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On to more positive news... [Jan. 15th, 2012|04:33 pm]
My doctor says my blood sugar is high, and so is my h1bc... not surprising given my stress, and my mission of learning bread baking.

So, today, I braved the snow (trivial in most places where they have snowplows, but semi-dangerous in western Washington) and bought a treadmill. It should be delivered sometime this week.

I'd hesitated to get a treadmill for the obvious reasons... it's the most expensive clothes rack ever, to get one that's *good*, you need to spend in a neighborhood of $2,000 (and you can spend even more with good reason), and, for me, they don't allow easy interval training - they don't speed up or slow down fast enough to allow a good "run for 1 minute/walk for 1 minute".

But I did realize that they offer one thing that neither my little step-bench nor the great outdoors offered - a chance to set up a slow walk while, e.g., watching TV, or playing video games. This could be important, because right now, I'm working 2-11. When I get home, I want to sleep, ASAP, and that means I won't do aerobic exercise. But, I could do a slow(ish) walk. That means if I don't exercise before I go to work, I can do something when I get home. And, I can do interval training outside - worst case, I have to wash my hair more often if it's raining or snowing.

That's the theory, anyway. Here's hoping I didn't just convince myself I had a right to buy an expensive toy. But I need to make sure I don't let my blood sugar get out of control.

So, I bought a treadmill, and that's good news. And, I'm going back to a low carb diet - I'm getting my sourdough starter prepped for freezing. I know that part of the reason I have blood sugar issues is that starches and sugars are too easy for me to snack on, and bread is especially risky, when I always have some around. Plus, I tend to eat healthier; I force myself to eat vegetables more often, and there's nothing more fun than realizing that a salad with chicken or turkey, and bacon, and blue cheese dressing is *not* cheating, if you remember to skip the croutons :-).

And, per a recent post on this, I think my hip is getting better. The pain no longer disturbs my sleep as much, but I think I am still working it just as much. (Um. Did that just sound as much like "lowered expectations" as I think it did?) Seriously, it does feel like it's getting looser, and not hurting as much, but I do still have pain at night. I'm still holding to my promise to myself to re-evaluate next Monday.

[User Picture]From: desert_dragon42
2012-01-16 02:26 am (UTC)
It is really important that you monitor your blood glucose levels. Knowing by the numbers how carbs and other intake affects your levels is invaluable in managing what and how and when you eat.

The new fangled monitors are awesome. Easy to use, only the tiniest amount of blood needed and very accurate.

Glad to hear your hip is better!
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-01-16 08:42 am (UTC)
Well, if all goes well, my blood sugars and h1bc levels will be back in the normal range in 3-6 months, and I won't need to monitor. I'll know more after that whether I need a monitor or not.
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[User Picture]From: grey_lady
2012-01-16 07:48 am (UTC)
I'm glad that you are working on it and doing what you need to do.

I do have a question about the sourdough starter - I have one too, and similarly am going back to low (right) carb eating - you can freeze it? How do you do it?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-01-16 08:34 am (UTC)
Yes; the yeasts are still alive and if you freeze a strong, active starter, it should revive after freezing; yeasts do cryo-sleep really well.

I've seen people who suggests defrosting it, and then feeding it daily (or twice daily) for a week, just to be sure. Other people think that it's okay to feed it once after defrosting, and again to make sure it's nice and bubbly, and then start using it.

I should mention that I, personally, haven't successfully frozen and revived a starter... this is all second hand. But it should work.
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[User Picture]From: siliconivy
2012-01-16 03:34 pm (UTC)
good luck with the treadmill. I've been wanting to get a treadclimber for ages, but a combination of price & having no clue where I'd put it keeps stopping me.

was this the first bad blood work, or have you been diagnosed as pre-diabetic?

and even more good luck with cutting back on the carbs. especially the bread. I miss bread, and that's one reason I've stopped making it (i read your bread-making posts with envy).
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-01-19 12:33 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm going to miss the bread, too. Then again, that's probably the biggest thing that's hurt me. Bread is just too easy to eat too much of... that's why low carb eating is so much better for me. I can probably eat - I dunno, ten, or more, pieces of bread in a day, and not really feel it. And I was always baking new bread when the old loaf ran out!

But if I'm not really hungry, and pick up a handful of nuts, I realize after the first one or two that, wow, I really don't want to eat anything.

What's going to be tricky is what I'm going to do after I've been doing this for six months or so... when I fell off the low-carb wagon last time, I ended up slowly forgetting all about why I needed to be careful. And I can't let that happen again. I don't want to never eat bread, or ice cream, or whatever. But I also don't want to forget that I'll always have to be careful.
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[User Picture]From: ftemery
2012-01-16 05:51 pm (UTC)
Two thoughts; do you have any ankle weights?

I keep seeing you improving, thinking up new ways to do things, and coming back again and again to working out, eating better etc. I'm impressed.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-01-19 12:53 am (UTC)
Heh. Thanks, but I've also been extremely lucky.

In junior high, I learned about jogging and learned I liked it. I kept jogging in high school, and through college, though I got much less dedicated. I've never completely lost my exercise push, and I've never really had any serious injuries. So, I knew that all of the things that I've been facing are fixable. That's *huge*. I was having some problems with frustration, and a bit of fear, back in June when I realized I had nearly no fitness left, but that's thankfully gone away, now that I've gotten back enough :-).

I've never been big into sports, but I've gained a lot of appreciation for how important it can be to teach a child (/teen) that being able to move feels *good*.
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2012-01-16 07:42 pm (UTC)
I just experimented last night with the treadmill/iPad/noise-cancelling headphones combination, and it's terrific. Normally, it's hard to watch tv while treadmilling because the treadmill noise overwhelms the soundtrack of whatever I'm watching. But I put the iPad on the console, plugged in the NCHs, turned on an episode of Angel, and walked and watched for 43 minutes -- not bad. when you consider I haven't been on the treadmill in at least a year.

Yoga is helping my hip a lot. I'm still having some pain, but it's definitely less, and sometimes for a day or two after yoga it's down to where I can't feel it at all under the ambient sore muscles ::g::

FWIW, here's the way my physical therapist explained what's going on with my hip, more or less: "Imagine a joint, in your case your spine, as a sliding screen door. Different things can go wrong with the joint: the "door" can jam altogether; it can fall completely out of the sliding mechanism; the mechanism can get dirty and move reluctantly; the stoppers at the end can give out, so that the door slides way past where it's supposed to; or the stoppers can soften, as though they were made out of felt instead of hard rubber, so that the door is just a little bit loose in its frame. In your case, normal degeneration of your spine is like the last one -- the bones in your spine have degenerated just a little bit, so that the normal functioning of the spine doesn't stop where it should and the sacroiliac and muscles are having to do the work that those bones would normally do. They were never meant to do that work and it pisses them off. You can't fix the bones, so the best thing you can do is strengthen the muscles so the extra work doesn't annoy them so much." (Obviously, YMMV and all that.) The exercise she currently has me doing involves tying an exercise band around my ankles, then sidestepping back and forth across the room, stretching the band with each step so that the hip adductors are being worked hard -- it's surprisingly tiring. She's also encouraging yoga, Pilates and low-key aerobics like treadmilling or rowing.

Now that I know what's wrong and know I can't fuck it up with normal exercise, it's getting better. She tells me I should not expect to become permanently pain-free, but that it's realistic to expect to get my pain levels down to where I don't need too much medication -- which would be plenty for me.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-01-18 07:51 pm (UTC)
Heh. This is why I've often thought of myself as privileged about this injury... I've always felt deep down that there was nothing, nothing at all, wrong with my hip that wouldn't get fixed if and when I figured out how exercise in the right way. Because I knew it was just sciatic impingement, I knew that it would be fixed, and that exercise would help in the long term.

I knew that there were a lot of people with similar problems who didn't have similar assurances or similar reasons to be assured.

(That's not to say I wasn't feeling pretty damn pitiful those nights I realized I was never really sleeping soundly because there were no comfortable positions to sleep in... but I also was pretty sure I'd stop having them eventually.)

The blood sugar issues are the same; I know what's going on. I was stress-eating too much, including far too many sweets and starches. I'm betting with a low carb diet and a lot of exercise, I won't register as having problems on bloodwork any more.

(I'm hoping I won't need headphones for my treadmill. But I'm going to keep that in mind as an option... I probably would have gone for louder speakers first, and that would be more expensive than plugging in headphones.)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2012-01-19 12:22 am (UTC)
Well, in my case, I'm expecting I won't need to monitor much. I know what's happening, and why, and I expect to be able to fix it, as permanently as anyone can when they have family history of diabetes.

(And yes, I admit, it's possible that this isn't going to happen... but my instinct says that this is a temporary issue. If chemistry says otherwise, okay, my instinct has been wrong before. But I've been eating too many sugars and starches for a long time now, and not exercising nearly as much as I could be. So I think I'll turn this around completely.)
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