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Hypers, Reverse Diet Update and New Book


Hypers, Reverse Diet Update, and New BookSo what’s new in the diabetes world with me? I had a big high the other day which came as a result of an occlusion in my pump. Hypers really effect my mood, I felt somewhat depressed, tired and hungry. Even still, I got my workouts in and continued to eat as normal. It came down, eventually. I also had a “no tracking” day where I only counted my carbs instead of all of my macros like I usually do. It was nice to eat without thinking about it too much. It would be great if I didn’t have to count carbs for a day, but it’s cool. Anyway, other than training, teaching, personal training and rehearsals I have been finalizing a few chapters for my new book which should hopefully be out in the next couple of weeks. It’s about living a healthier lifestyle with diabetes; how to adopt the right mindset and what path to take that would work best for you. I don’t believe in people who promote a “one diet or exercise regime fits all” kind of lifestyle. It’s unrealistic, plus I think teaching people how to make better choices around food and exercise is a much more productive approach to long lasting change.

A few of you have asked about my reverse diet progress so here it is… Since the beginning of my reverse diet my lifting has gone heavy.

  • My 1 rep max for leg press is 140kilos which is more than double my weight
  • My chest is 30lbs for my working sets. Will try my 1RM and let you know.
  • Lunges I keep around 32 for working sets with dumbbells
  • 16lbs working sets for my one arm row and 80kilos is my 1 rep max on lat pull down. Working set is around 50.
  • I am yet to try my max, but I am in a good lifting 50 as working sets. I will get back to you with my 1RM.

I think at this stage in the game, you know with my reverse diet, I am unsure whether to continue increasing or whether I should do a mini cut. I mean, I love the strength and I am definitely seeing the results of the consistency, but then there is a part of me that kind of wants to go back to old ways of eating less to see instant results. i.e. a dropping number in the scales(even thought when I am thinking rationally I know this does not matter), especially when I know I have performances coming up. There is some sort of battle in my head between, eat for your body goals which is to look athletic and strong or eat to look like a dancer who is thin. I don’t want to be thin, but sometimes I convince myself I do. It’s very strange. Anyway. The plan was to continue to reverse for the next 2 weeks and then see how I feel. If I do this I would then be eating 2000 calories per day, which is still less than I should be eating at maintenance. So far, along with the strength gains, my waist and hips measurements have gone down and my clothes fit perfectly around my waist. However, my trousers definitely feel tighter around my legs and bum. That a good thing though, hey?

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Rowena x

At Home HIIT Workout


At Home HIIT WorkoutI’ve been majorly busy this week with rehearsals for a new project, and although I have attended the gym, I have also had to resort to a quick workout at home instead of a HIIT training at the gym. HIIT is great and I find it so useful either when I am travelling or just when I want to test my stamina. HIIT training is great for fat burning and it is an excellent way to boost your fitness levels in minimal time. During the short workout you have work your absolute hardest so you can get the most of it. I mean, if you’re doing it right you’ll be sweating within a few minutes of this workout. Knowing that the intervals are only short, it makes it much easier to maximise effort and therefore burn more calories. It’s a psychological thing.

Here are the 6 exercises.

Burpees with Push Up (or without depending on your fitness level)

Jogging with high knees on the spot

Full sit ups (with or without weight)

Squat or Sqaut Jump

Triceps Dips (either on floor or with chair)

Star jumps

Start on whichever exercise suits you, just make sure you do the full round.

AThere are 3 rounds

1st is 60 seconds on each exercise

2nd is 50 seconds on each exercise

3rd is 40 seconds on each exercise.

Take a rest of no more than 20 seconds between each exercise. Once you have finished, take a 5 minute cool down consisting of a few basic stretches.

This workout not only challenges your cardiovascualr fitness, but also your strength. How did you find that workout? Mine was good for my blood sugar too. Starting bg was 7mmol and finished was 5.3mmols (I had insulin on board, but usually I would keep basal the same depending on time).

Rowena x

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Training and Reverse Dieting


Training and Reverse DietingJust a few updates on where I’m at with my training right now. I’m still doing lots of dancing; mostly contemporary dance, weight training and pole training 4 times per week and in order to focus on quieting my mind and making my body more flexible I usually tie in a 20 minute yoga practice with my pole or dance workout. I try to keep my cardio to the minimum in the gym and just focus on resistance training, mainly because I know the cardiovascular aspect of my training will come through my dance session.

With regards to nutrition, if you have been following my blog you will know that I am currently in a reverse diet phase. This means that I am increasing calories weekly in order to speed up my metabolic capacity and to build more muscle. For a long time I was training so hard, but not building the strength that I wanted, this was because I was eating far too little. However, since increasing from 1400 to my current caloric intake which is 1900 I feel so much stronger, I can lift more, I can run faster and my psychological wellbeing is much better. My diet is totally flexible so I am eating whatever I want providing it fits my macronutrient goals. I track everything using MyFitnessPal.

Training and Reverse DietingIt’s interesting because since I have really paying attention to my nutritional intake I haven’t felt the need to have binge eating sessions which has worked wonders for my blood sugar control, not that the binge eating was a regular occurrence, but I did notice that it made me struggle with my diabetes management if I ate more on one day in comparison to the next. You can read more about binge eating and diabetes here.

Other new is that I put a few videos up on my YouTube channel for you, check it out and subscribe here. If you have any questions for me I would be happy to respond to you. Maybe I could do a Q & A video? The second piece of good news is that I got another job lecturing at university and I have applied for my MA in performance & choreography for sept 2016. How cool is that? Aside from my training, teaching and writing I am working on some new choreography for upcoming performances in February and March.

Currently having an ok time with diabetes, although those night times basal settings are still puzzling me. Hmm.

Rowena x

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Dieting and Insulin


When dieting and exercising for weight loss, people living with diabetes have to consider a few more things other than the size of their waistline. Particularly insulin intake because hypos are more likely to occur when the body is in a caloric deficit and is being exercised. So, if this is something that you struggle with there are a few ways around it. You can treat unexplained hypos and use them to understand how your body is changing. Also, all of the work you do to adjust your insulin to suit your new diet may help you stay on track.

Unexplained Hypos

The hypos don’t have to come from nowhere if you are strategic in your planning and prepare for them in advance. Naturally if you drop your food intake and exercise more often your body is going to respond to that quite quickly through insulin sensitivity and weight loss. Thus, if you’re experiencing hypos it is likely that your new exercise or new decreased calorie intake is to blame. This is the point where you will adjust accordingly. For example, if I know that I want to drop my calories by 100 calories per day next week I would also plan to drop my insulin too, possibly just the basal insulin at first to see how I got on but if I still experienced a hypo I would then adjust the carb / insulin ratio the following day.

If you are really struggling with hypos and you don’t know what to do about reducing further you can speak to your diabetes team. I know lots of diabetics who have been provided with a nutritionist to help them align their blood sugars with the amount of food they consume daily.

Hypos Don’t Mean Eat More

If you do have to eat to correct a hypo and you are being strict with your diet, leave a window of 15 carbs open until your last meal of the day and eat them then. That way you are not eating anything outside of your meal plan. If you experience a hypo during the night and have to eat the 15 carbs then, you can subtract the carbs from the breakfast the next morning. If you continue to go low, you may have to consider adjusting basal insulin too. A common complaint regarding to hypos is “I’ve just worked out and now I have to eat something. What is the point?” Well, an exercise session is never a wasted one. If you have physical goals that are not just linked to weight loss, say strength for example or more defined abs, the overall workout will contribute to your physique and strength level in the long run.

Extra Motivation

I suppose the good thing about working so hard to manipulate the insulin is that it will probably make you more likely to stick to the diet you have put in place. What’s the point in doing all that work to go and ruin it with a big session of eating whatever you like? This will certainly mess up blood sugars for a few days afterwards depending on the amount you consume. You can read more about this in my binge eating post.

I hope this post helps you with your dieting goals. If you’d like to see more posts like this don’t forget to follow Type 1 Active on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe on YouTube.

Take Care

Rowena x

Is Diabetes Stopping You From Exercising?


Is diabetes stopping you from exercising? I ask you this because so many times people have commented on my instagram posts or they have emailed me saying that they avoid exercise because they really fear the hypos that come may come as a result of it. This makes me sad because exercise is so important, not only for the body but for your mind too. Plus, it’s fun. I mean, I do get where the fear comes from because, yes, lows can be horrible and they can become apparent as a result of exercise if it is not controlled the right way. Also, people who haven’t exercised in a while are bound to feel apprehensive. I have witnessed this amongst none diabetic people too. But, this should not stop you from exercising. So, in the hopes to get your body moving again, this post offers the necessary tips to guide you through getting back into an exercise regime.

Start off Slow

If I were to take on a client who was frightened of a hypoglycemia, the last thing I would do is tell them to go to the gym straight away. Instead, I would provide a workout for them to do at home where they feel comfortable. That way, checking blood sugar is really quick, easy and private; also, stopping to treat a low would not be a problem. Judging by the rise or fall of the blood glucose throughout this session I would then make some manipulations to the insulin for the next session. If a trainer isn’t an option for you you can go to YouTube where you will find millions of at home workouts. They don’t need to be specific to diabetics either, try anything you think looks like fun.

Look at Instagram

There are thousands of fit diabetics who are eager to share their insulin manipulation strategies with you. They are proud to have conquered something so challenging that they would more than likely bite your hand off to answer your questions. Including me, I’m one of them which is why I’m writing this blog. If you look at the people Type 1 Active follows on instagram you will find a few people who keep me motivated.

Log the Effect of All Exercise

Once you get into the swing of things you might want to venture out a bit further with your exercises. If you start off with power walking a couple of times a week, maybe you could add a weight training session or a dance class. If you do, make sure you mark down the difference it has on your blood sugar in comparison to the walking. I have different basal settings for yoga, contemporary dance, pole dance, cycling, jogging, circuit training, weight training and walking. It’s like second nature to me because I do it all the time. However, I don’t get comfortable so the monitoring process still continues because diabetes is fairly unpredictable and takes a few goes to get right.

Be Patient

More important than anything else, you have to be patient. Don’t give up after two sessions. When I was first diagnosed I had a dance class to attend to the next day where I experienced my first hypo. It was horrendous, but I drank some lucozade and got on with it. Then the next time this happened I knew something would have to change which is why I closely started monitoring my food intake before the exercise and manipulating the bolus accordingly.

Eventually you will get to the place where you don’t even have to think too much about it and the only time you will have to readjust is if you are changing your eating plan, your exercise type / frequency or the time or day you do it. Timing is also very crucial so watch out. Morning usually mean more insulin for me, but this may be different for you.

Are you following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? I also have a YouTube channel here where I will soon be posting videos on nutrition and workouts.

If you need help with training and nutrition, check out my online training programmes that are personalised to suit you.