Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Resolving To Change

I wrote earlier of how it is essential to look at eating differently and exercising as changing yourself. Saying so and doing it are two different things because it can be very difficult to do it...changing yourself I mean. After living a certain way (lifestyle) for many years you will find that it is really hard to make the necessary changes that will bring good health and fitness to your life. You know in your mind that the foods you are eating are making a contribution to your health issues and not exercising is what will bring about lifestyle illnesses like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, etc. You cant escape nodding to this as there are many public messages that say this but we continue to do what we do. We convince ourselves it can't happen to us, maybe to others but not us. But some point in time these things are going to come knocking on your door. If at that time you feel you really have to do something about the state of your health and fitness then there are many people out there that will help you on this journey.

The hardest part is accepting the situation and saying to yourself that you are sick because of the lifestyle choices you have made. So on any any journey you have to know where you are right now and start to build a road map to where you want to be. In other words you have to begin to know yourself. So from this context, you should get a notebook and chronicle your days for 2 weeks at the very least. It would be better to do this over a month. In this chronicle, you write down every thing that goes into your mouth during this time period, and I mean everything. You also write how you spend each hour of your day, especially when you are at home after your work day. Then you review it, preferably with someone that you know is actively taking care of their health. You will be shocked at what you are eating and how much time you waste just doing nothing. From this point, if you are true to yourself, the shock you experience will provide you with motivation to begin to do something to change yourself.

Anyway that is the beginning from which you will take your first step on your journey to good health and healing yourself from your illnesses.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Standing Up To Diabetes

My A1C Blood Test
The picture on the left depicts my blood tests measuring my glucose levels since last August. During my recent visit to the doctor he informed me that I do not have diabetes from all indications of the measurement given by the test.

One point in time the doctor said that I had diabetes and put me on medicines, 2 medformin at one time, to lower my blood glucose levels which had gone up to 22 at one point. I went into some sort of funk after that and sort of accepted that I had diabetes since my mom had and various other members of my family. Generally most First Nations people are susceptible to diabetes 2 and this sort of made it easy for me to give up and accept the condition. I guess also I was undergoing some sort of grieving process because I had just lost something and that was my good health. After awhile though I came out of my funk and started researching this diabetes and read lots about it. In the course of doing that I came upon cases where people have stopped the progression of the disease and in fact, in some cases, reversed the disease. It made me remember my mother and how she was able to live with and manage her diabetes until well into her 70's. She remained relatively healthy by eating well and exercising, she walked and ran for an hour each and every day. She used to tell us to do the same thing but of course, in the busyness of life, you have a tendency not to take good advice.

Anyway I was told I had diabetes and it shook me up as I said. But through reading and research the thought formed in my head that I could do something about this disease and I think have. As the numbers indicate on my blood test I do not have diabetes. How have I been able to arrive at this state? A lot of hard work and determination to change the way I thought about my eating and my life style was involved.

When I was young and in high school I was very active and played a lot of sports. As a result I was physically fit. However as I entered my twenties I did not do those things that made me a fit person, I got busy with working and with my family like everyone of you that may be reading this. I had no time to be physically active as I once had been. I was just to tired at the end of the day to even go for a walk. By the time I was in my forties I was quite a bit overweight. My highest weight was 235 lbs.

Anyway back to being told I had diabetes and after the funk, I determined to do something about it as those persons who had overcome this disease. As a beginning I started to walk and just cut in half how much I was eating. Amazingly I lost weight, got down to 220 lbs. in very short order. Through just walking 20 minutes to 30 minutes everyday and weight lifting I maintained this weight for the longest time and actually became physically fit, at least I could walk without huffing and puffing. Anyway after a time I began to think I could lose more weight than I had thus far. It occurred to me that it might have to do with the way I was eating. So back to reading and researching and found that I have to change what was on my plate each day. Through this process I have lost more weight and am now down to 188 lbs.

Today I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, lean meats like chicken and fish most of the time. Below is a picture of my favourite breakfast smoothie which I make myself most days.

Strawberry/Banana/Peanut Butter Smoothie
The ingredients for this are as follows:

  • 6 to 8 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon each of pure vanilla extract and ground cinnimon
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon of maca powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground almond nuts (optional)

Put all these in a blender (this is what you have to invest in, some of these blenders can be pricey but I'm sure when it comes to restoring your good health this won't stand in your way. Buy Kitchenaid brand it is the best) and blend away. Drink it in the morning as your breakfast and you wont feel hunger until well into the afternoon. In the meantime until your next meal, have fruit and veggies as your snacks.

Eating like this will take some time to accomplish. Our systems are so used to sugar processed foods, greasy foods and etc. Taking yourself away from these type of foods will shock your system, at least for the first 2 weeks anyway. But persist and you will come out at the end with more energy and feeling of well-being that you have not experienced for a long time. In fact if you try to eat these foods, greasy and processed foods, after being on this new way of eating for a while you will get sick and be barfing in short order. There are a lot of resources that you can look up that will help you to produce a well thought plan with respect your new way of eating that is easily available these days.

Another thing I do is take supplements to aid in my new way of eating and staying healthy. Some stuff I take are as follows:

  • 1000 IU of vitamin D3
  • 1000 mg of vitamin C
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract 800 mg (2x400mg pills each morning)

Advertisements for the coffee bean extract say that it helps with lowering blood sugar levels. Im not sure if there have been clinical trials to prove this out but what the heck I say to myself. I know in and of itself it may not have made the total difference in my new diabetes outlook. What changed it is my way of thinking and doing things for my health and lifestyle.

There is more to how I have changed my thinking and the process of it that I have not laid out here but I will get to that in later posts. For now I hope that I have encouraged you to change your lifestyle to combat the inevitable illnesses that come at you when you don't take care of yourself.