Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Losing Weight with Thyroid Cancer

I doubt that I am going to cover something new, but the realization that I had may be new for some.  I had not read this, or been told anything about how my metabolism works when I have no thyroid anymore.  My realization is about eating habits, and meal timing.  I think I am on to something, and might help others.

As I understand from various books, literature and websites is that our thyroid hormone production goes through waves, ebbs and flows throughout the day.  There are times that is high, and low, or say exercise should trigger a burst of production.  There are other aspects that can influence your production as well.  But what happens when you don't have a thyroid gland anymore?  How do you get ebbs and flows, bursts when you need them to recover?

The answer is I don't think there is bursts, or a cycle, or there is a significantly lower cycle.  There may be some T4 hormone stored in various parts of the body in small amounts for future use.  Triggering a large release for metabolism and the like may not happen to an expected level, it may much less.

The reason I mention this, is to realize that the expectation to eat on a schedule the same as when one had a thyroid gland may not be possible.  As you exercise, or just perform your duties for the day we burn calories, and have to regenerate our energy and try to rid our bodies of the byproducts of the day.  Normally, we would eat dinner, and metabolize that food to help us recover.  We still do.  But it is harder at 6pm to have a hormone surge to help with that metabolism and recovery mode.

Statistically, during sleep we burn a good amount of calories in our regenerative process.  Many people are amazed the calories that are burned during our sleep cycle.  Part of this is triggered via a surge in thyroid hormone being available.

What I have realized is that via my body temp, I am not seeing that surge at night.  My body temp drops pretty far, well over a degree.  That is not unheard of, but to me, when I am struggling to maintain 97.5 with the drugs I am on, then having a drop that far also indicates that my body is not metabolizing as much at night.  It is struggling to go through the calories, to fuel up further and the like.

I realized that when I was struggling to lose weight, that the later I ate, the harder it was to lose.  When exercising, it was nothing to see 2 pounds lost on the scale over night because of those various processes going on.  Post Thyroid Cancer sees it difficult to see a 1 pound difference.  In a non scientific way, the low body temp, lack of weight drop at night and overall difficulty in losing weight indicates that the overnight cycle is not working perfectly.

What I changed was my eating habits and schedule.  I try not to eat dinner, but during the day spread out meals and food intake better.  If I eat dinner, I see problems with weight loss.  So I try to eat before 5 if possible, or have a sensible snack in the evening.  With this different schedule I am able to lose weight.  I feel more hopeful that things are going in a reasonable way.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Riding with a camera

If you have been aware - lately there have been more videos popping up where cyclists are documenting aggressive and life threatening behavior with a GoPro or similar sports camera.  I rode for the first time with one this morning.  I had it mounted on the drop of my handlebar, and messed up the orientation of the video, but corrected that in playback.  Tomorrow I will dial things in better.  I have mine set in 1080 30fps and saw reasonable video from it.  I have a JVC camera, it was on sale for about $100 from Fry's Electronics recently, and I am using a handlebar mount, right over my handlebar tape, on the bar end/drop.

I am still playing and figuring out what works and what does not.  The few moments I reviewed this morning needed quite a bit of work, and might argue to mount the camera on a helmet instead of a bike due to how bumpy the pics are.  If I import the video into Final Cut, I probably can manipulate and clean up the bumpiness a bit as the software can help that out.

The reality of this, using a camera, is why do we need to do this?  Especially, on a training ride?  I can see taking a camera on a special trail, or in a race to capture the action, the chaos and all of that kind of fun.  That makes sense.  Many are recommending using cameras out on all rides.  Why has our society made this happen?  We can't trust other road users to act responsibly, and that is a shame.

Earlier this year, when I was training in the afternoons, I had two incidents where I wish I had a camera on board to capture the license plate of a vehicle full of teenage boys that assaulted me.  One time I chased them down into a parking lot and attempted to stop them.  They drove in a massivly dangerous manner, in reverse across a full parking lot, nearly sliding into a pole, hitting other cars just to get away from me.  I turned them into the police two times, and I have no idea if they have been found, arrested or anything. If I had the plate, it would have helped out quite a bit. 

I wonder about this rise in assaults on cyclists.  I also wonder what would happen if bigger vehicles started doing the same to these drivers that assault cyclists.  Are we getting into some macho one upmanship of who has the biggest gun?  I used to ride, a few decades ago, with a friend that carried a holster and a .22 semi auto handgun right on his stem.  I used to always have a frozen water bottle with me, in the summer here it was welcomed, but I thought of it as a weapon, and have thrown it at two cars before, hitting one with a resounding thump. 

I still wonder why things have to come down to an arms race.  Would these same drivers appreciate aggressive vehicles brushing against their kids on sidewalks while walking, running, skating or even riding?  I would be just as mad as when they do the same to me. 

I have friends back east that have taken to mounting cameras in their cars to record bad drivers.  I imagine that video footage can be useful, and could be turned into the police and the like.  But I also wonder when the police start refusing, or not even using, or not pursuing these bad drivers.  I see that in the future where the police "claim" they cant do anything, even with the video proof.  Vigilantism will probably ensue.  There was an issue of that happening in the Bay Area, but it was taken too far, and the vigilante was charged. 

I hate having to video my bike rides.  I should ideally be able to ride my bike in my neighborhood and trust everyone to use the roads responsibly.  Mistakes and accidents do happen, that is understandable.  Outright rage and aggressive nature towards other drivers, road users and the like is not understandable.  Perhaps something will change in the near future where we are forced to act far more responsibly in regards to the vehicles we use, such as adding penalties for getting tickets for cell phone use, assault with a vehicle or similar occurrences where they will raise your insurance cost.  Hurt those with bad behavior in the pocketbook.  Some auto loans have the ability to end the contract due to breach because the car was used in an inappropriate manner.  Normally this is dealing drugs or things like that.  Expanding the contract language that if you assault someone, or use inappropriately could be added as a factor, especially if you are jeopardizing your insurance coverage and the safety of others.