Bill Is Now Off His Diabetes Medications Due To A Change In His Perception Of Reality With Thoughts On Run Cadence And Sweeteners


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Bill talking to FitOldDog about how he cured his diabetes

Bill cured his type II diabetes through diet and exercise, and this is what he had to say, “It’s never too late to take charge of your life, so if you want to continue to live and breathe in a healthy way get out there and do it.”

I was visiting with friends the other day when Bill turned up, who I hadn’t seen for several months. Now, Bill has had a weight problem, but this time he looked pretty trim for a guy in his late fifties. He announced loudly that he had lost 100 lbs. and his doctor had taken him off of his diabetes (type II) medicine. Type II diabetes can be reversed if you don’t leave it for too long. Bill then said that his success was in part due to my having taken him to the swimming pool a few years ago, and setting an example of fitness in the neighborhood. It just feels good when people say such things, but my role was minor at best, as it was Bill who did the work, not me. Well done Bill for changing your reality from sickness to health through a little discipline and diet modification.

Moon over the Vatican during FitOldDog's recent trip to Roma.

Talk about perception versus reality, does the Moon go around the Vatican or does the Vatican go around the Moon? Click on figure for a closer look at this image.

One thing I learned from the study of The Feldenkrais Method, when it comes to the body (and whatever applies to the body often applies to the mind as well!), is that your perception of reality and what is really going on can be two very different things. It is only too easy to decide that things are a certain way because it is convenient to do so, you are too lazy to question your ideas, or it has never occurred to you to question your ideas, which is why it is so important to question the obvious.

FitOldDog had to increase his cadence to keep up with Deb in Roma.

FitOldDog tends to walk slowly (resting cadence 52 cycles/min), whilst Deb rushes along (resting cadence 62), so I always have to rush to keep up, but I fixed this by increasing my cadence to an initially uncomfortable 60-65). It was excellent Ironman training.

One thing that has been ‘obvious’ to me as I walk or run is that as I increase the turnover rate of my legs (cadence), my stride length is shorter. It feels as if I am taking very rapid baby steps at the higher cadence. I recently had plenty of time to consider this issue, whilst working to keep up with Deb as we walked eight to ten hours per day during our recent, and very enjoyable, visit to Roma, Italy. Whatever I did, Deb would always leave me behind, walking with those quick determined steps of hers, until the obvious answer occurred to me, increase my cadence. It turned out that the only way I could keep up with Deb without running was to increase my cadence from my usual 52 cycles/minute to her 62, but it always felt as though higher cadence came with shorter stride length. So I wondered about the math, because increasing my cadence by about 15% certainly speeded me up, but what really happened to stride length? If it shortened as much as it felt it shortened, why would I be going any faster?

Stones sculpted into footsteps.

This is what I call a truly short stride length. Click image for more beautiful artwork via Ewa-Dagmara Tobin.

Fortuitously, a few days later, I was at the track in Chapel Hill and I spotted the long jump sand pit. Perfect for studying my stride length. Smooth out the sand, run or walk on it, and measure the length of my stride under differing cadence. BIG SURPRISE! Either walking or running, when I increased my cadence, which always comes with the perception of a shortened stride length, what did I find?

My stride length didn’t change one iota with altered cadence, being 28 inches for my walk (cadence 52 versus 62), and 30 inches when running (cadence 75 versus 90), both at a relaxed pace. It was all an illusion. My perception of my stride length modification with altered cadence was false. Of course, I can consciously increase my stride length for increased speed, but increasing cadence to my personal optimum (this takes training), as all my coaches have told me, is generally the better way to go, which brings me back to Bill!

Bill and I continued our conversation, and then he brought up the issue of sweeteners, asking my opinion concerning natural versus synthetic products. In response to his question, I proposed that he eliminate the need for excessive sweetness in his food and drink, which is largely a result of social conditioning powered by the American food industry, in my opinion. Tea tastes better without sugar, as does coffee. You can actually taste them. So-called soft drinks seem unnecessary to me! Why drink them when water tastes so great.

Conclusion: don’t let your external environment condition you unconsciously if you can avoid it, which is not always easy, but sculpt your own life for the better, as Bill is doing with his health.

Congratulations Bill! You are an inspiration!

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.