Monday, July 31, 2006

Surprise Package

When I got home this evening there was a package for me. I wasn't expecting anything and there was no identifying logo on the box so I couldn't imagine what it was. I had to fight off dearly beloved who loves surprises much more than I do and eventually got the box open.
Guess what it was? An Ascensia Breeze BG Meter. Not something I had ordered although from the generic letter that was enclosed in the package my better half thought I had been hammering the Visa card again.

Now, nicer people than me would probably be delighted to receive a free meter in the mail but it kind of freaked me out. I don't really like surprises at all and when it comes to shopping I like to research everything, weigh up the pros and cons and ruminate for a while before making a decision. So this may be the meter I would have chosen for myself if I was shopping for a new one but I wouldn't know. I really had no reason to search out a new meter as my Lifescan Ultra has all my data on it and is working perfectly well at the moment.
But what really freaks me out is that I have no clue who ordered this for me. It came directly from Bayer HealthCare so there is a 1800 number and I could phone them and find out, but do I really want to waste time dealing with Customer Service? Would they be able to tell me anyway? Could it have been my endo who arranged for it? I was at her office today and she didn't say anything and my last endo had me buy two meters with cold, hard cash so I wouldn't have thought so. My health insurance? If they are sharing my details with Bayer I'd prefer to know in advance.
Hubby muttered something about gift horses' mouths but quickly shut up when he saw the look on my face. He then suggested I put it back in the box and store it in a drawer. Yep, that might work with a more rational less suspicious person.
What should be a good thing has turned me into a paranoid freak and I'm not sure what to do about it. I haven't been this weirded out since I found a piece of rawhide on the doorstep and thought someone was trying to poison my dog.
Any thoughts, anyone?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I made the PT sick

When I got to the gym for my personal training session I found that the PT had gone to the hospital with a migraine so my session had been cancelled. I did get someone else to help me and I have been comped another session but I'm not sure what's going to happen in the future. The PT was supposed to phone me to set up another session but hasn't and I don't want to phone the PT in case she's really sick.
I'm not going to worry about it for now as I'm off to Boston for a little vacation. I can't wait. I've been practising dropping my r in car, bar and park. Chowdah will be eaten, lobster too I should think. Cape Codders may be sipped.
And the hotel has a gym so I don't doubt I will be falling off the equipment there, too. Can't let a holiday get in the way of the fitness regime.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Personal trainers kick ass

and thighs, abs, arms and pinkies too. Everything hurts. Really, really hurts. And I'm not joking about the pinkie. I'm back to typing with two fingers on one hand.
Have I been too easy on myself at the gym? Oh yes. 45 lb leg press? That's for kiddies. 60 lb is for wuzzes. 100 lb is where the personal trainer started me because I have nice, strong legs.
Yeah. By the end of the session the nice, strong legs were shaking. You recall the scene from Bridget Jones where Renee Zellweger gets off the exercise bicycle and falls to the ground? That was me.
After 30 minutes lifting and pressing the PT suggested 15 minutes on the elliptical, The only obstacle between the machine and me was two flights of stairs. How bad does it look when you have to crawl downstairs at a gym? I was sweating too much too care. After the elliptical I was pretty much a pathetic pool on the floor.
Today is a rest day. Tomorrow more training.
I will be fit and strong. If it kills me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How about them apples?

A couple of months ago (Memorial Day weekend to be precise) I was buying cleaning supplies in a big supermarket, rather than the wholefoods place I usually shop in. I needed some flowers to cheer up the kitchen but there wasn't a great choice. Then I spotted a huge bag of green apples for $1.99. That's way less than flowers would cost and I do love a bargain, and I figured the green would look pretty punchy on the island.
I emptied them into a glass bowl and there they've sat ever since. I've stopped family and friends from eating them, steering them to the organic apples in the refrigerator. Every week or so I flick a cloth across them. And I've turned them once to make sure there is no rot starting as they are pretty closely packed in there.
The thing is, they are right above the cooktop and everything else I've placed there: lemons, limes, oranges and even other apples, has started to decay after a week or so. The other weird thing is that they have absolutely no smell. They could even be fake fruit, I have no intention of biting into one to find out.
I'm wondering what they have been sprayed with, would it be safe to eat? If I get hold of some and spray it on me would it halt the aging process? I'm also intrigued to know how long they can possibly last. So we are currently taking bets. I think they'll last until the visitors leave the beginning of August. Others are betting on Labor Day and Thanksgiving. One person who knows me well is betting I'll get bored with them and pitch them before they decompose.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Does Exercise Boost Metabolism?

If you read Health and Sports magazines you would think so. The hypothesis is that exercise benefits you while you are doing it and hours later. But is there evidence to support the theory? Based on my past exercise history I'd have to say no.
I don't think I've ever not taken some form of daily physical activity although it's varied greatly in its intensity. I've always walked, at least two thirty minute walks a day with the dogs, swum and stretched. I don't think of this as "exercise" more part of my routine.
Then there is the part I consider real exercise. The stuff that raises the heart rate and makes the muscles ache. That's the kind of exercise that's supposed to raise my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) so I'll continue to expend energy even after I've stopped the activity. I wish exercise would increase my RMR and help me lose weight. It didn't do it when I was on the school swim team. It didn't do it when I took aerobics classes, step classes or yoga. At my last gym you got weighed when you joined and monthly after that. I was the only person who managed to lose not one pound for the entire time I was there. They didn't believe it. Sadly I did. Been there, done that.
I did a little research because I am convinced I'm not the only person who doesn't lose weight on an exercise regime. Chris Melby, Dr.P.H. writing for the American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM Fit Society® reproduced in Sports Medicine suggests that I'm right. Most of the benefit comes while exercising and the effort put in by the typical gym-goer will not result in substantial changes in RMR. Another article in Peak Performance has even more bad news. Studies report that for some people, exercise may actually lower metabolic rate and it's gender specific too. Women experience less benefit than men because we are more effecient at conserving energy. And for me, as a person with diabetes, when I do get some delayed energy expenditure it sends me hypo so I have to eat to survive. Calories out balanced by calories in = negative weight loss.
That's why I want to work with a personal trainer this time. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years, or maybe I just need to do more. I want to increase the intensity of the weight training while controlling extra calorie intake and avoiding hypos. I hope I can also lose some weight but I'll be pleased if I just increase my strength, flexibility and sense of well-being.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fitness Programme Part III Week I

I've been to the gym twice this week and I haven't had a personal training session yet. Won't get one until next Monday in fact. This slightly bums me out as I'm not sure I'm getting the most out of the equipment. It's different from my last gym where all the apparatus was resistance - the more you put in the harder the body worked. This is all weights and I don't know if I should be pushing 10, 23 or 40 kg. I've taken to putting the bolt in the second slot and hoping for the best.
On Monday my arms hurt so much I couldn't type but my legs felt great, however I didn't get that nice rush afterwards. The guy at the gym told me to only do three times a week so I went again today and pushed the legs a bit more - used the treadmill for longer to warm up and the step walker to cool down and felt like I'd had more of a work out. At the last place I went at least five days a week, sometimes six because I felt if I missed a day I might never go back. And that is just what happened. (I actually hate exercising but I love the feeling I get after I've done it).
On the good side BG before exercising 125, after 115. On the bad side I had to consume two Graham crackers to keep it there. So calories burnt maybe 200, calories consumed probably 250.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mission Fitness Part III

Part one was increasing the daily walking, part two was unearthing the evil running machine from the cobwebs in the basement and actually using it, part three started this morning when I joined a new gym.
My plan was to try put all the gyms in town, pick one I liked that was easy to park at, not full of super fit bodies and not outrageously expensive. This has been my plan for months. It was a great plan but hadn't accomplished anything except a vague feeling of guilt every time I drove by a gym on the way to get a Starbucks.
This morning I woke up stiff from doing nothing more strenuous than carrying shopping bags around the Mall for a few hours and I knew I had to do something. It was time to put the plan into action. The gym I tried was completely scary and intimidating, lots of fit bodies running on treadmills and using the step machines, but upstairs in the weight room it was calmer and after I'd been introduced to the machines I felt better.
Anyway I thought I'd messed around for long enough so I joined for two years and signed up for four personal training sessions. How's that for commitment?
I was so unused to any real exercise that BG went from 179 to 68 in thirty minutes. I guess I'll have to plan snacks and testing really careful until I get into the swing of things.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Well, yeah

A new UK report suggests that Infections may cause Diabetes. No kidding. I thought this was proven years ago. I can't count the number of people with diabetes I've met who have stories like "My sisters caught chicken pox and I got diabetes" or "I thought it was a virus but then I was thirsty all the time".
For me I swear it was the flu. I got a dose of influenza. The real stuff that hits you at the back of the neck with a fifty pound iron weight and leaves you to rot for a week, and then robs you of any energy for the next three weeks. The kind that kills healthy twenty year olds, not the snivelly cold that everyone gets once a year and is incorrectly labeled as flu. I have never felt so bad in my life, and when it was over and I could stand upright again without shaking, I found I could drink and drink and never assuage the thirst.
So I'm really not surprised that infection plays a part and I truly hope that this research helps them to get another step closer to finding a cure, but it seems to me that its taking way longer than it should and I'm not holding my breath here.