Diabetes, Vacation, and Getting Your Workout Back on Track

John S. Bell Health Guide
  • I spent last week on the Gulf Coast beaches of Florida near Venice. After a rainy first day, the weather was great and, for those with travel plans, the water and sand are both oil free on that part of the coast.


    This was the second trip since my diagnosis last fall, the first without medication. It was a relief not to have to worry about eating on time while dashing through airports. As it turned out, I managed to stay on schedule and on diet despite some short connections. While the quality of air travel in general is not what it used to be, food options in airports are better than ever. Of course the omnipresent Cinnabon stands are no help, but if you can resist temptation, most terminals have decent prepackaged salads and other options to stay low carb and (relatively) low cal. I could have packed a lunch and snacks, but I had already sent my bags down by car with the rest of the family earlier in the week and wanted to enjoy a luggage free trip. The purpose of this vacation was to visit family and de-stress. Having no baggage doesn't actually make going through security and sprinting between connections stress free, but it really does help!

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    I had the best of intentions of keeping up the strenuous workout routine I outlined in my last column. Instead, when faced with the warm Gulf waters, I opted for an hour or two of swimming and snorkeling each day. I had done a little swimming on our last trip in November, but this was probably the most time I have spent in the water since I got my lifesaving merit badge as a boy scout. I found that I was working out a whole new set of muscles. It was a lot less intense than what I had been doing, but still left me pleasantly tired at the end of the day. I also noticed that a nagging pain in my upper arm finally subsided. Put it down to the stretching motion in swimming, together with the low impact muscle workout.


    Since I was staying with family who are very supportive of my life changes, I was able to keep up with my regular meal plans with the exception of one great roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner. Some carbs and calories are worth it occasionally (and in moderation). This was a generally low budget trip, so the only meal out was a visit to our favorite local seafood joint overlooking the ocean by the fishing pier. They make a great salad topped with fresh caught grilled fish, both celebratory and sensible.


    Now that I am back home, I have had a hard time getting back into my exercise routine. As always, one week off adds up to two weeks extra work at the office. I also found that I had set my sights a little too high with my expanded workout ambitions. While I look (and feel) a lot better than I did six months ago, I am still nowhere near to being in great physical shape. So, I am heading back to basics and scaling back my exercises to something I can handle until I have a better foundation of strength and flexibility to build on. I guess you can say that I have gone from the "before" picture on a late night diet infomercial to the "before" picture on a late night fitness infomercial!


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    Nonetheless, there has been progress. I have finally broken the 171 pound barrier I have been struggling with for almost a month. This morning's scale reading was 168. I have been down as low as 166.5 and up as high as 169 this past week, so 168 is probably about right. Three pounds to go to my goal of 165!


Published On: July 19, 2010