This is my practice in telling my story and figuring out which sections inspire people to take charge of their health, see if anything is counter-productive, and how much details people want about this journey.

So at the end of November I was told that my blood sugar was high and that I should get re-tested. I was going to put it off for a while. I went in a couple of days later. I got a call that night that my potassium level was low on Monday and even lower on Wednesday and that I should go to ER. I called a few people to get second opinions and feedback. There was consensus that I should go. Before I had hung up with the nurse I asked her what my A1C was, and she said 9.3 but the potassium was urgent. I told her, "I've always had 5.5." She responded with, "last year you were at 6.5." I wish they would have made a big deal about that.

The next morning I got a call about my diabetes and that I had a prescription available. I said I was going to decline meds for now. I wanted to think it over. I had learned that one of my blood pressure medications was draining my potassium and didn't want to get on any more. I had an appointment that afternoon and received a glucose meter. The nurse said to "eat normal" for a couple of days to see what was going on. I tried if after a chili cheese, chili burger, and fries for dinner. My sugar was 283 two hours after dinner. That made up my mind, no more of that.

So I knew I wouldn't have any more sodas for the foreseeable future. I was not sure what to do. The advice was to eat yogurt, salads, snack a lot, switch to wheat bread, etc. I went with that. I was really scared and had done some basic research on diabetes in the past so I put it to work. The next post will be about what I actually did.

I went from super scared to super determined. I asked friends with diabetes, friends who worked in the medical field, and others if they thought I could decline meds. There was support and I could tell some people thought I should get on the meds for a while.

From this space I started working on dealing with being diabetic. I was at best hoping to get things "under control."

Beyond the Self

When I talk with most people about health improvement they respond with something like "well, you know, it's all on you to get healthy." In our individualistic, each person is an island, society this makes perfect sense. Yet without context you have nothing.

It generally costs more to eat healthier. Some foods are subsidized by government and others not. This is a society level issue that needs to be addressed. In the meantime people still have to make choices about their diets. And those choices are in a context.

Going to a gym is often another response to "getting healthy." Yet again, this costs money, and also time. In reality that's something many people have less of than others. Still we blame those with less for not getting ahead.

We blame victims in our society for not getting ahead financially when systems keep people poor. We blame victims of rape. We blame people for getting fat in a society where sugars are cheaper than veggies. Victim blaming is common in our society because without that we have to look at our privileges.

What I was able to accomplish, dropping from a 9.3 A1C to a 5.0 A1C in three months, was largely my individual response to an illness. One where I can see the social and political causes, and where I could easily hold 100% of "blame" on myself if I allowed that. I responded to life in the context of our world with my life's interactions with money, environment, social stress, mental health systems, law enforcement systems, medical systems, local government, and of course classism, sexism, racism, homophobia, and other isms.

My "individual" response included a social network, and an understanding of the systems that contributed to my being diseased by becoming dis-eased. While I figure out sharing what I have been able to accomplish this last 90+ days, I will also figure out how to talk about the socio-political context of disease and healing.

Thank you to all of you who supported me, some more willing than others, in healing!

Friday, March 03, 2017

Day After Follow-Up

So I went ahead and shared my results on FB. Mostly positive responses. A little negativity about "the first 3 months is the easiest, it's like relapsing from substance abuse," and "people aren't going to do what you did," etc.

Sharing what I've learned will be a challenge.

I feel a responsibility as a public health worker to share. So feel free to give suggestions and ideas in the comments area below.

Now I'm going to figure out what maintenance mode is and move my self-determination energy can do for other parts of my life like my house and more. Also have to fix the "L" on this keyboard!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Beyond My Expectations!

OK so at the end of November I had an A1C of 9.3. I looked up lots of research and figured that I could probably bring my A1C down 2.4 points. That would have dropped me to 6.9 and I would have been OK with that.

Well it turns out that my A1C is 5.0! I am amazed and happily surprised. My triglycerides were improved, my HDL and LDL were better, and my cholesterol went from over 200 to under 60.

Now to figure out what to do to stay healthy long-term. I did all of this without medications.

It is suggested that I don't need to test daily. And insurance isn't excited about paying for test strips. I will see if I can get them refilled for cheap and test at least weekly.

We had a nice celebration and a few close friends and family were there. Many people couldn't make it and that's OK. People have been in my corner and I appreciate that.

Time to get some sleep and continue this journey tomorrow.

As always, please post a comment as for some reason it shows that there are zero views on this blog, even when I get comments from some of you in person.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Big Day Tomorrow!

I get results tomorrow. Did my A1C test today. I had asked the doc for a rundown on triglycerides, cholesterol, and HDL/LDL as well. She somehow ended up ordering that late today so I go in tomorrow and take another blood test.

I'm losing weight at a much slower rate which makes sense. I'm not fasting at all this week, and I'm starting to lift heavier. My weight is stable around 153 pounds. Blood pressure has been slightly above the 120/80 mark and fasting blood sugars have been 73 yesterday and 90 today.

There is definitely less urgency about it in my household as more sugar is starting to come into the house. That's a bummer. I have a friend who also has diabetes and when I gave him the rundown on my numbers and his response was, "oh you obviously have pre-diabetes and not diabetes." 9.3 is pretty diabetic.

Hopefully I can keep this up.

I've also been thinking a lot about using this sense of self-determination on my physical space as much as on my personal body.

Sweet dreams everyone!

Oh, and for lent I'm not giving up anything I'm going to try and add some music time, and some craft time, and a little bit of clearing stuff out each day.

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