Last week I had my 3 month bloodwork done and received the results yesterday just as I was leaving the gym. For those unfamiliar, I am a type 2 diabetic, presently well controlled without the benefits of medication. Once upon a time, I was on 2 different oral medications, 2 different types of insulin as well as medications for blood pressure (to protect my kidneys) and to control cholesterol.
A year has passed since I took my last prescription medication. These days I take a single low dose aspirin, vitamin D and fish oil capsules. Periodically there is a magnesium powder dissolved in water as well, when I feel like muscles are in rebellion and turning to stone and staying that way permanently.
After years and years of more and more diabetes controlling medications, I have now been medication free for a year. After a year at Kaiser, I am back with my regular endocrinologist to ensure I am staying on the straight and narrow. My A1c – the 3 month measure of average blood sugar – was 4.9 this time, first time ever it has been less than 5 (normal is 4.7 to 6.9 range). I was amazed; there was a lot of sugar and crap food consumed during the holidays.
I am thrilled beyond measure.
My eating remains imperfect, a work in progress. I try. I fail. I try again. Because I still eat the evil carbs and fat, marketing tells me I am not taking good care of myself. From where I was 2 years ago, I’m practically perfect on the clean eating scale.
I am a picky eater, and it does limit me and my food choices. For the most part I have cut out the sugar and most of the junk food. I try and would be faltering badly on eating more protein if I did not supplement with protein powder. Fruits and vegetables are a regular thing, although I admit to not caring for most vegetables and eating the same ones over and over again. Dairy was cut sometime last year, except for the occasional cup of coffee with skim milk and the even rarer ice cream cone or cup. I do eat carbs, albeit much fewer carbs.
In all the ways it matters to me – my overall health and wellness – my overhauled lifestyle shows. The scale? The tape measure? Probably not so much, but I’m not sure because I do not track or measure. I have made my peace with that, because my clothes are sizes smaller and I have definitely added muscle to my frame. All great things.
Plus, I’m much happier and more well-balanced than I was when I started this journey. My confidence has soared! If I have to stay in my size 12/14 jeans forever, so be it. All my blood tests are reading very well – no high blood pressure or cholesterol here. Where it matters most, I’m in terrific health.
And I am still having little breakthroughs in the gym. While it may sound very small cakes to others, I finally figured out a basic concept on the lunge that has eluded me for more than a year. J went over it with me last week on walking lunges and again yesterday with
backward reverse lunges – there is a little lean forward on the return to starting position that causes the lead leg to do the work and leaves the rear leg like a kickstand for balance. I have been forgetting regularly, until he mentions it, then I remember and can do it.
Kind of silly, I know, but kind of a big, vexing deal to me.
Today I was doing curtsey lunges, lateral lunges, and these step-up-on-the-box things that sort of feel like lunges. It was the step-ups that I finally realized that the lean forward thing works here as well, and I actually felt it in the hamstring and glutes where I should have been feeling it all along. It was like the floodlights turned on and blinded me and everyone else in the gym in my epiphany.
We have also been working at balance-related exercises, and the finisher for the step-ups is a hip hinge on top the box – basically upper body leans forward and a single leg elevates like a teeter totter while standing on the box. I turned on the focus this morning and enjoyed a nice string of success for 3 sets of 8 to 10 per leg, so that was exciting. Not only all 3 sets concluded, but a full rep range as well. Several of the ladies I know who were working in the room complimented me lavishly, which was hugely flattering. But at the end of the 3 sets, I was ridiculously excited about finally making the connection in the step-up, far more so than not falling off the box while hip hingeing.
A REALLY great week thus far, and it’s only Tuesday. I am very much looking forward to tomorrow in the gym and continuing to ride the happy wave of my small successes.