On boxing day I decided to donate blood. Since turning my health around, I thought to give back, plus I heard that donating blood has some health benefits too. Unfortunately I was informed I was banned indefinitely from donating blood because I came from the UK in the 1980's. At that time there was the risk of mad cow disease, and there is currently no test available to prove I am not infected. I felt rather sad. It is like being rejected by your school crush. Now I go around to people and shout "Mooo!" for no reason. My using humour to hide my sadness I guess.

My A1C

In January I met with my doctor for another checkup. My A1C was 6.3%, which is up a little from the previous 6.1%.

I attribute that to my doing more fasting in the last three months. I find that when I fast I experience what is known as the dawn phenomenon. This is where my blood glucose level goes up in the mornings or when fasting. The liver releases stored up glycogen into the blood to provide energy. On a longer fast it tails off after a day or two. But the result is I ended up with higher blood glucose levels in the past three months. My doctor was not too worried about it though.

I need to do more testing to confirm this, but when I am eating low carb I can get a lower blood glucose level than when I am fasting. It seems weird to me.

Weight Tracking

After the dramatic weight loss last year, I have been on a plateau for several months. I vary around 220 lbs plus or minus 5 lbs. A good three day fast can pull my weight down, then when I eat again I gain most of it back.

I watched a youtube video that had some good ideas. I liked her comment about calories in - calories out = deficit. It is not enough to be eating the right ratios of macros. I need to be in deficit. If I eat more I need to get on the elliptical machine more or go for more walks. With the current cold spell, I am using the elliptical machine for at least an hour a day.

My wise wife also believes I need to dial back the protein. I listen to her advice, and some meals I have tried this and I think it is helping. I am also concerned that too much salad is also a roadblock.

There is also a lot to be said for water weight. Each large cup of tea is about 1 lb of added weight, although it will go through me.

Blood Pressure

My blood pressure has been high for the last few months. Originally it was easy to keep it low. My doctor thinks that once my weight drops some more it will help.

I have found two things that improve blood pressure. The first one is exercise. If I put in the time on the elliptical machine or ride my bike for an hour or so it can bring it down quite a bit. The second is breathing techniques. I like the 4-8-7 breathing technique. It has a noticeable result.

One thing that increases blood pressure is or was flu season. When it renders me too sick to exercise it plays havoc with my blood pressure for a long time.


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is based on my own experience. Your mileage may vary. Check with your doctor before doing anything drastic based on what I wrote above.