Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sugar….it’s really simple

We all know the long term effects of processed foods!  Why do we think we need them?  Why is EVERY grocery store’s inventory made up of highly processed foods?  What is it that gives us our addiction to white sugar, enriched flour, high sugar fruit juices and drinks?

We all know…. and yet, when it’s time to “treat” ourselves, most hosts will serve a “sweet”, restaurants always have VERY high sugar content desserts, when we celebrate a birthday, it’s always a super high sugar cake.  Try to get a real whole wheat bread…most of them are laced with the white flour that is our bane!!!  Look at the flour section in your grocery store….. lots of space for the white crap…. and that’s because we, the consumers, have told the store that’s what we like.  And why….because we have been trained to “know” that processed means “tastes good”.

So… I did an experiment this week, and my body suffered.  I submit white sugar and white flour are as bad for our body as alcohol or smoking… just a little more insidious.  This week, I decided to try some “white” for dinner.  On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I included 2 slices of supposedly whole wheat bread with my meal.  After the meal, I even enjoyed a small piece of cake or a cookie.  Well…. my waking blood sugars started to rise, and this morning, I was back up to 6.6.  Suffice to say, my body is particularly sensitive to sugar, and I’ll have to watch this all my remaining life, but I have already proven I can control it with diet and exercise….. and I’ll prove it again over the next few days/weeks.

Again… why did I feel the need to try this?  Well, I wanted to prove a point using my body as the laboratory.  I don’t mind doing that, even if it’s just me I’m encouraging to eat right and exercise.

That’s my soapbox for today.  More to come (that’s what a blog is, right?).

Today’s stats:
Waking blood sugars: 6.6
Weight: 202.6

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No heel strikes allowed

First….a weather update;  it’s a balmy -2C today.  How many geographies “enjoy” temperature swings of 36 degrees in one week!  Today, the streets are a mess with melting ice and snow…. A week ago, it was -38.5C and the streets were perfectly clean, but i didn’t want to run outside due to the cold.  Today I’ll run on the treadmill because it’s too messy out doors.

3 weeks ago, I had never run landing on my fore foot.  In order to reduce injury and improve my running technique, I decided to try landing on my fore foot….just like all the running coaches are suggesting.  For the first while, I didn’t know if I would ever get used to this new style (new for me….natural for “real” runners).  Today, while I still need to perfect my technique, I  find the technique natural and comfortable.  I can also see how  proper technique will greatly reduce my chance of injury due to running.  Stay tuned.  Now, I’m working on improving my running speed,  I’m thinking that will come naturally as I push the limits during training AND drop some weight down to my normal running weight @ < 180 lbs (I’m projecting April).

Today I scaled in at 200.6 Lbs.  I’m feeling great, sleeping well….but I really miss the pasta and bread.    This morning my blood sugar was up at 5.9.  I’m guessing it was as a result of some quick(bad) snacks late last night.   My waking blood sugar had been very good (4.9-5.4)each morning this week except today.  I’m  hoping it’s an anomaly.

ackselle

What to do at -38C

Yesterday morning I awoke to an outside temperature of -38.5C, that’s -37.3F…either way, water does not stay liquid at that measurement.  That puts a cramp in my day including my running plans.  Hello treadmill!

I did my run on my treadmill, in front of the big TV, watching our Winnipeg Jets lose 6-5 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  All in all, an entertaining game.  And a treadmill run on a cold day is not all bad.  It’s a great tool to work on form/technique, and I didn’t have to bundle up.

So… on to more important things.  Yesterday was a good day as my fasting blood sugar was at 5.4.  Bev was slightly encouraging, but I think she remains skeptical that I will be able to keep it where it should be.

Well… today my fasting blood sugar was at 4.9!

Stats today:
Scaled in at 207.2 lbs
Fasting blood sugars this morning – 4.9
Resting Heart Rate this morning – 39BPM

Later,
ackselle

Another day…Another correction

OK….so it’s January 3, 2014.  I’m trying to correct my eating habits which will hopefully help with my weight and blood sugar maintenance.  I’ve started running again with some new goals (<42:00 10k) which will put more stress on my 53 year old body if I continue to run as I always have.

After my last injury (knee and lower back pain), I decided to change my running style.  Until now, I have always run with my front leg extended and landing with a heel strike.  My body talks to me after about 6 months of running with pain in both my lower back and right knee.  I don’t know why I didn’t check YouTube before, but it’s chalk full of coaching for running…and ALL the coaches agree with these 4 important points:
4 steps running

1) Your foot should land directly under your hips
2) You should land on your mid-foot, not your heel
3) Your cadence should be about 180 steps per minute
4) Lean slightly forward AT THE ANKLES (not at the waist)

Well…. I started running this way.  My first day Dec 26, 2013)  I ran only 1 mile and my calves were screaming in pain.  I rested a day, then ran 1.5 miles which was still harder than what I was used to, but easier than the first day.  I’m only 8 days in by now, yesterday’s run was 2 miles and I was comfortable always landing on my forefoot.  I can already feel this will be both a more comfortable way to run AND much faster than my old heel strike method.  I know, I’m only at the beginning of the trek, but I’m already feeling my goal of <42:00 10k is well within reach.  And my long-term goal of running without injury is looking better also.

AND…this running thing is a superb motivator to keep my weight down where it should be.

Today’s stats:
Weight – 207.4 lbs (same as yesterday)
Waking Blood Sugar – 5.7 (same as yesterday)
Resting Heart Rate – 42bpm (new parameter I’ll try to measure throughout the year)

Cheers,
ackselle Continue reading Another day…Another correction

One week in…. good progress

8 days after riding the wagon, i’m starting to notice some good changes.  I’m already sleeping better, although it’s tough getting used to fasting after dinner.  Bev loves to have a glass of wine with cheese while winding down for sleep.  While the wine and cheese are not really the temptation, eating something right before bedtime is!

I’ve kept up the exercise…running, elliptical, bike… that’s not become any easier yet, but I know it will (I’ve been off the wagon before, and the first couple of weeks on the “re-ride” is never easy).

Stats today:
Scaled in at 207.4 lbs (that first few pounds is very easy)
Fasting blood sugars this morning – 5.7 (<5.6 is the goal…almost there)

Cheers,
ackselle

In the beginning…

OK…. It’s Dec 26, 2013; for the last few months I’ve afforded myself the “luxury” of unabated gluttony.  This morning I scaled in at 220 lbs…about 45 lbs more than I should be.  My fasting blood sugars were at 6.5.  I haven’t run since July.  To put it bluntly, I feel unhealthy, fat and lethargic.  As Bev (my wife) says….”it’s time you got back on the wagon before you develop full on Type 2 diabetes”.  You see, Bev is a Pharmacist, but more to the point, she’s a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) with a distinct disgust for people who ignore the obvious signs and do nothing to control their chances of acquiring a disease that is often avoidable with some simple, but life changing choices.  

I’ve always struggled with keeping my weight down where it should be.  I believe I should scale in at 175 lbs or so.  A good friend of mine is a turkey farmer, and he suggests it would be marvelous if his birds had the feed conversion potential I have.  As such, I need to eat carefully, and exercise regularly to maintain both my weight and my health.  The benefits are endless…better sleep, more energy, better stress management, I can be active….and on and on it goes.  Hey wait a minute, that was Mr. Obvious talking there.  Bev would issue scorn as the statement is just something we should all know by now.

So…. my journey starts.  Here are my basic statistics as of this morning:

adult male, age – 53
weight – 220 lbs
fasting blood sugars – 6.5
today I ran 1 mile

I’ve booked my first 10k race for 2014.  I’m registered for the Vancouver Sun Run, April 27, 2014.  My target time is <42 minutes (my best time last year was 42:37).  We’ve booked our flights and hotel.  Now the work begins.

Then I booked my 2nd 10k race for 2014.  I’m registered for the Ottawa 10k on May 24, 2014.  FYI…. it’s 96% full as of today.

OK….enough for now.  Updates will follow.

Cheers,
ackselle