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?
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!