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It’s been a week full of transitions


Whew! What a week!

Inside Tony's BrainBefore I “get into the weeds” and talk about some of the details of the past week, I thought I’d share a few random thoughts and observations in no particular order and no intentional emphasis… …sort of a “stream of consciousness” exercise.  Sound good?  Got your seat belt tightened? Are you mentally braced for the strangeness of entering Tony’s Brain?  LOL  OK then, here we go!

  • This crap is HARD!
  • This whole “getting fit & healthy” thang is gonna kill me!
  • There are a LOT of moving parts to this process.  Tug on one and the others shift. *SIGH*
  • I’m making progress!
  • I feel OLD. Some days more old than on others.
  • I am old. – evidence: I now have to use my reading glasses waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than I used to…  *SIGH*
  • EVERYTHING takes longer than I thought it would
  • It’s a process… …I’m making progress.
  • I’ve GOT to do this. The quality of my remaining years depend on it.
  • I do feel MUCH better now than I did a couple weeks ago; something about paying attention to my diet, my health, and my fitness has changed my mental outlook.  Yeah, it is everything I’ve listed up above, but, even though only a tiny bit of progress has been made,
    I FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF! simply because I’m doing SOMETHING to improve myself.  That alone is worth all this effort.

The cold hard numbers:

Slow Progress is still ProgressSlow progress… …but progress!

  • Weight 292.8 lbs — Total lost to date: 42.2 lbs / Left to loose: 97.8 lbs

    • no weight loss this past week…BUT check out the body fat % numbers!  Woo hoo!
  • Body Fat: 41.3% — Lost to date: 3.2%  / Left to loose: 28.8%
  • Muscle: 24.1% — Gain of .1% — Yay!!!
  • Visceral Fat: 29.26% — Average over 19 measurements — still getting data here.  Sometimes it is 29% sometimes 30%.  As you can see from the average it seems to be closer to 29%

How did the “plan” go?

Well, it was a mixed bag.  Mostly I stuck to it.  And I knew last week it was a “trial week” meaning that THIS week, beginning Mon Jan 4th was the “real” start of the new Game Plan.

Last week was to try it out and tweak it before jumping in for real.

There are LOTS of things that you have to change if you are serious about getting fitter, healthier and staying that way! In other words, if you plan on this being a permanent lifestyle change and not a temporary effort.

Some examples:

Tracking Calories / Switching to a balanced diet

  • Simpsons dueIt takes TIME to enter data into a program.  Whew!  Those nutrition labels are sometimes very tiny!
  • I am NOT currently eating a balanced diet.  Over the past week I have tended to eat a higher percentage of fat than recommended daily allowances. Also, my carbs are lower than they should be.  GOAL: I am going to try to adjust that this week.
  • I tend to eat calorie dense foods.  Ugh.  GOAL: try to adjust that
  • My sense of portions are way out of whack.  This ties into the other two things.  SIGH
  • I’m better with breakfast and lunch. Dinner is where the shit hits the fan.  Ooops! Did I just use a wordy dird? Damn right I did. 😉
  • I am successfully drinking more water.  Yay Me!
  • I only gave in one time and drank some diet coke.  — Yeah, according to the nutrition label, there’s nothing wrong with doing this but LOTS of articles on the subject and my own personal experience tells me that NOT drinking Diet Coke is better for me than when I drink a lot of diet coke.  I’m actually better drinking a Hansen’s Root Beer when the craving for a soda hits than drinking the chemical nightmare that is Diet Coke.  So there!  *grin*
  • I need to find and consume some healthy snacks…things that are high volume but low calorie and have some nutritional value.  Things that come to mind are raw carrots and cucumbers….things that are fresh and crunchy and filling.  — GOAL: do some research on this.

Daily Blood Glucose Test / Daily Blood Pressure Check.

I had some questions about this.  I am a Type 2 Diabetic and have been so for several years now.  My doctor assures me that IF I loose the weight and get my body fat percentage down, that I’ll be able to stop taking the diabetic medication and the blood pressure medication which keeps both of those conditions in check.

Questions I had at the beginning of the week:

  • How long does it take for the Blood Glucose Level to increase after after drinking a sip of coffee or taking a bite of food?  Actually for me I wanted to know more about the coffee than the food!  LOL

I am NOT a morning person.  My long-time roommate and best friend can attest to this.  He knows after living with me for 15 years to NOT even attempt to speak to me until I’ve had at LEAST one cup of coffee.

Truly, I’m not capable of conscious actions and thought until at least half a cup, so, performing my morning blood glucose test and the morning blood pressure check before consuming any coffee at all…OMG!!!!!!  I’ve mostly trained myself to do this, but sometimes…SIGH.

So, the answer?

  • It depends

SIGH!  I did some research and got all kinds of answers that basically boiled down to: It depends on the individual and it depends on what kinds of food / drink you’re talking about.  Basically high carb (including sugar which is a carb) causes spikes faster.  Fats and Proteins take longer to cause a spike BUT EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT so the only sure way is to experiment and find out what happens to your body when you eat/drink different things:

  • FOR ME: a cup of coffee doesn’t affect either my blood glucose level or my blood pressure.  I get the same readings pre and post not just one cup, but three cups of coffee.  I did the measurements over a course of four days.
  • My morning coffee is Equal Exchange Breakfast Blend, 1/2 tsp of Organic Sweet Leaf Stevia, and 4 Tbsp of Sprouts brand Organic Half and Half.

So….for the next couple weeks I’m going to take TWO tests, one that is “fasting” right after I wake up and the second after cup #3 of coffee.  Why? Because the fasting one is higher than I’d like…actually outside the recommended range,  SIGH, while the one after cup #3 of coffee is where is SHOULD be… so what the heck is going on?  I think it is because of my food choices for dinner which I’ll be changing over the next couple weeks so, for now, I need to do both in order to tell if my food changes have the desired effect on the AM fasting test.

Next Question:  What is the acceptable range of blood sugar level PRE and POST eating a meal?

THAT answer was a lot easier to find.  According to the American Diabetes Association here are the ranges (click the image for a full size view):

Blood Glucose Chart

And the good news is that I’m right on target!!!  Yay me!!!!

Final question on blood glucose testing:  Am I doing it correctly?

Again, the American Diabetes Association seemed to have the best answer:

https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/medication-treatments/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/checking-your-blood-glucose

How to check your blood glucose levels

Answer: Yes, I’m doing it right!  YAY ME!!!!

Omron Blood Pressure DeviceAs for the Blood Pressure testing, all week, whenever I did a blood glucose test, I also checked my blood pressure.  I use an Omron home testing unit.  Mine is an older one so the idiot lights on it reflect the OLD ranges, not the current ones but the measurements are accurate.  The current model is the Series 10 unit which I’d like to get but can’t afford.  It is on my “Help Tony on his Fitness Journey Wish List on Amazon” so if you’re in a generous mood and want to get it for me that would be AWESOME!

Eeeeeeennnnnyyyyyyyway…. My blood pressure is spot on!  Woo Hoo!  Yay for me!  Well, “Yay” for the awesome meds my doctor has prescribed to me that keeps my blood pressure where it should be.  Hopefully, eventually, I’ll get weaned off those meds as well as the diabetic meds.

ONE example of weirdness…

Tug on one thing and it affects everything.  So…to count calories and to track WHAT and HOW MUCH I’m putting into my body that meant that this week I had to:

  • Re-arrange stuff in my kitchen
  • Replace the batteries in my food scale
  • Ask my roommate if I could have the tiny drawer at the end of the kitchen cabinets closest to the wall where he had been storing the fuses for the condo. He said yes. Then clean it out and then put the measuring tools into it that makes it more likely that I’ll actually MEASURE the food that I’m eating.
  • Clean out my fridge, tossing a couple expired items of dressing, sauces etc.
  • PULL EVERYTHING out of my pantry and fridge, haul it to my bedroom where my computer and desk are located, then grab my READING GLASSES *Grrrrrrrr!!!!!*  sigh and input the nutrition label information for anything that wasn’t already entered into the database of the program I’m using.  THEN haul all that stuff back and put it into the fridge and/or pantry.
  • Order a couple measuring spoons because I discovered that I need some spares – easier to have the spares than to have to keep rinsing and washing the ONE of each size that I have currently.
  • Order a new lighted magnifier to put in the kitchen because the old one wasn’t working (did I mention yet that I’m irritated about needing reading glasses / magnifying glass to read nutrition labels?)  Oh? I did? Nevermind then! *hmmprhmph*

See? Tug one thing and….thar ya go! Whew!

And… don’t even get me started about 2020 / New Years Eve, the Covid-19 vaccine roll out, the delay in getting unemployment $$ from the newly passed relief bill, the massive train wreck that is our federal government….Aaaaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!

thinking calming thoughts…thinking calming thoughts…

So…all in all, a good week!

Still lots of work to do and I’m sure that this coming week there will be more tweaks to the “Game Plan” but I’m on my way.

See ya on the dance floor!

Tony’s Take on: Slim Fast vs High Protein Slim Fast


Problem: Which Meal Replacement Shake Should I Use?

Ok, fair warning, this ain’tcha ordinary review…

CalvinBrain

I wouldn’t be, uhmmm, well, uhmmm, “moi” if I did a plain ordinary review!

And why should I anyway?  “Ordinary” is just so.. “Plain!”

One should always strive to be FAB-u-LUS even when reviewing meal replacement shakes.

So………  Welcome to Tony’s Brain – doing a review — Brace yourself, it’s a very strange place!

Regular readers, keep reading and enjoy the silliness that you’ve come to expect from me.

You folks who found me via a Google search and are expecting a “normal review” well dearest visitors, you have a choice…

You can do what my regular readers are doing, which is grabbing their morning coffee or a snack to tide them over for a bit while they sit back and have a few laughs reading my post…

OR

You can jump down to the Read the rest of this entry

Healthy at every size!


Ragen Chastain, dancer and author of 'Dances With Fat'

Ragen Chastain, dancer and author of ‘Dances With Fat’ — Photograph by Richard Sabel (used with permission of the photographer)

I have a good friend, Ragen Chastain, who blogs over at “Dances With Fat“.

Her blog is awesome!  She’s a very talented writer.  And dancer.  And Choreographer. And a beautiful person, both inside and out!   It is simply not fair that so much talent and niceness be packed into one person!  🙂

Be sure to check out her blog and subscribe, especially if you’re on a quest to get healthy. Why? Because she makes an extremely valid point which, unfortunately, is not widely accepted:

You can be healthy at any size!

What she says, in my own words, is that just because you are fat, that does equal being unhealthy.  And just because you’re thin, that does not equal “good health“.  There are large people who are perfectly healthy.  There are skinny people who are unhealthy.

A medical study that Ragen mentions in a recent post to her blog supports this.  Be sure to read the post and the study.  I read the study.  Ok, ok, I only read the abstract.  The details of the study soon put me to sleep, plus they were using them thar big ole words tha’ cowboys like me from ta piney woods of East Texas jus’ get all befuddled ’bout.  😉

The conclusion of the study says, and I quote: Read the rest of this entry

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