Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes

I'm trying to be a better diabetic. Really I am. I hate to admit it, but I rarely test my blood glucose prior to exercising.

I know. I know. Yes, I will try to be better. However, I do test my BG AFTER exercising and it's normally higher! Last week I tested it after Body Pump and it was 191. Not horrible. Certainly not where I want it to be. I'd be happy with 100 at all times, but I guess that's asking too much. Instead I try not to let my small fluctuations affect my daily life too much. They are usually all within a "normal" range, or at least normal for me.

BUT just in case you need a friendly reminder, I'm including an article from Spark People about Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

5-Minute Hover Challenge

Have you ever hovered?
I mean really hovered....just inches off of the ground.

A hover is similar to a plank, but you are on your elbows....butt is pikes and absolutely no arch. (If you are arching your back, please come to your knees.)

We started a 5-minute hover challenge at the fitness center last week after Body Flow class. Seven women in the middle of the fitness center, down on our elbows and toes trying to hold for 5 minutes. Well, let's just say I didn't make it, but we did have one person who did.

And then I brought the challenge home to Camo-Man and the kids. One of the things Camo-Man learned last week at physical therapy was that he needed to work on his core strength. So I issued "The Challenge". Hollywood and Camo-Man got down in position to compete against each other right away.

 Yes, this was definitely a victory for Hollywood as her daddy has a long way to go. Later when Diva Princess came inside after a long day of play, she took up the challenge as well; however, her form was not quite the best. The butt was a little too high in a pike.

 Princess did feel the burn though and dropped to her belly in exhaustion. A little dramatic maybe since I don't think she held it even 60 seconds.

The next challenge involved Hollywood and introducing her to the Lola, an ab exercise from Body Flow where you put your hands below your shoulders on the floor and try to lift your body off the floor. 
Let's just say there are some body mechanics that Hollywood needs to work on.....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

Good things happen all the time and sometimes I feel like we get caught up in the negative and forget to focus on the positive. So here is a positive story:
I was convinced Camo-Man needed surgery. We aren't sure exactly how it happened, but in May he started having a lot of pain and swelling in his right leg after working out. He tried to ignore it for a while, but shortly after the Turkey Festival Bed Races he knew he needed to see a doctor.

The good doc sent him for blood work, x-rays and an MRI. After all of the results were in, we found out that he had a "complex tear" in his meniscus. Uh-oh. I was convinced this meant surgery and several months of recovery. After a visit to the orthopedic surgeon, he suggested physical therapy to strengthen certain leg muscles. He also said Camo-Man could work out as long as the activity didn't cause him pain. The doctor advised Camo-Man to ease back into a workout routine and see how it goes. If he experiences pain, he'll need to return to the doc to see about surgery after all.
Diva Princess ready to work!

Over the weekend, he started running again. This time he had a new training partner. Our park district is holding its first youth triathlon this year on August 13th. Kids 10 & under will swim 100 yards. Kids 11 & up will swim 300 yards. Everyone will bike 4 miles and run 1 mile. Being a true Princess, my little darling asked almost immediately, "What am I going to wear for the triathlon? I can't run in a bathing suit!" Ahh, that's my girl. Always thinking.  (Should I be worried that Diva Princess is actually sucking in her gut?)

With Camo-Man's release to work out for the first time since mid-June, he was anxious to get started again. I was anxious to make sure he didn't push it too much. So we compromised. Diva Princess was so excited to get started on her triathlon training. We thought pairing her up with Camo-Man for his first steps back into training would be a great way to get them both moving.

We started out with the 3 of us riding the youth triathlon bike course. Let me tell you. That was quite an experience. Diva Princess, well, she's a talker. She talked through the whole thing. You know her every thought because she talked OUT LOUD through the entire route. She almost bit the road a couple of times because she was talking so much and kept turning her whole body from side to side instead of focusing on the road. We talked about rock on the road which can make you fall. We talked about passing kids. We talked about the importance of going for time in the triathlon. We talked about potholes in the road. She talked. We listened and smiled. Our 9-year old is growing up. It is so much fun listening to her think through all of these different topics.

We followed the bike course back to the pool where Camo-Man and Diva Princess were going for a 1 mile run. I decided to opt out of this part because after a 12 mile bike ride, 2 runs, teaching 5 Body Pump & 2 Body Flow classes in the last week my old body sure was tired. I'm a firm believer in listening to your body and my body was telling me to rest. Instead, I followed my two triathlete wanna-bees on my bike snapping some pictures and of course, listening to Princess chat through the whole thing. Finally, about halfway through the run, Camo-Man had to give Princess some tips on breathing - and not talking so much! They finished their mile while I rode my bike home. Eight easy miles on a rest day isn't so bad, right?

When they arrived back home, I thought for sure Princess would be ready to settle down for the night. Oh boy was I wrong. All she wanted to talk about was going lap swimming on Monday and meeting her friend, Ally, to train more for the triathlon. I may not ever win my age group in the triathlon, but I do believe my daughter, Diva Princess, is ready to take on the triathlon and kick some booty!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Top of the World

There are few things in life that can make you feel like you can do anything. I, however, have found one. Body Pump. I know you are going to think I am crazy, but every time I teach the class I fall in love with it more....and I'm still teaching the first choreography.

About five years ago, I took a Body Pump class at a local gym. It was fun. I enjoyed it, but I was happy with my little collection to DVDs at home. Fast forward to 2010 when our local park district decided to lease a small gym in town and you will start to see me researching group fitness classes and the pros and cons. In October, I went to Body Flow training and surprised myself by truly enjoying it. I began teaching Body Flow in January and enjoyed the group exercise experience. I enjoy teaching others how to move their bodies and how to move them correctly.

Finally, in February one of my co-workers agreed to go to Body Pump training. We agreed on the April training in Northbrook, IL and started practicing together at 5:30 am every Monday, Wednesdays and Friday. We giggled and laughed and then struggled and pushed each other through our Body Pump 74 DVD three times a week for almost three months in order to prepare for our three day training. Whether we were ready or not, the time arrived for us to go to training.

Scared? Yes. Nervous? Yes. Afraid I wouldn't be able to move by Sunday afternoon? Oh hell yah. I was definitely not sure how I was going to survive pumping it up all weekend long... but I did. I was tired, sore and utterly exhausted, but I had fallen in love with an incredible program.

Fast forward to our launch of Body Pump 77. Tell me we aren't creative people. We launched BP on the deck of our outdoor pool and held a private pool party for our class participants and their families immediately after. We had 16 women and 1 man participate in the class. We were off and running!

I've been teaching the class for 6-7 weeks now. My classes are generally very full......we try to squeeze 11 participants into our tiny little studio room. I love to watch my class participants push themselves as they change their bodies.

Yesterday I taught Body Pump two times....once at 8:30 am and then again at 7 pm. I really thought by the 2nd class, I would be struggling to get through the class, but 7 pm came and I was ready to kick it to the next level. Is it the music? Is it the adrenaline? Is it just because I know I can finally fulfill my inner child and be the center of attention? Hahahaha, probably yes to all of them. I can't help it. I must be a masochist. I am slightly crazy, but I like to exercise and I love Body Pump.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All with Good Reason

A few years ago I read a book by Dr. Judith S. Beck called "The Beck Diet Solution train your brain to think like a thin person". Dr. Beck writes about cognitive behavior modification by bringing awareness to your eating patterns and purpose for living a healthy lifestyle.

One of the first steps in Dr. Beck's program is to create an Advantage Response Card (ARC). An Arc will "help you motivate yourself everyday so that you stick to your diet, apply good eating habits, deal with hunger and cravings, resist emotional eating, and get right back on board when you make mistakes". Dr. Beck suggests that you read these cards daily as you lose weight and periodically for the rest of your life. I know it's hard to believe but sometimes we forget why we want to lose weight...especially in those moments of time when we are frustrated, stressed or unhappy. By reading your ARC, you will be able to put up a stronger fight against the sabotaging thoughts which invade our lives, such as:

Is dieting really worth it?
Resisting food is too hard.
I don't think I really want to do this.

Chances are thoughts like these have helped sway you from your purpose and demolished your good intentions in the past, but fear no more! It should only take 10 minutes to create your first card and 1 minute per day to read them. Dr. Beck suggests keeping a copy of them in your purse, in your kitchen, at the office and even in your car. Each time you read them your intention will be stronger, your purpose brought to the forefront of your mind. 

When I first read Dr. Beck's a few years ago, I made my first ARC. Here is what they said:

  1. I'll live a long, healthy life.
  2. I won't be self conscious in a bathing suit.
  3. I'll feel healthy & in control.
  4. I'll feed good on the beach. 
  5. I'll feel good in my clothes.
  6. I won't be embarrassed by pictures anymore.
  7. I'll awaken my inner athlete.
  8. I'll outlive my mom.
  9. I'll be proud of myself. 
Of course all of these advantages are still true. I want to live a long, healthy life. I want to feel good when I go to the beach or pool. I have re-awakened my inner athlete. I still want to outlive my mom who passed away at 68 years of age. All of these are still true and yet, I feel the need to expand upon my reasoning. 
  1. I won't have to turn sideways while looking in the mirror to see how noticeable my gut is. 
  2. I  may not do it (because I am of a ripe old age of 42), but I would like to feel as if I could wear a bikini. 
  3. I will truly personify the role model of a healthy woman for my group fitness participants. 
  4. I will feel better prepared to register for a marathon or half Iron Man triathlon. 
  5. It will help me stay off of insulin longer. 
All of these reasons are true; however, the final punctuating note has to be about my diabetes. As I watch my numbers start to rise, my concern for living a long, healthy life also rises.  

What are your reasons for losing weight? Or maybe you aren't striving to lose weight  - what are you reasons for living a healthy lifestyle? For working out on a regular basis? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

BG in the mornings

This is my concern. 

My morning blood glucose (BG) reading.

Two years ago it was around 110 normally.....
and that was alarming enough.

Now it tends to range from 130-146.


One of the things I've noticed is that my liver tends to dump glucose into my system when my stomach is empty. So now that I am watching what I eat more my stomach will be empty more often; however, that causes my BG to go up. Where is the logic in these complex systems which make up our bodies? 

We went out to lunch yesterday with Camo-Man's family. I ordered the Greekish salad with salmon which was delicious. The salad had olives, red onions, with a raspberry vinaigrette. However, back at the ranch I decided to have an ice cream cupcake to celebrate the July birthdays. Hmmmm. And no I didn't monitor my BG then. (shame shame)

After a day spent with the family, I intended to go for a run, but my co-worker is trying to complete her Body Pump video assessment before leaving on vacation Wednesday. So I did a light BP since I was teaching the class myself in the morning. 

Speaking of which - it's time to be off on my run to wake up to teach. I'm hoping to take another video today and really knock their socks off! Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Myth of the Plateau

I hear from people all of the time that they've hit a plateau in their weight loss. While that may be the case with some people, I can certainly say for me that I have not hit a plateau. Nope. Not me. I've been lazy. And unfortunately, I believe that is the probably with 90% of the people who claim to have hit a plateau.

The mythical plateau can come from many things. Not journaling your food. Not paying attention to the little nibbles throughout the day. Not working out enough - or hard enough. All of these things can lead to little or no weight loss.

Weight loss comes from a simple equation:

Calories In minus Calories burned

Plain and simple. So if you are stuck at a "weight loss plateau", start to re-evaluate where you are at and move forward from there. Here's an article from Spark People which might help jump start your metabolism once agin.

The Bubble Burst

There comes a time in your life when you set a goal and you know you are going to achieve it.
This is it. 

All of the starts are aligned and my motivation is high. It's been two years since I was diagnosed as PWD (person with diabetes). Two years since I lost 15 pounds. Two years.....of saying I will lose that final 10 week.

Why are the stars aligned?

  1. Baseball is over. I know this seems strange, but in my job as Director of Programs at our local park district this fun, kid friendly activity takes a lot of time. Let's say it again: Baseball is over!!!! I will no longer receive phone calls every evening or on weekends. I won't have parents screaming at me because the field wasn't ready or their kid didn't get to play. 
  2. The evening activities for my kids have come to a halt. No softball games (see #1). No swim meets. I can actually plan and MAKE a dinner for my family for the first time since April. Ugh. Has it been that long? 
  3. I'm teaching Group Fitness 5-6 days a week. At least 3 days of Body Pump. 2 days of Body Flow. My job does have some benefits! At least, the calorie burn is already somewhat built into my day.  
  4. Because of teaching group fitness, I have a built in group of women who will support me in my goals. I've discussed the idea of all of us working together and motivating each other toward our individual goals. I think this is going to be a great thing!
  5. I'll told the park district board that I am reducing my hours. In May & June, I worked close to 50 hours per week at my office job and then taught group fitness on top of that. Over the past few months, I've noticed my blood sugars slowly starting to rise. I don't know if that is because I've been eating out more and therefore eating more carbs? Or it it's the stress of working so much? Or if the disease is simply progressing in my body? I'm not sure why the change is happening, but I will do my best to reverse it. 
  6. I am going to Cancun in October. Whoot whoot! I like to put it this way. I am 42 years old and wearing a bikini is highly unlikely; however, I would like to at least feel like I could wear a bikini. Add the health benefits in and you'll see why I am so highly motivated. 
While I may be doing great at group fitness, I haven't been exercising and doing what I want to do. I haven't run since the Tremont Triathlon. I haven't been on my bike either.....and I certainly haven't swam. I oversee the managers at the pool, but I've only been in the water 3 times this summer to do lap swims before the triathlon. So pretty soon I'll be signing up for some fall races to get me going again. 

I started my mission yesterday. I started out the morning by meeting up with a friend at the fitness center and going for a light 2 mile run. Following a quick Redneck Bath, I joined another group of friends who went to the Farmer's Market on the riverfront. I've lived in this area for 15 years and this is the first time I've been there. It was fantastic!!!! Lots of fresh yummy vegetables, locally grown. It was all incredibly awesome and refreshing. 
I've also been working on motivating Sunshine. I had a God moment not too long ago where one of my class participants gave Sunshine a wonderful opportunity. I'll post more about that later. Part of her motivation is to ride her bike. So yesterday afternoon we took a ride...only to have her tire burst. Unbelievable!!! As you can see, Sunshine was quite upset about having to give up her ride with me. Actually, she was disappointed because she knows if she gets comfortable with the route she has a reward coming at the end. Note: The correct motivation is key!

After her tire burst and Camo-Man picked her and the bike up, I finished my ride going about 12 miles. Not bad for a lady who hasn't done cardio since June 25th!

I've started an online journal using Spark People. OK - re-activiated, but I am serious this time. I'm highly motivated. I leave for Cancun on October 2nd. I want to lose 10 pounds by then. That's 77 days. If I can't lose 10 pounds in 77 days, maybe I really should hang up all of my health & fitness knowledge and try to pack on the pounds to qualify for The Biggest Loser.

OK, maybe not.