Results are based on choices

Doing a 180 on a Recumbent Trike


I was traveling full steam ahead on a path of habits that had good in my rear view.  I wasn’t using my mirrors.  Could I turn my direction and head the other way on a ?

Pedaling in the wrong direction.choices

What is it that motivates us to move in a new direction?  With all the momentum in a certain direction, what is it that will expedite a change of course?  Each individual will have a different answer.  While there are basic needs that we all share and some overlap in our likes and interests, much of our life’s course is navigated by our personal choices.

Leaving the doctor’s office, I felt good about the way I had been living in regards to my health.  I had been doing weekly meal planning, cooking at home, and packing my lunch.  These were all positive steps in the right direction.  I felt confident that this would be reflected in my blood work results…This was going to be great!

What in the world!?  =8.6!!…   I looked at the results in disbelief.  MY HbA1c  was just as high as the day I was diagnosed.  I had not had a reading over 6.9 in 33 months (6.9 only once, all of the rest were 6.2)  and yes I was counting!!  I am not saying that my doctor was happy with the 6.2’s but I was.

In truth there were other disconcerting elevations in the usual suspect areas as well that would have motivated a normal person to action.  I had been seeing these elevated number for years without much thought and had not heeded any of my doctor’s advice.  Well, I had heeded very little but my HbA1c, now that’s a different story.  Now I am concerned.  This can’t happen.  I cannot make uncontrolled a lifestyle.  But how do I fix it?  The answer of course: and .

Diet and Exercise

In my perfect world watching TV and reading are tantamount to exercise and smoking cigarettes is like taking a vitamin supplement.  I don’t smoke but I hope you get the point.  A sedentary lifestyle and bad habits had no ill effects in my dream world.  The reality is much different and some intentional and planned steps must be taken.  I am still not sure as to why my HBA1c was at this elevated level but I had to be more proactive.

You can read from a multitude of great sources about ways to help manage your type 2 diabetes.  Some of my favorite sources are:

It doesn’t take long to recognize a pattern in their advice.  Attention to your diet and exercise are paramount to successful control of type 2 diabetes.  

As it is such an important part of diabetes control I didn’t feel that I could go without including it here.  However, I am going to limit my writing on the topic only as it applies to my goals and as a meter of my progress.  Dieting is probably one of the most popular topics on the internet.  There are so many methods, ideas, opinions, and health considerations when it comes to dieting. Dieting is an undertaking that should include a consult with your physician.  I went to the diabetes clinic in my area and was given advice and options on how to meet my diabetes control and weight loss goals.  I personally use the loseit.com app and am happy with the way it snycs with some of the other tools that I use. For me the commitment to an appointment and the time spent at the clinic deepened my resolve to the weight loss and dietary changes.

I loathe exercise.  I absolutely hate it. This is one of those personal choices that has navigated me on a course for an iceberg in the North Atlantic.  Thankfully this high HbA1c number has shouted, “hard to starboard” early enough and loud enough that I will be able to turn my rudder and circumvent an untimely end and that is one of my real fears.  While there are things that can and will happen to us outside of our control, I have always feared having to live with a serious health condition that I could have avoided with better choices.  

Trike to the rescue

My wife has her own physical challenges that include balance issues.  She has always enjoyed riding a bike but had experienced a bad spill on her two wheel bike that led to her quit riding.  I thought that I might take up riding her bike but I had issues of a different type.  I rode it about two times and came to the conclusion that I hated the pain that the seat inflicted on my bottom!  I mean it really was uncomfortable.  Instead of me riding the bike the bike was riding me if you get my drift.  By the next season change the bike was in a yard sale and sold to one of our neighbors at a steal.  

Even with the balance issues and accident my wife’s desire for a bike never waned.  She spotted an at Essex.  They only had one in stock and it had been sold.  We decided that we would get her one the next time they had one in stock.  They have not had one since.  In retrospect it worked to our advantage that this type of bike was unavailable.  

It truly was an adult tricycle.  An oversize version of the one I had as a kid.  My wife was sure she wanted one and I was sure that I did not.  It did nothing for me whatsoever in the way of building excitement to ride for fun or exercise.  My wife would bring up the subject of getting bikes every now and then and I approached it with the type of zeal that I have for getting my flu shot.  Knowing full well that I would never take the helm and still wanting a bike my wife finally did it.  She set an appointment with our local bike shop to look at trikes.

On the recommendation of a friend my wife set an appointment at a local dealer.  They carried Sun recumbent trikes.  Our friend had a great experience there and Laura trusted her judgement.  The appointment came and went and my wife came home excited.  She announced to me that she was getting one of these bikes.  She provided me with as much information as she could from her visit.  Her excitement must have been contagious because it finally happened.  My need for a change in direction to improve my health and her level of excitement about this bike had culminated in ME wanting a bike.  I didn’t realize it at that exact moment but I was about to make a 180 degree turn.  In a few days I would be the proud and excited owner of a new Sun recumbent trike.

 

4 Comments

  • Martin Wiles (#)
    June 5th, 2016

    Hi James,

    I found your blog truly inspirational and I hope that you reach a wide audience with your positive message.

    As you know, I am a keen cyclist (as we say in the UK, I think you might say bicyclist?). I have been riding a bike since I was around five years old, as a child it gave me freedom to go to places that I would have not been able to get to on my own. As a teenager we moved to a rural area that had very limited public transport and a bike was a utilitarian means of getting from a to b. There was a brief hiatus as a seventeen year old when I passed my driving test and I was way too cool to be seen on a bike when I could cruise by in my parents car. As a young adult, work took me to London and after a period of enduring the overcrowding on London Transport (the public transport system of subways and buses), I once again took to cycling as a sensible and quick way of getting around.

    Fast forward around twenty years and someone suggested I was quite talented as a cyclist and should join a club as I would be able to keep up with the best. I was sceptical about this but my ego was pricked enough to think maybe I should give it a go. So I did and I love it, I have become evangelical about the joy of cycling, from the health benefit that means I eat and drink whatever I want and know I will not gain weight, to the secret pleasures of discovering parts of the countryside I would never otherwise have seen and my goodness there is a whole load of spectacular vistas just a few miles into the countryside out of the metropolitan area of London.

    I firmly believe that everyone’s life would be enriched by cycling and the savings to our amazing National Health Service would be astronomical if everyone did so. However, I fully understand that not everyone is like me and able to make the gradual transition from short commutes to riding two hundred miles a week with a seventy mile ride every weekend. So there was a huge credibility gap in my belief that cycling was the cure all for all the world’s troubles from diabetes to terrorism (cyclist are a really friendly bunch, we always say hi as we pass each other, so there is no way we would want to blow each other up!).

    James, you have plugged my credibility gap and I think we need to tour the world to spread the word that there really is a joyous way that we can all work to live a long and healthy life by cycling/triking and the fact we are not shut in two tons of steel means we can actually interact with our fellow human beings and make the world a better place as a bi product!

    Needless to say I am loving your blog, I long to hear more and wish you well on your journey to a better quality of life and as soon as I am able I would love to come out and join you for a trike around your neighbourhood.

    Chapeau , as they say in France to cycling accomplishments !

  • jamescb68@gmail.com (#)
    June 5th, 2016

    Thanks for your kind words and well written post. You have a great way of expressing yourself and your love of cycling is evident.

    I appreciate the fact that a keen cyclist with your level of accomplishment would take the time to encourage our small victories. I’d be honored to ride with you, sir, on either side of the pond.!!

  • Connie Staggs (#)
    June 18th, 2016

    Isn’t it funny how quickly we can go from, “Nope – not gonna” to “How quickly can I get my new bike?” In my 53 years on this planet, I can count on one hand the number of purchases I made that I would gladly repeat, even if the price were double what I actually paid. My recumbent bike is one of those. My only regret was in not getting it sooner. Of course, the problem is that it made me somewhat regretful regarding my not having a vehicle that would transport it. I am so thankful that there is a greenway just 1/4 of a mile from my house. Otherwise, I believe I would have taken on a van or truck payment right after I got the bike. The recumbents are W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L !!!

  • […] Made the choice to take control of my health and take steps to improve it. I chose to exercise utilizing a recumbent trike and feel it's an excellent tool.  […]

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