Importance of sleep – My personal experience

sleep-and-diabetes

I am a diabetic as I mentioned earlier.
Working hard to bring down my blood sugar levels and that is done with medication, thanks to my doctor and a proper diet, thanks to my sister.
Since the fasting levels were out of sync even after changes in medication and diet, my sister insisted on knowing what time I had dinner and what time I slept and woke up.
I am a regular at 5 am thanks to Robin Sharma and sometimes even if I slept past midnight I would be up at 5 am.
For the past two days, the sugar levels at home were 140 and 150. Yesterday since I had a late night due to a medical emergency in the family, I switched off the alarm and slept for a good 8 hours.
The fasting level as predicted by my sister dropped to 135.
I now realise that it is not just diet and exercise that matters. Even the rest that we give to our body matters. If you are like me, working hard on reducing the sugar levels do think of the amount of rest you give your body.
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The bane of remixes

No remixes

The other day, I tuned into Saavn.com. Being a die-hard fan of Panchamda, I was looking for his music.
I found a dedicated channel with his music on Saavn and like a child with a new toy, I was overjoyed.
But it was short lived.
As I tuned in, I discovered that they had remixes / cover versions of his music.
I was outraged honestly.
As a die-hard fan, if not a fanatic, I felt betrayed as I was looking for R D Burman’s music and not the music made by others by messing up with the genius’ composition.
Remixes / cover versions are no where near the original. Infact, I would go on to state that they are actually an insult to the composer, the singer, the lyricist and all of those who made the music happen.
A case in point is the title song of my favourite soundtrack, Yeh Vaada Raha. The movie when it was released didn’t go to well with the audiences and so the music too supposedly wasn’t so popular. The remix made a decade or so ago, was disgusting and the video was even worse. I was appalled but somehow the audience lapped it up I believe.
There are so many such examples but I for one am a purist and detest these remixes with the bass levels increased not to mention the terrible visuals.
I suggest Saavn.com and gaana.com should have pure music for people like me who prefer the original stuff and nothing but the original.
I hope they are listening.

Imagination and what it can do for you……

imagination2

I have borrowed this title from my dear friend, Parin’s Diploma speech at Nazareth Speakers’ Academy way back in 1989.

On Wednesday evening, I went through this video by Bob Proctor which spoke on imagination and how it could help everyone.

Set my mind thinking. What was my mental block? I for one always felt I was a slow cyclist who took too many breaks when cycling. I imagined what it would look like if I did 40 kms the next day within the same time that I did 30 kms. It called for an increased cadence, something that I wasn’t much used to.

The next day, I woke up late and left only at 0645. But I had a clear picture in my mind of throwing my hands up in the air as I would complete 40 kms. I planned to take off to Airoli Circle and back but the traffic on the return leg scared me. So I decided to go back to my tried and tested route of BPT Mahul Toll Road. I normally do 3 loops of the toll road and return via Bhakti Park and Sion. The distance is about 31 kms which I complete in just under 2 hours. On Wednesday, I started on the road, riding non-stop. I lowered the gear a bit just so that I could continue riding with a good cadence. I also started counting the number of times my left leg would go down. That way my mind was occupied. I completed 4 loops against the normal 3 and then returned as per the normal route. When I got near home, I realised that I was 3 kms short (thanks to my sister for the Apple Watch) so went around to complete the planned distance. Came home having completed 40.7 kms in 2 hours and 9 minutes at an average of 18.9 kmph. Not bad considering my average speed is 16 kmph.

I was glad and so bragged about it to all 🙂

Next steps? Tomorrow being a Sunday, I plan to undertake a dream ride for me atleast. From home to Airoli Circle to Belapur Railway Station via Palm Beach Road and back the same way. It would be a distance of about 88 kms return. Let us see how it pans out. I have company for the first 22 kms to Airoli Circle after which I am on my own. But well that experience is for another blog post.

Till then, keep imagining and achieve your goals. Keep riding, stay fit.

2 years without coffee and counting….

March 17, 2016, was the day I quit coffee completely. Why? I was a caffeine addict and I am serious about the word, addict. Morning and afternoon was my dose when I started, but then as luck would have had it, early morning, breakfast, mid-morning, afternoon, late afternoon and during the evening I would be consuming coffee.

Worse, I graduated to black coffee so the caffeine kick was extra effective. Gradually the strong milk coffee consumption dwindled to nearly 80% of black coffee.

Life was tough indeed for a week after kicking the habit. I did not wean off gradually. In fact, it was a sudden decision. So much so that on the morning of the big day, I was enjoying my coffee not knowing what lay ahead for the day. Around 10:30, I decided enough was enough and in a flash announced to my friend that I was off it.

The week after, was indeed a living hell, as I had splitting headaches, I was fidgety and God knows what I was undergoing. But I used painkillers to curb the headaches and overcame that. Gradually I slipped back into normal mode. It wasn’t easy but at the same time, it wasn’t impossible too. It was a test of my will-power and my commitment to my friend. I just couldn’t let him and hence myself down.

All those who still are thinking of kicking the habit (be it tea, coffee or smoking, which thankfully I don’t), you can do it. It is just a decision that you need to make and STICK to it come what may. Yes, a week’s torture is what it will mean (maybe more) but always remember you can do it.

I did it and am off coffee for 2 years now. I am certain you can too.

Personal Productivity

Productivity is the state or quality of being productive as per the dictionary.

I have always tried to organise the things on my mind such that I can accomplish maximum things.

I use a tool called Remember the Milk currently which may be a rudimentary task list organiser but the free version is good or so I felt after having tried a host of tools including Google Keep, the stock tasks tool in iPhone, Todoist etc. And the thoroughbred Gujju that I am, it is against the grain to pay for something.

I had heard a lot about David Allen and his book Getting Things Done, the GTD method etc. Finally got the book from Amazon and also laid my hands on the Audio book.

While it is early days for me (I am still at the second stage of organising), it took me quite some time to clear the first stage of the brain dump or capture. That itself is a big task as you dump everything that comes to your mind. It took me quite some time to do that and believe me I am still adding to it on a daily basis. Since this is the first brain dump, it is taking me sometime to finish stage 2 of organising. I am in parallel reading / listening to the book too.

Has it helped me so far? Yes. So many hidden thoughts are now out on paper / some medium. You realise there is so much in your mind that you need to finish.

I must also admit that somehow, the pen and paper works best for me when it comes to a daily basis. So, I may jot down everything in Evernote but finally, the tasks for each day are written in hand in my journal. It works for me but don’t know if it works for all. Secondly, I have been using idonethis.com since maybe 5 years or so (got in early and so am using it for free even now. It is now a paid app). Every single day, I have to jot down what I have completed. It is a good trip down memory lane once in a while no doubt but it helps me in a lot of other ways.

If you are reading this post, do share your thoughts / methods of keeping yourself most productive.

Mind games during the city ride on the day of Holi

Yesterday was Holi and hence I could plan my ride in advance. No one was around to accompany me but I was determined to go solo if needed so I set off at 0600 and went without a break all the way to Mulund toll naka. Took the customary pee break and then continued all along on the Eastern Express Highway. Too a U-turn from Ghodbunder Road junction and messaged my family and friends where I was. Of course, it is now a given that I share my location on Google maps with them so they can actually see where I am thus not needing to call to check about my well-being.

The mind is funny and it begins playing games. Around the u-turn, I was thinking of going to the McDonald’s for breakfast and I knew that post breakfast, it would be difficult to ride for long. Without thinking much I took the u-turn and continued for a kilometer or so just so that I would not go back.

The weather so far wasn’t all that bad. Continued the journey back and around Ghatkopar, the mind games started. “Maybe I should continue straight and head home. It is getting hot.” Somehow I overruled my brains and turned left from Priyadarshini Circle and moved on towards Bhakti Park. Went in for a good 2 or 3 kms before halting to message. Informed all that I was heading to town.

Continued pushing myself and went through the BPT road all the way to Colaba. Ended up at Regal and so Cafe Mondegar it was. Had a yummy omelet with a toast. By then had done 71 kms so was feeling good. The next challenge was to get home. As I left Mondegar, it was 11 am and the sun was in its full glory.

Went to Nariman Point and turned at NCPA to continue down to Wilson College where I turned in and went to see my Father in law. Carried the bicycle up and right into his living room which surprised a lot of people but I wouldn’t risk my bicycle for anything. Was there for around 20 minutes and then rode back home.

Ended up doing 89 kms. But lesson learnt, that the mind does play a lot of games. We need to overcome the chattering that the mind produces.

I regret not having completed 100 kms but I guess it is OK now. I will have to work on the route to ensure that I do it next time.

Yes I am a diabetic!!!

Diabetes

My close friends and family know I am a Type 2 diabetic but I am now coming out in the open with the admission.

Last Tuesday, I went for my blood test after 18 months. I was in for a rude shock as the values were the worst ever in my diabetic life of over 15 years. Fasting of 188, Post lunch of 184 and A1c of 8.4. I was ashamed of myself. And these results were despite all the exercising, walking and yoga I do!!

Many calls with my sister, a dietician, who had always lectured me on controlling portions. She said, “It is 20% Exercise and 80% food and portion related”.

What am I doing now?

  • Early days so far but I have started having an omelet every morning with a slice of bread. I use 2 egg whites and 1 egg yolk. And I add a lot of vegetables, not just the routine onions and tomatoes.
  • I have stopped sweets completely since December 2017. By sweets, I mean the external sugars. What comes in the food/fruits naturally can’t be avoided.
  • Cut down on chappatis from 3 to 2.
  • Stopped rice (though I have been advised that there is no need to omit it completely)
  • My toughest time is when I get home in the evening as I pig out on whatever I can lay my hands on. Trying to curb that habit. So far I have been having generous helpings of soup (without any milk, cream etc.) followed by dinner.
  • So far so good but need to change things drastically around my eating.
  • Exercise wise, my earlier schedule was Waking about 9 km each on Mondays and Thursdays, Cycling about 30 km each on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Yoga for 90 minutes each on Wednesday and Saturday and finally cycling anything from 50 to 100 km on Sundays. I have changed that a tad bit (not that I liked it). I have stopped cycling on Fridays and instead am walking. I hope to get the sugars down and then get back to cycling on Fridays soon.
  • I am an early riser with the alarm going off at 0444 every single day. Now have changed it to 0530. I sleep by 2230.
  • Also, I had this dirty habit of keeping the phone right next to my bed on the side table. Would check emails in the middle of the night. Now I keep it a good 8 feet or so away from me in the bedroom just so that I can switch off the alarm.
  • I now climb stairs to get into the office though I don’t do that at home. About time I started that too.
  • Another admission I am mortally scared of the injection. So much so that I have to shut my eyes to avoid looking at the needle or the syringe. That is the reason why I don’t go for blood tests. This time I have taken my Doctor’s appointment for next month and also noted down in my calendar, the date for blood tests.
  • Stress – The real killer. Trying to calm down so I listen to music/audiobooks on my way in the car. Earlier, I used to talk on the phone thanks to the Bluetooth feature in the car (not that I don’t now but sparingly).

Trying to change my lifestyle gradually for the better just so that I can bring down my weight and my sugar.

Decided to take diabetes head on and counting on the support of each one of you to help me get through it.