Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Middle Pillar

I've been a slacker lately and not posted anything here. Originally I could blame it on a virus, but then it was little more than shear lazyness. I've been back on track with my diet and exercise for about a 10 days now, and I'm happy to report that my blood sugar is responding nicely. It has been floating in the 87-91 range for about the last week. During this time my diet rules have been simple, always eat protein when eating a carb, and eat Low GI carbs. Most of my carb choices have been fruits, vegetables, legumes, and some whole grains. Though, I did have Ice Cream once. One is not a saint. Unlike some, I actually find it easier to keep control of both my diet and sugar by limiting saturated fat. I know this runs counter to what many feel, but its what works for me. The fact is that foods that are High in fat are trigger foods for me. Some like to binge on sugar, I would binge on fat. It must run in my family, I have a sister who still eats butter by the spoonful. This is not to say my diet is low fat. if I were to assign percentages, my diet would resemble 40-30-30. This is less an attempt to eat in the ZONE, than the fact its just an easy diet to do and live with over a long period of time. Using the "hand-eye" method Sears describes, or the plate dividing method ( divide plate into fourths, cover one fourth with protein, one fourth with low gi starchy carbs, and the other 2 fourths with vegetables and fruit.) provides an easy way to control carb intake, eat nutient dense, and still have a wide varitey of choices. Eating this way, I find I have plenty of energy for exercise and activity. I have been getting at least 30 minutes everyday of some type of activity. Generally three days a week of some type of strength training or calisthenics, yes dear freinds push ups and squat thrusts woo-hoo, and walking at a moderate pace on the other days. Nothing extreme, just the basics. I often am amused by the actions of myself and others who take extreme measures when moderation really does work. I think it may be a symptom of the times that moderation has gotten such a bad reputation. Everything these days is polarized, politics, diet, business, even strength training. The whole issue is one of a false dichotomy, Red Sate vs Blue State, low fat or low carb, HIT or HVT, no one seems to be willing to admit that there might be a middle ground. The high rate of diet failure could be related to this all or nothing mentality. I know for both my wife and I, diets which eliminate one type of food or another ultimately lead to a sense of deprivation. Being deprived of something you enjoy sucks. But I think many people like deprivation. They wear their suffering, and sacrifice like a badge for all to see. They then gather in groups of people who are suffering similar deprivation and cast aspersions upon those who choose other forms of deprivation, then brand them heretics for failing to see the one true path of deprivation. Generally when both sides of an issue think I'm wrong, I know I'm close to the truth. Later this week I'll be posting progress updates, I'm feeling pretty good, and my clothes are fitting better. So it should be a positive outcome

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I've been tagged

Five things about Me that are fit for public consumption.

1. I have a degree in nursing though I've never worked as a nurse or taken my board exams. When I first got off of active duty Army, I went to college to get a nursing degree. I actually changed majors two classes shy of finishing my ADN. Between then and Graduating I had four different majors. I ended up with a BA in liberal studies, with minors in Biology, English, Economics, and Psychology. Later I went back and finished my ADN. As it stands now, I have a BA in Liberal Studies, and Ass in Nursing, an Ass in Computer Science, and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management.

2. I was a state champion Archer, and tried out for the Olympic team. I didn't qualify for the Olympics, but it was fun trying and, Being in that level of competition was rather intense.

3. I met my wife in Mr Anders Intro to Physical Science class. I was in ninth grade, she was a sophomore. Of course at the time she would have nothing to do with me. I was a skinny runt, and she would only date upper class-men. She eventually saw the light, but not until after we had both graduated from High School. In a chance meeting on AOL, back when AOL was cool, we decided to go to lunch. And that as they say was that, we've been together ever since.

4. I was a professional Chef for several years. Having been a cook in the service, I worked in a number of restaurants while in college. By the time I graduated, I was a working chef, and running a kitchen. At the time I was making more money doing that then any of the entry level jobs I was qualified for were paying. I eventually became a corporate chef for Sara Lee, they mad me mad, I quit, and never went back to cooking.

5. I can Drive a tractor - trailer. Growing up in my family means working on and driving all types of vehicles that are used on farms. Even now, I sometimes drive a load to or from the farm. I still like honkin the air horn WOOT WOOT!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oatmeal, Chicken Soup, and Peanut Butter

It’s scarcely a week into the New Year, and already I’ve had to adjust course. A nasty cold virus has reared its ugly head and laughed at my plans for diet and exercise. So, you thought you were going to lift weights 3 times a week, do interval training, and eat a fat loss diet? HA!, says the virus. So while I’m recuperating from this, I’m eating lots of vegetable and chicken soups, and peanut butter toast, onFood for Life Ezekiel Bread of course. If all else fails I can always eat Peanut Butter toast. During some of my poorest times, milk, peanut butter and bread kept me from going hungry. On good days there might have even been jam or jelly. These days I forego the jam or jelly. Though I must admit, when my grandmother makes here home made plum jam, I still eat some. The worst part of feeling this way is the drag ass fatigue that takes days to get over. As soon as my stomach is cooperative, I’ll bump up my food intake to help the process along. In the meantime I’m taking a week or so off from any thing more than a brief walk. Hopefully this will quickly pass, as I am not a wonderful patient according to reports from Mrs. D.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Of Mice and Men

And so begins a New Year and a new set of goals and plans. A new set of challenges, as of yet unknown, to navigate. Opportunities to rise to the occasion, or succumb to circumstance. There will of course be successes and setbacks. In order to know when we've successful in the endeavors of physical fitness, and health, measurements must be taken. Yes, this is no existential pursuit, but a quantifiable set of goals. So, with out further ado, the opening salvo.
BF based on 3 site Caliper test 23%
Waist Circumference 42"

And all 23% is affixed to my belly, and upper body. Just a few weeks ago my waist as 39" so I am sure that much of it is sugar bloat from my holiday over indulgence. My Fasting glucose over the past week has bounced around between 94 and 111. Oddly enough pumpkin pie and chocolate cake make it go up, especially when accompanied by stuffed shells for dinner. On those days when my food choices were low GI, my sugar on the following day was down. Coincidence?

Mrs. D is still on weight watchers and doing quite well. Despite my misgivings about certain aspects of the system, she has been very successful, she’s lost 8 lbs, and who am I to argue with success.

My Diet and training plans for the first six weeks will be focused on normalizing my blood sugar and fat loss. I will be using a protein adequate, low GI diet combined with full body circuit training 3 times a week. I’m going to use PHA training as described by John McCallum in “Keys to Progress”. This is “old school” circuit training, a little more volume than normal, and will be a good change up from my usual routines.

This will be followed by 6 weeks of “X-Rep” based training. This is different twist on High Intensity training, and something I’ve never done before. So I thought I would give it a try. I’m not expecting comic book results, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. This will take me to the end of March, and based on results I will either focus on getting leaner or stronger. My plan at this point is to move back into my standard routines and diet pattern and manipulate them based on where I need/want to go. We shall see what happens.