Month of May Full Resistance Challenge

It seems like weeks have past since I last had the opportunity to write a post so let me give just a small update on the progress I have been making.

I am still eating a Whole 30 diet each day and it seems that I have reached a point where my body weight is dropping at a slower pace. I don’t think this has to do with the Whole 30 diet though. You see I have dedicated the month of May to a complete dedication to resistance exercises. I am lifting every single morning for the whole month. I know this is against the grain of anything taught by the coaches and trainers, but it is the way I am performing these exercises that makes the difference and keeps my in a position of not taking the risk of overtraining. So the end result is that I am slowly building back muscles to a point where I am gaining weight while burning fat which means that I shouldn’t see dramatic loses when I step on the scale.

I have 5 routines set up where I perform just one each morning.

  1. Shoulders
  2. Chest
  3. Back
  4. Legs
  5. Arms

For each of these groups I am performing 3-4 different exercise where I am doing 3 sets and try to limit my reps to just around 12. When I can perform more than 12 I raise the weight just slightly at about 5-10 pounds the next time I perform the same routine. In essence what I am doing is slowly increasing muscle strength to a point where they are being just slightly challenged enough to build to a point where I experience little pain while noticing the resistance being performed.

This allows for the body to learn to adjust without injury to understand it has to perform and utilize both protein and body fat to meet the demands of the challenge. While doing this each day brings up an interesting question. What about cardio? I try to get on the treadmill at least 3 times per week after work and do a 2 mile fast paced walk. I don’t want to go past 2 miles but do find myself hitting 2 1/2 miles sometimes when I just don’t want to get off the treadmill or I am feeling that extra burst of energy. Too much cardio will create a demand for energy that could end up coming from the muscles and ends up taking away from all of the efforts made with resistance training. It should be just enough to utilize glucose left in the blood stream at the end of the day.

While I am building muscle I have made up my mind that I don’t want to use protein supplements. The body naturally absorbs just 8-10 grams of protein in just a 1 1/2 hour window after eating it. Anything which is not absorbed simply is converted to glucose or excreted. For body builders there is a whole science for getting around this like timing when you consume protein or utilizing added enzymes to assist with protein absorption, but for this old dude getting just enough naturally while creating a demand for protein through strength training is just enough to keep this Type II Diabetic in balance.

So what exactly is my ultimate goal here? Well, on a physical side striving to get my body mass index down to around 18 should teach my body to burn fat as fuel and this can only happen by limiting certain foods and not eating between meals. The exercise is just a small part, but a very important part of this goal. The secondary goal is actually more important than the first which is to reduce and keep my blood glucose in a safe range each day. Of course I could simply do this with just diet and medications, but what is the fun in that? No, if the human body has developed throughout millions of years to perform work then who am I to deny it this benefit. If I can reach a point where I can perform to close to a peak range each day I know that the added benefits will be tremendous. From the way I think to the way I feel each day and the added confidence that taking on any challenge to the possibility of taking on medical issues that could arise as I get older is enough to convince me that my chances of survival are that much higher.

As I work my way through this month I will complete my goal of strength training each day and will probably take it into the month of June. I know that sooner or later I will reach a point where I will have to take things to a new level where I just cannot keep increasing the weights on a consistent basis. It will be then where I may change my routine to something I do every other day as my body will certainly be demanding for rest periods between workouts. It will be then where I will readjust my workout routine and figure out what will work best.

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A Whole Life

Slowly and carefully I am taking small steps towards going from a Whole 30 diet to a Whole 30 Lifestyle. I suppose you can say I am trying to create a Whole Lifestyle. With new born excitement about not just my health, but life in general I have made up my mind that with just a few changes I can increase the amount of happiness I feel in my everyday life. Yes, when all the systems in my body can come to together and work in unison I am finding that the feelings I have towards the thoughts of myself and the world around me reflect a level of energy that can be equal to the energy of those natural environments that I so love to visit.

I am learning that by simply changing the food that I put into my body each day to the foods that were available thousands of years ago like meats and vegetable without any addition of any type of processed foods allow my body to do what is natural for a human body to do. Build muscle and burn fat. The many systems in my body are not working overtime to rid my body of harmful substances that come with eating unnaturally. This not only increases my energy levels but also elevates those stupid hunger pangs between meals. Basically I eat good and don’t think about food again until the next meal.

I am learning that exercise is my friend and by staying mindful each day to performing just enough exercise to keep my muscles and bones strong while also challenging my heart to pump just a little harder than normal I am finding a new level of personal confidence in both the way I look and feel. Yes, I need both resistance exercises and cardio vascular routines each day with an occasional day off here and there. Eating right also contributes to a feeling of well being and overall attitude towards exercise and it didn’t take long before I started waking up in the morning with a yearning to start working out.

I have learned that by simply going to bed early each night at the same time and waking early I feel refreshed and ready to take on whatever challenges the world my throw my way. It is this natural sleep cycle that contributes to the revitalization of those muscles that I work and all of those systems in my body to recharge and prepare for the what lies ahead. Yes, there are just so many hours in a day and many times it is difficult to fit in all of the daily tasks we must take on in those hours, but it is important to understand that there is always tomorrow and of course there is always a weekend that lies ahead where there is no existence of that daily grind of a work day.

I am learning that during that daily grind of a work day there are always levels of work that seem to go beyond the amount of time allowed each day to complete such required tasks. It is the understanding that there will always be more work than an ample amount of time to complete work assignments each day and by coming to this realization can rid the mind of the constant need to get something done quickly to try to fit the next task into the daily schedule. Yes, a job can be very stressful and demanding at times and it is this stress that leads to many bad things happening inside my body. There is a huge difference between quality and quantity and by focusing my mind more on quality leads to better understanding and overall performance in the long hall. It is that monkey brain that is always trying to juggle so many things at one time and never giving the attention truly needed to perform just the on task that is in front of me. Working on just one thing at a time until the completion of that single task creates a better work environment for my mind and allows for a decrease in that feeling of stress. Less stress leads to a comfortable ride home at the end of the day and a happy home life at the end of each day.

I have learned and keep learning that by taking complete control of my finances leads to not having that overwhelming feeling that my finances control me. Spending money on needs vs. wants quickly delivers additional money in my bank account at the end of each month. Using this same money to pay down debt and keep available for emergencies that may arise builds a level of confidence in my financial well being that can make the difference between a tragedy an event. I had one of those events last month where I had to get many repairs done to my vehicle. Being that I had the money put aside for such an event meant simply writing a check and working to replace the money that I spent on the repairs. If I didn’t have the money available then it could have turned into a tragedy where worries arise like how I would get to work each day.

These are just a few of the positive changes I have been making in my life and as I move forward in this Whole Life there will certainly be other area’s to explore. There is an has always been a nature cycle of balance in this world that we life in and although at times it seems possible to think that we can over ride this system it always comes back to we were born to live within it. The progress we make within this natural balance will always out way the progress that we think we can make by working outside or beyond it. Eat well, get a sufficient amount of daily exercise, sleep well, find a way to reduce stress and take charge of your finances and you too will find great joy in just being alive today.

 

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Who is Responsible for my Health?

After completing the whole 30 I have been carefully contemplating what would be next for me. Do I mess around with foods from my past that may be OK to eat or should I simply keep doing what is working for me? The bottom line here is two fold. First I can’t say that I am displeased with eating nothing but healthy foods each day. I actually enjoyed it. And second I am not completely satisfied with where my body fat ratio is right now. I truly believe that with just a little extra effort I can still burn off an additional 10 lbs of fat over the next several months.

The mirror tells all as I stand naked gazing into it after a shower each morning. Although I have certainly trimmed down in certain area’s there are still others that need additional work. This work is in the form of exercise but successfully achieving the goal of fat burning can only take place with a strict diet. So activity levels must rise slightly each day while carbohydrate intake must stay low. I must work on this balance to allow my body to get back into it’s natural form that displays it’s own balance of good health.

Yea, I know… I am 56 years old and I should be happy where I am at based on the condition of most men at my age, but I say fuck that. If I can reach the goal of optimal health at my age then why shouldn’t I try to attain it?

So here we go. Build muscle, Burn fat. Avoid all foods that are not in the best interest of basic human health. Everything from natural sources without the chemical assistance of ranchers and farmers who use additives to produce these foods for larger profits. Each day, just one day at a time broken down into perfect workouts and meal plans.

In the past few days I have been concentrating my early mornings on weight lifting and putting off the cardio until the end of the work day. So far this hasn’t worked out well as I have nixed off the cardio each day. This is going to change as I am adopting a new thought pattern towards it. I have these beliefs that I need to perform at least 30 minutes of cardio after work each day and because of that I don’t believe that I have the time to do this each day so I just don’t do anything at all. For now on my thoughts are going to be towards just getting on that old treadmill for just 10 minutes each day. If I end up doing more then that is good and if not that is OK as well. Something is always better than nothing.

Why am I striving so hard to reach the point of optimal health? Way back when I promised myself that I would find a way to battle Type II Diabetes naturally without the assistance of medications. I knew that by not addressing this problem there could be certain hardships involved like loss of eye sight, leg amputations and reducing my life expectancy by 10 years. Excess sugar running through my veins does and will reap havoc on my body and too often leads to a heart attack. Sorry folks, but I am not ready for any of these symptoms, especially death.

I know that my own personal health is my responsibility and falling into a state of poor health can be blamed on no one other than me. It is me an only me who has the power to make significant changes in the ultimate outcome of my own health. Getting older is not an easy path to walk and I know will come with certain complications but I also understand that I can reduce the effects of these complications by simply becoming the best physical version of me that is attainable.

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Dinner Ideas for People with Type 2 Diabetes

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What is that Bright Yellow thing in the Sky?

After 7 long months of not seeing the sun I woke up to this sight. Woo Hoo

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Meal Planning to Manage Blood Sugar: Carb Counting for Diabetes

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The End of The Whole 30 brings New Beginnings

So I completed The Whole 30 and have seen tremendous results. Since then I have been staying pretty much on track other than having a few bottles of beer after work. No problem right? Well Houston, let me tell you, we have a major problem here.

I am quickly learning that without the additional carbs the alcohol from the beer is making me stupid drunk and causing me to wake up to a nasty little hangover each morning. Between that and the fact that my body weight is increasing along with my morning glucose levels I can safely put beer on the culprit list of things not to do.

So to remedy this problem I have decided to replace beer drinking after work with treadmill time. That’s right. I am going to commit to weight lifting in the early morning and cardio after work each day. So yea, 2 workouts per day. Does this mean I am going super athlete get ready for the Olympics mode? Not in your life. Both of my workouts each day will be sensible and be just enough to balance my blood sugars while keeping in step with my body’s needs based on the amount of food I am eating each day.

So starting today, right now I am working out twice a day and will be working on refining my diet each day to provide the maximum amount of nutrient rich foods while keeping far away from anything that is not fit for human consumption.

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Successfully Completed the 30 days of The Whole 30

Here we are at the completion of the 30 days of living The Whole 30 lifestyle. One whole month of eating a low carb high nutrient diet and the results are amazing.

I dropped 15.8 lbs. overall and my morning glucose reading is at 88 mg/dl this morning.

My daily energy and level of mental concentration are in perfect balance and my overall thoughts are in harmony with the actions of each day. Yes, both mental clarity and feeling of physical well being are now a part of my daily life.

For a type II diabetic there is nothing worse than starting off your day knowing that your blood sugar is high. For me that early morning fasting blood test sets the tone for the day and if it is high all kinds of negative thoughts seem to come my way throughout the course of my day. I simply cannot allow this to happen as life itself is certainly a gift and each day that we are alive should be filled with joy and happiness.

So I have reached my goal and have to decide where do I go from here. Is there another level or bridge to cross or should I just be happy in this new land that I have discovered? I can move forward or just stay where I am at for a while. What I do know for sure is that I cannot move backwards to where I was before starting this program.

Progress seems to be the theme of all humans once we discover something that is in our best interests. We seem to want more and test how far we can take things. I too think this way and for now I believe that it is in my best interest to just get a good footing and hold fast for a little while.

Yes, for just the next 30 days I will hold fast and keep doing what I have been doing for the last 30 days. Who knows? I may end up burning a little more fat and even bring my blood sugar down a little bit more. I don’t know where it will take me, but what I do know that it can only bring more positive results. Who knows where I could possibly be a year from now if I simply stay the course? Hmmm

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Feeling Better

Being sick for the last three days wasn’t very fun but today I am feeling much better and am ready to get my body moving again. I have noticed that my morning glucose readings have been slowly creeping back up again although I am still under 100 mg/dl. But at any rate I don’t want to fall into the state of of potato.

I am lifting today but am also taking it easy to make sure I don’t create too much of a demand on my system where it may still be busy cleaning up the last of the problems with being sick. I suppose you could call it a balanced approach.

I have noticed that my body weight hasn’t changed much due to remaining committed to eating the whole 30 diet. I remember in the past when I got a cold typically I would put on a few pounds and the cold would keep me down for over a week. But here I am now just 4 days after the initial feelings of being sick and I am feeling strong and energetic. Could simply eating more healthy actually make such a difference? I suppose it could.

Posted in body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, paleo, primal, simple living, the whole 30, type II diabetes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Our Emergency Fund and Practical Decisions

Back in late 2013 I made the decision to purchase a reliable vehicle that would be strong enough to pull a travel trailer. After considering many options I decided that since my track record with Hyundai pretty much perfect I would stop at my local dealer to inquire. They had a 2009 Santa Fe on the lot which only had one previous owner and perfect service records. It did have 55,000 miles on it but according to many testimonies I learned that this vehicle was built for the long haul and could easily last up to 300,000 miles when properly maintained. More importantly it was a 6 cylinder model with a tow capacity of 2675 pounds which is perfect to pull a light travel trailer.

Fast forward almost 4 years I am still driving that Santa Fe and have had just one problem when the fuel pump gave out. It was a minimally expensive repair and I have had no other problems since. I just reached 85,000 miles and scheduled maintenance with Hyundai Service. Tires, brakes, belts, alignments and a few other system maintenance items brought me to the figure of $3000.00. The vehicle has been paid off for over a year now and I have been banking the monthly payment into an emergency fund. So now is the pay off time.

Years ago I would have panicked and quickly made all kind of bad decisions like trading it in and purchasing a new vehicle. As I have grown wiser I know that it doesn’t matter what vehicle I purchase, sooner or later it will always come back to the fact that vehicles need to be maintained and eventually we have to find a way to keep up with this maintenance. It truly is one of the costs of driving.

Although I am older and wiser there still is the little boy inside me who has been searching the internet checking out all the new trucks and options available. Yes, it is exciting thinking about driving a brand new truck with all of the bells and whistles, but would making such a purchase actually be practical. On average I discovered that such a purchase would set me back around $53,000.00 and years of car payments. Obviously this is unacceptable for someone who is in the last steps of this debt free plan that I have been working for almost 5 years now. I am within 16 months of paying off the mortgage and I have vowed to not let anything get in my way other than emergencies. I consider spending $3000.00 to maintain my Santa Fe an emergency and after considering my other option of getting further into debt by purchasing a new truck. I have discovered a new found gratitude in the vehicle I am currently driving.

There still may come a day when purchasing a new truck is practical but it certainly is not today. And I still have dreams of purchasing a travel trailer that will give us opportunities to visit different off the beaten path places to discover the wonders of nature. I still picture pulling an R-Pod down the road and the vehicle I am driving is more than strong enough for the task.

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