Watching and waiting.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Bikes: Trek 7300 Trek Madone 4.5 Surly Cross Check
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I found this stuff by searching for cause of the effects that I'm experiencing. So it's backward to normal scientific experimentation. The background to this is in Feb 2010 I was diagnosed with insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes, so I was given a bunch of meds to get my Blood sugar levels down and Actos to increase my sensitivity. I cut as much sugar out of my diet as possible and followed a 1800 calorie diet. I was already walking as much as I could an slowly increasing the amount. 8 weeks later the doctor was amazed at how much better my blood work was and we were able to reduce the blood sugar reduction meds (Glipizide) as I was getting some morning levels down in the high 60's (scary) My A1c came down from 12.3 to 7. I will say that I was always hungry and craved food like I imagine someone in detox. I hated the meds and the doctor kept saying keep losing weight and we may be able to get you off these. After 2 years I was completely off diabetes and high blood pressure meds. Having lost over 200 lbs I was also weak and wanted to rebuild some strength. So I started to allow myself treats to "fuel" my riding I kept testing my blood and the levels stayed in the upper 70's first thing in the morning.
As time went on I found myself having to ride more and more to justify my eating. My weight was creeping up and I craved the sweets more and more. Every morning it was like the opening scene in "North Dallas Forty" I was sore all the time but I had to ride. I oftened checked my resting pulse and it was in the low 40's. I didn't know that there was a form of over-training that one of the symptoms was lower resting pulse. It should have been in the low 50's.
Last fall, I had to all but stop riding because of fall harvest. After a couple weeks, I started feeling less sore. But the food cravings continued and I gained still more weight and it was all fat. So after Thanksgiving, I went down to the Withlacoochee and rode a lot. I didn't have the endurance I had last summer but made up for that by riding several times a day. Most days I rode 40 miles. I was starting to get sore again so I came home for Christmas.
After new years, I went back down and started riding again. After a week, my shoulder started getting really sore. So I started riding every other day. I was bored, sore and irritable on the days off and continued to eat poorly. After a couple weeks I decided it was much cheaper to be miserable back home. I though my shoulder problem was just not enough saddle time. So I started in on the trainer. Riding 1 1/2 hour every other day.
By the first of Feb., I couldn't raise my elbow even with my shoulder. I knew I had to quit riding the trainer and let it heal. No longer trying to "out-ride a bad diet" I knew I had to go cold turkey on the sweets. I then ramped up the intensity of the Y workouts to compensate. Feb. passed with little progress on the shoulder. I went thru the sugar with-drawls without cheating. By the first of March my diet was back on track and I had a normal appetite. I was still sore but less so.
In early march I noticed my resting pulse was up to 56. I knew this was a sure sign of over-training for me. So I started adding in rest days. As I added in more rest days I noticed my shoulder was finally healing. I also didn't have have that feeling of failure by not working out that day. That's when I started looking into inflammation.
In researching inflammation, I ran across the leptin tie-in. The leptin lead me to fructose research. The trouble I was having was that I was reading abstracts of research papers that assumed a pretty high level of bio-chem background. I was kinda following it but my bio-chem background is with plants not animals. (I worked for Dupont's Bio-chem division straight out of college 35 years ago)
So when I saw Lustig's presentation I knew he was explaining it in a way that many more people could follow and had to share. I really think that I'm very susceptible to leptin resistance and high levels of leptin caused by the resistance leads to overeating and the inflammation kept me sore all the time. The over-inflammation has held back my fitness gains as my system was overwhelmed. Some inflammation is needed to cause the body to adapt. Too much and the system doesn't recover properly.
Now the disclaimer. Most of this research is under the umbrella of "metabolic syndrome" The reason it's a syndrome is that the interactions are complex. One can only look at statistical correlations. Not absolute cause and effect. I may be an extreme case as far as the fructose and leptin resistance. I have went back and looked at some of the problem foods for me and found that the really addicting ones have added straight Fructose. So the level of fructose is even higher than the 55% in HFCS and Table sugar. I don't think that this is a coincidence.