The Decision To Start

Two years ago I decided to start running for my health. It was one of the most important decisions I have ever made. Because of that decision I lost 40 lbs and got off diabetes medication. I could have just stayed as I was, wishing I was slimmer, wishing I could get my sugar levels under control.

Instead I made a choice. I started small. The first day I ran I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile. But I was out there every day. Walking and running. At first walking much more than running. Gradually I increased my running time and distance until I was running more than I was walking. Then one day I didn’t need to take a walking break at all. Now I run a few times a week. I run anything from 4 to 6 miles. Sometimes I can run longer distances. It may not seem much compared to some runners but my running has taken me to a totally different place, emotionally. 


I no longer wish I was slim.

I am slim.

I no longer wish I was off diabetes medication.

I am off diabetes medication.

All this because I made a simple choice.

One day while I was walking I chose to run.

Whatever you are thinking of doing, whatever you wish you could do, just start.

Start now.

Start small.

Start while you’re afraid.

Just.

Start.

 

Two years from now you’ll be so thankful you did.

 

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Latest Updates On Our Health Journey

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Chris Comparison.jpg

I’ve just realized I haven’t blogged in quite a while.  Sorry about that!  So here’s my latest update on our health journey.

We went away on a sort of working vacation in May.  Although we managed to eat within calories most of the time, we were eating out every day.  We were also too busy to get in any real exercise until the last day or two.  After we came back I guess I slacked off on my running a little bit.  My weight crept back up around 5 lbs and I noticed my pants were starting to feel a little snug.  Having gone from size 40 to size 32 I am in no mood to undo all the hard work I’ve put in!

So we made a recommitment to get back to the grindstone.   I tightened up on my calories and got back to running.  Our local parks department is hosting a weekly 2 mile fun run.  I’ve been on three of them and each time I have been faster.  Last night the temperature at the start was 85 degrees.  Luckily the run happens at 8pm so the sun is close to the horizon.  At least I don’t have to deal with the full heat of the sun during my run.  This was still my hottest run ever and somehow it was also my fastest ever 2 mile run.  I came in at 17 minutes and 1.9 seconds.  My legs were like rubber as I crossed the finish line!  Last summer I did all my running on the treadmill.  I will still do a lot of my running on the treadmill but I am committed to doing as many of these fun runs as I can no matter how hot it gets.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Even on the treadmill I am pushing my fitness.  I now run 3 miles on the hill function.  Which involves a lot of hills!

The net result of this is not only did I lose those extra 5 lbs but I am now .2 lbs away from my goal weight of 155!  Now I have to decide if I want to maintain at a range of 150-155lbs or 155-160lbs.  I’m not sure about that just yet.  I love that losing weight through calorie counting has allowed me complete control over my weight.  If I start to gain weight I know exactly what I need to do to get rid of those unwanted extra pounds.  I don’t need to panic or freak out and go back to my old ways.  I am committed to this for the rest of my life.  And my sugar levels are still great.  This morning my fasting sugar was 77.  I’m hopeful I can stay off medication for the rest of my life.

And Chris is doing great, too.  She is a BEAST at the gym!  She loves lifting weights and I am seeing a real change in the way she looks.  I’m proud of her for sticking with this.  She has struggled with her weight for most of her life and knowing I have inspired her to do this makes me feel proud of myself too.  I haven’t been an inspiration to many people in my life.  I love that we are in this together.  We hold each other accountable.  She doesn’t let me off with anything and I keep her going too.  Our relationship is stronger than ever.  We are both in this for life.  And I will post more often to share our journey.

Seeing Is Believing!

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So I just turned 48 a few days ago.  On the 21st to be exact.  The photo on the right was taken that day.  I can’t stop looking at it.  Not because I’m vain or anything.  But because that one photograph sums up everything I have achieved in the past year.  The photo on the left was taken in 2009 when I was at my heaviest.  Just after I had been diagnosed a diabetic.  Looking back at my life then it seems it was almost inevitable that I would become diabetic.  Poor diet.  Lack of exercise.  Serious weight gain.  Becoming diabetic was a serious wake up call.  It took me a while to hear that call.  It was only when the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication that is linked with causing liver problems that I finally woke up and realized I had to do something about it.

So I took up running.  And watched my diet.  I have lost 35 lbs in the past year.  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I can’t see the weight loss.  I know I’ve lost weight.  I know my stomach  is a lot smaller, (I think I just have loose skin issues now which is really annoying because every other part of me is slim.)  But the brain seems to take a while to catch up with the eyes.  Judging from posts I’ve seen on the MyFitnessPal forums this seems to be a common phenomenon.  But in the photo on the right I can SEE how much my face has changed.  For me it sums up everything I’ve achieved in the past 12 months.   It’s a face I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  You see, I wasn’t always overweight.  In fact, all my life up to my mid 20’s I’d actually been pretty skinny.  I guess I slowed down, but didn’t change my eating habits to match.  So the weight gained.  Slowly at first.  But in the past ten years I had a dramatic weight gain.

But now I see my old face looking back at me.  A little older, perhaps.  A few wrinkles starting to show.  A few crows feet around the eyes.  But it’s ME.  The real me.  Not the bloated puffy face I’ve had to look at for a while.  It’s like looking at an old friend.  And I like what I see.  I like how I feel.  I’m so much more confident now when out in public.  This healthy lifestyle is amazing.  I just wish I’d started twenty years ago when the weight started creeping on.  I can’t change the past.  But I can make sure the old me stays the new me for the rest of my life.

Before And After

before and after

Sometimes when you look in the mirror it’s hard to see just how far you have come when you’re looking to lose weight.  The best way to really judge your progress is take photographs.  If you’re starting out on a weight loss journey I’d advise you to take several photos before you start.  It’s always good to have something to compare.  The photo on the left was taken in 2009 when I was at my heaviest.  The photo on the right just a couple of months ago.   Here I can really see the difference.  I’m almost at the weight I want to be.  It’s time to start maintenance.  I have made a vow to never again look like I did in the pic on the left.  I wasted 20 years of my life looking like that.

Never again!

The past year has certainly been eventful.  Getting off diabetes medication.  Losing over 30 lbs.  Getting fit.  Running.  And this is just the beginning.  I intend to start lifting weights more now.  I’ve lost the weight.  Now I want to tone myself up and get myself in better shape.  The weight loss journey may be ending.  But the healthy lifestyle is just beginning!

One Incredible Year!

Chris before and after

before and after

The Runner.jpgWhat a year it has been, health-wise.  I started my health journey around the beginning of March 2015 after my A1C was 7.2 and my doctor wanted to put me on a second diabetes drug.  I’d already been taking Metformin since August 2008.  That second drug is strongly linked with causing liver damage.  I knew enough was enough.  It was time to take my health seriously.

After a brutally cold winter, March finally ushered in milder temperatures and off I went.  I walked at least an hour every day.  I slowly introduced running, using a variation of Couch To 5K.  My first major milestone was running my first mile.  By late April I was able to stop taking Metformin.  In June my A1C was 5.8.  In October it was 5.5 and I was told I was out of diabetic range.  I’ve lost nearly 40 lbs in the past year through a combination of counting calories and running.

My wife watched my dedication and it inspired her to join me in July.  We joined a gym and we love working out together.  She has lost 40 lbs and she is addicted to lifting weights.  We’re both in this for life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents lately.  They both died way too young.   My dad passed away aged just 38.  He had a brain hemorrhage.  It was so sudden.  My mum died from leukemia at age 54.   Losing your parents so young makes you think of your own mortality.  Neither of us want to die young.  So going on this health journey is the best decision we could have made for our health.  We want to grow old together.

Being active is addictive.  I did an hour workout this morning.  Planks, squats, push-ups, leg raises, weight exercises and running up and down the stairs.  It was energizing!  I’ve actually done this same routine for the past 8 days.  I did each exercise in 5 sets.  For the planks I raised each one from 30 seconds to 45 seconds.  The last plank was for a full minute.  Each week I’m going to slowly raise the bar.  That stops the workout becoming stale.

If you need to lose a few pounds, or if you just want more energy I highly recommend some kind of exercise.  Your body will thank you for it.  It isn’t easy.  It requires commitment, dedication.  But the more you push yourself the better you feel.  And exercise becomes so addictive.  I can’t imagine not doing some sort of activity at least 4 or 5 times a week.  If I miss a few days I feel the difference.  My body becomes sluggish, lethargic.  And it can be a very sociable thing.  I’ve met a great bunch of people on Twitter.  Especially runners.  They are a great group of people and really encourage each other.  If motivation doesn’t come easy for you, finding someone to work out with might be the answer.  Christine and I motivate and push each other.  Accountability can be a powerful motivator.  I’m grateful that the doctor wanted to put me on a drug that’s linked with causing other major health issues.  Whether he intended to or not, he gave me all the motivation I needed to get my ass in gear and get moving.

When Your Need Is Greater Than Your Want?

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the health journey I’m on.  About how far I have come in less than a year.  And how much easier it has been than I thought it would be.  As a teenager I was a skinny little thing.  People used to try to fatten me up and just give up!  Then in my mid twenties I started to gain weight.  I didn’t notice at first.  Then when I did notice, I didn’t find the will to do anything about it.  I feel like I wasted two decades, the best two decades in my opinion, being overweight, when apparently I didn’t need to be.  Because when I found the willpower to actually change my health it came easily.  Okay, I shouldn’t exactly say easily.  After all, I’ve put a lot of sweat and effort into my transformation.  No tears, though!  But as I gained the weight I always thought it would be too hard.  I made a few half-hearted attempts to lose the weight.  I’d go on a diet.  It always ended in failure.  I just couldn’t find the motivation to see it through.

Then in December 2014, while sitting in the doctor’s office, I faced a tough choice.  My A1C was 7.2.  The doctor wanted to put me on a second medication.  I’d already been taking Metformin since 2008.  When Christine and I researched this second drug and found it’s strongly linked with causing liver damage I knew I had to make a change.  I vowed to never take this drug.  Up to this point I’d only wanted to lose weight.  Now my want had become a need.  And it turned out to be pretty simple.  Not easy.  Not with all the running miles I put in.  But it was simple.  I started walking, walking led to running.  And I counted calories.  I’m so glad I joined MyFitnessPal.  It’s a great app that lets you track your calories.  It even lets you track your exercise.  It definitely made my efforts easier to log.  Losing weight comes down to one simple equation.  Calories out have to be greater than calories in.  In other words to lose weight you have to be eating less calories than you’re burning.  Exercise is a great way of boosting your calories out.  Running especially burns a lot of calories.

I guess the bottom line in all this is need will always trump want.  Wanting to lose weight through reasons of simple vanity wasn’t enough to motivate me to succeed.  What ever you attempt to do in life will always be much more successful if you NEED it more than you WANT it.  Need is a great motivator.  And when it’s a health need, that’s the greatest motivator of all.  From being on the verge of taking two drugs for diabetes, I’ve been off ALL medication for ten months now.  I stopped taking Metformin in April 2015 when I realized my fasting sugar was actually getting too low.

If that visit to the doctor hadn’t taken place, if he hadn’t decided to put me on a drug that could potentially harm my health even more,  I might still be overweight.  And I might still be on Metformin.  Now I’m fitter than I was even in my twenties.  Now I’ve dropped from size 40 pants to size 32.  My weight is more or less where I want it to be.

I still have a need.  My diabetes is under control.  But I’m still diabetic.  I don’t think that will ever change.  We went out to eat Saturday night.  I ate more than I have been recently.  I also had fries.  My sugar two hours later was 168.  Which isn’t bad.  A year ago it would probably have been 200 or higher.  My fasting sugar was 91.  Which a year ago I would have been thrilled with.  But it’s a sign of how far I’ve come that I wasn’t happy with that number.  These days my fasting is always in the 70’s and low to mid 80’s.  Now, 91 is still just about at the normal range.  But I wasn’t happy.  So yesterday I made conscious efforts to eat less, to eat healthier.  My fasting this morning was 75.  Much better.  But it served as a reminder that I have to be vigilant.  That I still have to be conscious of not over eating and I still have to be active.  It’s easy to imagine that if I spent a week eating like that my sugar would be into the 100’s.  It’s all good, though.  It just reminds me I still have a need.  And as long as that need is there I will have all the motivation to keep on this healthy lifestyle.

Whatever you want to do in life, whatever you want to achieve, make sure your need is as great as your want and you can achieve miracles.  Just like I have.

MY Health Journey – One Year And Counting

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago this month I received the final kick up the butt I needed to make healthy changes to my life.  Last December my A1C was 7.2 and the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication to control my diabetes.  As I had already been on Metformin since August 2008, I did not want to take more drugs.  Especially when research showed that drug was strongly linked with causing liver damage.  That was when I knew I had to change my habits.

Fast forward to March 2015 when the weather finally thawed after the frigid winter from hell.  I started walking every day, then began incorporating running into my new regime.  The running built slowly, but now it’s an integral part of my weekly routine.  I try to run at least 3 times a week.  Last month my A1C was 5.5 and I’ve been off Metformin since April.  I still test my fasting sugar almost every day and it’s averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.

My cataract surgery has slowed up my fitness routine as I’m not allowed to lift anything over 20 lbs for two weeks after surgery.  Next Wednesday will be the two week point after my second surgery so I’m planning to go to the gym and begin to lift weights again.  I can’t wait!  (Play on words fully intended!)

It’s always the way.  When you know you can’t do something you want to do it more!  I hadn’t realized how much I’ve come to enjoy lifting weights, but I really miss it.  It makes me push the cardio more.

I lost another pound today.  I’m now 30 lbs lighter than I was when I started this journey in March.  I just want to lose another 5 lbs and really firm up what’s left.  My fitness lifestyle is so ingrained into who I am now that I really miss it when I can’t do any one part of it.  I just wish I’d started this 20 years ago when I started to gain weight.  I can’t change the past.  All I can change is what I do today.  And how I affect tomorrow.  Fitness and health are part of what defines me today.  I know I will never go back to who I was.

Stepping Up My Fitness

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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?

Drug Companies: A Rant

This blog is going to be something of a rant.  A rant about the way things are in the US.  I’m not attacking this country.  I love it here.  But I really hate the way some things are.  When I turn on the television if I had a nickel for every time I see an ad for a drug company I would be rich man very quickly.  It seems every channel has them.

“Ask your doctor about this.”

“Ask your doctor about that.”

“This drug can help you with…<insert illness of choice.>

Then they very quickly go through a list of side effects. And those side effects are often many and serious.  I’m not saying drugs are never the answer.  Sometimes they are needed.

But sometimes you can help yourself with a simple lifestyle change.

I was diagnosed a type two diabetic in August 2008.  I was immediately put on Metformin.  To be honest I don’t really know how much Metformin really helped me.  My A1C was never lower than 6.6.  My fasting sugar never averaged below 120.  The GC Control shakes made a much bigger difference than Metformin, bringing my sugar down when it was high.  Metformin never did that,

But what really turned things around was changing my lifestyle.  When I started counting calories, when I started losing weight, when I started RUNNING my A1C came down to 5.8 and my fasting sugar now averages in the 70’s and 80’s.

Metformin never did ANY of that!

For many of us, our lifestyle is what’s hurting us.  Mine certainly hurt me.  Once I got that in my thick head, once I changed my lifestyle I helped myself more than ANY drug ever could.

Yet on our screens we are not told that.  We are told “drugs are the answer.”

“Ask your doctor about…”

BULLSHIT!

Instead, ask your doctor if a healthier lifestyle might help.  I think often doctors decide to go with drugs because they don’t trust us to make a lifestyle change that we can stick with.  And they often get a kickback from the drug companies.

When my doctor told me my blood test results he asked me how I did it.  When I told him, he seemed almost as happy as I was.  His assistant came into the room my doctor proudly told him what I’d said.  Doctors want us to be healthy.  It’s their job to help us.

But drug companies don’t make money out of us when we are fit and well.  So they will keep peddling their junk on us, trusting in us to keep relying on them instead of doing one thing that can really make a difference to our lives.

Get off our asses and MOVE MORE!

End of rant.

Setting And Reaching Goals

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When I started my health journey in March this year, I set myself two clear goals.

  1. Get off diabetes medication by getting my sugar under control.
  2. Get down to wearing size 32 pants.

The first goal I achieved as early as June.  The second one I finally accomplished yesterday.

In March I was wearing size 38 / 40 pants.  I was at that borderline stage where some pants fit at 38 but some only fit at 40.  Clothes can be weird like that.

My wife, Christine, and I went shopping yesterday, as we both badly need new clothes.  We’ve undergrown the ones we currently own.  I like to say that.  It’s definitely better than overgrowing them.  In June I had tried on a pair of size 32 jeans but couldn’t get close to doing them up.  I was down to size 34 at that time.  Yesterday I finally fit into a pair of size 32’s.  I didn’t even have to struggle to button them up.  No breathing in or squirming.  They just fit.  So I am now the proud owner of two brand spanking new pairs of size 32 jeans!  Christine also found she had dropped a whole pant size.  Needless to say we are both very happy.

Now I can’t help looking back at far I have come in a short space of time.  To think in December 2014 the doctor wanted to put me on a second diabetes drug and now I’m not on any!  I still can’t quite believe that.  I monitor my fasting sugar every morning.  I average in the upper 70’s to low 80’s.  I have noticed when I have a good workout my sugar usually responds by being in the mid to upper 70’s for a couple of days.

At my heaviest I weighed 215 lbs.  Admittedly that was a few years ago now.  I wore size 40 pants in those dark days.  I almost went up to size 42.  That was a trigger for me to lose some weight.  I managed to get down to 190 and size 38 pants.  While I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I maintained that weight for several years.  Until a medical necessity gave me the push to continue my weight loss journey.

Which brings me to an important factor in getting healthy.  Motivation.  Losing weight, getting fit, they take time and a lot of effort.  As I’m often reminded on the MyFitnessPal site I belong to, I didn’t gain that weight overnight and I won’t lose it overnight either.  Especially if I want to sustain that loss.  Motivation is key to sustaining any weight loss.  It can be long, slow and very frustrating.  I went through a phase where I didn’t lose a pound for three or four weeks.  That can be enough to derail some people.  But I knew I was doing the right activities.  I knew I was losing inches even if the pounds didn’t move.  And then I lost 3 lbs in the space of a week and, just like that, I was off and losing again.

Many factors have contributed to my weight loss.  Counting calories.  Running.  Lifting weights at the gym.  And I’m going to mention the products our Wellness company makes again, because they have also played a part.  GC Control helps regulate my sugar.  Peak Performance vitamins give me more energy.  Our Pro Flex protein shake is always a good way to finish a strong workout.  But on their own they’ll only carry you so far.  You still have to put the effort and hard work in.  Which I have.

Diabetes used to be a slow death sentence.  But it doesn’t have to be, these days.  I’m only going to talk about type 2 diabetes, because I realize type 1 is a whole different dynamic.  I don’t really know much about type 1, though I imagine exercise would probably give some benefit there, too.

Just moving can make a big difference.  A daily walk, lifting weights, running.  Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you’re consuming.  Which with the western diet is not as easy as it sounds.  Even as a diabetic I can still have pasta, pizza, bagels and all the other high carb foods.  In moderation, of course.  I just make sure they fit in my calorie count for the day.

Now that I’ve reached the two goals I originally set myself I have to set new ones.  Because it’s all about moving forward.  Without goals we just stagnate.  So the obvious goal is to maintain what I’ve already achieved.  In a way the hard work is just beginning.  I’m close to my goal weight now.  I’m at my goal size.  Now I want to improve my body shape, work on getting my fitness up.  I might run a 5K in the Fall.  At the moment the temperature is in the low to mid 90’s outside and humid.  Not good running weather.  When the cooler Fall weather (hopefully) arrives I’ll be ready to get out and run at least every other day.

I know I’m not cured of diabetes.  I know if I let myself slip back into old habits my sugar will start to creep back up.  But we’re both committed to our new healthy lifestyle.  I may have reached my goals but the fun is only just beginning.  I’m committed to a life of healthy living.

The photo at the top of my blog was an attempt to show the difference between my old size 40 and my new size 32.  I don’t think the photo captured it quite as well as my own eyes did.  I’ve lost 50lbs altogether since my heaviest.  I’m proud of that achievement.  But I’m also sad I let myself get that way.  Especially as I was a skinny teenager.  In fact I was skinny into my mid 20’s.  I guess I slowed down but still ate as if I was still running around a lot.

I make this vow now…never again will I ever wear size 40, or even close to it!  I finally like the way I look and I love the way I feel.

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!

You Want Me To What???

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Suggest to most people that they would get any kind of benefit from running and this is the response you’re most likely to get.

“You want me to what???”

Yet you can derive so many health benefits from running.  You can even get off medication in some cases.

I did.

Last week I went to the doctor for a check up and my A1C was so good he told me I don’t need to take Metformin any more.  Metformin is a drug I have been on since August 2008 to treat type two diabetes.

All I did different was lose some weight from watching my calories and take up running.  Now my heart rate is down, my blood pressure is perfect. 110/70, and my blood sugar is under control.

All because I took up running.

As we get older we seem to develop a serious aversion to running.  We only run when we absolutely have to.  Yet look at children.  Their natural instinct seems to be to run.  They must be really impatient to get to where they want to go.  And sure, they have more energy since they are young.  I know I was the same and I’m willing to bet you were, too.  Running is a natural instinct.  When you’re young you go out and play.  You play sports.  You play tag.

You run.

Then when you become an adult you put away such ‘childish’ pursuits.  You ‘get serious.’  You get a job.  You sit behind a desk all day.  Then you go home, eat dinner, put your feet up and watch television.  For the most part.  After a while your fitness drops because you don’t run.  So when you end up having to run, to catch a bus, to catch up with someone, because you’re running late, you get out of breath.  And you tell yourself you can’t run any more.

Because you’re out of shape.  Because you haven’t run for so long.

Your body is a machine.  You get out of it what you put into it.  If you neglect your car, if you don’t put enough fuel in the tank, your car eventually runs out of gas.  The human body is the same.  If you don’t exercise enough the body weakens, your fitness level begins to decline.  To add to this, the average diet these days  is mostly junk. Fast food.  Fatty foods.  Excess sugar.  As you age, health problems begin to plague you.   You might put this down to getting older.  But aging is only part of the issue.  If you work on your body, the way you might work on your car, you will get more mileage out of it.  You only get one body.  Isn’t it time you looked after it better?

My victory over diabetes didn’t come easy.  And it didn’t come at all until I changed my attitude to myself.  Until I started to look after myself better.  I’m still a work in progress.  I could still improve my diet further.  But I’m active most days now.  I run four or five times a week.  I’ve also started working with weights.  Because I’ve gotten serious now about my health.  Because I’ve come to realize that I only get this one body.   It’s time to start looking after it better.  I read some running magazines.  I read about people running marathons in their 60’s, in their 70’s.  Even in their 80’s.  Those stories are so inspiring.  Those stories happen because those people understand what has finally sunk in to me.  Look after your body and you can have a long and healthy life.

So now I’m off Metformin I intend to stay that way.  Now that I live a healthier lifestyle I have more energy, more vitality.  I get more out of each day.

I’m somebody who couldn’t run half a block to catch a bus without being out of breath and breaking out in a cold sweat.  Now I can run three miles.  I’m not that fast, but I can work on the speed later.  I’m slimmer, fitter, healthier and generally happier.  Running is still not easy but is anything worthwhile ever easy?

I run because I can.

I run to be fit.

I run to keep the weight off.

I run to stay drug free and keep my blood sugar levels under control.

What about you?

Winning The Fight With Diabetes

blood test results

I’m having a pretty good week!  The kind of week that you wish you could bottle so you can enjoy it when things aren’t going so well.

First of all my fitness is coming up.  Previously I was struggling to run a mile.  On Tuesday Christine and I went to a gym.  I ran three miles on a treadmill.  That’s the first time I’ve run so far in one go probably since I was a teenager.  Yesterday I ran two and a half miles outside.  Running on a treadmill definitely seems to be easier.  I guess because the treadmill is moving and so does part of the work for you.  The frustrating thing is I know I could have run the full three miles or maybe more because I still had the legs to go further.  But I developed a twinging pain across the bridge of my right foot around the two mile mark.  It got worse around the two and a half mile mark, enough to stop my run dead.  Even walking was painful for a while.  I think I’ll have to invest in a better pair of running shoes.

But the biggest news of the week is I’m officially off my diabetes medication!!!

As I’ve written in previous blogs, I was diagnosed a type two diabetic in August 2008.  I’ve been on Metformin ever since.  I’ve been battling the disease all these years.  Sometimes I would be okay, other times my sugar would be raging out of control.  By January 2013 my sugar was raging.  My fasting sugar was averaging 170.  It would surge well over 200 every time I ate.  Nothing would make it come down, other than a long walk.  Even then it would soon surge back up.  I’ve already blogged about how a shake called GC Control lowers my sugar every time I drink it.  I still drink one or two a day.  I always will.

In December my A1C was 7.2.  The doctor prescribed a second medication.  I forget the name of it but I was supposed to take it in the morning.  It can also mess up your liver.  We checked the side effects.

Uh Uh.

I was done.  I was determined I wasn’t going to be put on more medication.

It was time to get serious.

The Wellness company we shop with came out with a new vitamin and supplement pack called Peak Performance.  It has been shown it can lower the markers doctors check when you go for a visit.  Blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol etc.   The photo above charts the differences in our health markers between December 2014 and June 2015.  Improvements all across the board!  It certainly seems to back up the results of a recent study on the effects of Peak Performance.

You can read about the proof on this website:

http://www.freiburgstudy.com

We had been taking them for a few months already.

The past winter was brutally cold.  I more or less hibernated.  But as soon as spring came around I was out there.  I started walking, graduated to running.  My fasting sugar came down from the 120’s.  I started averaging 70’s and 80’s.  I even stopped taking Metformin as my fasting sugar at that time started dropping to the low 70’s and even upper 60’s at times.

I knew something good was happening.

Last week I had a blood test and Tuesday it was time to go to the doctor to see how I was really doing.

My A1C was 5.8!

It hasn’t been lower than 6.8 since I was diagnosed a diabetic.  The doctor seemed almost as happy as I was.  Especially when I told him I had even stopped taking Metformin for the past two months.  He told me I don’t need to take Metformin at all.  So it’s official.  My diabetes is well under control.

I’m winning the fight!

I know I can’t get complacent.  I don’t think of myself as “cured.”  If I let my efforts slip, if I fall back into old habits again things can turn around in a hurry.  But since it was my old habits that got me there in the first place, why would I ever want to go back?

I love my new life.  I love the way I feel.  I love the way my legs look.  The products I take are helping but the effort still has to come from me.  They don’t make running any easier.  It still takes hard work, dedication, determination.  I have all that in abundance.

I’m diabetes free right now and I’m determined to stay that way.

I Hate Running!

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I HATE running!

Let me clarify that.  I hate the way I feel while I’m running.  I hate the way my legs burn and having to fight through the discomfort and that desire to stop.  Maybe when my fitness increases a bit more that discomfort will lessen.  Or maybe I’ll just find it easier to deal with.

So why do I run?

Because I LOVE the way that I feel after my run.  That glow, that satisfaction of knowing I’m doing something good for myself that will have long term health benefits,

I LOVE the way my legs are beginning to look.  I have runners legs now.  My thighs are firmer, my calves have muscles.  I have visible hamstrings!

I LOVE the fact I’m losing inches.  Since I took up running I have dropped two (maybe three) pant sizes!

I LOVE the fact my sugar levels are much better.  As a diabetic this is crucial.  Since I started running my fasting sugar has been averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.  Even today after my run my sugar was 80.

I LOVE the fact my fitness and stamina are improving.  A year ago if I had to run half a block yards to catch a bus I would be panting for breath, my heart would be racing and I would break out in a cold sweat.  Now I can run a mile and while my heart rate is elevated, (it comes down much quicker) I’m not panting like I used to be and no cold sweats.  In fact, no negative reaction at all.

I LOVE knowing I’m getting healthier.

I LOVE looking in the mirror and not hating what I see.

I LOVE discovering new things about myself like that I have the mental toughness to keep going through the pain and discomfort when my body just wants to stop.

So in a nutshell there are a lot more reasons to LOVE running than there are to HATE running.  No, running is not easy.  But have you ever noticed how nothing truly worthwhile ever is.  The good far outweighs the bad.  That’s why I am a runner for life.

Pushing Limits

I have just smashed my personal best. I’m getting more serious about running. I’m even following some blogs about running. I just went for my workout in our local park. I walked the first two laps. Then I ran four laps in a row without slowing. I wanted to do five as five laps in that park is one mile. But I just didn’t have the legs. So I slowed to a walk and walked the next four laps. Then I just went for it. I managed to run the full five laps. That last lap was the hardest ever but I made it. I ran almost two miles. My new personal best!

They say “no pain, no gain.”  Well that last lap was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  My legs just wanted to stop.  But I pushed through the pain barrier.  That feeling of accomplishment is worth all the discomfort.  And knowing I’m doing this for the sake of my health just makes it all the better.   I’m taking running more seriously now.  I want to push my comfort level and see just what I can achieve.

My fasting sugar this morning was 83.  I had oatmeal and toast for breakfast.  I went for my run two hours after eating.  When I came back my sugar was 88.  My sugar levels are so much better now that I’m active.  For anyone who is diabetic any activity is better than nothing.  From my personal experience the more active you can be the better your sugar levels will respond.  Getting active is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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.

A Life In Balance

I created this blog and my Twitter account mainly to promote our home based business.  But my blog seems to have morphed into something bigger.  I have written several blogs about the GC Control shakes that I still drink daily.  They are still doing a great job in lowering my blood sugar level when it’s high.  I’ve been drinking them for a year and a half now. Note, I am not touting the shakes as some sort of miracle cure.  I know diabetics are often targeted by snake oil salesmen offering some form of miracle cure.  But the GC Control shakes are an excellent tool to help you control your blood sugar levels.

Recently I became a vegetarian.  I then quickly moved on to become a vegan.  My reasons are mainly ethical:  As an animal lover I could no longer just I ft to myself eating meat.  I’ve already written blogs that go into this.  But I have noticed that there are plenty of health reasons for making the switch.  I’ve already lost a few pounds and I find I have more energy.

As my blog is called 4 Paths To Wellness I feel this would be a good time to delve into what those four paths are:

1. personal.
2. Physical.
3. Environmental.
4. Financial.

More people these days are looking at their diet and realizing there is a connection between what they eat and how they feel.  The vegan lifestyle is becoming more popular, as evidenced by the growing number of vegan foods that are becoming available in mainstream grocery stores.  I was amazed the other night at the array of vegan options in our local Stop and Shop.  Vegan cheese, butter,  mayonnaise and even ice cream!

Gyms have always been popular.  People want to get in shape.  Obesity has become an epidemic.  Diseases like diabetes are consquently on the rise.  There is a definite need to take care of our health.  We need to take back our Wellness!

Diet and exercise are part of two paths to Wellness.  Personal and physical.  But so many people overlook the third path; environmental.  This can have more of a detrimental impact on our health than we realize.  We don’t pay enough attention to the cleaning products we bring into our homes and use daily.  Products that contain so many harmful chemicals and toxins.  We have a real toxic stew in our homes and we don’t even realize it!  Respiratory illnesses, like asthma, and skin conditions, like eczema, are on the rise.  Most of them are triggered by the chemicals in the store bought cleaning products.  We’re conditioned to go on buying them.  Mainly because everyone else does and because we don’t know any better.

There is another way!

While most people are thinking more about two paths to Wellness, personal and physical, we offer a way to align all four paths and help you to create a life in balance.

And We’re Off!

Momentum leads to excitement.

Excitement leads to anticipation.

Anticipation leads to expectation.

Expectation leads to action.

Action leads to results!

Those words came to me a week or so ago.  We’re really starting to see the power in those words.

 

Diabetes: My Personal Story

August 2008 is when my life changed forever.  My wife and I had been to a convention.  It was a chaotic three day event with barely a moment to breathe, let alone eat healthy.  At some point I must have been bitten by a bug of some sort.  Right at the top of the back of my thigh.  What started as a bite quickly blew up into a full blown absess. I had to endure a five hour flight sitting on this thing.  I was in agony!  I popped Tylenol all the way home like it was candy.  That was the longest five hours I’ve ever experienced.

I went to a doctor the day after we returned home. He told me it would need to be surgically removed as it was now too big to lance.  I was admitted to hospital the next day.  As is usual, I had a blood test after being admitted.  Purely routine.  Or so I thought.  I had the surgery.  I then woke to the news my fasting sugar was 320.

I was informed I was a diabetic.

I didn’t really understand at first exactly what that meant.  I’d heard of diabetes, obviously, but I didn’t really know that much about it.  I remembered reading an autobiography written by a soccer player called Gary Mabbutt.  He was type 1 diabetic and he had to inject himself with insulin before every game.  You’d never have guessed it if you’d seen him play.  He used to cover every blade of grass in every game and was often one of the hardest working players on the pitch.

Once I was out of hospital, the first chance I had, I bought a book, the Dummies Guide to Diabetes.  What I read frightened the life out of me.  Now I knew what I was up against.  Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, liver failure, amputation…the list goes on.  This horrifying disease can cause so many dreadful complications.

I went through the usual phases:  Denial.  Anger.  Why me?

The years since have been a constant struggle.  My A1C has been up and down.  My fasting sugar levels have been up and down.

My emotions have been up and down.

Now, I’m controlling it.  I’m exercising.  I’m eating a (reasonably) healthy diet.

Now, my A1C is up.  My fasting sugar levels are up.  I can’t be bothered to exercise. 

Now, I’m back in Control.

Etc.

The endless vicious circle.

This has been my life for the past six years.

It’s a rollercoaster ride.

It’s a whirlwind.

It’s a never ending vicious cycle, just waiting for the next time I fall off.

But at the end of the day I’m determined to win, to keep a good quality of life.  My biggest fear is going blind.  I actually fear that more than dying.

The one constant positive is the GCcontrol shakes I’ve blogged so much about.  They really do help.  But they are not a cure.  They are only a tool.  They are only at their most effective when combined with exercise and a decent diet.  I don’t eat anywhere near as healthy as I should, yet they continue to lower my sugar when it is high.

With or without the shakes, the battle goes on.  I’ll continue to post updates.  I just wanted to share my story.  To anyone out there who has been diagnosed as a diabetic, maybe it’s only just happened, I will say this.  Hang in there.  It’s going to be a bumpy rides.  You will have your ups and downs, just like I have.  But you can fight it with the right tools and with enough determination!

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!

My Health Struggles

Wow, it’s been a while since my last blog.  I’ll have to make more of an effort.

I know I’ve blogged before about my health concerns and that I’m a diabetic.  Well, things have been going much better on that front.  Unfortunately I fell off the wagon of not eating bread.  That’s very hard to maintain.  Sandwiches are so easy and convenient.  I still try to regulate and limit how much bread I eat.  Honestly, if I could cut bread out of my diet altogether my health would benefit.

But I’ve had recent good news on my diabetes front.  I recently had my three month fasting sugar test.  My previous number had been 9.2.  But my latest number was down to 6.4.  For those that don’t know, the A1C test monitors how well your body breaks down sugars in your body over a 3 month period.  I believe 6.0 is considered normal.  So my A1C is close to normal.  This doesn’t mean i don’t have to watch what I eat or that I can stop exercising.  But it does mean that I’m doing well in controlling my diabetes. 

Having diabetes is a life-long battle.  But at the moment, I have the upper hand.  The hard part is staying that way.  I’m in it for the long haul.

So what did I do to bring my A1C down?  Well, obviously eating healthier is a big issue.  I still struggle with that.  We eat out a lot.  Too much really.  But I do try to make healthy choices.  Unfortunately when someone else is cooking your food, you don’t always know what goes into it.  Sauces can still be high in carbs and sugar.  Obviously, cooking at home is the best answer.  I need to learn to cook a greater variety of dishes.  But that’s a subject for another blog.

Another thing I’ve been trying to do is get more active.  My wife and I joined a gym.  We try to go more than once a week, but that takes discipline and that’s something we haven’t quite acquired yet. <ahem>

We found an amazing item called an Access bar. We shop with a Wellness company and the Access bar is only available through them.  You eat one fifteen minutes before starting a workout, on an empty stomach, and it helps to give you a more effective workout.  It’s designed to help burn off your fat cells.  It also gives you more energy.  I’m not too sure how the science behind it works, I just know that it works!  The first time I worked out at the gym after eating one of these bars, I spent over an hour on the treadmill, part of that with the treadmill set to a steep incline.  I felt great afterward, and the best thing was I had no aches or pains after the workout, even the next day.

So I’ve made the Access bar part of my workout routine.  As long as it works, I’m going to keep on using it.  Now, if only we could get into the habit of working out more often….

A Further Update On My Experience With GC Control Shake

I’ve blogged about this product twice already, but I just can’t stop talking about it.  Attain GC Control shake is simply one of the best products I have ever encountered in my ongoing battle against diabetes.  I was diagnosed a  type two diabetic in August 08.  Since then my sugar levels have been all over the place.  For the most part my fasting sugar has always been elevated.  At one point it was in the 170′s.  Through diet and exercise I was able to get it down to the upper 120′s but could never seem to get it any lower.

So what’s in this wonder product that makes it so effective?   Here are the basic details:
Calories: 110
Total Fat: 3.5g
Carbs: 10g
Dietary Fiber: 7g
Soluble Fiber: 6g
Protein: 10g
Sugars: 2g
It includes cinammon Bark extract, ginseng root extract, mulberry fruit extract, green tea leaf extract, sweet potato powder.  It’s also gluten free.   The product comes in powder form.  You simply add a scoop into a cup of water and stir vigorously.   And drink.

It comes in three flavors.  Chocolate, Caramel Creme Brulee and Apple and cinammon.  I haven’t tried the Apple and Cinammon yet, but the other two are delicious.  (Note: Since writing this blog I HAVE tried the apple and cinammon flavor and it also tastes great and has proven just as effective.)

Not only does the shake lower my sugar when it’s high, but it has also lowered my fasting sugar substantially.  Remember i said it was averaging in the upper 120′s and wouldn’t come down?  Now it’s averaging in the low 90′s.  In fact, this morning my fasting sugar was 88.  This has not happened once since I was diagnosed a diabetic.  I haven’t been able to walk as much as I like lately, as we’ve had a pretty cold spell.  So my results are purely down to Attain GC Control shake.

Am I calling this a cure for diabetes?  No, of course not.  I strongly urge anyone who tries this product to  keep taking any medication you are on and work closely with your doctor before making any drastic changes to current treatments.  I can’t guarantee you will have the same results I’ve had but I hope you do.  I’m also noticing my weight is slowly coming down by a pound or two a week.  A good healthy weight loss.  I also feel I have more energy.   If i can help just one person to get their diabetes under control then I’ll be very happy and feel that blogging has been a worthwhile activity.  Be healthy everyone.

Just as another addition: A few weeks ago we went to LA for a 12 day vacation. When we got back my sugar levels were again elevated. I hadn’t been able to take the shakes as often as I would have liked and I wasn’t able to eat as healthy as I should have. It has taken a while, but now I’m back on a decent diet and drinking these shakes regularly again, my sugar levels are once again coming back down. This just proves my point that the GC Control shake is no miracle cure. But it is an effective tool to fight against diabetes along with healthy eating and exercise.

As an update to this blog, in June my  A1C was 5.8 and I was taken off Metformin.  I am now drug free.  I monitor my fasting sugar closely.  It’s averaging in the upper 70’s to the low 80’s.

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.

My Experience With Attain GC Control Shakes

This is an update on this post.  I get hits on this post every single day so there is obviously a lot of interest in this product.  I am now off my diabetes medication, Metformin.  I’ve been off it for almost a year now.  My fasting sugar is averaging in the 70’s and 80’s every day.  Exercise has played a huge part in this.  I started running last year and it made the difference.  I still drink a shake every day.   I recommend GC Control to anyone who is diabetic or anyone who is looking to lose weight.  You can drink a shake each day to replace a snack.  It’s delicious and is sweet enough to satisfy any sugar craving.  And as it’s designed to stabilize your sugar level, you are less likely to have a sugar crash that will have you reaching for a chocolate bar or cookie.  – Update March 23rd 2016

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.

I’ve written a few blogs about my battle with diabetes.  It’s an ongoing fight and will probably be waged for the rest of my life.  I was diagnosed a type 2 diabetic in August 08.  I seem to be up and down with diabetes.  For a while I eat well, and my A1C comes down to near normal.  Then I guess I get lazy or sloppy and the numbers start creeping up.  The only way to truly control diabetes is to combine exercise with eating healthy, low carb foods.  I managed to cut out bread for a while, but that’s extremely hard to maintain over a long period of time.  Let’s face it, bread is damned convenient.  A sandwich makes for a quick and easy lunch.  Sometimes when you have to eat on the run, a Subway sandwich is the easiest option.  It’s healthier than McDonalds, right?

Exercise is good for you.  Everybody knows that.  I love to walk.  But walking in the hot humid heat is no walk in the park. (Pun fully intended.)  Nor is walking on a frigid winter day when the sidewalks are icy or snow covered.  So I let that slip at times.  Now it’s the Fall and the temps are ideal for walking, I intend to start my walking regimen again.

Tomorrow.

The GC Control shake is high in fiber and protein.  It comes in a variety of flavors.  Ingredients include Cinnamon extract, Korean Red Ginseng, Mulberry Extract, Green Tea Extract and Sweet Potato Powder. So a pretty healthy concoction

The shakes are not specifically marketed to people who are type 2 diabetics.  So I’ll be their guinea pig.  Lately, my blood sugar has been surging again.  Sunday, my fasting sugar was 171.  I had my first shake Sunday night.  The GC shakes come in powder form.  You just add water.  And let me tell you, they don’t taste bad at all.  It’s a chocolate shake, so it’s obviously going to taste good.  They have a caramel flavor too. I haven’t tried that one yet.  That one is definitely in my future.  The other day a couple of hours after eating, my sugar was 288.  Yeah, I admit it, I had a bad dinner!  So I had my first shake.  Just 45 minutes later my sugar was 238.  My sugar had gone down 50 points in just 45 minutes after drinking a chocolate shake.  Not bad for the first time!

It gets better.  I’ve had at least one shake every day since Sunday.  Each day my fasting sugar has dropped.  Today, Tuesday, three days after I started taking the shakes, my fasting sugar was 131.  Remember how it was 171 on Sunday?

Yesterday, my sugar at 12:20 am was 198.  I tested 40 minutes later I was 148.  Another 50 point drop in 40 minutes!

On to tonight.  Tonight at around 9:24 pm I tested and my sugar was 211.  Yikes.  So I drank a shake.  An hour later, at 10:50 pm I tested again.  This time my sugar was 137.  A 74 point drop!  From drinking a freaking chocolate shake.  Whoever heard of such a thing?!  In that time between the two tests, I did nothing else that could bring my sugar levels down.  In fact, I was sitting on my ass, listening to a conference call on the phone.  This stuff is amazing.  Obviously the experiment has only just begun but I’ll be sure to blog again as the days go by to give updates.  Am I saying these shakes are a cure for diabetes or will let me eat whatever I want?  Nope. I would strongly urge anyone who tries these shakes to help with their diabetes to continue taking any medication you’re on, monitor your sugar and work with your doctor to see if your sugar levels and A1C are responding to the shakes.  I cannot guarantee that everyone will have the same results I’ve had.  I hope you do, though.

I use this product as part of a healthy living regime that includes calorie control and exercise.   GC Control simply works for me as part of that daily routine.  I know that as long as I see results like this, I’ll be drinking these shakes for life!

Again, I just want to stress this has been my experience with the GC Control shake and I cannot guarantee that everyone will have the same results.  Definitely give this product a try.  But keep taking your medication and consult your doctor before making any changes in that regard.  My diabetes is not cured.  It is under control and I intend to keep it that way.  GC Control works best when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.