Monday, February 6, 2012

Diets Don't Work

Monday 6 February 2012
07:46 - The scale says 182.8 first thing this morning so I'm going to round the number to 183 pounds and that's the start to me obeying my Fitness Rule #1. That's the start of me measuring. The goal this week is to loose 6 pounds. I've written it on a sticky note and put that sticky note on my computer monitor. My hope is that the sticky note will help me stay focused. Like a laser beam. We will see how it goes.

08:40 - Snick. Beep. 130 mg/dL. People with diabetes and the diabetes "educators" will tell you that there are "no bad numbers - no bad blood glucose readings." They say that any reading is not good or bad but "just information" so that you can make a decision about managing your blood glucose. OK whatever. I say that's crap. 130 mg/dL is a bad reading first thing in the morning.

If that's your "no bad number" every morning of your life, you're going to die sooner and have more complications and more serious complications and enjoy those more serious complications sooner and longer than you would if you had had more good numbers every morning. No fooling. A good number is better than a "no bad number" for sure. I think you can judge good and bad by the results they produce. Again, measure what's important.

Take 1 with every meal and 1 at bedtime
08:43 - 4 units of NovoLog insulin injected into the subcutaneous tissue around my stomach, one fried egg (from some great friends who raise chickens) with about an ounce of shredded cheddar cheese melted on top and then covered with 2 Tbsp of salsa and a Carbmaster yogurt (a Kroger brand and found locally at Smith's - I highly recommend) is my breakfast this morning. Also a cup of coffee with Sweet'N Low to round things out and this brings me to:

Fitness Rule #2 - Diets don't work. Lifestyles do.

This rule should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever tried a diet or tried to diet. Noun or verb, it doesn't matter. Diets don't work. Lifestyles work. I have tried a few diets over the years. I remember, and not fondly, the Cabbage Soup Diet, The Cookie Diet and lately I've been enjoying the Wienie Wrap Diet at Maverick most mornings, much to the chagrin of my wife. I guess you can diet for a while or do a diet for a little bit, but long-term, diets don't work. The only thing that I've seen diets accomplish is to line the wallets of their inventors with crisp dollar bills. Even so, we are drawn to diets like a moth to a flame.

If you want lasting health and weight control, you will need to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Sorry there are no shortcuts. A healthy lifestyle takes time to develop and I don't think it's natural so it will probably take some work. A healthy lifestyle adheres to one of my favorite principles: "a little plus a little." Big, radical, sweeping change may be exciting or fun for a while but it doesn't work long-term. Especially with diets. Slow, methodical, well thought out progress will be your key to success.

Clasp your hands together right now as you're reading this. Now try to clasp them a different way, crisscrossing different fingers than you normally do. Hard isn't it? Habits take time to develop, even bad ones, and take even longer to break. We are creatures of habit whether we like it or not and unfortunately so are our bodies. If you diet your body will resist you. Your body will fight back. It is how we are hard-wired together. Our bodies resist starvation. It's the survival instinct.

Change has to happen slowly. It has to seem natural. It has to feel natural to your body. Anybody can loose weight quickly by doing or eating just about anything. Or maybe I should say BUY doing or eating just about anything. But your body will fight back and you won't be successful unless the changes you are making are something you can stick with long-term.

If you have to completely overhaul your pantry, or go to the store and buy a bunch of stuff that you've never had in your pantry before, you're probably dieting. For lunch I'm going to have a vegan, chia, hemp, whey protein isolate shake with freeze dried bitter melon standardized extract, psyllium husk fiber, pickled avocados and fresh hand-picked goju ryu kata berries. Not really. I'm just kidding. Do you think I could do that everyday? Could you? Does that sound like a lifestyle or a diet?

If you are dieting, or on a diet, you're doing it wrong. Oops. Change your lifestyle instead and you will find success with your fitness and weight goals. Take your time and change bad habits. Create new good habits. Use what you know. Use what you have and change it gradually over time. Find good useful information, preferably from someone who is not selling something to you. Remember: a little plus a little. That's how it works. Slowly. Over time. Diets don't work. Lifestyles do. Change your lifestyle.

12:57 - Snick. Beep. 130 mg/dL. What the heck? Another bad number. Lunch is 2 panko breaded oven fried chicken tenders with a slice of mozzarella (it was going to be 2 slices of mozzarella but I put one back) and 2 Tbsp of salsa, 1 cup of steamed broccoli florets, 7 raw baby carrots, 2 Tbsp of blue cheese dressing and 5 units of NovoLog insulin. Half way through my lunch, I realized that I really only needed one chicken tender so I put one back to eat later. Diet? No. Lifestyle. I can eat like this and put stuff back the rest of my life.

15:24 - I get the old bike out and take it around for 21 miles of mostly flat tempo riding in the cold air. It's sunny and deceptive because it looks like it should be warm, but a North wind is extremely crisp and I can feel the cold through my windstopper gear. I'm riding mostly North and South and I'm very grateful for the tailwind to push me back home. I empty a bidon of water. On a side note, it feels good to ride around on a wheelset that I built with my own hands. Every time I ride the old bike, I like it a little more.

17:22 - Snick. Beep. 103 mg/dL. Better but not great. Someone without type 1 diabetes might have sucked down an energy gel or two or three and still have been able to make it home with a blood glucose reading of 83 mg/dL. I don't consume a thing and my result is telling me that I didn't ride very hard and I knew that while I was doing it. Dinner is the chicken tender that I put back at lunch with the mozzarella and the salsa, 7 steamed baby carrots and a heaping cup of steamed broccoli topped with Italian dressing and Tony's. I also had a 1/4 cup of homemade macaroni and cheese with diced ham and peas and 4 units of NovoLog insulin. Tonight I didn't put anything back. In fact, I snuck over and took a couple extra bites of the mac&cheese. Whoops! What a backslider.

23:32 - About 2 hours ago I ate a bowl of freshly popped popcorn. Now as I head off to bed, I am injecting my 15 units of Lantis insulin. This is the basal stuff. It takes the place of my pancreas basically and helps my body process blood glucose all day tomorrow. You might be reading this and think OK nothing too outrageous here and you would be right. Frankly that's the point I'm trying to make as I share Fitness Rule #2 with you. A little plus a little. Diets don't work. Lifestyles do.

Please post your comments. Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well..