Running As A Stress Buster

runners fuelrunners relief

Tomorrow I go for what is now going to become a regular 3 mile fun run.  I want to beat my previous time of 31:04.  Hopefully going on these runs with my running club will push me to improve, to get stronger, faster.  It’s going to be chilly tomorrow so I get to wear a new pair of sweat pants I bought last week.

I also intend to use running to help me deal with a new health concern I have.  I have a cataract in my right eye.  My vision in that eye is seriously impaired.  I can see shapes and colors, but I can’t see a lot of detail.  I have a cataract forming in my left eye, too.  I know cataract surgery is one of the most common and simple surgeries.  But it’s still scary.  I hate the thought of anyone messing with my eyes.  I don’t think anyone likes that.  Since I was diagnosed a diabetic, the idea of going blind is the one thing that scares me the most.  Even more than the idea of dropping dead from a heart attack.  Diabetes is a truly horrible disease and it can cause damage to so many parts of the body.  The frustrating thing is my sugar is under control right now.  My fasting sugar is still averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.  Yet this cataract has been getting steadily worse for over a month.  I get surgery on my right eye on the 11th November.  On the 2nd December I go back to get the same procedure on the left eye.  It has been so frustrating lately.  I have to use reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read a book.  I just can’t wait until it’s all over so I can see clearly again.  The doctor told me that cataracts happen faster with diabetics.  She also said getting outside and exposing my eyes to extra sunlight because I’m out more with my running could have sped up the process.  Unfortunately I’ve never been the type to wear sunglasses.

At least I can still run.  Running will help me deal with the stress of my impending surgeries.  It’s bad enough having to go through it once, but knowing that just a few weeks later I have to do it all again with my other eye just makes it so much worse.

Talking of running, the pics above are of products I’m using that help me with my running.  The first pic shows the Access bar.  This is a delicious bar I eat about fifteen minutes before I start to run, or before I start any kind of exercise.  It helps fuel my workout, giving me energy for whatever workout I’m going to do.  It also helps the body access fat stores.  I wouldn’t want to run without eating one first!  The protein shake is delicious and it’s something I look forward to drinking when I go home after a run.

The second pic shows the products I use for my post workout.  There is nothing better than a long soak in the bath after a good workout at the gym or after a hard run.  The essential oils are especially soothing.  The Pain-A-Trate is great for soothing sore leg muscles after my run.  All these products are available from an amazing online Wellness company we shop with.  Running is so much better with them!

Stepping Up My Fitness

leg pic

I really love what running is doing to my body.  Since I started running I’ve lost 25 lbs.  My sugar is much better,  My A1C is in the normal range and I’m off Metformin, a drug for diabetes.

I have joined a local running club.  I went to a track workout last night.  That workout really kicked my butt.  I ran three miles.  But I really picked up my speed.  The first three laps I ran with the leaders of the group.

Which was fun.  But probably a bit of a mistake, too.  I ran an 8 minute mile pace for about six minutes before I felt my pace start to flag.  It was exhilarating to run that fast.  I usually average a 12 minute mile.  It might have been a slight mistake though because my legs felt so heavy for the rest of my run.  It’s a good experience for my first 5K race, which I think will be happening in the next few weeks.

Don’t start too fast.

And run your own pace.

Still, it was a great workout.  I felt it this morning.  But today I’m having a new problem.  I seem to be having a low sugar day.  My fasting sugar this morning was 69.  I tend to average somewhere between mid 70’s and mid 80’s.  So this was a little lower.

Three hours after breakfast my sugar was 72.  I’m used to it being around 120 -130 at this point.

Two hours after lunch it was 85.  That’s definitely on the low side.  Half hour later it had dropped to 78.  I haven’t been active today to cause my sugar to be like this.  It’s worrying because I know over the coming weeks and months I’m going to be running further and probably faster.  I’m going to have to watch I don’t have any sugar crashes while I’m running.  We’re also planning on going to the gym later so I have to worry that my sugar might crash while I’m working out.

I know I pushed myself hard last night, but Sunday I ran 4.5 miles and my sugar was fine the day after that.  This is a new situation for me.  I test every morning anyway, but I’m going to monitor my sugar carefully over the next week or so.  Saturday I’m running a three mile fun run with my new running group.

At least I have GC Control to stabilize my sugar.  I’ve always used it to lower my sugar when it’s high.  Now I’m going to be using it to normalize my sugar when it’s on the low side.  That’s what GC Control is meant to do.  Stabilize your sugar level.  This is a new way to use it.

Does anyone have any advice on how to manage sugar levels and prevent crashes when running or working out?

Winning The Health Battle

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The past few months have been immense from a health and fitness perspective.  The biggest thing was getting off diabetes medication.  I’ve been on Metformin since August 2008 and in June 2015 I was finally told I don’t need it any more!  My fasting sugar has gone from averaging around 170 to averaging middle 70′s to middle 80′s.  I have lost a total of 50 lbs since I was at my heaviest.   I’m now at a weight I haven’t seen since my mid 20′s, about twenty years ago.  I’m also fitter now than I have been since my teenage years, since I took up running.  Life is pretty good.

I have to say I have had a little help.  My wife and I shop with a Wellness company and some of their products have made a huge difference health wise.  The GC Control shake has helped me for a couple of years.  It’s designed to stabilize your blood sugar and it really works.  I’ve been using it since January 2013 when my fasting was in the 170′s.  Our products have played a big part in helping my wife with her asthma, eczema and high blood pressure.

We’re looking to help fellow diabetics as well as people who have asthma, eczema, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and many other health problems, including weight loss and people who are just looking to get fit.

It’s never too late to take back your health.  Even the simple act of getting active can make a world of difference.

GC Control In My Coffee

As I’ve blogged in the past, one of the tools I use to maintain my sugar levels is the Attain GC Control Shake.  I’ve been using this product daily for two and a half years now.  I consider it an essential tool in my fight to control diabetes.  I’ve taken to sprinkling a teaspoon full of the powder in my coffee in the morning.  It’s delicious and it’s really helping me keep my sugar levels down during the day.  I can’t remember the last time I saw my sugar go anywhere above 180, even an hour or two after eating.  My fasting sugar is averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.  This morning it was 83.  Losing weight and running are definitely helping, but this amazing product is still an essential part of my daily routine.  And I always have a full shake in the evenings, about two or three hours after dinner.  This helps keep my sugar at a normal level at night as I sleep.  As always, this is my personal experience and I cannot guarantee you will have the same result..

And finally, as I’ve blogged before, I am officially off my diabetes medication, Metformin.  My A1C came down from 7.2 in December to 5.8 in June.  This largely due to major lifestyle changes, especially taking up running and losing weight.

Life is good!

Making Lifestyle Changes

Dave Celebrating Dunkin

I haven’t blogged for quite a while.  I know that is something I need to work on.  My life has been busy these days, but that’s no excuse.

I’ve blogged a lot about how the Attain GC Control Shakes have helped me lower my sugar when it’s high, and that’s still true today.  I drink them every day and they still work wonders.

I joined a site called MyFitnessPal.com and learned a lot about nutrition and exercise from reading their message forums.  I now watch my calories and go for a walk virtually every day.  I even run now!  I can’t run for long at this time, but my fitness level is definitely improving.  Just a year ago if I had to run half a block to catch a bus I would break out in a cold sweat, my heart would be hammering and I would be literally gasping for breath. It would take me ten minutes to return to normal.  Now I can run a lap around our local park, which is probably about two to three blocks in length.  No cold sweats and while my heart rate is elevated, it returns to normal within a few minutes.  I walk fifteen laps of our local park pretty much daily.  I run the first lap, walk three or four laps, run a lap, walk a few, finishing up by running the last lap.

I’ve lost 17 lbs in the space of about six months.  I want to lose about another ten lbs then I will be at a good weight.  But the biggest impact my new lifestyle has had is on my sugar.  I went to the doctor in November.  My A1C was 7.2.  The doctor wanted to put me on another medication.  More drugs.  These ones stronger than the Metformin I’ve been taking since August 2008.

No way.

I have not taken the new drug he wanted to prescribe me.  Instead I looked into what I needed to do to get healthy.  For the past two weeks my fasting sugar has been averaging in the upper 70’s to the low 80’s.  Down from the 120 average I had in November.  I go back to the doctor in June.  I’m really hopeful that my A1C will be drastically lower.  My ultimate hope is it’s down enough for me to be able to get off Metformin.

Actually, I have a confession to make.  I haven’t taken Metformin in nearly two weeks.  I test my fasting sugar daily.  If I start to see a rise in my fasting levels then I will start taking the drug again.  Now I just need to add some form of weight training to my fitness regime.  I know extra muscle helps the body absorb sugar.  I have some free weights at home.  I intend to join a gym soon.

Being diagnosed a diabetic isn’t necessarily a slow death sentence.  There are things you can do to improve your situation.  It’s just a matter of wanting it  enough and being motivated enough to maintain a new healthy lifestyle.  I am determined to get my body back to a healthy weight and keep it there.

The first picture was taken about five years ago when I weighed about 215 lbs.  The second picture was taken a few weeks ago when I weighed about 176 lbs.

With enough will power you can achieve anything.

My Further Update on my GC Control and FiberWise Experiment

This blog continues from my last post, My Latest GC Control Update

I stated in my Saturday post that I would continue this experiment today and that I would test the FiberWise further.  My FiberWise test starts with my War On Diabetes blog.

I had the same breakfast today as I’d eaten that day, (two cups of Wheaties.)  There were no cookies though, <sob> so that’s all I ate.

My fasting sugar this morning was 97, so better than the 106 I recorded on Saturday.  As soon as I’d finished my breakfast I drank the FiberWise.  One hour later my sugar was 219.  The same as on Saturday.  I guess if Im going to go on eating cereal I have to accept my sugar is going to have that initial surge.  It seems like nothing will stop that.  Most of the diabetes advice I’ve read or been told state that it’s not worth testing until two hours after eating anyway.  I’ve also heard that diabetics should aim for sugar levels under 180 at the two hour mark.  If anyone has heard different, feel free to let me know.  I’ll always welcome any feedback.

So my sugar two hours after eating breakfast was 160.  That shows the FiberWise is doing something, as I usually start testing two hours after eating and my sugar was almost always in the 200 range.  That’s three times now that my sugar has been well below 200 at the two hour mark, although to be fair, on Saturday I had the Attain shake one hour after eating.  But there does seem to be some consistency there.

What I’m hoping is coming through with these blogs is the amazing consistency of the Attain shakes.  They have never failed to lower my sugar levels.  Sometimes the drop is good and sometimes it’s spectacular.

I guess for one way to look at these two products, Attain GC Control and FiberWise, I could use a sports analogy.  The Attain shakes are like the flashy goal scorer, (yes, I like soccer, or rather football to any European readers) the one who grabs all the headlines and wins you the game.  Meanwhile the FiberWise just quietly gets on with its game, that quiet dependable player who gets the tackles in and just keeps the opposition at bay.  He may not win you the game, but you’d miss him if he wasn’t on the team.  Together they make a winning combination.  Okay, that’s enough sports analogies!

I prefer to do these experiments in the morning because there’s the greatest chance of consistency.  You wake up empty.  You can test your fasting sugar to see where you’re starting from.  I start with a bowl of Wheaties more often than not.  But obviously as the day goes into night you’re going to eat different foods that will affect your blood sugar differently.  For instance, pizza and pasta will not only raise your sugar levels, but they will keep it high for a few hours after.  Especially pizza.  So the morning represents the best time to conduct these sort of experiments as you’re pretty much starting the same.

I want to repeat for the benefit of anyone reading this who hasn’t read any of my other blogs: I’m not claiming these products offer any “miracle cure”.  But it’s becoming increasingly clear that they can be used as a valuable tool in helping to control diabetes.  Before I started taking the Attain shakes some three months or so ago, my fasting sugar was consistently in the 120’s.  My sugar used to be in the 200’s after eating and would stay high.  The only thing that would bring it down was vigorous activity, like a brisk walk.  The trouble was it would start to slowly creep back up an hour or two later.

Now the GC Control shake not only brings my sugar back down fast, I’ve noticed it stays in the normal range.  My fasting sugar is much better.

Disclaimer:  While GC Control lowered my sugar when it was high, it didn’t help with my A1C.  The reason I am off Metformin is because I concentrated on weight loss and on running.  It is those life changes that helped me get my sugar under the control it is today.  If you decide to give GC Control a try I strongly recommend you keep taking any medication you are on and consult closely with your doctor.  I would also advise you to keep testing your sugar as you try this product to see what affect it is having on your sugar.

 

Thank you for reading!