Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Diet, Bikes and exercise

This summer I was full of good intentions.  I joined weight watchers and started counting points with my daughter J (24).  She did great, the first week I think she lost 10lb.  I say it is easier when you are younger.  I started out pretty good, I lost about 5 lb the first week, and gained 1 or 2 back then lost again, and then it seemed like the bottom started dropping out of my world.  First I found out that my blood sugar levels are elevated.  Need to watch my diet and exercise more.  It seems my fasting blood sugar is hovering around 130 which is high.  My A1C is 6.0 +/- is not so bad.  So basically I need to start watching what I eat.  Went to some diabetes education and nutrition classes.  Learned a lot so that was good.  But it seemed like I kept going to the Dr and hearing things I didn't want to hear - and I rebelled as a result.  So I sort of was a weight watcher drop out and went on and ate unhealthy stuff - part of which I suppose was a poor poor pity me approach to all the news I was getting.  Strangely enough when I had the blood tests 3 months after eating even worse than I was the 3 months prior (when i was "watching" what I ate), my fasting blood glucose was down a couple points and my A1C dropped about .3 points.  During the diabetes classes I had my blood sugar tested (in the afternoon not long after eating a not that healthy lunch and a snack of fruit) and my blood glucose was only 86.  Apparently the thought now is that my liver is producing glucose while I sleep and then my body doesn't know what to do with it.

So anyway, fast forward a couple months, now I've been diagnosed with MS.  My neurologist tells me I need to watch my diet and need to exercise and be more healthy.  My regular Dr tells me I need to watch my diet and exercise to watch that my blood sugar doesn't get out of control.  I'm seeing a trend here.  Everyone wants me to suddenly become more healthy.  Actually so do I.  I have pretty bad Osteoarthritis (bone on bone) in both my knees.  My orthopedic surgeon says I should lose some weight and it would help my knees. Personally I know that when I am exercising and am at least a few pounds lighter then I feel better.  So its time to do something about all this again.  So my goal now is to get back to watching what I eat.  I like food so eliminating it all is not an option, I need to do something that I can live with long term not a quick fix.  So I need to start watching portion sizes - that I believe is the big thing.  And go for more of the healthy stuff and limit the not so healthy.    It won't be an over night change but I think I am ready to tackle this again.  I was doing pretty good before I started finding out about all these other health issues.

The other part of this is exercise.  M and I went bike shopping on Saturday.  Learned about what kind of bikes would work for what we wanted to do.  And unfortunately we could only find one such bike in stock, so she bought a new bike.  On Sunday we went with W and took the dog to a local place with bike/walking paths and M and I took turns with the bike, and the dog.  We all enjoyed being out and moving around.  The weather was great.  I ended up doing about 6.5 miles on the bike - not bad for not having been on one for several years.  Now I'm all revved up to get my own bike.  I ordered it yesterday, they say they will have it by the end of the week for me to use it next weekend.  This is going to be a good thing.  The biking felt great.  My knees were a little stiff yesterday, but actually the exercise is good for the arthritis.  The only other thing I noticed was that I need to bring more water - I was very thirsty and finished my bottle and part of W's.  I have trouble with hills if they are very steep, still getting the hang of shifting down and I seem to run out of steam.  Also seems to relate to the dry mouth feeling and needing more water.

I think the biking thing is going to be a great activity for all of us.  W loves it, he's been biking for several years and was very into it in Colorado (they are more geared for biking and have more of the bike paths on the major roads etc) than we are in Pennsylvania.  I think he's glad to see us getting into not just so that he has some one to go biking with but also because he thinks we both need to get more active. (we do.)

SO... by the end of the week I should have my own new bike, and I'm pretty excited about that!!!

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