sumo, ergo bloggum (delta)

November 27, 2006

Pre-diabetes: Update #1

Filed under: Food,Personal Stuff — Rob @ 5:23 pm

This will be short and sweet. I meant to make weekly updates but it looks as if monthly updates are more realistic. I joined a local gym and am exercising on the treadmill and elliptical machines about three times each week. The workouts have been for about 45 minutes but I’m going to try to up them to an hour.

I’ve also been lifting weights about two times a week. It’s amazing how weak one can get when he hasn’t done any real physical exercise in a long time. Not a good rut to fall into. The first two weeks were quite difficult but now the muscle aches have diminished and I’m able to do three sets of each exercise (was just doing two sets initially).

Then there’s the diet side of the equation. I’ve managed to really cut down on sweets and am working on reducing simple carbs — basically bread products. But I still have a long way to go. Am getting back into apples again. Thanksgiving wasn’t too bad — but there were¬†roasted potatoes, a little stuffing and two pies that had to be dealt with. All that stuff’s out of the way now so I’m getting back on track later this evening with a one-hour cardio workout to be followed by a light dinner.

I don’t know whether I’ve actually lost any weight but am aware of the slightest increase in muscle tone and the slightest decrease in waist/hip girth (pants are slipping and I’ve moved to the next notch in my belt). So something’s working.

Til next time… ūüėČ

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October 9, 2006

Pre-diabetes

Filed under: Food,Personal Stuff — Rob @ 5:13 pm

Inevitably, given the lifestyle I’ve been living the past several¬†years, my fasting¬†blood glucose (105) has finally caught-up with me. Or¬†my pancreas has slowed-down while my liver has slipped into fourth gear.¬†Either way, it’s a wake-up call and time¬†to get off the couch and begin to move again. That and good-bye to the Cheez-its (which, for now,¬†will be the whipping boy for all snacks carby). Repeat after me: “It’s not beer’s fault, it’s not beer’s fault….”

In contemplating this latest development, I’ve come to the conclusion that TV-watching is one of the major conspirators that has led me down the path of many chairs, couches, benches, futons,¬†and other butt rests. It’s been a veritable anti-motion magnet. It’s ironic, too, because in the midst of most viewing, and especially during commericals,¬†I find myself vehemently conversing with the set in¬†a somewhat unfriendly tone, making disparaging remarks about the content of the message or the effectiveness of the production. However, I do think the GEICO ads are absolutely stellar, especially the latest one featuring a caveman on a walk-alator. But that’s getting off-topic.

Another conspirator has been portion size. And yes, as were many others, I was¬†taught to finish everything on my plate. So if someone, me, for example, accidentally puts a helluva lotta food on my plate, I tend to eat all of it (because¬†all the starving people in the world would never forgive me if I threw away perfectly good food). Intellectually, I know this isn’t smart. But psychology and emotions trump intellect almost every time food enters the mouth — which is at least three times a day.

Yet a third conspirator is the typical American workplace — at least so-called white-collar workplace. Yep, the desk job.¬†There’s a cafeteria stocking every type of donut, bag of chips, candy bar, etc., imaginable¬†just one floor above my office. So when I get off my butt to¬†stretch a bit, I invariably find myself walking to the cafeteria for coffee and a bag of glucose.

So I guess a fouth conspirator might be a lack of self discipline. And how did this happen? And when? Must’ve been a long time ago ‘cuz it seems like things have always been this way. Or maybe it happened in concurrence with the advent of the computer and then the subsequent entrenchment of¬†newer and newer technologies in the workplace. Someone had to sit down and figure that (this)¬†stuff out. Nowadays, I can control a small world of activity (in others) simply by moving my mouse. It can’t be a good thing. I realize this really doesn’t address the topic of self-discipline. So I’ll come back to this later after I’ve thought more about it. I think it has alot to do with internally set goals, ambitions and timetables along with a strong sense of self and the ability to put one’s self, first.

And then there’s the whole nutrient value or density of foods. People talk about our soils being depleted of vital minerals with nutritionally inadequate produce being grown and distributed as a result. So we’re really craving nutrition and¬†all the while we’re¬†stuffing ourselves with nutrient deficient food substitutes. Didn’t used to be this way when we all lived down on the farm.

Anyway, gotta get serious about this now. So, to keep the issue front and center, I’ll try to post blogs about my progress once a week (Sunday night)¬†over the next few months. One index of progress will be my weight, which is currently 180 lbs. I really need to weigh 30 lbs. less. But I¬†intend to lose fat, not lean muscle tissue. But I know it’s not about weight at all.¬†It’s really about inches and shape. So the pot belly has to go. My waist (measured at the navel) is (gasp!) 42″ so I’ll set my goal at 31″. Yep, that’s a lotta lard.

Just a brief aside about my waist size: I wear size 34/32 Dockers and¬†Levis but the waist on the pants rides about 4″ below my navel. So, all the time I’ve been wearing this size trousers, I’ve had no idea that my waist was actually 42″. So there’s just a little complicity from clothing manufacturers, don’tcha think?.

So I’m going to develop a TV-watching, diet and¬†exercise¬†plan. I’m lucky that my daughter has a degree in nutrition (in addition to Pilates training and teaching experience) and has offered to help me with the diet part of the program (maybe she’ll even comment here and share her two-cents on all this). The exercise will include daily brisk walks of at least 30 minutes (ideally 60 minutes) and, perhaps, weight-lifting 2-3 times per week. But that will require a gym membership, something I’m only lukewarm about. I’m thinking of limiting TV to 7 hours per week. I think that’s do-able.

Edit: or maybe not, I’ve just managed to watch for 3 hours straight and it’s not even Tuesday yet.

August 21, 2006

Some books I’ve read recently, some I’m reading, and some that are, well, just sort of stacked up around the house waiting to get into the queue….

Filed under: Books,Miscellaneous,Opinions,Personal Stuff — Rob @ 11:16 pm

Bangkok 8 (John Burdett) – Really, really good. A Buddhist, Thai detective solves the mystery while refusing to screw the FBI.  I couldn’t put this down.  Start it on a Friday night or you’ll be sorry.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling) – The 6th book in the series and I think one of the better ones. Will leave you on tenterhooks waiting for the finale.

Cod (Mark Kurlansky) – A well-written, interesting though somewhat dry (!) history of the fish.  I’m looking forward to Salt.  This one is still a Read-in-Progress (RIP).

The Millionaire Mind (Thomas J. Stanley) – Another RIP. Wish I’d been exposed to this stuff 40 years ago — of course it wasn’t around then, but nevertheless… Very interesting and inspiring stuff.  Worth reading if you’d like to be rich.

I’ll add to this list periodically….  Am still thinking about other ways to organize it.

         8/30/06 –

Right as Rain (George P. Pelecanos) – D.C. noir mystery — just started it but pretty good so far.

         9/12/06 – Well, the story picked-up as it went on. Somewhat formulaic and  predictable but still a good read.  Good enough, anyway, that I’m going to read the next book in the series:

Hell to Pay (George P. Pelecanos) – This one is really good. Got about 4-5 chapters in then got side-tracked by life. I hope to get back to it soon. (RIP)

Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably! (Ben Stein & Phil DeMuth) – Whoa!  This is scary.  But these guys are smart and it looks like very useful info presented in a highly readable fashion.  After reading just the first chapter I’m already thinking about all the people I want to give this book to for Christmas.  Especially young people who are growing up in a world that is, and will be, very different from the one I grew up in and the one we now live in. The defined-benefit pension is all but extinct unless you work for the government. (RIP)

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