Tag Archives: Diabetes

Exciting results

Okay. I lied. I’m a horrible person. I told you I’d be back more regularly and then you didn’t hear from me for almost a month. I’d like to say I have a good excuse, but I don’t really. Right after the last post we went on a family vacation, and I’ve spent the last three weeks trying to get myself back into a normal routine.

But today, I wanted to share Andy’s most recent lab results. It’s been 2+ years since his last appointment, so we weren’t quite certain what to expect from his numbers. Since he’s maintained the same basic diet and lifestyle we weren’t too worried. And for good reason! Look at the numbers in the image at the top of the post! Not only is his A1c well in the normal range, it’s actually gone down since the last time he had it checked! Plus, his cholesterol and triglycerides (not shown) are all phenomenal.

I couldn’t be more proud. Maintaining our current lifestyle isn’t always easy. I tell ya, that 4:15 alarm clock sure goes off pretty early so he can get out the door for a pre-work walk every day. But Andy has shown a commitment to his health that I really admire, and I wanted to brag just a little bit.

If you’re on a health journey right now, I want to encourage you to keep at it. You may never reach a finish line, but the journey and the results will be well worth it!

 

The importance of looking out for #1

In a perfect marriage, you and your spouse would always walk side-by-side, hand-in-hand, tackling whatever life throws at you as a team. You’d always say (and mean) I love you before turning out the light, and the toilet seat would always be in the down position.

But let’s face it, there is no such thing as the perfect marriage. The toilet seat is up more often than not, one or both of you will be too tired or angry to utter those three special words, and sometimes one of you will need more holding hands.

There will be times when you will need to be your spouse’s support system (emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical), and you just can’t expect much support in return. And that’s okay. That’s one of the reasons marriage can be so awesome—they support you when you need it, and you support them.

But what happens, when your own strength begins to fail and they still need you to hold them up?

Andy’s Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis began a period of struggle within our marriage. He was dealing with anger, embarrassment, fear, frustration, and a myriad of other emotions. I was struggling with my own frustration and fear, but I knew it was important to be strong for him. I started making dinner more often. I encouraged him to exercise with me—all the while spending hours online trying to figure out a way to keep our current lifestyle from disappearing into a world of broccoli and kale.

I was exhausted trying to stay positive and uplifting when all I really wanted was to dive into a gallon of ice cream (it didn’t even need to be good ice cream) and drown my sorrows.

I can remember one day, I just needed to feel like everything was normal so I went to Taco Bell and got a soft taco and a 7-layer burrito. I stuffed both in my purse and sneakily ate them in the kitchen while Andy was watching TV. It wasn’t healthy—emotionally, or physically—but it was what I needed at the time.

It’s important to remember as you’re struggling with your spouse, or friend, or parent, or sibling as they go through the early stages of a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, that sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and do something for yourself. Go buy yourself some nail polish, get a massage, go for a walk, indulge in something you really love. And don’t feel guilty. You’ll feel renewed and stronger. Strong enough to keep being the strong one for a little while longer.

In the years that have passed, our lives have returned to a better form of normal. Our meals are healthier, we spend more time being active, and less time watching TV. We’re happier inside and out. We’ve gone back to walking side-by-side, hand-in-hand. And we’ve realized that all the struggle was worth it to see Andy come out on the other side stronger than before.

How I learned to cook

I am a rule follower. I can’t help it. Andy is not. Sometimes I joke that his philosophy on rules is: “I hear you giving me a rule. Now I will find a creative way to break it!” See that smirk in the image above? Yeah, that’s the look.

I’m also Type A, “technically creative” (I’ll explain my theory on creative people later), a list maker, and mentally–if not physically–organized.

When Andy and I were first married I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. We ate sandwiches. And take out. When I did cook, it was primarily some kind of pasta recipe I’d seen on a food blog. I wasn’t adventurous. I wasn’t creative. The food was “filling”, but not overly mind blowing. But, for the most part, Andy didn’t complain.

When I lost my first job, cooking took on a whole new meaning. I dove into food blogs and decided that if I wasn’t working I was going to cook. I started making from-scratch mac ‘n cheese, biscuits ‘n gravy, chicken ‘n dumplings (apparently I had a thing for food with an ‘n) and it was amazing. My trick to the excellent food was following the recipe. To a capital T. Chicken ‘n dumplings, in particular, was a several hours long process where you simmer a whole chicken for over an hour simultaneously creating stock and the chicken needed for the dish. Andy used to ask why I didn’t just get a rotisserie chicken and boxed stock. I told him because that’s not what the recipe called for. I didn’t cut corners.

After Andy’s Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, and even more so after we went grain-free in 2012, I realized that unless we wanted to eat nothing but salad I needed to let go a little in the kitchen. I needed to cut corners, I needed to swap this ingredient for that. And you know what? It didn’t kill me. It wasn’t easy, but it did make me more confident in the kitchen. I started using recipes as inspiration rather than as gospel. If I didn’t have a certain ingredient–an issue that in years past would have resulted in a kitchen panic, or a speedy trip to the store–I looked in the fridge and used what I did have.

Becoming more confident in the kitchen also made cooking easier. I used to make big fancy meals from celebrity chef recipes because I didn’t think I could make good food without their help. The truth is Andy and I both prefer simpler food, and as good as that chicken ‘n dumplings was (seriously, so good!), we’re much happier with cauli-rice bowls.

Don’t get me wrong, I still troll food blogs and cookbooks for ideas. And I do still cook from recipes. But if I feel like the dish needs more cumin than originally called for, I’m going to add it. If I forgot to buy cilantro from the store this week, I leave it out. And it’s not the end of the world.

Here are a few of my “relax, it’s all cool” tips for chilling in the kitchen:

– Swap out one veggie for another. If you don’t have, or like, zucchini swap it for broccoli, cauliflower, or even bell peppers. Or vice versa. Cook with what you like and you’re more likely to like what you cook.
– Only have garlic powder? Use it!
– Don’t like a particular spice? Don’t use it, and add a little more of the spices you do like!
– Use ground turkey (or chicken) instead of ground beef.
– Like the idea of a potato saffron omelet, but haven’t quite nailed the omelet “flip”? Make potato saffron scrambled eggs.
– 2 words: Crock-Pot. (Okay, one hyphenated brand name, but you get the idea.)
– Make it a salad. BLT salad is amazing. You can turn practically any type of sandwich into a salad. Cheeseburger salad anyone?

Do you have any other tips for relaxing in the kitchen? I’d love to hear them!

How we eat: Weekends

By now you’ve read how Andy eats during the week. And you’ve probably hung your head in disbelief over how I eat. Neither one of these stories really covers what our weekend eating looks like, and I figured I should probably round out the “How I eat” series.

Andy likes to joke to friends that come the weekend, the kitchen is closed (please pardon the messy and slightly blurry kitchen shot above!). And in a way, he’s right. I cook dinner every night, and most days (okay, some days, though I’m trying to be more consistent) I prepare breakfast and lunch for myself. The last thing I want to do on the weekends is wake up early, make breakfast for both of us, then clean everything just to repeat the process a few hours later for lunch and then again for dinner. I like weekends. I like to do things. I just don’t always like to make involved breakfasts.

On the other hand, I’m less likely to want to make and drink a smoothie for myself on the weekends. I want something a little more special and a little more substantial. Not eating isn’t an option–I’ve tried that and nobody really liked the end result. (Hint: I got cranky.)

Andy tends to walk significantly more on the weekends and likes to have a little extra protein to compensate. So between him needing protein, and me just needing to eat, I had to come up with something that would carry us through those “closed kitchen” days. As it turns out, Andy’s kind of a crack shot when it comes to making breakfast. He’ll fry up eggs, bacon, and sometimes steak (see above about needing protein), and be a happy fella. All that protein is a bit much for me (it’s the steak that really pushes me over the edge), so I wanted to find a way to still get lots of protein, but maybe throw some veggies into the mix to lighten everything up.

We’re big fans of the whole cauli-rice trend, and I thought that some kind of burrito rice bowl might be the answer to my problems. And I was right! Well, mostly right. There are still weekends where I just can’t be bothered to go all in for breakfast (x 2) and lunch (x 2), but the rice bowl makes enough food for both of us, with plenty of leftovers for lunch and maybe even for breakfast the next day, so it’s a win-win for me.

I’ll post the recipe later this week so stay tuned!

In his words: Documentation, Accountability, and Consistency (or “You’re Only Cheating Yourself”)

Have you ever heard the phrase “You’re only cheating yourself!”? Have you ever wondered exactly what someone meant by that? Growing up teachers, parents, and other adult/authority figures would say that to me and it really didn’t make sense. Until I was 34 years old. Then it made complete sense.

After my initial diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes I started to record my daily blood sugar numbers along with the times that I took them as well as any pertinent notes regarding what I ate or drank that may explain a spike or dip in numbers. I know that the digital meters all record numbers, but over the years I have found for myself that if I write something down in my own handwriting, it tends to stick with me.

Starting April 21st, 2011, at 7:51 AM, I began a lifelong habit that, while it did not directly result in reversing Type 2 Diabetes, definitely supported the effort–I began documenting my progress in a tiny little notebook. The first entry was 240, “no food.” Right when I woke up.

The reason I started doing this was so that I could track my progress in my handwriting. Type 2 Diabetes is all about a number. Oversimplified explanation: Less than 6 (your A1C number) and you don’t have it. Over 6, and depending on how high it is, you’re either a pre-diabetic or full on Type 2 Diabetic.

If I could see a pattern, then I could figure out what to change, what to keep doing, and what to do more of. That’s also when I started to record my weight. I wanted to see a correlation and pattern with that as well.

For about a month before I started walking (more on that in a bit), I made dietary changes thanks to my beautiful, patient, and loving wife. And as the days went by, my numbers went down–weight AND blood sugar!

When we hit Memorial Day weekend that year, I went and bought a pair of Nike ACG hiking shoes (mentioned in this post) and started walking. That same weekend, I decided it might be a good idea to start logging my miles in addition to my blood sugar and weight to see what those numbers would show me.

It may seem silly, or obsessive, or a waste of time to most people, but one of the greatest tools that helped me was that notebook. Every day that I walked, I weighed myself and wrote down the mileage and the weight. At the beginning, walking wasn’t a daily, let alone twice daily, occurrence. There wasn’t a LOT of consistency until late June when I began walking twice a day.

But as I walked more and more, I weighed less and less, and my blood sugar numbers came down. As I got more consistent with my efforts, I got more consistent results. And documenting that was what helped me on days when I might have weighed MORE than the day before or my numbers were inexplicably higher than they should have been based on what I ate and how much I moved prior to checking myself (… by the way, always make sure that you wash your hands before you check yourself…). If I hit a plateau or stalled, I could flip back a page or two and look at the progress that I *HAD* made and be encouraged.

One the biggest challenges to my success early on was myself. Liv has admitted in earlier posts, she was a bit naggy at the beginning. Some days after a rough day of work, I understandably didn’t feel like doing anything but sitting on the couch and vegging out. And truth be told, there are still nights like this and sometimes I do skip my afternoon walk, but it’s very rare and it’s either weather related or my cat cries/whimpers at me and she just wants to play.

One evening that first year, I was walking past the middle school and it was a really nice evening and I thought to myself, “You know, I could just go lay down in the grass, set an alarm, close my eyes for a minute, and then go home. Liv would *never* know!” And then a voice said very clearly, “YEAH, you could do that. But you’d know. And you would only be cheating yourself.”

That’s the day my attitude changed. That’s the day that I got serious about the lifestyle change. That’s the day that I went from “Well, I’m gonna do this until I am all better and then go back to the KFC and Taco Bell for lunch every day and a couple of Cadbury Easter Eggs for dessert every night” to That was the moment that I realized no one could or should actually care more than me. As concerned as Liv was for me and my health, at the end of the day, I was the only person who could change. If I wanted to cheat on the diet when I was at work, there wasn’t a thing that she could do to stop me. If I wanted to lay down and take a nap in the park before dinner, I could. She’d never know (until of course she realized that all that walking wasn’t doing anything!). I could cheat, sure. But in the end, I would have been cheating myself. And I would have known. And I didn’t want to live with that.

My advice to anyone starting out on a health/lifestyle change or weight loss effort is this: Be consistent with what you do, when you do it, how you do it. Be patient and believe in the process. Document your efforts for self-encouragement down the road. Write it down in a notebook like I do or take photos, but be consistent with that as well. And be accountable to you. Take it seriously and if you do these things as well as make simple, modest adjustments to your diet and activity level, you will be successful.

By the way, I still have those original notebooks. The blood sugar notebook entries ended in August 2011 and I filled up my fitness log notebook on December 31st, 2014. That one contains my notes from over 6000+ miles and I started a new notebook the next day on the 1st.

In his words: Staying motivated

My walking route has stayed pretty much the same since Spring 2011. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with wide streets, hardly any traffic (especially in the early mornings when I start my day), and it’s overall a very safe place for me to walk. The only downside is that it’s expensive, so we don’t live *in* the neighborhood, but it’s a mile from our front door so it’s easy enough to get to.

My routine has evolved a bit since the VERY first time, but it’s generally the same. Which means that on most days I walk past the same houses about every 12 hours.

So after a while, people notice you. And after that, sometimes they wave from their cars or their kitchen windows. After that, they start saying hi, introducing themselves, and even talking to you regularly.

So all of this back story gets us to my point regarding my motivation:

The other day on my after work/before dinner walk, an older couple walked past me, introduced themselves, and mentioned that they see me day in and day out walking past their house and wanted to know what keeps me motivated.

Now as an extrovert who has completely fallen in love with exercising, being healthy, and feeling good, I could probably have talked about the variety of reasons that the residents of the West Slope/Valley View neighborhood see me so much, but the most immediate and easily understandable reason that I gave them was that I used to be very overweight and a Type 2 diabetic and now I am not and I feel better than I ever did before and that I want to stay that way. We chatted for a few minutes and then I headed home.

Here are just a few of the reasons I still walk 3.5 miles twice a day (getting up at 4:15 AM every morning and heading out for a walk right when I get home from work), even when it’s wet or cold or below freezing or I am tired in the morning:

  • I have more energy overall.
  • I am virtually unrecognizable to people who haven’t seen me in over 4 or 5 years. This can be a good things sometimes.
  • I like being small. I’m only 5’8″ and generally weigh in around 155 lbs. Call it whatever you like, but I like being able to wear a size 30 waist in shorts and pants and a size small in shirts and jackets. For the first time in my life, I actually like how clothes look on my body.
  • For the first time in my life, I am actually at peace with my body and like it. Growing up, I was always heavy and had very low self esteem and poor body image. Sometimes I still struggle with it, but each day is easier.
  • I haven’t flown in an airplane in 4 years, but the last time I was on a plane, I fit in the seat more than comfortably and that was great.
  • Sex is better.
  • On the weekends, I like being up very early (before the sun rises) and drinking my coffee and eating breakfast after my walk before Liv gets up for the day.
  • It wakes me up in the morning and gets me set in the right frame of mind for the day and then helps me decompress and relax at the end of the work day. Lots of time to think, problem solve, reconcile the day that I have had, and to pray – which I need to do more than I am currently doing during this time.
  • I love watching the change of seasons each and every morning and each every evening. Especially in the late spring/early summer when the weather is nicer and the days are longer.

But one of the biggest things that really motivates me is something from the very first morning walk that I ever did.

When I first started walking after work I noticed that my blood sugar numbers were coming down, and as they did, my weight started to drop as well. I had been heavy my entire life and had always wanted to lose weight and be thin/athletic/skinny. I also knew from a young age that I would probably be bald at some point. I told myself that I could be bald or I could be fat, but I wouldn’t let myself be both at the same time and that I had little control over being bald. I also figured this was probably the best time to make that change in life. I had exercised and dieted in the past, but as most people often do, I gave up before results ever started to take hold and I didn’t really understand the basic principles of how to make those changes to my life in a long term fashion.

After a few weeks of better and better blood sugar numbers and modest weight loss, I decided that if I was going to get serious about losing weight, I should probably try walking twice a day. And that meant getting up extra early. 5:30 AM to be exact. A time of day that exists for very few people in life. And a time that up until June 22nd, 2011, only existed for me on rare, rare, rare occasions. And usually unwillingly.

Well, I did it. And it changed my life. See, June 22nd, 2011, was the second day of summer that year. And it was GLORIOUS. It was 60 degrees,  the sun was up, the birds were chirping, and it was just delightful. The neighborhood that I walk in is on top of a hill with lots of ups and downs and beautiful views of the valley below. With the sun reflecting off of windows in the distance and the warm (relatively speaking) weather, I was sold. That was it for me. The sun coming up on a warm summer morning is what keeps me going day after day. I get up a little earlier now than I did that first summer, but I go for an extra lap or 2 on summer weekend mornings so that I can watch that sunrise.

Sure, it’s great being skinny and fit, I won’t lie. I love being able to fit in to clothes that would have been snug on me when I was a fat little 12 year old (YES, I own 3 pieces of clothing that are technically from the children’s section, but you’d never know it at first glance).

I love being able to walk past someone who I haven’t seen in a long time and watching them try to guess who I am when I start talking to them. I love feeling better physically than I did for as long as I can remember. I love knowing that I can walk faster than a Target or Fred Meyer store automatic door opening sensor can detect me (true story – yes, I ran in to a door once…). I love the lifestyle change that my wife and I made and the things that those changes have brought.

But those early morning sunrises on my walks in the summertime? That’s what keeps me going day in and day out, even when the weather is nasty. The knowledge that it will be summer again.

Check out this blog post to see how I initially found my walk.

How I eat: Andy

Okay, technically, Andy isn’t writing this, but the information about what he eats came directly from his own mouth so it’s almost the same thing.

If you’ve been following this blog at all, you will have noticed that our weekly meal plans only cover dinners for the week. There are a couple reasons for this. 1) Andy has eaten basically the same breakfast and lunch every day for the last 4 years. 2) My relationship with food is a bit more complicated. We’ll get into how I eat during the day next week, but here’s a look at what Andy eats day-to-day.

Breakfast: Apple, banana, avocado, 2 cups of coffee with coconut milk.

Lunch: Roasted cabbage, steamed broccoli, 2 eggs*, chili.

Andy is one of those rare creatures that can eat the same thing day in and day out, which makes meal planning and building the grocery list super easy. It also makes weight management/maintenance fairly straightforward as dinner is the only wildcard is dinner.

While I don’t expect everyone to follow Andy’s daily eating regimen (goodness knows I certainly couldn’t!), I can certainly see the appeal and it does make aspects of my life fairly easy.

Stay tuned later this week for Andy’s chili recipe!

* Andy’s eggs are actually a frittata-like mixture of eggs and peppers. We’ll post the recipe soon!

 

A bit of a backslide

There were times that first year when Andy and I would convince ourselves that we really could eat the way we used to and be just fine. One Saturday in particular, after a long day of excursioning (in and around town), I was tired. The last thing I wanted to do after a full day of errands was make a healthy dinner. As we headed home I had a brilliant idea! Andy had mentioned how he had a hankering for sandwiches, and I thought that would be an awesome dinner idea—if we kept it on the healthier side.

I pitched the idea and he was all in. We stopped at the store to grab some fixins’: a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread (like I said, we were trying to be healthy), some deli lunch meat, a tomato, and a bag of salt and vinegar Kettle Chips. (Okay, we weren’t trying to be *that* healthy.) We had pickles, cheese, avocado, and mayo at home already.

I’m not going to lie, it was the most amazing dinner I’d had in a long while. It had been so long, I’d almost forgotten what a perfect little package a sandwich is. And the salt and vinegar chips were scrumptious. We both had a sandwich (or two) and polished off the bag of chips in one sitting.

We had done our best to be as healthy as possible. The bread we chose had plenty of fiber, protein, and the smallest number of carbs we could find. The sandwiches were topped with lean protein, just a bit of cheese, and some nice veggies. We’d really gotten into the habit of lots of lean protein and veggies, and we honestly thought we’d be fine.

An hour after dinner we both had a headache.

The next day was even worse. I’ll be the first to admit that I suffer from a bit of the “hangries”. I’ll get into my own personal blood sugar issues at a later point, but they can be pretty awful. Ask Andy. He’ll tell you. Even so, it’s unusual for me to wake up with low blood sugar, eat breakfast and still have low blood sugar, and then eat a snack to see if that will help and still have low blood sugar. And then have lunch. And another snack—all good combinations of fruit, nuts, healthy carbs and lean proteins—and still have low blood sugar. Now, I wasn’t a raging maniac, just low-level cranky, but 8 hours of feeling low-level cranky sucks the fun out of a lazy Sunday.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me until I reminded myself of the delicious dinner I’d had the night before. Chock full of whole grains, and heavily processed white potatoes.

The truth of the matter is, our new lifestyle required sacrifice. But is it really a sacrifice to eat healthier and feel better? Every now and then we still get a hankering for a taste of our old life. We just have to remind ourselves that it’s not worth a headache, the hangries, or the digestive issues (not to mention the temporary, or not, weight gain). At this point I’ll take an apple with some cheese over a sandwich any day. And I know Andy would agree.

In his words: Shoe count

Andy here! I just got the first of two shipments of new walking shoes this week, so I thought it’d be a good time to talk about my walking footwear. I am now currently on my 14th pair (not including the previously mentioned shoes that just arrived and the two that are on the way), dating back to Memorial Day weekend 2011.

  1. Nike ACG hiking shoes:

I can’t remember the exact name but they lasted 6 months and they were VERY comfortable.

  1. Nike Air Pegasus TR:

A gift from my beautiful wife. Great for the treadmill but not great for cold/wet winter weather.

  1. Nike Air Moto 8:

I demolished these in 6 weeks. No joke. Wore them down to the white cushiony part under the black sole. Running shoes are NOT good for walking and at the end, these hurt my shins and made walking very painful.

4-8. Nike Salbolier ACG:

These were the best and my absolute favorite shoe. A reasonably priced hiking shoe ($50.00 – $55.00 per pair) with a stiff ride with lots of tread which fits my walking stride very well. It’s counter-intuitive, but my shin-splint pain was gone almost immediately and these shoes allowed me to walk pretty fast.

I went through 5 pairs of these amazingly good shoes. They lasted an average of 2.5 months and from about July 1, 2012, through mid-May of 2014, this was the shoe. Sadly it was already discontinued by the time that I found them on clearance at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Beaverton. As soon as I fell in love with them and realized I didn’t want to have to ever switch to another shoe, I scoured the internet for them. I was able to order 4 pairs from Amazon.com (through a retailer in the UK).

I still look for them online when I have a few free minutes at work.

9-11. Merrell Moab (Ventilator):

A reasonable replacement for the Nike Salbolier ACG’s that I loved. I started in on these after a recommendation from a clerk at the Washington Square Track N’ Trail store. A good, stiff ride combined with a fairly thick Vibram sole made them great on wet or dry pavement.

The downside: $90.00 a pop, and they’d only last about a month and a half to 2 months before they were done. And when they were done, they were DONE i.e. shin splints. Also, the Ventilator version of the shoe means it’s a vented shoe and not great for winter/rainy weather walking.

  1. Merrell Moab (Waterproof):

Ditto to the above but waterproof*.
(*the extra $20.00 for this version isn’t worth it and if your pants hang just right, the water will run right down the pant leg onto your socks and get the shoe wet from the inside out. Better to just wear hiking shorts and have wet legs.)

13+14.Merrell Pulsate (Ventilator)

The closest that I have come to finding “the shoe”. I bought 2 pair from The Clymb on a lark in November 2014 (based on a suggestion from my beautiful wife). These have been a VERY good shoe. $60.00 a pair, lasting about 2 – 2.5 months with a stiff sole and lots of tread (not a Vibram sole, so they are a little slick on wet pavement).

I am now on the second pair. I first laced them up around January 24th and they seem to still be holding together quite well.

Because I like to have backups ready to go and ideally trade off on shoes to help them last longer, I have placed orders for 4 more pairs. The Clymb (www.theclymb.com) is an online retail clearance type site that sells sporting goods at less than retail. Normally this shoe is sold at $60.00 per pair, but recently they marked down to $50.00 so I ordered a couple pair. When I got an email a couple of weeks later that they were having a random, one day sale (sitewide – an extra 20% off orders over $75.00), I placed another order.

Based on my past usage, average mileage, and experience, the shoes I am on currently should last me through the end of March and the next 4 pair should get me through the end of 2015.

(Please note that the statements and reviews are NOT paid product endorsements of any kind. These shoes were all purchased through brick/mortar and online stores by my wife and I with our own money and were NOT given to us by any of the above named companies.)

In his words: My mileage

I get a LOT of people asking me how many miles I walk every day, and resisting the urge to be a wise guy and saying “all of them”, here is the actual answer.

Daily mileage: 3.5 miles every morning and again every night after work*. Speed: 4 – 4.5 mph. Mormons have had to jog/run to keep up with me. True story.

*Weekdays. Weekend afternoon walks can last up to 11.5 miles in some instances, although the average in the fall/winter/spring is 5.5 – 7.5 miles.