I know that going to the gym helps my overall well being. I like pushing myself. I’ve grown tremendously. Things I once only dreamed of doing are now things I do all the time. I’m still not heading out to the Games or anything, but I’ve improved with continual practice.

It feels good to be able to move well. It’s impressive to see muscles on anybody and on me – dang impressive for an old fart. And so, I go to the gym without ever really questioning it. It’s what I do. I wake up and go to the gym. Period. No deciding. No debating. I just go.

I also know I have to eat better. I don’t have that choice any more. I’m pre-diabetic and if I don’t want to end up post-diabetic, I have to watch what I eat. I don’t get a cheat day. I can’t just decide I don’t want to do this now. I’m stuck with this if I want to stay on this side of the A1C line. And I do. So I eat and watch my carbs and try to choose better. No debating. This is just my life now.

I know I move better when I do yoga. I don’t do Hatha yoga or Vinyassa yoga. I do Yin yoga. It’s a practice that holds poses for minutes at a time, stretching as you sink into the pose and breathe in and out (through your nose when there isn’t too much pollen in the air). It helps with connective tissue stretching and allows you to move easier.

Somehow, I gave myself permission to choose on this one. I have no idea why. Probably because my routine wasn’t set in stone. There were no classes I had to attend or people would miss me. I have all my props right here at home and I can select from a range of over a bazillion YouTube videos. I have some favorite posting people who don’t annoy me as I’m trying to relax into the pose. It’s counter-productive to be annoyed while trying to do yoga.

I kept telling myself it was just an hour and I needed to get upstairs and stretch a little. Instead, I just debated myself and opted to not go upstairs, not stretch, not do the thing I knew would help. Last weekend, I finally forced myself upstairs and I was horrified.

All the things I could do once upon a time are gone. I’m not able to bend or move like I could a few months ago. Instead, I’m about as pliable as I was a couple years ago when I first got talked into doing some of this crap.

I know it is better to have this set of skills in my life for a variety of reasons. The most noticeable is that it makes going to the gym easier and that is why I finally got my unhappy ass back upstairs. But it makes the rest of my day better, too. It makes falling asleep and staying asleep easier. It just has a whole host of benefits.

When I’ve been awake for too long, I’m entirely capable of talking myself out of anything that seems like too much work. So, I have my alarm set for earlier on the days I go to the gym and I have been doing just a thirty minute routine before getting ready for the gym. That worked on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday is my rest day. I do laundry instead of going to the gym. I could have gotten up and started the laundry and done a real whole hour yoga class. I didn’t. I decided around lunch time that my issue was I didn’t want to do a whole hour class. I have nothing better to do, but that was my sticking point.

So instead of blowing the whole thing off, I figured it was better to do a thirty minute practice than a zero minute one. And that’s what I did.

I have no idea how long it will take me to get the flexibility back. Since I’m perfectly willing to do this before I hit the gym, I should be able to get in five 30-minute sessions a week and then on my rest days, I can opt to either do some or no yoga. At least I can opt for that once I’m a little farther along the path of habit and routine. Right now, I really need to keep myself vigilant because otherwise I will be back to no yoga again.

And then there is meditation. I need to return to that as well. It is supposed to help with my scattered nervousness. At least that is the theory and it seemed to work that way when I actually did it. So, I tried some of that today, too.

I know how to be healthy. Why is it so much work?

healthy-3638142_1280

Advertisements

It’s been months now and I’m still alive and still dealing with a diagnosis I was sure would never come my way. I’m fit and normal weight. And I’m still pre-diabetic. I think. It’s been over four months since my A1C was checked. I do have an appointment scheduled in a few weeks. I will see if what I’ve been doing is working.

Although I wasn’t overweight when I started this nonsense, I’m even less so now, having lost twelve pounds in the interim. Not that I’ve been trying, it’s just that without all the carbs in my life, I’ve shed some weight. I’ve been a little leery of this but my weights in the gym seem to be staying stable. In fact, if I had to guess, I would say my performance with Olympic lifts continues to improve. I know that my CrossFit Open old fart scaled weight of 35# thrusters seems to feel less crushing. I can get more reps in before I have to rest.

I’ve tried a lot of new foods. Some of them have been successful, some have not. I’ve tried desserts made with fake sugars and they all have a horrible aftertaste. I would rather not eat them at all than spend ridiculous amounts of money and effort to have something that tastes nasty.

I tried some zero carb “noodles” I found online. I couldn’t eat more than the original taste sample because they were so horrid. Even though I spent a lot of money on them, I had to throw them away. I tried Birds’ Eye vegetable pasta and it was unimpressive. It is not anything I would buy again, but I could eat it for one meal. It was as many carbs as a half serving of regular pasta with none of the taste.

I’ve always been fond of fruit and even that is a problem. So I have been measuring out portions. In fact, I’ve been measuring out portions of everything. Sometimes I believe the carbs are worth it and when they aren’t, I don’t eat the stuff.

For the first three month, was trying to keep my carbs around 100 – 125. I usually managed to stay in the 90s and never did get as high as 125. Then I finally went to a class for my condition and the dietician there said 45 – 50 carbs per meal and 15 carbs for each of two to three snacks. That is so much higher than I was doing that I stopped counting every damn carb. Well, I never did add the 4 carbs per day of milk I put in my coffee, but still.

I try to keep each meal in the 30-40 carb range so if I’m careless with my reckoning, it won’t matter because I have some leeway. I know my breakfasts are either 1 carb (days I don’t work out) or 17 carbs (on the days I do). My snacks are usually something healthy and may be slightly over the 15  count, but not ever more than 20 and I only have one or two per day, not three. I stopped trying to record every morsel of food.

My mother watched her fat intake to the point of making everyone around her a little crazy. She wouldn’t eat this and that and seriously limited her fat intake. She died of a heart attack anyway.

I’m looking forward to finding out if what I’ve been doing is enough or even too much. I’m pretty sure that no matter what my A1C number is, I can’t go back to just willy nilly eating anything and everything. It would just make it rise again for the next time.

I have given myself permission to eat one decadent piece of chocolate per day and figure it into my carb count. I have tried new and different recipes, some of them quite successful. I have cut back on breads, potatoes, and pasta without noticing too much of a problem. Pasta is the hardest of all these.

My biggest worry now is that I continue to lose weight although not as rapidly as when I started. Still, I worked really hard to build up this amount of muscle and my BMI is now 21.8. With my muscle mass, that’s an inflated number. Weightlifters really aren’t who those tables are made for and our numbers are skewed because we have higher than normal mass due to more muscle tissue.

I’ve tried to find out if there is any difference for diabetics regarding where the carbs are coming from. It seems we really don’t know that much about nutrition. Which is a shame, considering the state of our national nutritional mess. What I did see over and over again is that the more processed something is, the less healthy it is for you. Which makes all the “fake” food substitute things a little suspect.

Hopefully, I will find out that what I’ve been doing is working well. I can manage this without much problem. I’ve even figured out how to dine out. So, I guess I’m just going to get to keep all my toes. At least, I hope so.

abundance-agriculture-bananas-264537

The Mayo Clinic says I get to count my coffee as a source of water intake, although it shouldn’t be a major source. So I’m going to start counting it. They also say that about 20% of my fluid requirements are met by my food intake. My new rule is going to be to drink as much water as I can before 7 pm and then … sleep all damn night. My sleep is just as important as my water intake and REM sleep can’t happen if I’m up all night peeing. So that has to stop.

I’m supposed to also be worrying about the caffeine in my decaf coffee and so shouldn’t drink that or if I do, not count it toward my water intake. That is also no longer going to happen. I’ve looked stuff up instead of just nodding like a bobble head doll.

There are, according to the Mayo clinic, 2 to 12 milligrams of caffeine remaining per cup of decaf coffee. In a regular cup of Joe, there are 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine. I make my coffee on the weaker side and so we will compare 2 milligrams to 95 milligrams and say – this is so minuscule as to not count at all. From this day forward, I can have one more cup of decaf coffee in my day and it totally counts as water. Flavored water, to be sure, but it counts.

Now, nobody is telling me to be extra careful about other sources of caffeine. Most of the teas I drink are herbal teas, but the one that is astounding is my favorite lemon tea. It has 45 milligrams of caffeine in it. I know this. When I’m sick and drinking coffee seems dubious, but I need a little caffeine kick, this is my tea of choice. Green tea and black tea both have about half to one-quarter the caffeine that coffee has, depending on how strong you brew it.

I don’t drink soda, which is a real plus for me. Many of those cans contain between 30 and 50 milligrams per can. They also contain high fructose corn syrup, a horrible invention. The empty calories are staggering unless you drink the diet brand, and then the shitstorm of chemicals that make up fake sugars are horrible, damaging, and should be shunned. So the entire concept of a can of soda is anathema to good health.

Energy drinks mostly give you that boost of energy by supplying you with some caffeine. Even so, each and every one of them has less caffeine than a simple, cheap cup of coffee. And there are either sugars or fake sugar things like the cans of soda.

The other thing I eat that I know has caffeine it in is chocolate. I don’t eat very much of it at one sitting, but I have chocolate every single day. I have been enjoying Lindt extra creamy milk chocolate for a while. The 3.5 ounce bar is 2.5 servings. I break it in half and then break that up into 20 little pieces. It takes me three to five days to eat that much chocolate. As you can see, I’m not wolfing it down. I put a smaller than a stamp sized piece of pure deliciousness in my mouth and let it melt. I’m happy with one small piece at a time.

The higher the cocoa content, the higher the caffeine in the chocolate. The charts tell me how much caffeine is included beginning with semi-sweet chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate is 43% cocoa and my chocolate is 31% cocoa. So there is about 25% less caffeine in my milk chocolate. According to an easier site to use, there are 44 milligrams of caffeine in two ounces of semi-sweet chocolate so I would guess there are about 30 milligrams in my milk chocolate. It takes me a week to eat that much, so again, this is a non-issue and I can enjoy my chocolate with impunity.

I don’t want to do all this work at the box and then not continue to profit outside the box. But I need to measure my overall satisfaction and wants/needs against dietary concerns. I’m sure there are purists who never have caffeine anywhere near their houses, let alone consumed as actual intake. However, I’m not going to be one of those people.