a reformed diabetic talks about food, fitness training and life after diabetes
Trainers struggle, too.
Oh…2011. It was a year of experimenting on myself three years after my initial 97 pound weight loss.
- What can I eat?
- What foods should I really stay away from?
- Can I get away with 30 minute workouts three times a week?
- Is walking the dog enough exercise for me?
- Who’s more “right”—Gary Taubes or Michael Pollan when it comes to what we should eat, how much, and which foods we should shun? Or are they both right depending on a person’s metabolic make up?
And of course, being human, I had to learn the hard way. Which means I have a bit of weight to lose. The difference now compared to when I let myself get to 260 pounds is that I didn’t let it get so out of control that there’s no way back. And I know how to get the weight off now. The hard part is having the discipline to do it.
Here’s what I learned about how my body uses and stores food and my issues with food:
- My body does not like processed or refined carbohydrates. Period. So that means limiting carbs to those come from veggies and some fruit.
- My body needs to be worked out for 45 minutes or more, 5 or 6 times a week.
- I have the aging process working against my fitness and weight goals and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. (I haven’t quite accepted this one.)
- I still have same issues with food that I had when I weighed 260 pounds. Which means I have to make good food choices every time I eat.
I had several false starts on losing the 20 pounds I gained during my experimentation. I’d get the food right, but not the exercise, or vice versa. Since the beginning of 2012 I’ve hit on the right combination of food and exercise and the weight is slowly coming off. I’m averaging about 5 pounds a week right now. I realize that will probably taper off to a couple pounds a week. And I’m good with it. The important thing is the number is going down and my clothes are fitting better.
Everyone’s metabolism responds differently to food and exercise. The trick is finding the combination that works for you and gives you the results you’re looking for.
It’s also important to find the thing that motivates you to keep going when you’re faced with the “fun” choice vs. the “right” choice at restaurants and potlucks and on those nights when you just have the munchies.
My motivation is that I never want to have to take insulin or metformin again. And the other motivation is to continue inspiring my training clients and others who are struggling with significant weight issues. I feel a responsibility to be a good example of a healthy lifestyle. And I’m honest with them about my struggles with eating right.
So, what motivates you to make good food choices or go to the gym when you really want to sit on the couch and eat potato chips? Do you know what foods trigger insatiable cravings in you?