Just got my numbers back from the lab and hit a 5.5 for my A1C - still much higher than I thought, but given what I have been doing (or not doing), combined with a huge wake up call on my DXA scan in terms of my visceral fat situation, I cannot say I'm surprised. Lipid and metabolic panels all still good thankfully.
Will think through how best to incrementally address the visceral fat situation. Deep down inside, I think I've always known the answer, but need to take care around how I go about addressing it. Ugh. Such drama.
Things which have changed since the last A1c reading about 3 months ago:
- I’ve known it for months now - in terms of not eating when not hungry - but have stuck to this a bit more noticeably, at least in my mind. I caught myself eating full meals when not hungry because it was time for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack/party/break/meeting, and everyone around me was eating, and so on. Taking me time to get used to but is becoming far easier and I don’t think I’m hurting anyone’s feelings after I explain why. (There are a few in my friends and family circle who cook exceptionally well and are initially depressed when I’m not chowing down on their greatness.)
- I don’t use it often, but bought a blood ketone meter instead of guessing or assuming, look at it from time to time, though nowhere near as often as my BG checks. Think about GKI too as another framework of reference.
- Dabbled in nutritional ketosis with great results and working on understanding my body better to see if I can sustainably integrate more and more of that into my lifestyle vs. merely keeping it in my toolbox.
- Also dabbled with some IF (intermittent fasting), but in the most mild manner (16:8) and extremely infrequently. Seems to work quite well for me in terms of zero hunger - quite the opposite actually and it freaked me out a bit when I was also able to do moderate level activity while in that state with no problems whatsoever - and low BG values. But the more I study up on this, the more I believe IF can be abused horribly via business and personal temptation, and overextended to the point where the short term benefits are not worth the long term damage.
- Using the DXA scan vs. the scale and my body weight to measure changes in overall body fat percentages as well as visceral body fat percentages. DXA is infinitely better than the old school methods. I should have been paying attention when these services first came out. The results have been extremely eye opening for me personally. I only have two data points so far, but my visceral fat percentage has actually gone up while my weight has remained mostly flat and I have actually gained some muscle mass in my legs. This is not good and is the single biggest red flag for me.
- Getting back on to the VersaClimber (extremely light use) but not as a substitute for my walking routines and not in large chunks. There are a number of other motivations I can’t get into here, but has always been an efficient tool in terms of floor space, convenience, and of course, cardio-efficiency per unit time here is superior to any other cardio I currently do.
- Huge wake up call on my protein consumption and the fact that it can easily knock me out of nutritional ketosis - especially during this early phase where I haven’t developed a great, experienced feel for it. So still doing a lot of protein and steaks, but mindful of nutritional ketosis impact. Which is not to say that my current goal is to be in NK all the time. I should simply no longer be surprised if I’m knocked out of NK after eating a monster steak and taking a nap.
- Big increase in amount of cheese and macadamia nuts eaten on an almost daily basis. This may be a problem.
- Figured out how to use the “ignore this user” functionality in the forum. It’s totally not a problem in any case, and I only have a tiny, tiny number of folks on there, but it works so well and seamlessly!
No new insights on sustainability from my own data points (still way too early), but I pick up some anecdotes here and there from the collective wisdom of this forum tied to sustainability relative to the progression vs. non-progression of this disease, reversible vs. irreversible complications, and the fact that “getting older” happens to most of us. =)
Live life to the fullest, maintain perspective and balance. And in The Big D context for myself - measurement, nutrition, activity, sleep, stress - the usual, though some are much easier than others.
May 28, 2015 to Present
My history to date of A1C and fasting blood glucose (FBG) from labs, except where noted (i.e. from my own blood glucose meter) - DX here means diagnosis.
2015.05.28 DX'd A1C at 13.2, FBG at 194 - The Wake Up Call !!
2015.06.08 [11 days after DX] FBG mostly in 80s, all below 100
2015.06.27 [~1 months after DX] A1C at 9.8 & FBG at 88
2015.08.28 [~3 months after DX] A1C at 6.0 & FBG at 87
2015.09.28 [~4 months after DX] A1C at 5.7 & FBG at 95
2015.11.21 [~6 months after DX] A1C at 5.6 & FBG at 83
2016.02.16 [~9 months after DX] A1C at 5.5 & FBG at 84
Medication: I have never taken any medication for diabetes or non-diabetes; I realize this may change significantly over time.
Diet: I’ve adopted a low-to-moderate carbs lifestyle and aspire to become more fat adapted and in various levels of nutritional ketosis (including NOT being in nutritional ketosis), keeping in mind that low carb is not the same as a ketogenic diet which is not the same as actually being in nutritional ketosis.
I’ve reversed my position on fats and eat a ton of fats, cheese, butter, meats, nuts, though I also try to eat a lot of vegetables, especially cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, brussel sprouts, spinach, and kale.
I am not strictly following any given LCHF, Paleo, Atkins, or Diet X, but learning from all of them and trying to figure out what works best for me over time.
My biggest revelation to date has been that for me, protein consumption in terms of the absolute amount DOES matter.
Exercise: I try to perform daily, mild, but deliberate walking, or 80-100,000 steps per week on average, extremely light and infrequent strength training, and occasional but well beyond recreational intensity tennis. I am intimately familiar with HIIT and various exercise vs. training routines, but will NOT go down that path for now. That said, I actually own a VersaClimber - a time tested system that I’m very familiar with and I’ve always thought represented the best bang for the buck - but only use it a few times a week, if at all, at this point in time. Depending on my progression, as with medication, this may change significantly over time.
Weight: I’ve been holding reasonably steady, but am now going to track here based off a DXA scan vs. just the scale.