Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

January Diet and Exercise


Category: General

Though work is still taking up quite a bit of my time, and leaving me exhausted at the end of the day, I am still making time for exercise. It hasn't been easy, but the challenge is part of the fun.

As mentioned in earlier posts, I intend to lose my last twenty excess pounds by the end of the year. This requires that I lose at least one and two-thirds pounds per month. To that end, I've altered my diet and have increased my exercise.

The diet part isn't too bad. Being to lazy to cook and clean, I've been having salads for most suppers. My stomach won't let me do only salads, but by varying the type it hasn't been too bad. Breakfast usually consists of cold cereal, of the fiber variety, with skim milk. Most lunches have been turkey sandwich, though again, not every day.

Finding time for exercise is a little more difficult. About mid-morning and again in mid-afternoon, I leave my office to visit with my boss who is in another building. This trek takes me to the end of my building, down three flights of steps, down some tunnels, up some flights of steps, to the other end of his building, down some more steps, and finally through the Forest of Doom. After the visit, I have to walk back. I have found that making these two journeys mean that I will have slightly low blood glucose when I get home at night. If I don't take these walks, my blood sugar rises to just over the healthy range. Did I mention that I have Type II Diabetes?

Since my cardiologist said I can start building musculature again, I've been doing more general purpose exercises. At this point, I can do ten push ups, ten sit ups, and almost two chin ups. Given that it was just a few years ago that I could barely get out of a chair, I think I'm doing rather well.

Of course, no fitness routine would be complete with out the cardio workout. For that, I have an elliptical machine. This beast has been with me throughout my recovery and it gets a great deal of credit for my return to health. It is my second favorite indoor exercise.

Two nights ago, I used the machine for forty-five minutes. I stopped for two reasons. First, I had been watching an episode of the BBC series "Dr. Who" and the credits rolled. The second reason was that I started to get a sweet sort of odor from my sweat. That scent means ketoacidosis. This is a problem for diabetics. It signals that the body is no longer burning sugar but is, instead, burning whatever is handy. That odor told me it was time to stop exercising, maybe have a light snack, and take a shower. I really hate that smell.

Last night I didn't use the elliptical machine. We held a robotics demonstration early in the evening. That meant a lot of running back and forth between buildings and through tunnels. Part of it required that I push a large, heavy cart containing robots and related. The cart went once down hill and once up hill. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and figured I had enough exercise for one day.

Tonight, though, it was great. The timer on the machine said I went at it for an hour and a few minutes. My leg muscles grew tired, but there was no sign of the syrupy scent. The calorie meter, as inaccurate as those things typically are, suggested that I burned through 673 calories. Even being off quite a bit, it still gives a good idea of the energy expended.

The question remains as to whether I can keep up the good diet and the exercise. Only time will tell. I like the feel of exercise. I enjoy being fit. I am quite attached to my feet and would like to stay that way (diabetics often suffer foot problems that result in amputation). The end of the month fast approaches and hopefully it will show the needed progress. If it doesn't, February will need a lot more work.

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