Broke 20%

Weigh-in at my trainer’s yesterday…

I’ve broken the 20% body fat barrier. This is a number I’ve never been before…and for those of you keeping track…puts me in the “normal/fit” category…especially for an old fart…

Something I’ve never been before…

Not bad for an ex-427 pound, ex-raging-diabetic, old guy, huh?

15% coming soon!

I’ll see you on the road.
CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The 35 inch waist…and the Fat Man in the Mirror

The 36’s…

A surprising difficulty about a physical transformation is, well, clothing.

Can’t wear what I had…me AND the wife…at the same time…could fit in some of it, and while that might be fun…that really won’t do for work attire.

Hesitant to buy new, as I’m still in the process and clothes can be expensive. Whatever size I’d get I probably wouldn’t need for very long.

I’d sort of compromised…buying thrift store jeans. I was surprised at the great selection in the smaller sizes…but I guess I shouldn’t have been. Most folks are getting bigger, not smaller.

Y’all may remember there was a time I couldn’t fasten a 60″ pair of slacks. SIXTY…jeans I couldn’t wear at all…nobody made ’em in my size anymore.

And then I went to work.

Eventually got into 58’s. I could wear JEANS again! Then 56’s. 54’s. 50’s. Then 40’s. I was seriously surprised when I could wear a 38.

And then I had a 36″ pair, grabbed accidentally from the thrift store. Seems like suddenly they fit, and were even starting to get loose.

I hadn’t worn a 36″ as an adult…ever.

But the Fat Man in the Mirror spoke up. “They’re thrift store jeans! Probably mis-sized! They were too big for 36’s so somebody dumped ’em! That’s the only reason you could wear them. Must be!”

Still…I wore the jeans and smiled that something actually fit.

Then, a couple weeks ago I tore a knee out of them. Bummer. But they’d been getting loose anyway. Maybe time for 35’s?

Surely not. That’d be getting close to “fit”…and I’m not that. I don’t expect to get much smaller than that, even when “fit” as there are some hip-bones and a bit of muscle in there.

But in a fit of optimism I said “screw it” and ordered a NEW pair of 35’s from my favorite jeans company, Diamond Gusset.

When the box arrived I opened it and almost sent them back without trying them on.

It’s a hard thing to explain…the “heft” of the new pair of jeans…compared to what I used to have to wear…I’d guess there’s 3-4 times as much material in a 58″ pair of jeans as there is in a 35″…it’s not just waist. The material in the butt, thighs, etc really add up.

And these were so light…and small…the Fat Man in the Mirror was immediately scornful, loud and clear. “You’ll never get in these. Ever. Stupid to spend money on those. Look how small they are! Forget it.”

And I listened. And it stung. I tossed the still folded jeans in the top of the closet and walked away.

Perhaps someday.

Maybe tomorrow I could check the thrift store…find some 38’s or 40’s…

Yeah…someday.

***

I’m proud to say…it didn’t take long…just a couple minutes…

I’m still learning. Always will be I expect. The head game has been the most difficult part of this journey and it is NOT my friend in this. I’ve constantly had to overcome self-imposed limitations. Every damn day in fact…

And that damn Fat Man in the Mirror…

…is in my head.

To hell with him.

I strode back in the bedroom, grabbed the jeans off the shelf in the closet…and put them on.

I will admit…they are tight…the fat around the thighs, hips, and belly is the first to pile on and the last to come off…

But slowly. Surely. Inexorably. Come off it has. There’s still more to do…but I keep forgetting…setbacks and all…that I AM doing it.

The jeans are tight…but they fit. No problem buttoning or zipping them up.

None.

They fit.

“Holy shit!”

And then there’s the wife..gotta love her…who saunters by, gives me the look, and comments, “Mmmm. ‘dat butt!”

The Fat Man in the Mirror grudgingly agreed with her.

I’m starting to believe…maybe he and I will come to terms someday.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

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NOT a fluke…

Okay…where to start? Mmmm…how about this? If you only read, believe, or understand ONE thing I’ve written about this fitness journey…this article needs to be it…

Those of you following along may remember that I’ve BEATEN T2 diabetes and completely NORMALIZED my blood work.

T2 diabetes. I’ve beaten the unbeatable. An off the chart A1C, off the chart triglycerides, severly out of range cholestrial and blood pressure and pretty much any other metric you’d want to look at. Weighing 427 pounds will do that to ya.

But wait! There’s MORE!

There’s something else that goes along with that…TWO more “unbeatables”…lymphedema and diabetic nephropathy. Supposedly progressive, not-reversible, and inevitable.

Except I’ve eliminated and reversed them too. T2, lymphedema, and diabetic nephropathy. Gone. No trace. Reversed. Eliminated.

Go back and read that again.

Eliminated. Boo-yeah!

What’s it take?

It’s a simple process, and that’s part of the problem. Folks are looking for the complicated answer. They like the answer where they are the victim.

Simple doesn’t mean easy.

Oh…and let’s back up a bit…first and foremost you MUST OWN IT. You are not a victim. You are in control of this. Some of you have more or less difficult journeys than others due to piling on health conditions, allergies, other health problems etc…but unless you are doing ALL YOU CAN, ALL THE TIME, to improve your health, you have not owned it.

Do all you can and you will improve the situation.

…and absolutely nothing else will.

So, yeah, it’s simple. It’s decidedly difficult to execute though, as it’s ultimately a head game, and your brain is NOT your friend in this.

Research, experimentation, and most importantly DATA have yielded this:
1) Eliminate sugar, flour, and starches from your diet. This means most processed foods. Period. These foods…in their impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels (even if you are NOT diabetic) are horrible. This step is difficult as it runs counter to everything you’ve been taught, decades of habit, and is up against billions in high-profit food industry products and advertising. Food is fuel. You MUST use the right fuel. Period. This does NOT mean you can’t enjoy it, but you will have to change. The American diet is lethal. DO NOT get sidetracked into the debates about artificial sweeteners, GMO’s, antibiotics, etc. Use them if you must (and don’t exhibit a reaction to them). THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. Sugar and flour ARE, RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.
2) Lose body-fat. This is done through diet primarily, as you cannot outwork a bad diet. Men need to be 15-20% body fat, women 20-25%. Excess body fat consumes insulin (and other needed hormones) with no benefit, and causes a massive host of other issues. Ain’t gonna argue this point. If you don’t believe/understand this despite all the data out there, you are lost.
3) Pile on as much muscle as possible. That means add serious resistance (means weights) training and cardio exercise to your routine. Muscle stores glucose, buffers joints, and is quite simply a fountain of youth. Do some research. FORTY percent reduction in all-cause mortality for people that lose the fat and add the muscle.

That’s all it takes. But…am I a fluke?

No. If you’re human and still breathing, this applies to YOU.

How do I know it’s not a fluke?

The easy answer is there are examples all over out there…for those willing to look.

But I’ll make it easier.

I did it for me. But there’s somebody very dear to me suffering from the same problems.

So we’re doing it again.

Y’all may recall I posted about a game changer for T2 diabetics…in the Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM’s)…short of it is…if you’re significantly overweight, prediabetic, or T2 diabetic AND open to the idea that YOUR actions and behavior are the cause AND cure, then get your doctor to prescribe one of these units. They are simple, painless, and absolutely a game changer.

So, we fitted the love of my life with a CGM and went to work. Trial and error, and proving just how SCREWED UP some of the foods that are our staples are (they would be okay as TREATS to a healthy person, but are near 80% of the American diet and are killing us!)

As a simple example, see the graphs below. On the left, a turkey sandwich on wheat bread, yields a blood sugar spike of well over 200 points…to off the chart…and it persists for hours.

On the right, the same turkey sandwich made with a “keto” bread…low carb, high protein, high fiber. Yields an expected minor spike, and returns to normal within two hours.

Looking at all your meals and snacks with this data available, and ACTING on it with the idea being to minimize the size and duration of any spikes yields quite dramatic results.

How dramatic?

With NO OTHER CHANGES, in JUST FORTY-FIVE days, including days that were experimenting and “less than ideal” we did this:
1) Normalized ALL blood work.
2) Dropped triglycerides by more than 70%, well into the normal/healthy range (triglycerides are THE serious risk factor in dementia, heart-attack, and strokes)
3) Reduced her A1C from nearly 11 to…6.3.
4) Reduced insulin dosage by 20%.
5) Lost 10 pounds/fat.
6) Significantly reduced the swelling/turgidity in her legs.

…and the impact is accelerating.

Lipid results.

Blood sugar

In a DECADE of doing what the doc’s said, this is the first serious progress she’s made.

This is NOT magic. It is NOT a fluke. WE ARE NOT EXCEPTIONS. Do these things, and this IS the result.

Some of you can’t manage the intensity I applied to this.

So what?

Apply the intensity SHE’S applying to this and you’ll still get results…and as those results accumulate, you’ll be able to “up the game”.

Do what you can. Do ALL you can. OWN THIS SHIT! It’s a head game, and it’s the only thing that’s going to help.

It’s in our hands. It’s in yours. For us, for the first time in a decade, a path to the future.

Owned it yet?

Why the HELL not?

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Priorities are choices.

Priorities are choices…and choices have consequences.

Many surrender their power of choice…or think they do…allowing circumstances around them to define their priorities.

This is a choice too, and it bears repeating: Choices, whether consciously made or not, have consequences.

So, why do folks let “others” or “circumstances” force their choices?

Because choices are hard. Responsibility is a weight. And priorities will offend. We want to look to the outside to excuse those offenses, and most do. That is the path to bullshit.

What are YOUR priorities? You DID set them…but did you do it consciously? If not, I’d suggest revisiting them may be an order.

It took me better than 50 years to realize this…or perhaps I knew it early in my youth and simply forgot. Makes no difference. My priorities were skewed. The consequences were severe. Knowingly or no, I chose them as well.

It’s heartbreaking…until I learned…that I can choose to fix them as well.

So…what are MY priorities today? What are my choices? What are my offenses? They have changed. How about a “Top 5”?

1) My wife’s safety and well-being.
2) Our relationship.
3) MY physical and mental fitness.
4) My career/income/means.
5) Family/friends.

Hard choices. Some seem selfish. Some seem out of order. Some may offend. All will have consequences.

So, on to the explanations:

1) My wife’s safety and well being. Why is this the very top of my list? The easy explanation is that I swore in front of God and the State of Texas that it would be.

But it goes deeper than that. Right to my very core. We’ll call it a “moral code” and save THAT for another post. Suffice it to say (and I’ve said it before), I’d burn the world and everybody in it for Her.

2) Our relationship. This is one of those that may seem out of place. Shouldn’t it be above #1? Well, no. It shouldn’t be, as sometimes being the man I NEED to be to ensure #1 is not the man she may want at the time.

The man she needs. The man she wants. The man I am…these are not always the same thing. Sometimes they’re not even close. Fortunately, we generally choose that they WILL be, and mostly we’re successful. Protector, lover, friend, and provider…mostly all at the same time.

3) MY physical and mental fitness. Seems selfish, yes? I used to think so. Hell, it may need to be #1 on the list, in a cold, hard examination. I’ll have to settle for #3 for now. That’s an improvement. This was never even in my top 100 before…and that very nearly cost me everything. It has to be at least this high as I can’t provide anything else for anybody else unless I’m here and capable of it.

THAT…is not a casual endeavor. It’s a moral obligation. I just never understood that before.

4) My career/income/means. This is another many would call out of place. Why is it above family/friends? Because cold, hard facts. Choices. They must be made, and consciously. Rule #1 in helping or being there for ANYBODY is that you don’t make yourself a victim whil doing so.

And the cold hard fact is that my value to family and friends is mostly in what I can provide in help, support, assistance, or occasionally, just plain company.

And I can’t achieve ANY of that if I can’t support myself and my wife. Cold hard fact, that. Offensive choice.

Heck, given that analysis perhaps it should even be moved up to #1 or #2…and I think it was there for a long time. But it’s not today…nothing but her well-being comes above our relationship simply because in my view, the world without her isn’t worth pursuing.

5) Friends/family. They really aren’t the bottom of my priority list…they are in the top 5. There’s hundreds of items, and frankly, below the top 5 they are constantly changing and rearranging. I can’t nail them down…consciously.

Make of this what you will. That’s a choice too.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Progress…

FBS: 82
A1C: 4.6
Temp: 95.5
BP: 110/64
Triglycerides: 73
HDL: 63
LDL: 58
Total Cholesterol: 135
WT: -192 (235, still got 28ish pounds of fat to lose to 15%)
BF%: 21.5

Doc this morning: “Damn. You look good!”

…and still, staring back at me…the fat man in the mirror.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The fat man in the mirror…

The “tail” on my belt…there was a time I couldn’t put this belt around me…the *extra* now wraps nearly 3/4 the way back around…

I just had to punch another hole in it (take out another inch). I punched three. I’ll need ’em soon enough.

My HRM says I burned over 16,000 calories last month just during workouts…and I wasn’t wearing it for several…

…and STILL…I see the fat man in the mirror.

That dude and I…are going to have to come to terms someday…

I’ll see you on the road…

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Game-changer

If you are T2 diabetic, pre-diabetic, have metabolic syndrome, or are significantly overweight (25+% body-fat for men, 30+% for women) and you have not CLOSED YOUR MIND to the FACT what you do every day dramatically impacts these issues, you need a Continuous Glucose Monitor (GCM).

This is a little sensor (about the size of a quarter) that you painlessly stick on the back of your arm. It stays there (the model we use, for 14 days before replacement) and samples your glucose levels and stores the data. You wave a handheld unit over it any time you want (but at least every 8 hours) and the data is downloaded and displayed as a current number, trend, and chart of the history. The chart is pure gold…

This is a *game changer* as it shows you…in real time…just how incredibly *fucked up* many of the foods we eat as a normal/majority part of our diet actually are.

…if you’ll get your head out of that river in Egypt (deNile)…you’ll also see just how fast you can move your stats toward normal.

The problem is it takes consistent, MINDFUL behavior, and those little daily cheats are a killer. Many of these foods essentially SET a significantly higher baseline for your blood sugar for the rest of the day…and they stack on each other as well.

I’ll write more about this in detail sometime, someplace…but if you’ll accept that a high blood sugar level (and the resulting high insulin levels introduced whether via your overworked pancreas or injections) are the issue, you can learn, in mere days…what the real problem is and how dramatically YOU can impact it.

High sugar and/or high insulin levels are responsible for pretty much everything related to the above conditions.

…it comes down to this…no matter how many ways we phrase the question…the answer doesn’t change.

Fixing it…via that consistent behavior…is another challenge.

Trying to get off of these foods will also show you just how much of an addiction they actually are.

Of the units out there at the moment, Freestyle Libre is the most affordable. Most insurance plans cover ’em.

Their value is IF and ONLY if…you are ready to accept that what you do…*every* day, *every* meal, dramatically impacts your condition (good or bad) and you are ready to fix it.

These conditions will prematurely kill MILLIONS this year alone…and are, 100%, influenced by your daily behavior. This is the first tool I’ve seen that will give you specific information to what behavior needs to change (what foods you have to DROP!!!). Since these changes often run counter to the current teachings…this information is incredibly valuable and most likely NOT something you are getting directly from your doctor or nutritional guidelines.

Fixing it…well…THAT is a simple process…but it’s NOT easy…I suspect a majority are unwilling to accept the data even when swatted upside the head with it…and some, even if they did, would be unable to execute it. There’s a lifetime of habit, outright addiction, MASSIVE advertising, high profit, a “food is a reward” mentality, and horrid current nutritional advice working against them. Folks will defend what they “know” with a religious fervor…even while it’s killing them. I KNOW this…as I did it for years myself.

That will be subject for other writings.

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The Fat Man in the Mirror

Have I mentioned the fat man in the mirror lately?

-190 lbs.

20% body fat.

Still workin’ it.

I’ll see you on the road.

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The Zone

Between our self-imposed limitations and the actual edge is where ALL our successes occur…

…everything else is mere survival.

A barbell taught me this…but it applies to absolutely everything.

For some reason this was a revelation to me.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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100%…what does that even mean?

So…about 7 months ago (end of September 2018) I got my left arm out of the sling from the shoulder surgery (done in August 2018), and started PT…my right arm was also recovering from shoulder surgery done in January 2018.

At that point, I couldn’t lay on my back (bench press position) and raise my left arm without assistance. Literally, the PT gal had to “pull my finger” LOL!

My right arm was nearly as bad, I could raise it by that time with just the arm weight, but even a 1-pound weight (a cute little dumbbell!) overwhelmed it after just a rep or two. It was all I could do to lay there with my hand in the air making little circles.

Fast forward just a bit:

I’ve been working the shoulders practically every day, often multiple times a day, for months. Once cleared from physical therapy (not DONE mind you, but “functional” gets your insurance to kick ya out) I started working again with my trainer (Travis Merritt at Rowlett Transformation Center) for my overall fitness and specific, deliberate work on the shoulders.

And I still work them nearly every day on my own. How much and when is determined by how close I’ve approached the threshold between “good” pain and “bad” pain.

I’ve learned the difference. It’s not subtle.

I’ve said it before…most of this fitness thing is a mind-game. Rehab, even more-so.

I’ve stared down the damn Smith machine more than once while wondering just what the fuck I was doing all this for (the Smith Machine cable setup is ideal for certain shoulder rehab work).

I stare. And wonder. And curse. And then I do the work anyway.

Eventually a pattern emerges. It’s not the pain or near-constant soreness…it’s the mind contemplating the lack of apparent progress.

Day to day I there is no improvement evident. Even week to week the changes are subtle.

And it takes focus and drive to summon the effort to deliberately inflict a calculated amount of pain, with no immediate benefit to be seen.

But still I persist. Still I MAKE the time. Still I pay the price. And every once and a while, the returns jump out at me.

So, those mere months ago when I couldn’t “press” my own arm weight?

Today, I bench-pressed 110 pounds. Not a lot for some of you folks…but amazing progress for me. Seems just a few weeks ago I couldn’t do just a barbell.

My shoulder surgeon, when discussing my potential to recover from the “catastrophic” and chronic injuries, had indicated that with persistence and hard work I may recover as much as 95% range of motion and perhaps 85% strength. I promised myself 100% of both.

I’ve achieved that on range of motion…but what about strength? Could I make it “back” to 100%?

I got a laugh out of that today. 100%…of what…exactly? I was nowhere near my potential before the injuries.

And even though it’s subtle, daily I gain in strength and control.

So what is 100%?

That’s where I stop, THAT’S what 100% means.

…and I’m not stopping.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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