Monday, September 22, 2008

Life After -90

Today is a bit of a ramble.
As most of you know, I’ve lost more than 90 pounds from my heaviest weight over the last year-plus. Recently, I've had people who know me walk right by me without recognizing me. That’s kind of a cool thing. But you want to hear something kind of sick? I feel pudgier now than I did when I weighed 260 pounds! I’m a lot more aware of the areas of my body that are the last to show the loss. You know what I’m talking about—those evil grandma wings on the upper arms and right around the middle. And no amount of tricep exercises or ab exercises is going to solve the problem. I just have to keep losing and wait for my skin to (hopefully) catch up. As a matter of fact I’ve actually over-developed my triceps in a desperate attempt to get rid of the wings (it didn’t work). So now, after much whining to my workout partner, I’m working on just enjoying the success I’ve had instead of feeling frustrated about the last 18 pounds or so I have to go.

What does the TMK stand for?
I've had a couple of readers ask me why I use TMK instead of my name? Well, for many years I was part of someone else’s blog. It turned into kind of a running gag because I was always referred to as “K” and my picture was never shown on that blog or anyone else’s (that was part of the gag), just parts of me that wouldn’t be recognized. The first time I left a comment, I signed it “The Mysterious K” as a joke and it just morphed into TMK. (The photo in my profile is the first photo of me that’s been published on a blog anywhere that I’m aware of. I decided to “out” myself a few weeks ago.)

I told you this was a ramble.
I was flipping through some photos over the weekend. Trying to find some “before” photos of myself. There aren’t very many because I’ve pretty much avoided being on the lens-end of a camera for the last 15 years. I did find one of me with a very popular Seattle Mariner who was the subject of a photoshoot I was art directing a few years ago. I didn't realize how fat I was until I saw myself standing next to this very large athlete and I looked bigger than him.

And some diabetic content.
I got my quarterly lab results back and my Ha1c was 5.4% for the second quarter in a row, on 75% LESS medication. I’ve had completely normal blood sugar levels now for 9 months! I’m waiting for my new doctor to get back from her sabbatical so I can discuss getting off the meds altogether. The other thing that was interesting is that while eating a very high protein diet my kidney function has improved. I was told by the doctor I fired last year that I would destroy my kidneys if went down this dietary path. Not!

P.S. A shout-out to Dorothy. I walked right by you on the stairs this morning and didn't realize it was you leaving the studio.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Well. I did it! I'm officially a certified fitness trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Now what?

I've spent the last week arranging to rent studio space, designing forms (lots of forms in this business), and getting mentored by Kristn. I start with my first two clients next week and I'm really excited to get them going.

(Shameless self-promotion starts here.) If anyone in Seattle is interested in early evening training, email me at snappydawg at comcast dot net. If you're interested in training in the morning, I think Kristn has a couple of spots open. We have very similar training styles and philosophy so you'll definitely benefit from working with either one of us. (End of self-promo.)

I ran into a friend at the gym yesterday. She's been interested in my progress towards this goal, so I gave her a mini training session while we were talking. I was also watching various people on machines and such and one of the things I noticed is that people don't seem to go through the whole range of motion when they're using lifting machines. So just a reminder to push/pull all the way up/out and all the down/in when you're using machines so that you use the entire range of your muscles.

Weight Loss Update
I've continued to lose weight and keep my blood sugar at fairly normal levels. I'm down 92 pounds from my heaviest now. I've gone from a size 26 a year ago to a size 12. (I'm still surprised when I pull my jeans out of the dryer and they seem so small. I never expect them to fit, but they do.) The weight loss has definitely slowed down. I'm losing about 2 pounds a month now. And I'm fine with that. It's not like my eating is going to change when I get to the magic weight. I fully expect my body will decide when it's happy and the weight loss will just stop.

I have my next Ha1c in a couple of weeks. This will be the first test since I reduced the metformin by 75%. So it will be interesting to see if my numbers stay below 6%.

Losing the Bread
When people find out how much weight I’ve lost, and the dramatic improvements to my diabetes management, they always want to talk about it. They ask a lot of questions. But the minute they find out I don’t eat bread, I get this stunned “Oh, I could never give up bread.” Every. Time.

I realize that the way I eat is a little extreme for most people. But this is what has worked for me. I have emotional issues with food and I just have to stay away from the things that trigger overeating or binge eating. Unfortunately for me that pretty much includes anything that contains grain, primarily wheat. And since a lot of processed foods contain wheat, plus sugar and high fructose corn syrup, I avoid processed foods.

The amazing thing to me is that the bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. were not that hard to give up. I saw weight loss and blood sugar improvements within a week. So it was really easy to keep going because I was definitely getting huge rewards.

Even if you can't give up the bread, just reducing the amount of processed foods and sugars in your diet and eating more vegetables can make a huge difference in how you feel. And the better you feel, the easier it is to eat healthier and the more likely you are to start moving more.