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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Diet and Exercise - Back to the Grind

It hit me yesterday. I may have been overly caffeinated, but still, the heart palpitations were unambiguous. I can feel it when my heart kicks into a different rhythm. My size 36 pants, falling off me a year ago this time, are now uncomfortable again. I suspect my blood sugar is pushing upward again too. I got into the dietary regimen 18 months ago because of hearth health and fear of diabetes. I cut out sugar and simple starches of all kinds, even certain kinds of fructose. I started exercising - walking at first and then busting my butt on the elliptical machine at a local gym. In 8 months I went from 126 to 180 pounds. Then I got sick. Actually I had been sick and did not know it. The last two months of working out meant a daily migraine and extreme tiredness. What I didn’t know was that my hemoglobin had crashed, and my iron stores were about nothing. I woke up one morning with a migraine and I could not stand up. The doctors surrounded me with urgent calls to have my GI tract checked. I hardly had any tiem to process anything. So I did all that, and it seems the culprit was two small ulcers in my stomach - not bacterial related. 

It took me months to recover. I started eating like crazy - including lots of foods rich in iron. I took iron pills. Finally many months later my hemoglobin was normal, and then soon after my iron stores were replenished. And I was fat again - the kind of fat the afflicts my gender - stomach, beer gut with no beer. 

I have gained 36 of the 46 pounds back. My dietary regimen over that year was good - I could eat whole grain breads, vegetables, meat of any kind, milk and dairy products, lots and lots of yogurt, and lots and lots of high bran cereal - dry. 

It has nothing to do with the new Year, but as of today I start back. I won't be able to use a gyn. I'll have to let the world be my gym, and do dumbbells and core exercises at home and in my office.

I figured out how to run or walk briskly downtown. I just head off and at every light I go where the sings say walk - a different route every time.  If I get to the border of downtown I just turn around. It's kind of fun.

My biggest challenge (next to laziness) is sweat - I don't like getting wet and then having to do office work, so I need to figure that out. Someone suggested baby wipes.

I went to a movie last night and bought popcorn. I savored the stuff because I won't be having pop corn again for months.

I don't care really how much I weigh, but my cardiologist says that exercise will cause the body to produce the very same kinds of chemicals as taking medication. he also told me not to rejoice too much that my congenital  mitral valve prolapse had stopped prolapsing. He said that my heart muscle was a little overweight too, and that as I lost weight my prolapse might return.

I choose not to get diabetes II. It scares me more than cancer for some reason. There is only one way to avoid it - exercise and diet.
So, if anyone sees me downtown running or power walking, I am not showboating, except to show off how out of shape I am - I am trying to get healthy.

I guess we'll see how it goes.


10 comments:

TJ said...

joel...

A cost effective way that I've found is shovelgloving.

Try it out...

www.shovelglove.com

Sheralle said...

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Deborah

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Dave Ribar said...

Joel:

Good luck with the new regimen.

One suggestion for sticking to the walking/running is to keep a log.

You mentioned "lots and lots of" yogurt and high bran cereal. Check the labels for those carefully, because many of those products contain a lot of sugar and carbs.

It would be wonderful if we could actually choose the diseases that we get. Instead, we have to settle for doing the best that we can with the sometimes flawed gifts we were given.

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