Receptor Fitness

a reformed diabetic talks about food, fitness training and life after diabetes

Category Archives: Personal

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:

  1. My body does not like processed or refined carbohydrates. Period. So that means limiting carbs to those come from veggies and some fruit.
  2. My body needs to be worked out for 45 minutes or more, 5 or 6 times a week.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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?

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before and after

I’m back! I stopped blogging for a while to concentrate on life. As I’ve said before, I’m not really a writer, so blogging does not come easy to me.

For past readers, the blog is going to take a more personal tone as I will be writing about exercise, eating and ramblings about my life in general. I think living a healthy life includes good food, fun exercise options, being fulfilled in your career, and sharing your life with people who enjoy their lives.

One thing I never showed you—before and after pictures. So here goes:

At left, me at my heaviest. At right, 95 pounds lighter.

I’ve kept the weight off for over a year now. I still work out five days a week with three workout partners. I can’t emphasize enough how much easier it is to get motivated to exercise when you have like-minded people to share the thrill pain of working out. There’s a lot of encouragement and good-natured competition to keep you challenging yourself in the weight room.

For past readers: Many of you followed the antics of my corgi Frankie for many years on another blog. I wanted to take a moment to tell you that, unfortunately, Frankie became quite ill over the summer. She passed away on Oct. 24, 2009. I miss her a lot, but I know she had a full, fun doggy life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just want to wish everyone a happy, healthy Thanksgiving! I will post a proper blog entry soon!

Life After -90

Today is a bit of a ramble.
As most of you know, I’ve lost more than 90 pounds from my heaviest weight over the last year-plus. Recently, I’ve had people who know me walk right by me without recognizing me. That’s kind of a cool thing. But you want to hear something kind of sick? I feel pudgier now than I did when I weighed 260 pounds! I’m a lot more aware of the areas of my body that are the last to show the loss. You know what I’m talking about—those evil grandma wings on the upper arms and right around the middle. And no amount of tricep exercises or ab exercises is going to solve the problem. I just have to keep losing and wait for my skin to (hopefully) catch up. As a matter of fact I’ve actually over-developed my triceps in a desperate attempt to get rid of the wings (it didn’t work). So now, after much whining to my workout partner, I’m working on just enjoying the success I’ve had instead of feeling frustrated about the last 18 pounds or so I have to go.

What does the TMK stand for?
I’ve had a couple of readers ask me why I use TMK instead of my name? Well, for many years I was part of someone else’s blog. It turned into kind of a running gag because I was always referred to as “K” and my picture was never shown on that blog or anyone else’s (that was part of the gag), just parts of me that wouldn’t be recognized. The first time I left a comment, I signed it “The Mysterious K” as a joke and it just morphed into TMK. (The photo in my profile is the first photo of me that’s been published on a blog anywhere that I’m aware of. I decided to “out” myself a few weeks ago.)

I told you this was a ramble.
I was flipping through some photos over the weekend. Trying to find some “before” photos of myself. There aren’t very many because I’ve pretty much avoided being on the lens-end of a camera for the last 15 years. I did find one of me with a very popular Seattle Mariner who was the subject of a photoshoot I was art directing a few years ago. I didn’t realize how fat I was until I saw myself standing next to this very large athlete and I looked bigger than him.

And some diabetic content.
I got my quarterly lab results back and my Ha1c was 5.4% for the second quarter in a row, on 75% LESS medication. I’ve had completely normal blood sugar levels now for 9 months! I’m waiting for my new doctor to get back from her sabbatical so I can discuss getting off the meds altogether. The other thing that was interesting is that while eating a very high protein diet my kidney function has improved. I was told by the doctor I fired last year that I would destroy my kidneys if went down this dietary path. Not!

P.S. A shout-out to Dorothy. I walked right by you on the stairs this morning and didn’t realize it was you leaving the studio.

The Gym—The Path to the Stuff You Really Like To Do

I got a heck of a workout this weekend, but I never set foot in the gym.

I spent a total of 15 hours out in the garden edging my lawn and catching up on the weeding. Sounds doable until you find out I’ve got a 1/4-acre lot that I’ve landscaped over the last 11 years. It does require quite a bit of maintenance. And because of our very strange spring, the weeds were germinating faster than I could pull them and they had pretty much won the battle. I had not cleaned up the edge of the lawn in 3 years so it was really overgrown into the flower beds.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Being able to do a full squat is extremely useful for cutting sod with a flat blade.
  • Being in that squat over and over again for 8 hours or more gives your legs a great workout.
  • Having to go out the next morning and finish the last 60 feet of lawn edging, after spending the previous day doing the same thing, is somewhat painful.
  • Having strong shoulders and arms makes slicing under the sod go a lot faster.
  • Being fit makes it possible to do three weekends worth of yard work in one weekend.

I am amazed at the number of hours I worked in the garden. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to dig and weed and haul sod for that many hours without stopping before.

When I started getting really serious about all this exercise and eating right stuff to try and control my diabetes, that was my only goal. But there have been some fabulous benefits from eating well and working out that I hadn’t anticipated.

Like losing a ton of weight.

Or being able to run short distances in preparation for playing some soccer this summer.

Or having marathon gardening sessions and still having the energy to go play afterwards.

And feeling strong and healthy and being happy in my skin for the first time in a very long time.

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