It’s been a while since I’ve updated my journal, mostly because I’ve been insanely busy at work. So I thought I would jot down a few interesting things that have happened in the past week or so.
I spent around $300 to get 2 custom-made suits (with two pairs of matching pants each), a sports coat, and several additional custom-made shirts and pants altered to fit the new me. This meant bringing in the waist by 3-4 inches and additional material out of the crotch of the pants, and bringing in the sides of the shirts and coats/sports jackets.
I might be able to get a pilot's license after all!
According to a friend of mine who is a flight instructor, people who can control their diabetes via diet alone can get their pilot’s license. Non-insulin dependent diabetics who take certain medications can still get their medical certificate, but it requires more FAA bureaucracy.
Given that six months ago, I was able to control my blood sugar to normal levels for two weeks without medications, and that since then I have lost another ten pounds, there is very much definitely hope that I can claim that I can control my diabetes via diet alone.
Soviet iron balls exercise
The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about various forms of exercise “boot camps”. They rated one of them, which use “kettlebells”, cast-iron weights used by the training regimen used by the Soviet military, as being “surprisingly intense” because the revewier’s t-shirt was drenched after 40 minutes of exercise. Heh. You call that intense? I can get my t-shirt drenched after 30 minutes of Dance Dance Revolution, and if I go on for a full hour, I’m literally dripping onto the dance pad….
The blood test results are in…
One of the advantages of having a father who is a doctor is that it’s easy to get blood tests done periodically. I just came back from visiting him in Chicago, and so I was able to get my HbA1C levels tested. The results? 5.2%, which is well within the normal range (4.6-6.2%)!!! The America Diabetes Association recommends a goal of under 7% for diabetics under treatment, and 9 months ago, I had a reading of 6.
For the last two days, my weight has been below 220 pounds. This is Goodness! This means that I have lost a little over 40 pounds since I diagnosed myself with type II diabetes, and have another 40 pounds to go before I’m at the “healthy” weight as defined by insurance tables. When I reach that point, I will try discontinuing my medications, and see if I can maintain my blood sugar levels using only diet and exercise.
Insulin level hacking
I’ve been measuring my weight, body fat, blood pressure/pulse, blood sugar, amount of exercise, and amount of sleep every morning, and I’ve found it useful and interesting to be paying attention to this level of data on a continuing basis. It’s pretty clear for example, that exercise has direct correlation to my morning fasting blood sugar levels. If I don’t do much exercise (only 30 minutes a day once or twice a week), keeping all else (diet, mediciation, etc.
At this point I’ve been on the Atkins diet for a month, and I’ve lost ten pounds. I know it’s fairly controversial amongst some medical circles, but it seems to work pretty well for me, which is cool.
I got started on it when I arrived in San Antonio for Usenix, and realized that I had very cleverly forgotten to bring any of my diabetic medications. Since I had managed to go off the meds for half a week without ill effects back in January when I had similarly forgotten to pack them when visiting Israel, and since I had been meaning to try out the Atkins diet anyway, I figured this was a good time to try it out.
Have you lost weight?
Wow. Twice this past week, someone has asked me if I’ve lost weight, and commented that I looked a lot better. I have lost 20 pounds in the last couple of months, and I have lost about two inches in the waistline, but I didn’t think that I my looks had actually changed that much, or that the weight loss was noticeable.
Hmm… I’m definitely in worse shape after not doing regular exercise while I was on the road. I’m finding myself losing my breath and getting winded after doing DDR songs which wouldn’t have bothered me at all a month ago. Some of it might be because I’m wearing sneakers now (instead of doing it barefeat) in the hopes that cushioning will help spare my knees from aching and in the long term, getting destroyed.