Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Story II

It has been a month since my last post… this is going to be a long one... much to tell. I've been busy and working on some projects, it was just difficult for me to find the time. I’ve been updating folks in Facebook … it is sooo much easier to post items there…if you want to stay updated in the future it would be best for you to find me at this link on Facebook.

I had a “physical” a couple of weeks ago. It was what my doctor calls my “once a decade whether I need it or not Check Up”. :) Which leads me to my first point….SCHEDULE REGULAR CHECK UPS! Had I done this… I may have avoided all of my troubles…

Last week I received the results of my blood lab work. Before I made the results public, I wanted to obtain the same information from my blood reports while I was in the hospital in Feb. ’09, about 7 months earlier.

Why? You know…so I would have something to compare it to. Despite the fact that for 3 days I was a human pin cushion AND despite the high priced cost of the 3 day hospital stay….apparently the information was not recorded. The only note that was made on the reports was “cholesterol high”.

Let’s see….hmmm….I was obese, just diagnosed diabetic with high blood pressure… to me, writing “cholesterol high” really didn’t add any new information to the equation… I think “cholesterol high” given the circumstances…was a given.

The historical information was important to me on several fronts but most important to me, I wanted to be able to say definitively, “I
was here, I did XYZ and now I am here… TADA!”

Unfortunately…all I can say is… “I am here….TADA!” :)

Doctor Visit / Lab Work

I was nervous and anxious heading into the visit... I had been off all meds and insulin for about 6 months...and I have drastically changed my LIFESTYLE. I had changed from a slothful, sedentary garbage disposal to an exercising, nutritious eating…person.

IMPORTANT – PLEASE read and pass this info on to known diabetics…please!

When I discharged from the hospital I stumbled about for a couple of weeks on the ADA/FDA Food Pyramid ( giving this to diabetics should be criminal, it is immoral and unethical ). My doctor referred me to the Low Glycemic Diet, in a nutshell, the diet suggests swapping higher carb foods for lower carb foods. I adhered to this diet for several weeks and saw good results as my blood sugars came down. BUT I thought…if swapping for lower was “good” …wouldn’t swapping for even lower carbs be better? …. The answer was…YES!!!

After about a month I was completely weaned off of insulin and all medications. So I thought…I was doing AWESOME!!!! WHY did I think I was doing awesome?….because everything given to me by the “medical community” said that normal fasting overnight blood sugar range is 70 – 120 and I was consistently in the 100-115 range… so I was “NORMAL” ….right?

Short answer…wrong…I’ll explain.

For months I was doing “my thing”, I was eating lean meats, veggies, nuts, beans, whole grain cereal, occasional whole grain pasta and occasional rice etc etc. Life was good. I check my blood sugar every couple of weeks, I was always in the 100-115 range.

Then in my ever continuing quest to find more and more information….I find a webpage that says this:

Normal Fasting Blood Sugar range is 70-100, a leading doctor specializing in diabetes treatment suggests a targeting blood sugar of 85, which is the average fasting blood sugar level for non-diabetics.

To make a long story short…. I confirmed this information. Oh no…it wasn’t easy…

The American Diabetes Assoc. …to put it bluntly, they really tick me off for many reasons. For one, I’ve already mentioned their food pyramid. It lists grains, breads, rice, cereal, pasta ….as the BASE!!!!...recommending 6-11 servings…TRUST ME…other than sugar…these are the LAST THINGS YOU SHOULD EAT!!!

Secondly, I had to dig and dig to find what they say the normal range is….further more… I could not find an average fasting blood sugar level for non-diabetics… DON”T YOU THINK THAT WOULD BE A NICE GOAL!!!! DON”T YOU THINK THAT IS PERTINENT INFORMATION AND SHOULD BE READILY AVAILABLE!!!

Click here to find their priorities…it’s healthcare reform petitions and donations oh...and the recipe of the's sandwich....

Back to the story, so now I find that I need to lower my target. The only way to do that is to lower carbs… I searched and researched looking for the perfect diet for me… I kept coming back to the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. He’s the owner of the website where I found “Tabata Sprints” information originally and much much more. Going "Primal" is sooo much more than a diet, it truly is a lifestyle change in every sense of the word.

To be honest, I had been transitioning and dabbling in going “primal” since sometime in June/July but I did not commit fully to it until Aug 1st. Why? Because...much of the Primal Blueprint makes sense to everyone, things like "eat more veggies" and "avoid processed foods" etc. However, not all of the tenets of Primal living are as obvious or mainstream....but when I learned what my blood sugar level should be....I felt like I had to give Primal living a shot.

So why did I not share that information with everyone? Honestly, until I received my lab work reports back...I did not feel comfortable sharing the information fully.

I’ve been told that there is NO Evidence of Obesity nor Diabetes in my Lab Work!
(I’m still diabetic… you just can’t tell that from my labs)

Results from my visit/blood work.

Weight: 165 lbs (clothed with cell phone, wallet etc) --- LOST 70 lbs!

Blood Pressure: 112 / 67 (lowest ever in the doc’s office!!!!)

EKG: Perfect – yeah! :)

Blood Sugar = 85 ( remember my target!! I am truly normal!!! )

Cholesterol = 182 (below 200 is highest rating of “Desirable”)

Triglycerides = 61 ( below 150 is highest rating of “Normal”!)

HDL = 65 ( above 60 is highest rating of “protective”)

LDL = 105 (100 and below is optimum, I am “near optimum”)

*** Summary: I attribute my “good report” just 7 months from being an obese, sedentary garbage disposal the pillars of fitness.

1) Exercise: I perform what I consider a rigorous daily exercise 45-60 minutes a day, six days a week.

2) Meal Plan: Primal Blueprint – which is essentially a low carb/low processed food diet, eating meats, fish, nuts and vegetables.

** If you want additional information...just let me know. :)

TTFN…do you speak Pooh?


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Twin Pillars of Fitness

(I did this in about 10 mins in Excel... neat huh?)

As the beautiful and creative illustration above suggests.…

FITNESS is supported by two pillars….

1) Nutrition
2) Exercise

Test Question: What do YOU have to do to get fit??

Test Answer: Eat nutritiously and Exercise!

Alright! You folks are doing Great! :)

I am trying to illustrate a point…get this straight…

There is no “magic” elixir, no single shake, no magic pill that will make you fit. It will take a conscious effort to eat right and to exercise…no way around it.

No – ifs, ands or buts…. (I really wanted to add another ‘t”…. )

1) Exercise - You must exercise to burn calories, to maintain muscle tone and to accelerate the heart rate…every one needs to do it, regardless of your age, regardless of your weight, regardless of your fitness level….

….EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT! Studies have shown that even elderly people have benefited from weight resistance….sooooo NO EXCUSES! Did you hear that? Hellooooooo.

You know, I know...we all know that we need to exercise…so just do it!!!


NOW GO TAKE A HIKE…seriously…go take a walk…after reading this post of course. :)

2) Next but by NO means second…is MEAL PLAN. Actually, meal plan is THE most important. As several very knowledgeable people have told me…you CAN NOT exercise to fitness alone….FITNESS STARTS IN THE KITCHEN!

I do not like to use the word diet, it has a temporary connotation to it…and it makes me think of a fad or gimmick….you need a long term meal plan change.

You need to find a meal plan that you can live with (pun intended!), I am NOT saying this is the only way to eat but it is certainly a meal plan that EVERYONE can benefit from….Low Glycemic Diet (low carb).

It is the best meal plan for everyone (IMHO), not just diabetics. I am not an expert, I am not a dietitian and I am not a nutritionist…. but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! :)….no wait…GEEZ…what I meant to say is…I have read much and I’ve seen some pretty good results personally. (now that was funny....I don't care who you are!)

When I first was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, my doctor recommended and I read a book on the Low Glycemic Index titled, “The New Glucose Revolution”, sub-titled, “Shoppers Guide to GI Values 2009”. The author is Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller.

Her group has a FREE website where you can learn much …FOR FREE!!!

The book and website I believe saved my life and that may be an exaggeration but
THERE IS NO DOUBT it saved me from much pain and anguish because once I started on the diet…my blood sugar levels began to decrease and I began to wean myself from insulin shots. The Low Glycemic Index and an exercise plan (very slow in the beginning….very slow) combined to eliminate my need for insulin, blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications etc etc.

So, if everyone went on the Low Glycemic Diet, I sincerely believe it would change their lives for the better. Carbohydrates convert to sugar in the bloodstream…sugar is a poison, that is why the body has developed a means to deal with it….insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your body is insulin resistant…you suffer from diabetes.

The book is less than $8.00 and it will change your life….if you let it.

Questions….let me know.

Your obedient servant,

Stevie “Wonder” Cooksey
(Not on should be)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Steve is Buzz Kill?

Once was the time…Steve was the guy that wanted to extend the party. In many cases…extending the party too long…if you know what I mean. I was the one who would try to convince people to move the “party” into the parking lot after the bar/restaurant had closed. Yes it is sad but true....

So I was somewhat surprised the other day when I was all but accused of being…well…a party buzz killer!!!!! Ok, the truth is, the “party” was on Facebook and the discussion was all about drinking and eating for the coming evening. I was trying to convince them to eat low carb know the deal. :)

It was then that I was accused of being…”preachy”. The lady all but called me a “stick in the mud”!!! You know, it wasn’t too long ago that I had been accused of being a “health preacher”….so now I am starting to get a complex… I becoming too “preachy”. Have I become too one dimensional in my thoughts and practices…maybe.

So to change gears somewhat I’d like to talk about rewards…or rewarding yourself for eating nutritiously. I am a firm believer in rewarding yourself when goals have been reached. Pick a goal, work towards it and once achieved…reward yourself.

I LOVE ALL FOODS…that was part of the reason I was in such bad physical shape to begin with…you can’t pick a food that I don’t like. Go ahead...try it...can't can you? Anyway, I’m getting off topic…again. What foods you reward yourself with is up to you, pick something you like.

The reward food I want to talk about today is hot dogs…the good ole “all American” Hot Dog.

I am NOT going to do a “buzz kill” and talk about the negatives…I am going to talk about the positives....their taste!

I was watching a special on the Food Channel (I usually try to stay away from it) and it showed different locations throughout the US. Each city had it's "brand" or predominant style of hot dog. It is surprising to see all the different ways a hot dog can be “made’. They all had one thing in common…well actually two. One, they all contained hot dogs and two they ALL looked tasty!!!

I once worked for an airline and my position required me to travel all over the US. I would primarily stay in or near the airport for the majority of my visits…but I was able to sample hot dogs from all over the US. I honestly loved them all, but….


Pulliams BBQ & Hotdogs, Mark Flynt is the owner. On good days, Mark is a great guy...on bad days....well, he's not a great guy. LOL! Just kidding! He's a cool dude 7 days a week. The address is 4400 Old Walkertown Road, W-S, NC.

I am being completely honest, it is THE BEST DOG on the planet.

The buns are toasted on the grill, fresh onions, slaw and chili. "All the way" is THE only true way to eat a hot dog.... Their BBQ sandwiches are very good as well …they have this hot sauce…folks it is hot but with an unbelievable flavor. The hot dog in the picture above is a "Pulliams Hot Dog".

Adding to the food is the atmosphere of the place….well you can check out the pictures here, in addition Mark has a Facebook page dedicated to the restaurant. They have these tree stumps outside, they double as chairs and can use them while sitting under these huge old trees...the experience is AWESOME!

Do yourself a favor, go to Pulliams…you won’t regret it.