Shortly after my first not-very-successful attempt at swimming as exercise, I got some books out of the library on swimming, and then failed to read them much while on a weeks vacation in VA. It looks like the current hot trend in better swimming is a program called "Total Immersion" (TI), which (luckily) the pool I swim at has classes in. However, from reading the first part of the book, I very much get the idea that TI is good for improving/retraining your existing swimming, but isn't designed/intended as a "so you don't want to feel like you are drowning within 10 feet of starting freestyle swimming" book/technique. The pool periodically offers a $60 "Learn To Swim" class, which I'll try to catch on the next period.
In the mean time, I'll walk in the lap pool. At its deepest, the pool is 4'6" (135 cm), and I'm comfortably taller than that. Last Tuesday I walked 1300 yards (26 laps), Thursday I had time pressures and walked 900 yards (18 laps), and Sunday I walked 45 minutes with sheherazahde, which turned out to be 1300 yards. Walking through the pool reminds me of pulling a sledge: it's a constant, gentle resistance that goes away if you stop, and it's everywhere.
In other health-news, the visit to VA included a long talk by my step-dad about the benefits of a ketogenic diet on his diabetes, and the risks to my life if I don't try it. So last Saturday (the 4th), I effectively started a Low Carb Ketogenic Diet (LCKD). I'm not calling it "paleo" (my paleolithic ancestors were opportunistic eaters who would eat just about any edible foodstuffs they could find easily, be it meats, grains, tubers, fruits, etc. What they commonly ate depended more on the local environment than on what they had "evolved" to eat), "Atkins", etc, but rather simply LCKD. My current dietary goals are (daily): less than 20g net carbs, 100-125g protein, 2100 calories. That should force me into ketosis, prevent my body from harvesting muscle for protein, and give me a 500cal/day deficit for weight-loss. Those keeping track at home can tell that means I'm getting 60%+ of my calories from fat, but that's OK with this diet. The body will burn fat as fuel, so the theory goes.
So far, it seems to be doing well. It is hard, as the world is filled with carbs (that juicy, tasty tomato? 5g of carb, a quarter of my budget). But so far, after 10 days or so my morning blood glucose is down from 200(ish) to 150(ish), and my daily Lantus is down from 100 IU to 80 IU. Today I'm trying an experiment where instead of 40IU of Lantus, I went with 28IU (read: I was lazy and didn't want to get out a new container of Lantus and inject myself a second time). I will see if that greatly changes my evening blood glucose (also around 150ish). My weight has gone from 310 to 295, but I think the 310 was an anomalous high.
Under this diet I can eat all the cheese and eggs I want, and given the prevalence of carbs, I need to eat a lot of them. I've discovered that forcing down large amounts of cheese can get hard, but pickles cut through the heaviness nicely, allowing me to eat lots of cheese in one sitting. I've rediscovered that my body will rebel against scrambled eggs if I get too many of them -- not to the point of vomiting, as happened many years ago, but enough for me to feel I shouldn't continue eating them. Luckily fried eggs don't seem to have that effect. And unripe avocados are not worth eating.
I'm also undergoing physical therapy for chronic lymphedema, which involves going twice a week to an office, putting my legs in inflatable leggings, and having my legs squeezed peristaltically to force lymph and fluid out of them. It lasts for about 30 minutes, and I can lie back, turn the lights low, put in my earbuds, and listed to podcasts (or nap) while it's going on. I've got one more treatment, and they will then measure me, record my improvement, and fit me for compression socks so that treatment will continue.
- Swimming update -- along with other health stuffs