This week I went back to work after being off work since June 2008. My work for most of my life has been a physical type of work. I worked as an electrician in the construction field. Before my recent stint with unemployment I was working in the electrical field, but in the teaching end of it. That was not nearly as physical as the field work I had done for most of my life. I began teaching in December, 2004. So, it would be safe to say that this week’s physical work activity is the most I have done in work in six years.
Five months ago, I could not have done this.
Five months ago, I was an out of shape fat man. My wife said I had the activity level of a garden slug (hurtful, but true.)
Some of you have been reading me for a while, but for those that are newly joining my journey, let me catch you up.
August 9: I changed my life. Eating ruled my life and when I changed my eating, I changed my life.
August 16: I changed my physical activity level. I walked with a cane, when and only when, I deemed walking absolutely necessary. Arthritis in my back and weight related pain in my knees and ankles kept me chair bound for the most part. It was not just the pain, but my unwillingness to endure it to work through it. I started walking for exercise.
January 3: This was my first day at a new job. I am working on the construction team for a local university medical center. On that first day, I walked nearly five miles. Some of this was trips I wouldn't have to make daily, but it also included some walking that will be a daily requirement. By the end of the week, that total would be over fifteen miles.
I experienced a new thing this week as well.
While being off, my main exercise was my walking. I did other things, but not in the form of exercise. My work around the house was limited. My calorie intake was usually between 1000 and 1100 calories per day. This gave me no problems. It was enough to fuel me daily.
Tuesday, around ten-thirty in the AM, I was working with one of the other electricians on a project, when I began to notice some odd sensations. I had stomach pains and got nauseated. I know this is not odd in as much as there has been a cold or virus thing running around between Tammy and the kids. I figured it was just part of that.
Then, shortly thereafter, I began to get a euphoric feeling. It was a feeling of being slightly disconnected to my surroundings. I felt light-headed and, what I can only imagine is, high (I have never been high before.) I excused myself to go to the restroom. There, I called my medical expert, Tammy. She correctly told me it was my sugar level. It was too low.
I went to the vending machines and got a three musketeers bar. After eating it, most of the symptoms subsided. I ate lunch within the hour (Oven Roasted Chicken breast sub from Subway®.) After lunch, all the symptoms were gone.
The energy burned while working was far more than the energy burned while walking and being at home. My walk was an hour of energy consumption. This was eight hours a day of energy consumption.
To fix this, I add 8 ounces of orange juice to my morning drinking. I usually have a 24 ounce diet Dew® in the mornings. When it is about half gone, I add the orange juice to the remainder. (Orange juice is one of the main ingredients in Diet Mountain Dew.) I sip this as the morning progresses. Since Tuesday, there have been no more issues with low sugar.
One of the things I have maintained all along with this is that this is what works for me. It may not work for you. It stopped working somewhat, when my activity level changed drastically. This required a change in what I do as far as eating is concerned. You have to do what works for you and what you like doing. If it doesn't work or you don’t like it, you won’t continue it.
I still love food as much as I ever did. I just love it in smaller portions. I love it in healthier choices.
And, when it is necessary, I adjust. My calorie intake has risen to 1200 to 1300 a day in light of the new needed energy level. It will take a while for my brain to see this as OK, but it will come.
Sorry for the novel-ette, but it has been a while since I blogged.