Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fitness Trackers - My Take on Them

Now I find fitness trackers pretty useful and they seem to be all the rage at the moemnt!

I have owned a Jawbone UP24 which I think has now been superseded by Jawbone Up2.

The main reason I bought the jawbone was because it came in orange lol, its my fav colour. But it has plenty of cool features.

Idle Alert  - so when you have been sitting around doing nothing for too long, it reminds you to get off your lazy ass!

Step tracking -  It counts how many steps you have done each day, you can set goals and the smartphone app will tally it all up and report back how much you have done.

Sleep tracking - It works out how much sleep you have had in total, deep sleep and light sleep and you can see over a period of time how good or bad you are doing ( This feature was one of the main reasons I gave up shift work!)

Food tracking via the app- I never bothered with this, but my brother and friends logged all their food and found it really interesting to see how much they were actually eating.

The app lets you log work outs you have done and the type you have done, and estimated calories burned etc, all very good and if your friends have it too you can be part of the same team and motivate each other etc!

The Jawbone app links to a lot of other apps too, like Run Keeper for example

The main issue with the Jawbone band, which may have been sorted out with the newer versions was that, they were pretty fragile and a bit unreliable at times. My friends lasted about 6 months on average, a year tops. Mine after a year started acting up and the button on the band stopped working, but I could still use it via the app. Sometimes it would just lose all power even when it was nearly full, and then would require a full recharge again (this happened about 5 times in the near 2 years I had it).

Also battery life was never 14 days, I got a week at best

After the jawbone, I decided on a Xiaomi Mi Fitband

This is super cheap like $20 all in, it has a good app, but it doesn't do a lot of the fancy stuff that the Jawbone does.

It does:

Idle Alert
Step Tracking
Sleep Tracking

So the key features, it can be used to unlock your mobile phone too, depending on what version of android etc you are using. It is pretty well built and the battery lasts 30 days...a realistic 30 days! I have used it for 30 days between charging, that is pretty epic!

There are plenty of fake bands about so just be careful when buying. For the price its a total bargain as far as I am concerned!

You can look back over the last week/month etc and see how much you've done on average, also there are other fitness bands, so find one you like at the right price point to get you going.

These are just 2 I have used so I can comment on.

The app isn't as invasive as the Jawbone. The Jawbone app would always give you updates and tell you , that you were being lazy etc and tell you at around midday how much you had or hadn't done. The App for the Mi Fitband doesn't do any of that, you have to go into it to get an idea of where you're at, and the app doesn't link to anything else apart from Google Fit App, which is OK but nothing special. But then again look at how much you are paying for it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Exercising while having a desk job!

So all this exercising lark....I mean what is it all about?!

Working in any desk job especially IT related jobs, involve a lot of sitting around and usually with bad posture!

People seem to think that you have to have some bIg work out routine, or start big. Neither is true, trust me on this!

Now the stuff I am going to recommend I really like, I am not endorsed by them in any way, it has just worked for me.

I am a big fan of workouts at home, that are short and sweet and to the point, there are simple workouts out there for everyone. You can do them in your hotel room, on your lunch break, as soon as you walk in the door from work.

Insanity Max 30


Les Mills Combat

DDP Yoga

RKS Kettle Bell

All these DVD sets have work outs that are around the 30 min mark give or take a few minutes either side. So no real excuse not to do them. I own them all and I randomly pick a workout and go through it. It probably isn't the best way to do it, but it keeps it fresh and it keeps me active.

For me I have to do the workout as soon as I walk in the door, if I do anything else, I most likely wont get round to working out. The key is always what is more important to you, as you'll either find a way....or find an excuse my friend!

Also you are doing it in your own home, no one can see you or cares that you have to stop 15 times during the workout, all you have to worry about is finishing it...that is all...just get to the end.

When I worked nights at around 1am I would take my lunch break and spend 30 mins working out, using one of these DVDs on my laptop and then jump in the shower. It was a good way to stay awake and to use my time wisely!

There are loads of other DVD options, find something that works for you...that is the key.

Start small, these workouts require you to train 5 days a week for 30 mins a day on average, that can be pretty daunting, or you will start and then find it too hard. The key is you don't have to do the 5 days, you could start doing only 2 and just make your way through the workout routine till the end, it'll take you longer but you can easily build yourself up!

SoME people prefer to workout at the gym, and that is fine too. Just make sure the gym is pretty close to your work or home, otherwise it'll be too easy to find excuses. Also hire a personal trainer for a couple of sessions at the start and every so often, so you have someone to show you whats up and to keep tabs on your progress. I don't know about you lot, but if I am spending money...I make sure I get my moneys worth out of it! Just bare in mind most gyms make their profit from the memberships...THAT NEVER GET USED!

Some people prefer cardio, some prefer weights, some prefer to mix it up. All are fine, just get busy doing something, trust me you'll work it out as you go. People always want a master plan in place, and time and again in my life, I keep realising the best thing to do is just start, and stuff will work itself out and you'll figure it out. Just make the decision to start getting fit and make those small continuous steps towards it...THAT IS ALL!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Now that you are diabetic - my thoughts and decision

As I was heading to the ER I had all these thoughts in my head. Diabetic. I'm only 34! I knew i was pre-diabetic two years ago but I had changed right?

Well... being honest to myself - I had not changed. Yes, i stopped drinking normal soda but I started drinking more sweet tea and I’ve definitely been drinking more beer since moving to NYC. I did start doing more sports but i stopped once I moved - that was 4 months ago... maybe those short walks don't really count as exercise like I thought. I definitely know I’ve been eating more - and making unhealthy choices and having too many desserts.

Maybe the test is wrong? And it's just because i had that iced tea? When I asked my wife, she promptly explained that in a normal person, even after eating, the blood glucose reading doesn't increase much when having sugar. The fact that I have several high readings means my body has already given up and is no longer able to self-regulate blood glucose.

"But i lost weight!" my internal voice cried out. Guess what - that's one of the telltale signs. I had not achieved anything - losing weight actually confirmed it. Just from reading a little, I fit the description to the T.

I'll leave the "what is diabetes" dissertation for another post - I knew how serious it was. One of my most cherished friends has lost several toes and one lower leg because of diabetes. My best friend's dad has about lost his eyesight due to diabetes. Diabetes is called the silent killer, but it's right up there with cancer in the seriousness category.

I suddenly found myself in the priority list for death. The fact that I got it at this young age means my life expectancy is halved - or worse. My lifespan, previously limitless and undefined, now had a decreasing counter, marking minutes before diabetes will impair me or take my life.

... :p

I found myself with little options. Either be an idiot and ignore the facts, or take control of what I could control. I could choose to be a man and take the bull head on. I could also be lukewarm about it, say one thing but do another. I could lie to everyone, including myself, and act like God decided that this was going to be my cause of death and I was submitting to his will.

Oh Hell no. Not when I've worked this hard to try to guarantee my family's future. I will not leave my wife alone to deal with life on her own. I will not deprive my children of all the advice their dad could give them. I will not let my parents bury their child. I will not, so help me God, go quietly into the night. Not when Invictus is my favorite poem.

Once I decided, I didn't really consider keeping this quiet. My family for years had been noting the weight gain and had asked me in all sorts of manners to slow down and lose weight. I just didn't listen. So, I will listen now. I will comply with my doctor's orders. I will not feign ignorance or conveniently forget my condition.

I broke the news to my immediate family and godmother through Whatsapp and the reaction was ... not one of disbelief. It was sadness (they knew enough) but immediately encouragement. My godmother in particular told me something that resonated:

What's done is done - but with your intelligence and hard work I know you can overcome this!

This calmed me a bit. It had not occurred to me that this was just another problem, that while irreversible, had a definite modus operandi and well documented behaviour. All I needed was gathering data, help from my doctors and support from the people next to me - and the rest was up to me. I just needed to show a little grit - this was a problem that could be solved. I was not about to let it beat me if I could avoid it!

At that moment i took off the ghost of diabetes's mask and, staring at it in the eye, I told it I respected it but I wasn't afraid. It would take all of what I know, all the tools in the toolbox, and it won't be easy at first, but being healthy will be part of me.

I leave you with an article that covers my favorite athlete:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The day I got diagnosed with diabetes type 2 - ER visit

In this post I detailed some of the warning signs of diabetes that I had ignored for the longest time. After returning from back to back trips of excess, my wife urged me to get a general checkup again. Since we had just arrived to NYC some months before, she found me a good internal medicine doctor that was in my network healthcare-wise and I scheduled an appointment.

I specifically remember the day of my appointment I had my normal huge breakfast and picked up a big Arizona iced tea can as I got on my uber. The doctor was perfectly nice. The first thing he pointed out was that I was overweight, and he probably figured out this wasn't good when I told him I had started losing weight since I moved to New York. He allowed me to detail the little things I had experienced, asked me about my typical diet and after looking at my skin he did tell me he was suspecting I had symptoms of diabetes and he would run some tests. I gave my blood and urine and proceeded to head out to my new favorite pizza place nearby.

The next day I was in a conference call and a number that was not in my address book called. I ignored it, as I normally did with such calls. Some minutes later my wife called. She was almost in tears. She told me I needed to stop working and get to an emergency room immediately. I asked what's wrong, I didn't understand.

She explained the doctor's office had tried calling me but they weren't able to reach me, so they called her (I had left her as emergency contact). My glucose had come at 600, my triglycerides had come at 600, and my A1C was 11.8. "So?" I asked - "what's the normal range?"

I'll put three simple screenshots so you can see how bad my numbers were. 

For blood glucose levels I've captured a screenshot from virginiamason.org

For triglycerides I've captured a screenshot from clevelandclinic.org

And for A1C I've captured a screenshot from nih.gov

So you can see my numbers were terrible - multiples of what is considered bad. I told my wife I didn't feel bad at all and to calm down - but she would not have it. She told me stop being stubborn as usual and please listen to her. Her broken voice on the verge of tears finally broke me and I agreed to comply.

I hung up and called my boss, who totally understood and wished me the best. I set my ooto since I didn't know if this would be a multi-day deal. I heard the voicemail and called my dr back, and he advised me on what hospitals to go to, and stated that once my numbers were normalized he wanted to see me again to start treatment.

When I arrived to the ER and my blood was taken with a finger tester (didn't like that at all...) it came out at 330. Not as bad (I still think that Arizona iced tea did not help me at all) but still very high as you can see from the table above. Some hours later, my sugar had come down enough and I was started on Metformin twice a day - and I was now officially a diabetic.

Next post I'll talk about my thoughts and attitude after learning I was diabetic.

My first post about being healthy in IT!

OK first things first, thank you Ariel for giving me the chance to blog about this topic.

Being in IT, we lead very static working lives, in general we just sit in an office chair and do not move!

That does not mean we are not busy, far from it! The issue is we are not physically active, and we don't burn much energy in comparison! Also lets be real, how many of your office spaces, has quick and easy access to junk food of some kind?!...I know my office does!

I am not here to rant on about healthy living and shoving it down your throat, but I will over my time blogging here, share my experiences and what has and hasn't worked for me over the years.

Since about 2008 or so I have worked in some form of Data Centre environment, and the one thing I have seen and experienced first hand, is people gaining weight and eating junk food. I worked shifts for nearly 8 years. That is 2x 12 hour day shifts and 2x 12 hours night shifts back to back, this kind of role is notorious for gaining weight.

This simply comes down to the fact that we are awake during the night, sometimes with not much to do and we eat crap during that time and we sleep awkward hours and our body clocks are just a right mess. It is very easy to fall into the spiral and it took a lot for me to keep on top of it.

I am not much of a gym goer, but I love martial arts and I train BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), it is a thinking mans martial art and it keeps you humble, your ego gets checked at the door consistently, from a mental and physical point of view this is great and I will blog more about that in the future too. 

It is very easy for us to get stuck behind the desk all day, it happens to me loads. One thing I would recommend is a fitness tracker of some kind, they all have idle alerts. I have had a jawbone UP24 in the past (which I will review at a later date) and I am currently using this Mi Band. It is super cheap and on android (and I think Apple) you can set idle alerts and it logs your sleep patterns etc (So at this price is a no brainer!). I will review that later on too.

Having a fitness tracker was one of the main reasons I gave up shift work, as I really did see how bad my sleep was and it just wasn't healthy any-more. Having that visual representation really made me think about it long and hard.

As with many things in life, it is good to have an over arching goal, eg get this certification, get a new job, lose weight etc. These are big goals and going from zero to 100% is tough and this is where most people fall short. There is no reason to start big, you can do small consistent steps. 

As a society we want instant gratification and quick fixes, but lets be real that isn't how it works! Lets say you have gained weight, that wasn't instantaneous, it happened over a period of time, so it will take a period of time to correct it. 

The journey starts with a single step. It takes a strong person to admit that they have made errors and to have the will to fix it, half the time it is your own ego that stops you, because it is tough to admit you messed up, you became lazy, you let yourself go. 

But you know what?! The real people who you see at the gym, put in all that effort, they aren't the ones who will laugh at you, most of the time they will respect you because...they know how it feels, 

They have been there but they made the same decision as you, the people that may laugh are the ones that don't like the idea of you becoming better, because it will make them feel uncomfortable and remember you are improving yourself...FOR YOU..no one else....it is YOU AGAINST YOU.

You want that certification, do a bit of reading every day. You want that new job, work on aspects of it a few times a week. You want to lose weight, start by going for a walk and maybe have a bit more fruit.

Anyway I shall return later, with more in depth posts, I just wanted to get started!

If you want to have a look at my IT/Virtualization blog please feel free my vBlog

Diabetes type 2 - the warning signs

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a life changing condition. If not managed properly, it will cause a premature death and loss of quality of life. Properly managing it requires paying attention to what is eaten and how the energy is spent. If properly managed, diabetes doesn't pose as big a threat, but it still must be accounted for whenever undergoing medical procedures.

Below are some warning signs that I managed to ignore on my way to being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If you suspect you are seeing these signs in yourself or someone you love, please consult your doctor.

Early warning signs (before manifestations appear in your body)
  1. You qualify for the "overweight and sedentary" description.
  2. You know you are eating too much and not "spending" the calories you eat.
  3. Flavor or quantity governs your eating decisions, not nutrition..
  4. You never try to stay within the nutritional label / daily requirements and  know that you are probably over in fats/salt/calories if you really counted.
  5. Frequently over-eating your peers.

Early or starting diabetes
  1. Changing skin in legs, feet, arms, neck - scaly, darker, just less healthy looking, or small injuries.
  2. Thirst and consequently frequent urination.
  3. Worsening vision.
  4. Waking up in the middle of the night with cramps or pain in feet.
  5. Gingivitis.
  6. Urine is bubbly.
  7. Reaching the bathroom to pee barely in time.
  8. You actually start losing weight even though you have not changed your habits.
  9. Your stool isn't a daily solid log, but softer, and abundant following your over-eating.

 I was once told that i was pre-diabetic and I could avoid being diabetic by doing diet and exercise, which I did for 3 months and then went back to my old ways. If you have been told you are pre-diabetic, you need to change your life this very instant - once your body gives up and you become diabetic, there's no going back. I'll put all my tips in this blog but if you need to start or have questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me on twitter.

The symptoms above are a short list. I don't claim to possess more knowledge than you would find anywhere else on the internet; I only aim to communicate my experience in case it can help others. The best test is seeing your doctor, before having breakfast, and getting glucose readings in blood, urine, and A1C.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

IT-related unhealthy myths or bad habits

I wanted to make a list of the unhealthy myths and bad habits that I have been guilty of in the past. If you are an IT professional and believe in any of these, I urge you to reconsider. I think this applies to any knowledge worker (person who primarily works behind a desk in front of a computer).

Please note i'm writing all of the below statements as I used to think them or heard them from someone else (these have OH for "overheard"). You are free to call me a dimwit on twitter. I now know all of them to be wrong, but I won't dive deep on explaining them (might be useful for future blog posts though). If you want to contribute any more let me know and I can put your name if you want to. I'll keep updating this post through time as I hear more.

Your energy
  1. IT work is stressful so I burn calories from my intense work - I need to replenish them!
  2. I need to keep my sugar level high for my brain to function and to keep focused.
  3. I need energy, so let's make that coffee or tea extra sweet. Caffeine + sugar FTW!
  4. I can't work until I eat/drink X.
  5. I have an energy drink every morning to start my day (OH).
  1. I grabbed some mini chocolate candy bars to keep at my desk.
  2. It's just a small pack of cookies for when I get a craving.
  3. Granola bars are healthy right?
  4. A little ice cream never killed anybody.
  5. Let me go grab a soda.
  6. I bought a box of donuts for the office.
Choice of food
  1. You need to have a good, "stick to your ribs" meal so we can get to work.
  2. It's just a small personal pizza and some bread sticks.
  3. I ordered fish and chips because fish is healthy.
  4. Let's just grab a combo and head back to the office. Large please.
  5. Well I wasn't in the mood for X but the guys were ordering and I said why not.
  6. If I eat there 6 times I get a free one.
  7. It's double points if I order a large one.
  8. I just need something quick so I can get back to work so let's grab whatever's fastest.
  9. I will never eat raw fish (OH)
  10. I'm not a cow to be eating grass (avoids salads, OH).
  11. When you are a big boy like I am you need a big meal.
  1. Late night change deserves a late night meal (double dinner).
  2. I'm working overnight shifts now, so I needed to change all my meal times.
  3. No sleeping makes me hungry. I was literally dying of hunger.
Diet foods
  1. I switched from normal soda to diet soda. About same test, but much healthier!
  2. I'd rather save my calories for "good' meals so I do diet soda, diet sweetener...
  3. It's OK cause it's sugar-free candy/chocolate/ice cream/etc.
Can't make time for 
  1. The gym. Who has that much free time? I'm busy.
  2. I can't cook. Plus it seems like it takes a lot of work and time.
  3. I can only cook 3 things. I wish I could take cooking classes but i'm busy.
  4. The guys got together to play sports, I told them I would wait for them at the bar.
  5. I only play games where I don't need to sweat.
Alcohol and smoking
  1. I need a drink to cope with this stress.
  2. If I don't have at least a couple drinks I can't really rest well (OH).
  3. I need a smoke, can't think straight (OH).
  4. You've got to have a smoke after a meal.
  5. I'm tired. I'll just have beers until I doze off in front of the TV.
  1. It's OK, I found these great supplements that take care of everything. (OH)
  2. So I take this B vitamin which is better than coffee. It has like 1000% of the daily requirement. (OH)
  3. These supplements are like eating all the fruits and vegetables you need daily. (OH)
  4. I heard these supplements make you lose weight.
  1. (When food arrives and it's too much) Dig in! Don't let it go to waste!
  2. You have to get the X here. It's huge and so bad for you but oh so yummy.
  3. I can definitely eat a whole X. Wanna bet?
  4. What do you mean you're only having one beer/drink?
  5. (When bringing food for several people) I don't think anybody wants unsweetened tea/diet soda.
  6. You say you are full, but trust me, you really have to have that dessert.
  7. Are you saying you can't eat that yummy thing? I'll have it if you don't mind.
  8. It was such a tiring/stressful day at work. Let's go out and eat a lot!
  9. I'm bored. Let's go eat something.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

New blog author, Bilal

Hi! This is Ariel. I'm very happy to introduce my friend Bilal, who read the first two posts and started reaching out on twitter and has now offered to put some posts with the wisdom he has gained. You will be able to click on label "Bilal" to only see his posts.

IT admin health is open for anyone that wants to contribute tips and their story. You can also send me a link to your own posts and a small intro and i'll feature your posts here.

I am very honored and humbled that somebody has reached out already without me going out of my way to promote this blog. It's a testament to how important and underserved this topic is. Please dont hesitate to reach out on twitter if you want to talk more about this topic @arielsanchezmor

Monday, November 23, 2015

IT administration as an excuse for not being healthy

This is the story of the life I led when I was an unhealthy IT admin. This could perfectly be the story of any other professional, but I think IT workers will relate to it..

I think it started with pizza, when I was in 5th grade, at the start of my teenager phase. I was a really thin kid, but I remember distinctly that was the first time that I ate not because I was hungry, but because I enjoyed how it tasted. I wanted more, and in these parties, I could have more. 

At some point later I started having a belly, and some time later, when someone asked how many slices of pizza I could eat, I was only too happy to state I would not be beat. I remember in my 10th grade, Pizza Hut had a promotion where you could eat as much as you wanted for a fixed price, and I was very proud of my record of 11 slices without feeling bad after it.

Fast forward to college. By now, it practically didn't matter what the food or drink was - i'm pretty sure I can give anyone a decent fight, including alcohol. Thank god I played hacky sack and table tennis practically non-stop and my budget was very limited - I still managed to remain somewhat thin and active, but that bravado was there.

Right after college, when I started working as a Network Operating Center engineer, was when I think my main problems started. It was the combination of

1) Higher spending power - most of people working in IT will accept that salaries start and grow relatively rapidly. Without many obligations, I could spend however and whenever.

2) High pressure nature of IT work - when you're starting in IT, you have to put in the hours, reading, doing, learning, if you are going to get any better fast. This shouldn't be an excuse, but it was part of it.

3) No concept of work-life balance, especially no inclusion of exercise into my routine. I basically viewed doing exercise as a social event, a consequence of meeting friends with which I played a sport.

4) Acceptance of a myth - that I deserved a "good meal" because I worked long hours, or early, or late, or for lunch, or when hanging out after work. The main problem here was a "good meal" was not a healthy meal.

5) Acceptance of another food related myth - that quiet time with my girlfriend/family/friends involved consuming more "good meals".

6) Travelling on the company's budget. My first work related trip was to Belgium, which is a mecca of beer and chocolate, and where I ate all my meals in a very nice hotel. The idea that I had to try everything in order to know and be an informed "man of the world" added to all my bad habits.

The main problem during these years was that I didn't pay attention to the signs. I steadily gained weight; I steadily ate more and more, until I gained a reputation as an "eater". I switched jobs into a coordinator/manager of end user services for a larger company, and being a manager gave me more income and more opportunities to eat socially. The 3 man IT office was synonymous with daily large pizza orders or big fast food combos for everyone at lunch. Celebrations were each at "fancier" restaurants and a larger bill became the norm. I fell into the trap of only drinking diet coke since I would "rather eat the calories than drink them".

When I moved into a systems engineering role, I started working from home. Working from home is a blessing and a curse. You save money and time from the daily commute, you have less stress and it's very convenient in many ways. The negatives are also many, but they are debatable; I'll explore them further in a dedicated post.

One thing I quickly realized when I began working from home was that I needed to figure out what I was going to eat since I no longer had the advantage of going out with co-workers or having someone else with which to think about lunch. What did i turn to? Being the lazy "busy" IT worker I was, I turned to the convenient things: cereal, sandwiches, and lots and lots of pizza, whether from a shop in the corner or bought frozen in bulk. 

By this time I had gone from 140 to 200 pounds. Travelling internationally and frequently to foodie cities such as Dallas and being introduced to barbecue, sweet tea, monster burgers and all sorts of deliciousness that were new to me played right into the "man of the world" mindset. Since the "eater" label pleased me, I made sure that it stuck with me with those that met me in my travels.

I moved to Colorado around this time as well. Colorado is also a beer and food mecca. Colorado portions can be huge. The same bad habits I had traveled with me. When I went to get my ID, my weight was 220 pounds.

Around this time we got a small office, around 30 people. It had a little kitchen room which was kept stocked with all kinds of snacks. Another food that I'm a sucker for is chocolate bars. I easily ate two small chocolates (twix, snickers, especially Reese's peanut butter cups) every time I passed through it. Add having lunch with the co-workers and the portions, plus a complete lack of exercise.

I had my first yellow alarm while living in Colorado. I went to the doctor for my yearly checkup and was informed i was pre-diabetic. I didn't give it much thought, but heeded my wife's advice to eat out less, and started going home for lunch. This helped since home cooked meals tend to be much healthier - my wife was at home at the time and she is a great cook, who found ways of making recipes healthier. I also retook my table tennis training and this helped me lose some pounds. However, I still kept doing everything else as I had - going out, drinking with friends, chocolates, etc.

Now comes the final chapter before being diagnosed. I moved to Brooklyn and my wife started working. I continued working from home and faced getting lunch on my own, but living in new york means you have pedestrian access to food. Sandwich shop in the corner, pizza/pasta place a little farther away, specialty shops selling all sorts of stuff. Again, the "man of the world" mindset combined with a foodie city like NYC triggered a "i have to try it all" mission in my head.

Somehow, I was losing weight (people with diabetes type 2 know this is not a good sign). I was eating large sandwiches, or would pick up appetizer, pasta, and a couple slices to go, everyday for lunch. I had discovered Arizona iced teas in Colorado and found even more variety in new york - i would have a couple large cans a day. I was having a big bowl of sugary cereal in the morning and at night, or eggs and bacon fit for a family. I was eating out, trying every cheesecake and doughnut I encountered, almost every night. Meeting new people had me drinking socially - 5 beers an outing was easily the average. And yet, my weight had gone down. I (stupidly) believed this was due to the fact that I had sold my car and was now walking more - like if walking a block spent any calories.

VMworld 2014 was my first big tech conference. Just before that, my best friend was graduating in Boston. I took PTO for 10 days or so (which I had a lot of since I almost never spend it). Here we go - celebration, new city, have to try every lobster roll, Boston cream pie, Sam Adams beer out there. My friend remarked to me that he could not believe I was losing weight with how I ate - another ignored alarm.

VMworld, like everything in life, can be very unhealthy, especially if you go with my mindset. There are opportunities to eat and drink all week. I don't think I've really been drunk in the last few years, but I did drink a lot - that point where you can walk anywhere but know better than to drive. Big breakfast, eat all the lunch sandwich, big cookies and coffee in the afternoon, beer and big meals at night.

My next post will detail my doctor visit where I learned i was now a diabetic, but I wanted to paint as truthful a picture of who I was that led me there. Now I think my result was an amplification of my personality's bad habits and lack of healthy living knowledge.

Reach out to me on twitter if you want to discuss or help me add to any of the things I've described. My hope is that if you feel identified with anything on this post, I will help you correct your habits before you get a life-changing condition. I'll try to post the results and what i've learned since soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Why IT admin health?

Hi! My name is Ariel Sanchez Mora, and at age 33, I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2, also called "adult on-set" diabetes. This type of diabetes is more a result of an unhealthy lifestyle than type 1, which is mostly determined by your genes.

I've learned a lot since then - I knew about diabetes enough that a very real fear of death struck me, so I took it very seriously and I am now a "controlled" patient. I'm really thankful since I've had excellent support from my wife, family and friends, and also, because diabetes type 2 is a very manageable condition as long as there's willpower. However, the thing that I keep thinking about is how easy it was to avoid this - if only I had paid more attention, had a different attitude, and made adjustments to my lifestyle.

I've also had the privilege of talking about health with other adults as a result of my condition, especially my co-workers and others in the IT community. I've tried sharing what I have learned, because I see some of the same mistakes I did - but there is only so much you can communicate in a one-to-one conversation.

I've decided to start this blog as a way of gathering and sharing all the information I've learned. The topics I'll talk about will definitely apply to diabetes type 2, but my objective is to promote a healthier lifestyle in general. Hopefully this blog will help at least one other person, or grow into a platform for many to contribute their own stories and thus will impact many lives positively.

If you would like to discuss more, contribute, or just think of a topic you would like me to add, contact me through twitter @arielsanchezmor