Learning, Learning, and More Learning

Since the phone call, I have met with a registered dietician in my area twice and have gained a wealth of knowledge. So much of which is counter to what we are taught as trainers. (Not to mention the crap nutrition info that gets passed around on the internet!)

During the first session, I was poised to take notes and hang on her every word. What I had been doing hasn’t been working. I was feeling great for the most part, and still strong, but I had been slowly creeping back up the scale, both the literal one, and the scale of sizes in my closet. I was teaching spin and loving it, strength training 2-3 times per week and running any chance I could. Along the way, I kept thinking it was because of the move, the deployment, the lack of a fitness tribe as experienced in Hawaii. When all of your friends are doing the same thing and intensely motivated – it’s not exactly easy, but it is so much easier. Despite crafting a life dedicated to activity and doing fun fitness-y things, I wasn’t heading in the right direction. The dietician promptly said, “A little bit of nutrition knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” And how true that is.

There are some universal basics: calories in vs. calories out (food we consume vs. the energy we expend), but there are other factors as well. 150 calories of soda vs. 150 calories of vegetables are going to do entirely different things to your energy level, mood, satiety, hydration, etc. This is where the what we are eating is just as important as the how much.

For the Type II diabetic, our bodies have an elevated level of blood sugar, beyond what is normal. (Hyperglycemia). To counter this elevation in blood sugar, also called blood glucose, our pancreas produces insulin to help bring that blood sugar back down. At first the body will produce more insulin to get the blood sugar back to normal levels, but over time it cannot keep up. Welcome to Type II diabetes. (Type II has a strong hereditary component. It has been said that genetics loads the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger.) Keeping it in check will be a priority for life.

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That tank top was an XL

Is it a bummer? Yeah, I guess it could be seen that way, but I get to choose how to view it. For me, meeting with the dietician clicked a missing puzzle piece into place. Though not effortless, I’m not having to kill myself in the gym. Concentrating mostly on high intensity interval cardio (running and spin primarily) and once a week lifting 1-4 reps of max. This maintains current muscle mass. Lifting too much (high reps, focusing on endurance) my body bulks, which is what my 3-day/week plan had been doing. Go figure.

Top pic is the same April shot as above, the bottom is me as of 5 minutes ago :)

Top pic is the same April shot as above, the bottom is me as of 5 minutes ago 🙂 15 lbs down, 12 inches overall and a medium tank.

Ultimately, a body is a body. Mine does what I ask it to and then some. It allows me to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I still wonder if progress pics help anyone except the subject. It’s more than just vanity. When we figure stuff out (that most of us have been trying to figure out since our teens!) it’s empowering to see that success. Dealing with this personally has no doubt helped on many levels as a personal trainer.

If you have been eating well (be honest!) and exercising regularly but aren’t seeing results –  get your blood work done. Have your primary health care provider take a look at it. Take those results to a dietician. Learn. Try something new if what you are doing isn’t working.

It is worth it. YOU are worth it!

The Phone Call

“You’re cholesterol numbers look good…” The nurse paused as I anxiously wondered why they were calling me. I’d had the exam last week, and as per usual, no news is good news. Yet, here I was on the phone going over lab results. Okay…

But.

There’s always a but, isn’t there?

“But…you’re blood sugar numbers are quite elevated…watch the carbs…..portion control….you are prediabetic…”

Oh.

Wait, what? How is that possible? Doesn’t she know it wasn’t a fasting blood draw? I workout! I eat healthfully most of the time. We cook at home, and use real ingredients. Apparently, it doesn’t matter. The nurse on the line was making her routine calls and gave me the advice to cut back on carbohydrates. Sure, come back and retest in 6 months. Or a year. Whenever you want. Okay. Bye. Click. End of conversation.

Still reeling from that conversation a week ago, this morning I met with a registered dietician who went over my food logs for the past week, as well as my blood work from the doctor. There is so much I have to learn. The more I learn, the more I realize just how much I don’t know, you know? The more information I was given, the more questions popped up. 

Honestly, it all just sucks. I could have a pity party (and I did for about 5 minutes) but really – that gets me no where. So I came home and did what any good overachiever would do – I cleaned out my pantry and my fridge and set myself up to kick some pre diabetes butt! It’s reversible, but I will have to watch it for the rest of my life.

A friend sent me this and I giggled as I was surrounded by the contents of my pantry all over the place. I did make a small edit, however:

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Now where did I put those bootstraps? Time to pull ’em on up!