Friday, January 11, 2013

"Back from the Dead"

Those were the words of the endocrinologist this morning at Triple P's three-month follow-up after being diagnosed with diabetes late summer.   Yes.  Seriously.
In August, at the time I received the news, I thought I was in fairly good shape.  I was 39.  I had been running three times a week or so.  I ate relatively healthy - lots of salads, very little junk food.  I had lost 10 pounds since January and felt like I was close to making a run at "fighting shape."  Then I got the diagnosis . . .  It's depressing when you think you are already living a healthy lifestyle and then you get the news that you have to clean up your act.  What more can you do?
Try harder.       

Since August, I've made further lifestyle changes:  (1) a very clean diet: 100 grams of carbs or less a day; high protein; lots of steamed vegetables; no sugar . . . fruit is the most "unhealthy" thing I eat these days; (2) increased exercise (typically an hour of lifting and 20 to 40 minutes of cardio 5 or 6 times a week); and (3) greatly reduced alcohol consumption. 
As a result, and since August, I've dropped another 15 pounds.  Body fat went from 20.5% to 16.5% (my current goal is 15%).  And, surprisingly, the "diet" is not an effort at all.  I don't really miss anything.  My biggest difficulty nowadays is finding enough food to eat (when you greatly reduce carb consumption and eliminate sugar, there ain't a whole lot of things left to eat . . .).  I'm working on adding calories -- protein shakes, nuts, greek yogurt, etc., as necessary to build muscle and hit that 15% goal. 
Perhaps more importantly, AC1 (a measure of blood sugar) went from 9.3 to 5.6.  And triglycerides (essentially, blood fat), which should be under 100, when from 900 (yes, that's not a typo) to 85.
Not only have I managed to avoid insulin to control the diabetes; the doc even cut the oral meds (metformin) in half.  Perhaps, with continued effort, the diabetes will be controllable through diet and exercise alone.  Time will tell.
So . . . all this means Triple P may have some years of poker left to play after all.  And, in that spirit, I recently booked my summer 2013 Vegas trip:  11 days at Aria, July 3 through July 14th.  Already looking forward to seeing some of you at the tables!


  1. Triple P,

    That is great news. I've stumbled on your blog (as well as lots of others lately) and really enjoy the postings. Keep up the great work on the diet and discipline will pay off. I've found that hot tea in the afternoon helps a lot with those post lunch cravings and fills you up to make it to you dinner. Try it.

  2. Thanks grrouchie. Now I just have to maintain the effort for another 40 years or so. No biggie.

  3. Good going on the dietary adjustments! I think you have undersold your A1C--that number would be found in someone without diabetese so you've done well.

    If you take Lawzag up on the tea in the afternoon tip, I know someone who can buy it for you with a mere $100 vig...

  4. Hahahah. TBC . . . poker player . . . author . . . tea broker . . .

  5. Also, eat avocados (I prefer them with little salt). They are healthy and fill you up.

    1. Thanks. I try to add them to other foods (Salads, etc.) But not sure I could tolerate just eating a plan avocado...

  6. Yeah -- the tough part is once you get past the main meals healthy stuff, what do you use for filler? I needed to get back on track and had a massive infusion of veggies to my diet. Needless to say, there were other things I needed to get used to again ... lol.

  7. Just found your blog. Congrats on the weight loss and getting the diabetes under control. I am still working on that one.

  8. Congrats on the great health update, that's terrific. That AC1 reading is amazing. I'll bet you'll be able to stop the meds soon. Good going.

  9. Keep up the good work. Congrats on getting healthy.