I Joined a Gym

Planet Fitness - Davenport, IAI’ve been working out at home with Beachbody workouts for over 3 years.  Recently my budget has allowed me to put some money towards a gym membership though, so I signed up for the Black Card at Planet Fitness.  That will allow me to workout at any Planet Fitness, anywhere, but the one I will use primarily is in Davenport, IA.  I know, I know.  I said I’d NEVER signup at Planet Fitness.  Well I’ve been doing a lot of things lately that I said I’d never do.  Anyway, I still hate their “Lunk Alarm”.  They advertise “judgement free zone”, but then what the hell is their lunk alarm?  Judgement free zone my ass.  They’re the ones judging!!!  Anyway, Planet Fitness is the cheapest membership out there, and I can’t afford the other gyms.  The free tanning will help with my psoriasis, and free massage chairs might be nice too.  So I sacrificed my pride and signed up.

Beachbody workouts are great, and I’ve had great results with them, but I haven’t had the results I had when I worked out at the gym.  You can’t do leg presses at home, or lat pull-downs, or seated rows, or anything calf related.  These are all some of my favorite exercises.  I definitely need to find my groove though.  When I used to go to the gym, I knew my routine.  I knew exactly what exercises to do, and what order to do them.  For 3 years I’ve been lazy, just watching the trainer on TV and following along.  I have to do some studying and pull out out my old training books.  Grab the Ultimate Bodybuilding bible off the shelf again.  I’ll still do my Beachbody workouts from time to time, especially in the winter months when I don’t want to deal with the cold.

So my blood sugar profile is REALLY different working out at the gym.  I have to seriously CARB UP before workouts now.  My blood sugar drops 100 points or more!  Maybe it’s because I do 20 minutes on the eliptical before I lift?  In fact, I haven’t completed a workout all week because my blood sugar crashes each night before I’m done with the workout.  Thank god I have a CGM now!!!  I’ve just met 2 NPC competitors online that are type 1 diabetic, so maybe I can get some pointers from them?  Once I get a routine going, I’ll blog again with what’s working for me.



No Excuses!

no-excusesDo you have a gym membership?  Did you start a new years resolution to get fit and lose weight?  Have you been going to the gym every day like you know you should?  Do you know what kind of exercises work best?  Do you know how much cardio and how much weight training you need?  Do you have a personal trainer that guarantees results?

Right now there’s a winter storm warning for my area.  Nearly every day this winter there’s been some sort of weather advisory here in Iowa.  I don’t know about you, but when there’s -40 wind chills and a blizzard outside, I don’t want to leave my house.  Most people aren’t getting their workouts in, but I am.  That’s because I do Beachbody workouts at home.

I used to be a gym guy.  I loved working out at the gym, but those workouts took over an hour, with eliptical time plus weight training, plus changing clothes, plus shower time.  It was at least an hour and a half every workout.  PLUS, if I was out of town on business, or the weather prevented me from getting to the gym, or the gym was closed, or I just wasn’t in the mood to work around all the pretty boys trying to pick up women at the gym, I didn’t get the workout in.  With Beachbody programs, I take 5 steps into my spare room, and I do my 30 minute workout.  Even when there’s a blizzard outside.  Even when it’s 1AM.  Even when I’m traveling out of town. Plus, no one gets in my way, and I don’t have to wait for machines.  With Beachbody workouts, there are no excuses.  It’s quick, it’s fun because the trainers crack you up, you workout in the privacy of your own home, and you get a personal trainer telling you exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, with guaranteed results.  Plus they offer great nutritional info and products, and a proven support arm called Team Beachbody.  This formula simply produces results.  It just does.

How many years have you been paying that gym membership without seeing results?  Stop throwing your money away.  Beachbody’s track record stands on it’s own.  You’ve seen the commercials, you’ve seen the before and after pictures.  I know you’d like to get the results you see on TV.  You can.  All you have to do is DECIDE, and then take action and buy your workout.  Buy it from me, and I become your FREE COACH.  What are your goals?  I am a type 1 diabetic Team Beachbody Coach, and I will help you get the results you desire .  I will provide accountability for you, I will connect you with support teams, I will get you to that picture you see of yourself when you close your eyes.  So what are you waiting for?  No excuses!  Get your Beachbody workout program today!



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The Big Blue Test = Diabetic Synergy

Big Blue TestMy favorite diabetes non-profit is the Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF).  There are many other amazing diabetes non-profits out there, but I especially like DHF because of their Big Blue Test campaign.  The Big Blue Test encourages diabetics to test their blood sugar, get active, and then test again, so they can learn how exercise improves their diabetes and their blood sugar.  After doing this, you go to the http://www.bigbluetest.org/ website to record your results, and for every test that’s recorded, corporate sponsors will donate $5 per test to help educate, and provide life-saving diabetes supplies and services to people in need.  So in helping yourself, you’re helping others.  What an amazing brainchild!

Big Blue TestI only discovered the Big Blue Test last year around this time, but ever since then I’ve been a very outspoken advocate of it.  With being a health coach, and a type 1 diabetic, I believe the Big Blue Test executes perfect synergy in both encouraging us to exercise, and in educating us on the benefits, not to mention helping other diabetic brothers and sisters while we do it.  When you participate in this test, you’re also helping by providing valuable research data (anonymously).  Last summer at the American Diabetes Association’s 73rd Annual Scientific Sessions, this data was presented as a study poster showing the results of the compiled data, an average 20% drop in blood sugar.  I was lucky enough to have been invited to the sessions, and got to see the poster first hand.  I even got to talk to scientists and doctors about the Big Blue Test!  Oh, and Big Blue Test poster even won a Big Blue Ribbon.

How will you get active?  What’s your favorite form of exercise?  Are you a runner or walker, a biker, a gym rat, a sports athlete?  Personally, I like playing disc golf, or doing Beachbody workouts.  My favorite workouts are Les Mills Pump or Body Beast.  I just like the weight lifting aspect of these workouts.  If you’re already an active diabetic, I hope that you’ll take the test, and record your results, and if you’re not active yet, I hope you become active soon so you can take the Big Blue Test too.


Body Beast Results and Diabetes

Body Beast ResultsAs a type 1 diabetic, I know the value of exercise for my diabetes.  That’s part of why I do Beachbody workouts, and why I became a Beachbody coach 2.5 years ago.  At the beginning of May I started the 90 day Beachbody workout program called Body Beast.  Now I’d like to share my Body Beast results with you, and why Body Beast can help you if you have diabetes.  I’ve done a handful of Beachbody workouts, but Body Beast has shown me the most significant results.  Not just in body composition, and fitness level, but also in my diabetes.

Body Beast is an anaerobic strength training workout, which is ideal for anyone with diabetes.  You see, anaerobic exercise improves insulin resistance.  It does this so well, that with your first workout, it can improve your insulin resistance temporarily for hours, and then again with every consecutive workout.  With continued workouts, it can improve it more permanently, possibly reducing your daily insulin requirement.  When I do my workouts, I have to set a temporary reduced basal on my pump for 8 hours.  Since I workout consistently, every now and then I need to reduce either my daily basal or bolus insulin amounts.  I use a great deal less insulin now than I did before I was a Beachbody coach.  When you do anaerobic exercise, your muscle cells have improved insulin sensitivity, and can process carbohydrates with less insulin.  This is temporary, and it’s part of why everybody tells you to drink a recovery shake within 45 minutes of completing your workout.  I have my recovery shake immediately after every workout.  It tastes so good that my workout buddies and I call it “crack juice”.

Body Beast VideoIn a little more than 2 weeks, I celebrate 10 years of life, after cardiac arrest.  As part of my recovery 10 years ago, I became interested in health, fitness, nutrition, and bodybuilding.  I was in the best shape of my life back then, thanks to my cardiac arrest.  I wanted to celebrate this 10th anniversary by being as healthy as I was back then.  I think I am.  It feels good.  I don’t suddenly look like a bodybuilder after completing this program, but my body composition has certainly changed for the better, as well as my fitness level, my insulin requirement, and my knowledge of how anaerobic exercise affects and improves my diabetes has significantly improved.

I would absolutely love to lead a Body Beast workout group of my diabetes peeps.  Do I have any diabetes peeps that are bodybuilding fans?  Do you know what “the pump” feels like?  Who’s your favorite bodybuilder?  Have you ever seen Pumping Iron?  Have you ever been to a bodybuilding show?  Do you know what rhomboids are?  What’s your favorite bodybuilding quote?  Do you know who “The Blade”, or “Superman” are?  Can you tell I’m a bodybuilding fan?  LOL!

If you have any interest in such a workout group, please comment, message me, or contact me somehow in my social networks.  When you order from me, I become your coach, so I can help with the diabetes aspect of your workouts.  Below is a video I created along my journey over the 90 days.  I hope you enjoy it.


“The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger / Pumping Iron

Hypoglycemia + Exercise = Annoying

Body BeastHave you ever been really looking forward to a workout, only to test your blood sugar and discover you’re about to go hypo?  Annoying right?  So you carb up, . . . . . and wait.  30 minutes later you check your blood sugar again.  Now it’s even lower?!  What the heck?!  So you carb up yet again, . . . . . and wait.  30 minutes later you check again, now you’re barely at 90 mg/dl.  You know that you need to be at least at 150 for the type of workout you’re about to do, so you carb up yet a 3rd time, with a serious case of #hyporage . . . . . and wait.  30 – 60 minutes later you check your blood sugar, and now you’re at 150ish, but now it’s either time for bed, or you’re just exhausted from the hypo and you have no energy to do your workout.  If this has ever happened to you, RAISE YOUR HAND!

Yes, this happened to me last week.  See, I’ve been doing this new Beachbody workout called Body Beast, and I really like it a lot.  It’s a home bodybuilding workout.  I actually look forward to coming home from work and going straight to my workout room and pressing play.  It reminds me of the good old days when I was a bodybuilding  photographer.  I was never a bodybuilder, but I worked out like they did.  (Check out my Flickr feed on the right.)

So I thought I’d talk about how exercise, and specifically strength training, can help with your diabetes.  Whether you’re type 1 or type 2, strength training (anaerobic exercise) improves your diabetes because it improves your insulin resistance.  Aerobic exercise doesn’t help nearly as much as anaerobic.  Anaerobic means “without oxygen”.  You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder to get improvement from strength training.  The more muscle you have, the better your insulin will work so you can use less of it.

How do you know if your muscles are deprived of oxygen?  Well, you know when your  muscles start to burn after working out for a while?  Well there’s your sign.  That burning sensation means your muscles have been without oxygen, and now they’re creating and storing lactic acid.  When you stop the exercise, the lactic acid clears, and the pain goes away almost immediately.  So if you’re not feeling that burning in your muscles, you’re not getting as much benefit as you could from your workout.  Now you certainly don’t want that burning to continue when you stop the workout.  If it continues after the workout it means you’ve probably strained a muscle.

A temporary side effect of anaerobic exercise is immediate insulin sensitivity.  That means your muscles can process glucose without, or with less insulin, for hours after your workout.  Sometimes up to 12 hours!  I have to set a “workout basal” with less basal insulin on the days I workout, so I don’t crash in the middle of the night.  My workout basal is about 8 hours long.  Do this 4 – 6 days a week, and it leads to improved insulin resistance all the time.  Now let that start turning in your head.  Then Google for more info.  Ask your diabetes educator about it.  I hope it helps!

Unexpected Highs With Diabetes

Unexpected highs with diabetes is a fact of life.  We all have them.  Many of them ARE explainable though, and thus avoidable.  Diabetics and diabetic caregivers just have to be armed with the knowledge of what causes those unexpected highs, so they can successfully avoid them.  My guess is that your doctor/endocrinologist has never explained this for you, or if they did, they did it so quickly that you couldn’t remember it.  If you can find a good diabetes educator, that will spend some time with you, that will certainly help.  I encourage you to take this list to your next doctor visit, or Google more about each, so you can become more empowered in the management of your diabetes.  now you know, and knowing is half the battle.  (Yes, I just quoted G.I. Joe)  Now I’m no expert on this, but here are 13 possible reasons I’ve learned that can unexpectedly raise your blood sugar.  Go Joe!

  1. Infections:  Colds, flu, wounds, other infections.  Infections cause the liver to turn proteins into glucose for fuel to fight off the infection.  This is a natural and normal reaction for your body.  This can happen hours or days before any symptoms begin to show.  Thus appearing unexpected.
  2. Dehydration:  Along with infections comes dehydration.  This also raises your blood sugar.  I’ll write a blog post about dehydration soon, but have you ever noticed your urine is a dark?  That means you’re dehydrated.  It can happen without infection too.  You’re dehydrated because your blood sugar is high, and your kidneys are trying to lower your blood sugar by removing it through urination.  Then the dehydration causes a sort of insulin resistance, so you can’t bring the blood sugar down.
  3. Scar Tissue:  If you inject your shot into, or attach your infusion set into . . . scar tissue, this can cause unexpected highs.  This is more prevalent with those who take shots because it only happens once, and the next shot is fine, so it appears completely unexplainable.  Those of us with infusion sets for our insulin pumps notice this for multiple boluses, and then we “might” realize the problem, and it becomes explainable.
  4. Gastroparesis:  Many of you probably don’t even know what this is, but diabetes is the leading cause of it.  It’s otherwise known as “delayed stomach emptying”.  This is more common in diabetics who’ve been living with diabetes for many years, with poor A1C scores.  High blood sugars cause the nerves in the stomach that push the food through to the intestines, to become weak, thus causing the stomach to take hours to push the food through to the intestines.  The effect of this is that instead of your blood sugar rising from a meal in an hour, it waits for 4 or 5 hours before it rises, so you get a low from your bolus, then an unexpected high later.  You can ask your doctor to be tested for this.
  5. Medications:  There are literally hundreds of medications that can raise blood sugar unexpectedly.  There are supplements that can cause this too.  Whenever you’re doctor prescribes something new, ask the PHARMACIST, not the doctor of drug interactions as well as blood sugar interactions.  dLife has a very comprehensive list of these drugs.  You can Google more from there.  You’ll be surprised at some of the common drugs on the list.
  6. Stress:  I mentioned it briefly above when I spoke of infections.  When you’re physically, mentally, or emotionally stressed, your body releases cortisol from the adrenal glands.  Cortisol tells the liver to convert amino acids (proteins) into glucose, which can be used as fuel by your muscles.  The problem is, you often don’t need that extra fuel, and as diabetics, our bodies won’t adjust by secreting insulin to bring it down.  This also why stress causes weight gain.  Your body was designed to do this intentionally as a fight or flight response.  The next time your blood sugar is unexpectedly high, ask yourself if you’ve been stressed lately.
  7. Exercise:  I can hear you now.  You’re saying “Wait, I thought exercise lowered your blood sugar?”  Well, not all the time.  For those who try to go low carb, they’ll most likely notice that now when they exercise, their blood sugar goes up instead of down after a workout.  With low carb, your body doesn’t store much fuel in the muscles and liver, so exercise depletes it quickly, and then the body goes about turning protein into glucose again, via gluconeogenesis.  This sometimes happens even when you’re not truly low carb, but have been without carbs for 12 hours or more.  Like in my picture at the top of this article.
  8. High Carb Meals:  With a high carb meal, you have to take a large dose of insulin.  You know exactly what your insulin scale is, and you know exactly how many carbs you’ve eaten.  Then why 2 or 3 hours later is your blood sugar over 300?!  Because with large doses of insulin, the insulin doesn’t behave in an expected fashion.  It’s basically a form a form of insulin resistance, thanks to the large dose, so only some of the insulin works.  Eating high carb over time with large doses will still cause insulin resistance even in type 1 diabetics, so you’ll need more for it to work, just like a real junkie.  LOL!
  9. Low Carb:  When you eat low carb as a diabetic, especially type 1 diabetics, it’s not abnormal to have your blood sugar rise, and keep rising, even after a bolus, when you’ve had no carbs for hours or days.  This is a normal response (the science of it is a whole other article), and the way I found works best to handle it when I was trying low carb, was to double my temporary basal for 4 hours.  Having higher insulin over time fixed it well.  However, it caught up to me, and eventually my little trick wouldn’t work anymore, and I experienced Diabetic Keto Acidosis (DKA) for the first time in my life.  Won’t do that again!
  10. High Fat Meals:  Yes, a high fat meal can cause your blood sugar profile to change.  If your normal blood sugar profile gives you a normal blood sugar 2 hours after a meal, eating a high fat meal will cause those carbs to be delayed getting into your blood stream, due to the fat slowing it down.  This creates a similar effect that gastroparesis has.  A low from your bolus, then a high from you eating carbs for the low plus those delayed carbs hitting your blood stream.  There are other foods like vinegar that delay carbohydrate digestion too.
  11. Infusion Set:  If you wear your infusion set for more than the recommended 3 days (GUILTY!), you could have unexpected highs.  They don’t tell us this to make more money, they tell us this because after 3 days, your body starts to attack the infusion set as an intruder, and it starts to build up tissue around it, making it harder to deliver the insulin  through the buildup.  I know some of us wear them longer to save money because we don’t/didn’t have insurance, but if you can afford to, change your sets every 3 days.
  12. Pump Problems:  This isn’t so elusive as the other issues that can lead to unexpected highs, but if your infusion set gets twisted on your skin, you get an air bubble in your tubing, your pump motor fails, your battery dies, etc, etc, etc.
  13. Insulin Fails:  Insulin has an expiration date.  Do you keep your vials for months before using them?  Do you store it in the fridge?  Do you ever look at the expiration date?  Insulin can die on you.  It literally fails.  Right out of the box, as soon as you bring it home, or after sitting in the fridge for to long.  Expired or not.  I’ve had to return vials to the pharmacy because they simply didn’t work.  Then everything was fine.  It takes a day or more to realize though.  So in the mean time you’re pulling your hair out.

There are more of course, but I think those are the most common things we might run into.  If you can think of one that I missed, please leave a comment for us all, so that we can share the knowledge.


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More Paleo and Ketosis for Diabetes Observations

I haven’t been working out for about a month now, as I was trying to ease into a ketosis lifestyle.  I stopped my workouts because I was already stressing my body with the ketosis.  In the past when I tried this lifestyle, I found that when I did try to exercise, I had zero energy, and usually couldn’t complete my workouts.  So I’ve realized the same thing again.  Plus, when I workout on the ketosis diet, my blood sugar spikes like crazy.  It doesn’t do that if I’m not in ketosis, and it actually falls like it should.  My guess is that my liver is either entering gluconeogenesis (converting protein to glucose), or it’s just dumping whatever glucose it has left, so that my muscles can operate to the best of their ability.  I’ve just decided that ketosis for diabetes is not my thing.

The other thing that happened to me again, is that after about 10 or 12 days, just like the last time I tried this, I had a bout of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), where my ketones went off the scale, my blood sugar spiked, and I had to literally OD on insulin to bring it down, then I had to scarf down gobs of carbs (yeah, I don’t care about grammar right now) to keep me from seriously crashing.  This is a process that can take anywhere from 6 to 18 hours to treat, so you can’t sleep if it’s happening to you.  Don’t worry, I know how to treat DKA.  I do the same thing they’d do at the hospital.  I’ve been doing this for 42 years, so I know how this works.  Those are scary days even so.  Both times I’ve tried ketosis, after 10 or 12 days, I have this DKA fight.  Then I go high carb for a few days because I get paranoid.  Then I come back to at least eating normal paleo.

So I’ve decided that ketosis is not for me.  I’m going to stick with paleo for sure, and I’ll keep my carbs to under 100, but not under 50 which causes ketosis.  I’m a Beachbody coach, and I get paid to workout, so I have to workout.  My income depends on it!  Besides, working out to Les Mills Pump is fun, and those female trainers are hott!  What really sucks though, is that on ketosis my blood sugars were almost normal.  My 30 day average blood glucose dropped by 100 points from 265 to 166.  I’m still kind of eager to get my A1C done at the end of the summer though.

If you’re a type 1 diabetic that’s on a ketosis lifestyle, please comment below with your experience.  I wish I could find a community of T1D’s that live in ketosis?

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