Health and Fitness

This page gathers up my posts related to Health and Fitness.
This chart is a snapshot of my status as of August 21st 2020, along with some target ranges.

Measurement21 August 2020Healthy Range
HbA1C7.2< 7 (< 5.6)
Fasting Glucose7.7< 7
Blood Pressure121/82< 130/80
Triglycerides7.3< 2 mmol/L
Cholesterol3.1< 5.2 mmol/L
HDL0.6> .9 mmol/L
LDLCannot calculate< 3.5 mmol/L
Weight253 lb190 lb (227 overweight)

  • Health and Fitness Adjustments – Getting Started (8/30/2020)

    About ten years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It came with the fairly common companions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. I’m still on medication for all of those and haven’t had much success in dealing with them, although I haven’t gained weight in that time, I’ve stayed fairly consistently in the 255 lb range, occasionally get up near 270 and occasionally getting down as low as 240. Here is what my weight looked like since Jan 2012.

    So, for the most part I’ve been able to avoid the 1 to 2 pound weight gain that a lot of people go through as they get older, but I’m still in the Obese category. I have focused on trying to lose weight on several occasions, and had some success with low carb keto type diets, but have never been able to stick with them long term and they didn’t help with other issues.

    The numbers that really haven’t been getting better are my Triglycerides, as well as my HbA1C and Glucose (Fasting) tests. The low carb keto diet really didn’t seem to help with these at all.

    I haven’t graphed them, but my Cholesterol levels aren’t great either. My HDL (good cholesterol) is too low, and my LDL (bad cholesterol) is too high. The LDL actually can’t be properly calculated because of my high Triglyceride levels.

    So, I decided to change my focus from weight loss to heart health. This led me to the “DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution” as my new starting point for a change of approach for my diet.

    I had heard of the DASH Diet several years ago when I was looking into ways to reduce Blood Pressure. Looking into diets that are good for Type 2 Diabetes fairly consistently came up with the DASH diet and the Mediterranean Diet as being good for that.

    They both seem to fit the pattern of diets that I’ve looked into that people seem to have long term success with. Lots of vegetables and fruit, about half your plate and many different colors.

    Eat lean meats and fish rich in protein, avoid processed food. Go for whole grain carbs, avoid added sugars and salts. Fats are not necessarily bad, particularly those found in nuts and seeds.

    I had cut out extra salt and sugar ages ago. This plan will actually add in more carbs than I’ve been eating. The biggest adjustment, which I already know I am short on, is vegetables. I’m going to have to focus on getting enough of them in at each meal. This is where the book and other resources will come in handy.

    The other area that falls into the “I know that and just need to do it” is exercise. I have been doing Pilates twice a week for awhile now, although with a three month gap due to Covid, but I need to get more, particularly getting a bit more cardio, and eventually adding in some weight training as well. I’m going to start with daily walks and go from there.

    I think the key thing for me is not to try and change everything at once, and to set a schedule and have a plan for things.

    This will include planning the weeks meals ahead of time and making sure I have everything I need available. I need to have a couple “go to” quick meals figured out and maybe set certain days for certain foods. Taco Tuesdays and Fish Fridays? 🙂

    I also need to get the exercise booked on my calendar. I often go for a 15 minute walk on my lunch break. If I keep a quick pace I do get into my cardio zone. I just need to expand my loop by a block or two and that gets me to about half my weekly total, which should be 150 minutes per week. And that’s not including the Pilates classes. I just need to do it more consistently.

    So, not huge changes, but rather a set of adjustments.

    And, if anyone wants a little more information on the “DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution” and other DASH diets, you can check out the website:

  • Happy New Year – 2019 part 1 (1/28/2019)

    I’ve been thinking about this update for awhile and just haven’t been able to find the time to do it all in one go, so I’m going to split it into several smaller postings.

    I did do a mid year update for 2018 so you would think there would be few things to review, but that isn’t really the case. There have been changes related to jobs, the loss of a friend, some additional work on the house, a couple of new apps I’ve been using, getting out and meeting new gamers, and the regular updates on various projects to cover.

    I think I’ll start with an easy one, health and fitness. I see from last year’s New Years posting that I started at 260 lbs which was down from 268 from 2016.

    I made some decent progress again this year, primarily around May and then maintaining it through the rest of the year. My actual weight on Jan 2 2018 was 252.5 lbs, which is a pretty good indication of most of the year, I’ve been bouncing between 250 and 255 since my initial drop in May. And, here is a nice little graph that shows my progress throughout the year.

    Brent’s Weight 2018
  • New Year, New Plan (1/7/2013)

    Well, last year’s plan to get healthier and lose weight didn’t work out so well. I signed up for the 5 Peaks trail runs and a 5 K. Zombie run, but I didn’t make out too well with training for the running. I ended up pulling some muscles in my leg and having problems with my hip and lower back.
    Spent some time in Chiro/Active Release getting that fixed up and then broke my leg on an easy hike at the end of July. That pretty much did me in for the rest of the year.

    However, it’s now a new year, the leg is doing well, although it still hurts when I’ve been fairly active.
    I’ve got a simpler plan this year, each day I’ll either do 10,000 steps, or at least an hour of some sort of exercise. If I can pull that off for at least 5 days out of 7 each week I’ll be happy.

    I’ve got a few tools and apps that will help. I’ve got my Garmin Forerunner 305 that I’ve had for a few years which I can use to track my heartrate, pace, distance and map my route, although I mostly just use it for heartrate.

    I got a Fitbit One for Christmas, which tracks the number of steps I do each day, as well stairs climbed and distance travelled. The Fitbit website keeps track of how well I’m doing and allows for weight tracking and Food logging as well. There is a Forum section and I joined the Calgary Fitbit group, which has 22 members.

    The Fitbit One and Website can also be linked, which has a very good iPhone app and website for tracking the food you eat each day. This is going to be one of the harder things for me to do consistently, but it has been shown that if you do track your food, you have a much better success rate in losing weight. It can also be used to track the types of exercise that you do, and will feed the food and exercise info back to the Fitbit site.

    Another app that I have been using for quite awhile is TactioHealth. It has nice graphs for tracking weight, Blood pressure, activity and several other things. It also imports the step information from the Fitbit. With the other new apps and websites I’m using, it’s become a little redundant, except maybe for the Blood pressure, have to check if any of the other ones track that. However, I’ve use it the longest, so it has more historical information than the other apps/sites, so I’m still using it.

    I also use an app called Pedometer GPS+ when I’m walking. It has some nice mapping functions and other features, again, now somewhat redunant with other items.

    I also picked up an Omron Blood Pressure moniter a few months ago that I can use to track my blood pressure.
    On the days that it isn’t nice enough to get out and walk, I’ve got all sorts of fitness equipment downstairs, a couple wobble boards, three bosu’s, all sorts of resistance tubing, a bench, a couple of exercise balls and various weights. I’ve also got a recumbant exercise bike upstairs that I picked up used a couple months ago to help with strengthing my leg.

    So, basically, I’ve got more than enough stuff to be able to do this to track my progress, I just need to do it 🙂