butterflykiki: (Jane Austen quote)
[personal profile] butterflykiki
Or maybe I mean bitchiness? Either/or.

Thing that my family, friends, doctor, la la la media universe EVERYONE EVER have always said is: you will feel better if you exercise.

me: When?

Everyone: Right away! Go exercise! Come back and tell us how good you feel!

me: *after exercise which has left me hot, sweaty, on the verge of an asthma attack, and still 100 miles from a runner's/athlete's high* I HATE THIS SO MUCH. SHUT UP.

Everyone: *sadface* You're not doing it right.

me: I'm not doing it at all. It's boring and icky and it hurts and it doesn't work, you lie. Go away.

*wash, rinse, repeat through most of my life through high school etc.* The only exercise I got in college was swimming, and biking everywhere because I didn't have a car.

...anyway. As part of dealing with the diabetes, I've had to exercise regularly over the last year. Walking, mostly, but also going to the gym. I still don't love it, but I've gotten to the point where I don't hate it. Partly because I now take a hit of albuterol before I start (something I could not do before I was diagnosed in my mid-twenties); partly because I have books on my MP3 player that keeps me from being ragingly bored. It's gotten a bit easier, a bit more a feeling of accomplishment; but still. I wouldn't call it fun.

I haven't been doing as much this week-- bad weather plus too much to catch up on plus bad planning-- and I've noticed my anxiety has kind of... ramped up again. Since I started taking Zoloft in October, it seems to have not gone away, but just leveled out, a bit. The panic-moments aren't so frequent or so intense, or so blitheringly inexplicable. I don't just randomly stand somewhere going, "what the hell do I do first? IT IS TOO HARD. LIFE. WHY? LIFE. OH, HEY, LET'S STARE AT THE WALL UNTIL WE CAN MAKE A DECISION. Like an hour." Which, yay for Zoloft. And maybe, maybe the exercise has something to do with that too. Just bleeding off excess body-and-brain energy that will apparently cycle like an overheated hard-drive if I don't work it off. I didn't notice at the time, but now, with its absence, I'm wondering if the recent bits of high-tension are due to that lack.

Why don't people try to explain exercise *this* way? Why the frak do they try to sell exercise as a happy-happy-joy-joy-high? I've spent too much of my life inside my head to even notice what's happening to my body half the time; I am not a physical achiever. Exercise is work. It is physically uncomfortable. I don't value it enough for its own sake to get some magnificent feeling of accomplishment for it, and considering I'm not winning marathons and probably never will, the entire health/phys.ed/whatever industry is still so completely not targeted at me. I would still, if it wouldn't kill me, probably eat way more than is acceptable and not exercise at all. The entire health industry is, it seems to me, geared to people who are either way more vain, way more in touch with their bodies, way more sensitive to runner's high, or way more... I dunno, *something* than I am. Why are they marketing it like this?

Instead of just, "Hey. It's like getting an oil change for your car. It costs you something. It's not that exciting. But, it extends your warranty. And possibly makes your mental and physical engine run smoother. You won't notice it right away, because you are not calibrated to notice every knock and ping that those Ferrari-built Olympians are. But your boring Nissan Sentra of a body will not crash, burn, overheat, or lose its navigation so much if you do this. So don't feel bad that you don't go vrooooom! You're normal for you. Get a chai tea as a reward afterward."

See? Like that.

Yeah, that was definitely bitchiness, but I feel better.

Exercise and Stuff

Date: 2012-01-11 04:37 pm (UTC)
amaka: 19th-century woman curled up on a couch, reading a novel (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaka
Joining in? :-)

The people whose bodies work in a smooth, non-carbohydrate-sensitive way, they sincerely do not understand that not everyone's bodies work like theirs. They really, truly believe that exercise causes an endorphin rush for everyone, uniformly, and, imo most of all, they really, truly do not comprehend the overwhelming tiredness (rather than the promised energy) that can attack people who are especially sensitive to carbohydrates. Their bodies switch over easily between burning carbs and burning fat, so they never feel that exhaustion as a body like mine flails and insists it cannot access any fuel and must shut down now.

Have I told you this already? Please forgive me if I have! I used to exercise way too much -- sweaty vigorous for an hour a day, seven days a week -- and never lost any weight. People would insist I must be doing it wrong, even that I must be lying about how much I exercised. My doctor told me that I obviously just needed to exercise more. Hah! I've since learned that the excess aerobic exercise was part of my problem. Despite what the exercise industry tells us, that level of frantic exercise is not good for us; the constant physical stress tells our bodies that there's something terrible going on, a famine or a wave of saber-toothed tiger attacks, and that the body would therefore be wise to hoard energy to survive this terrible period. We're designed to run in a burst of speed now and then, not for a sustained hour a day, every day. FWIW, I, personally, have done much, much, much better since I cut down to more moderate exercising. (Take that, exercise industry!)

Hang in there. Yours is a sane and sensible approach.

You posted this on Monday, but I did not see it until today. Not that my answer is time-sensitive, but I wouldn't want you to think your post was ignored, or the subject too dire, or something. :-)

Re: Exercise and Stuff

Date: 2012-01-12 07:00 pm (UTC)
amaka: 19th-century woman curled up on a couch, reading a novel (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaka
>"I'd get hungry, I'd eat something with carbs, I'd end up craving food..."

Has your library given you an opportunity to see either of Gary Taubes's books on this? His Why We Get Fat lays out this metabolic mechanism so simply and clearly that I have had an intellectual crush on him ever since I read it. I think every health professional in the world should read his book. When I have enough money for such whims, I am going to buy copies for everyone I love...

So: yeah! The human body is programmed to use up all carbs first, before any protein or fat, every time (because we have no mechanism to store carbs). The human body is also built such that there's a lag between gearing up to use carbs (insulin!) and getting back to the ability to use protein and fat. (Some of us have longer lags than others.) So when we eat many carbs, our bodies burn them all right up, and then can't access our fat, 'cause they are still all revved up for carbs. Then, because our bodies cannot access any fuel -- the carbs are all gone, and the fat, which is right there, is blocked a wall of hormones -- they get hungry and tired. Eating refined carbs begets hunger begets eating begets... aaaargh!

When I tried to live on under 1300 calories a day to lose weight, I was exhausted all the time. I had to nap or guzzle caffiene every day. I wasn't safe to drive. My fencing performance plummeted. Conventional wisdom labels that all "lazy." Really, though, my body was shutting down for lack of fuel! It couldn't reach the ample fat I was carrying, because the carbs/insulin were running interference.

Gotta eat vegetables, of course. And fruit. Not all carbs are evil! But good golly, why is it not common, conventional wisdom that the ingestion of carbohydrates, as a matter of incontestable science, temporarily blocks the metabolism of fat and protein in humans?

♥ Mr. Taubes. He's apparently working on a new book about sugar...


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