Thursday, August 11, 2011

Making Connections

I am inspired by people who overcome challenges and make positive changes despite the difficult hand that life sometimes deals. For instance, we have seen people who were morbidly obese become lean and healthy. And then there is the scrawny guy who becomes buff and confident. We have seen people climb out of the depths of poverty into the heights of wealth. I want to know their story and I make it a point to seek these people out and learn from them if the opportunity presents itself.

I belong to several online forums two of which I frequently read or post questions on. One of my favorite forums is the bodybuilding revealed forum. I have been a member on this forum for since June of last year. Prior to this time I rarely visited a forum let alone participated on one. But, I liked this particular forum because all the members seemed to be serious about training and helpful. Also, the moderators are extremely knowledgable and helpful as well. To be honest, I do more reading than asking questions so often I will spend an hour just reading several different posts that interest me or pertain to something I am doing with my training. Over the past year I have become familiar with the regulars....people that post often. All I see is their profile pic, but their personalities start to present themselves through their posts.

Wesley is one of the guys on the bodybuilding revealed forum that occasionally popped in on some of my posts... mainly with words of encouragement or suggestions. He is a nice guy, humble and non imposing. I did not have much correspondence with him other than an exchange of some simple pleasantries here and there. I did not follow Wesley's posts as often as I did other regulars on the forum but I would read some of his threads here and there. His profile picture always popped out to me.

There it is....the dude with the abs. That is what I called him in my mind lol. I would take a bit of time to at least read some of his posts because a guy with abs like that ultimately knows a thing or two about getting lean......but I never took the time to reach out and connect with him until last month.

Early last month I was on the forum writing in my workout journal. I was complaining that I had no energy and that I was feeling blah. I was on week 8 of the UD 2 diet and was looking forward to my 2 week diet break but for some reason I was feeling crappy despite the fact that I was eating ok, got enough sleep and drinking like I should. Then Wes pops up on my thread and asked what day are you on now on the UD2 diet? I thought...what, does this guy know about the UD2 diet??? and he knows Lyle McDonalds stuff??? Really??? That kinda excited me. He wrote, "if I carb up over the weekend or Sunday, I find Tuesday afternoons can be quite sapping, think Lyle mentions this in the book too. Stay strong, as you know the great results are only a day or two away." WHOA....SOMEONE ON BODY BUILDING REVEALED WHO KNOWS WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH!!!! Well, that created an instant connection with Wesley, my new found buddy. We posted back and forth and then I asked him if he had ever done a 2 week diet break after UD2 and if so what did he do. He then went on to explain what he did.

He wrote..." my diet is always relatively clean, but there are certain times where I place extra attention on details to reach a certain goal etc. Because I am a type 1 diabetic my carb intake is never high throughout the week even when I am not focusing on a specific goal. high for me would be 50-100 grams Monday through Friday. I try to take training breaks every 8 weeks or so though it is hard to stay away. Often I will just do some cardio, box jumps or ab work to keep active, but no strength training."

Not only was his post very helpful and answered my question fully, he also mentioned that he is a type I diabetic. That blew me away because I am fully aware of the challenges that diabetics face to properly manage the disease let alone get lean like he is. Heck, you saw the picture of his abs!!

It is very common for diabetics to experience weight gain when giving themselves insulin. Insulins primary role is to reduce the removal of glucose (sugar) from the body, and any excess glucose is stored as fat. In order to stay lean, a diabetic must monitor their food intake super carefully to achieve a lean physique, manage the disease and to stay healthy. This takes a crazy amount of discipline to have abs like this and be a diabetic.

What inspires me the most about Wes is his commitment to his health and his appearance. I began asking him tons of questions in regards to his diabetes and training because I love learn and also because I have a friend at the gym who is an insulin dependent diabetic who trains faithfully and feels he eats correctly but is unable to achieve the leanness that Wes has achieved.

So, I asked Wes what his biggest challenge was in regards to nutrition and training. He stated that his biggest challenge is balancing his food intake between he sugar levels. For instance, if he is trying to lose body fat and therefore trying to keep his sugar intake down, if his sugar is low he is forced to eat carbs and this has the potential to throw his nutrition off. Also, if he finds himself in social functions where the food preparation is out of his control, he has to eat something...and it may not be the best food choice. One way he gets around this is ensuring that 80% of the time his food requirements are met. The other 20% when things may be off a bit won't hurt too much.

Wes states that one of the biggest things that people fail to do is learn about food and how food affects them (the affect of calories and macronutrients etc). Wes started learning about food around the age of 25. He started out rigidly recording everything he ate for about 2 years. Although this was time consuming, he took the time to learn everything about food....about carbohydrates, protein, and fat...and actually realized the scary fact that he didn't know what he didn't know. "Knowledge is power so to speak." for instance "it helps me stay away from foods that probably aren't ideal because I have goals in place that I want to lock into and that one muffin will throw my nutrition off. If you don't write it down or record it, somehow you can eat without thought."

Training is ingrained in Wesley's routine and he trains whether he wants to or not.

I agree with Wesleys advice and do alot of the same things that he does such as record everything I eat. I even weigh the majority of my food. I am so glad to have connected with Wes because I have another super smart guy I can bounce things off of. I love the WWW....cuz I have the opportunity to connect with people as far away as Sydney Australia...Wesley's home town.

Cheers mates!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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