Malcolm Gin

Malcolm Gin

Berkeley

Fitness

  • Blogger
Topics
Fitness & Aging, Injury & Recovery, Food & Nutrition, Body Positive Fitness, Health & Wellness
Methods
Flexibility Training, Freeweights

For my 50th birthday, I got a diabetes diagnosis. I’m primarily in fitness/weightlifting to try to treat with changes in diet and exercise. I’m already on lifelong asthma meds, so I’d prefer not to take another lifelong medication.

Personal Statement

The start of this was, for me, strength training in my teens. I lifted a lot with weightlifting machines during a couple of summer sports camps. The lift I remember getting to with the leg press machine was 220. That was when I weighed 100 pounds. For my 50th birthday, I got a blood test (it was a few weeks prior). It was primarily to check my lead levels since the local utility, EBMUD had notified me they were replacing my main, since it was made of lead. But along with the lead test, I also got a full panel, and the bad news that my A1C hadn’t decreased in the 2 years I was given since the last high reading. I’m already on lifelong (but low) asthma meds, and I’m reticent to start taking metformin, so I started seriously weightlifting with a local gym that focuses on the Starting Strength program. I pay a monthly subscription, go 3 days a week, 2 hours each session, and have a trainer assist me — she usually supervises about ¾ of my session’s lift sets. In my first month of training in 2018, I went from a 45 pound deadlift to a 140 pound deadlift. I also increased from a 30 pound benchpress to an almost 90 pound benchpress. My other two main lift types have increased more slowly due to flexiblity issues with the standard form — but my flexibility is increasing so I may indeed be able to increase more quickly soon. The goal I have right now is to learn and be able to do all four primary forms at the gym and increase weight amounts for my working sets in a sane manner, but get to a strong-as-I-can-reasonably-get state, and maintain that. At some point I may then switch to endurance training, depending on diabetes-related blood levels, and how my eating pattern changes are going too. I’m also experimenting with a low carb, high fat diet and with intermittent fasting, both of which seem to be helping reduce body fat along with weight lifting-related muscle development to lower my overall blood glucose levels. There are ups and downs, but my average seems to have lowered by about 60 mg/dL. I’m not in the totally healthy range, but my prognosis is much better than it was a month ago. I hope that with continue adherence to the weightlifting and diet changes I’ll get to a “normal” level for blood glucose. We’ll see how it goes.