Thursday, September 23, 2010

P90X, diabetes, and the insulin pump - a match made in...

...the brain of some delusional being!

Only kidding there.

I advocate getting exercise. When you have diabetes, it's that much more important. Go walk Fido, take a stroll with your sweetie, mow the lawn, play the wii..... :) you get the picture.

P90X is an extreme home fitness routine. If you have cable, you've seen the ads - regular people like you and I working (very) hard and getting (very) fit. I wasn't so sure about this, but I really wanted to try it. I mean, every time the infomercial came on (no matter which one, there's multiple ones!) I watched it, and wondered....

Could I not only get BACK in to shape, could I get in to the best shape of my life? The answer? Yes.

To learn more about P90X, you can go anywhere on the internet and read countless stories of staggering health transformations. Before I get in to the diabetes part, I want to share my motivation.

When my feet starting hurting (BAD) I went to see a neurologist. A nurse there is an acquaintance, and when I stepped on the scale she muttered, "I never would have guessed."

Cue total shame and anger simultaneously.

The nerve, I mean come on - really? 201. 201. 2 - 0 - 1. Is it really that BIG of a deal? Apparently so. The next day the diet changed and the cardio and weight training (re)started. A few months later, it was my birthday and my wife surprised me with P90X. That was the best gift she's ever given me, after our son Nate and our golden retriever, Bentley.

But before P90X you begin you have to take this fitness test.

P-Uuuuu-Lllll-eeeeee-aaaaaa-sssssss-eeeeee I was thinking. I am SUPER FIT (in my mind). Then I got started. It's exhaustive - vertical leap, push ups, pull ups, etc. I was ok (they give you minimums) until I had to sit down and try to touch my toes. Now, I was never a dancer, gymnast, etc. and had never at that point done yoga (just for girls, I thought); but still I really considered myself flexible. Not so much. The minimum GAP between outstretched fingers and toes is 6." My best effort? 6", and barely at that. Whew - on to the program.

Suffice to say that after day 2 I literally could not walk right for 5 days. I just wasn't used to it. But after another week or so I hit my stride, and I was addicted.

Being on the pump (or just having diabetes) and engaging in strenuous exercise can be taxing. I was going low, A LOT. So here's what I did.


I came across a professional-grade athlete with diabetes, and I emailed him, asking for his help. A day or so later I heard back, and what he told me made all the difference in the world. He recommended a book to me that I am here and now recommending to you, no matter what kind of exercising you do:

"The Diabetic Athlete's Handbook."

Yeah, diabetic is a word some of us are not crazy about, but the info in the book is incredible. It profiles athletes and their specific programs, and make suggestions for pump users, shot takers, and type-2'rs. There's something there for everyone. Back to my journey...

When I did the program (aprox 1 hr/day) I would take my pump off entirely. Prior to exercising I would reduce my insulin (bolus for eating) by 50%, and my basal rates would be decreased by 30% or more for at least 12 hours AFTER the exercise.

That did it for me, I drastically reduced my lows, and most days worked-out problem free. There were occasions I had to stop working out due to a low, and other days I had to delay a start because my level was 'normal.' If it wasn't elevated at the start, it would crash for me.

The program itself is incredible, and I found the Yoga portion to be most challenging, yet mutually rewarding upon completion.

It IS possible to do an extreme program like P90x while on the pump, or shots - it just takes more planning than normal.

The payoff is worth it, though.

Plus, now I can reach BEYOND my toes, and I am in the best shape of my life!

So get out there, get moving, and stay healthy!

Until next time, keep pumpin'...


beckybj said...
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Brad said...

Good job on sticking with P90X. Those first couple weeks are very tough but its all worth it.