Author Archives: Jeffrey Huet

My garage is my think tank. Just last night my wife and I were talking about this and how training in the garage is where I am able to think the most clearly and be at peace. Throughout the day, I feel like I have a million things running through my head. I am constantly thinking about work, my family, business goals, training and everything else under the sun. When I am in the garage lifting, I do my best and most focused thinking.

There is something about working hard and pushing your body. With my day time job of being a teacher, I need to make up some physical labor and do something to unwind. In the garage is when I am able to do this. I currently feel that my programming for myself leaves me feeling less stressed, prepared for strongman and energized afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some days that I still bite off more than I can chew. If there is one thing to take away from my training, it allows me to feel disease free.

I can’t speak highly enough for what strength training does for me. Diabetes seems to be nonexistent and the rest of life’s worries disappear momentarily. Even when blood sugars do get in the way, I try my best to work with my disease rather than against it. If my blood sugar is low, I eat. If my blood sugar is a bit high, I will take some insulin.  Another great result from training is improved insulin sensitivity. This can be tricky at times, but for the most part I am safe with reducing my bolus rate after training until the next morning. My body is better at burning food and works more efficiently.

I often read or hear about people that people only want to do cardio. They are looking to drop body weight, but their body composition doesn’t change. Does cardio have it’s place? Of course it does, but if people are looking to be leaner and improve definition, weightlifting is crucial to success. I tried running for a few years in my early 20’s and it didn’t help me achieve what I was after. With a mix of lifting weights and cardio, my body uses fuel more efficiently and the amount of calories I can consume is on the higher side.

If you don’t know where to start, feel free to send me an email at breakdiabetes@gmail.com or message me through the Breaking Diabetes Facebook page.

Through my years of lifting weights, I have made plenty of mistakes. One of the huge mistakes is not listening to my body. I base a lot of my day around the workout I do. This can backfire.

I program for myself a week at a time. There are some considerations that go into this planning. How many days am I able to fit in training? Am I approaching a competition of some sort? How much time do I have available? Family activities? All of these things will help me guide my training.

As far as time spent training goes, I like to stay in around an hour. I do go over and under at times, but nothing crazy. Deadlift training is normally a longer session due to warming up and I require more rest on those days. Deadlifting is on Sundays. Monday is an off day, Tuesday is overhead pressing, Wednesday is my squat day and Benching will be thrown in on Thursday of Friday depending on what is going on. If I do skip a day it will be my bench day. Part of my accessory exercises on my overhead day is some type of benching. This is not something that happens often, but if it does the world will not end.

Things do change if I feel beat up. Sometimes, just going on a walk rather than doing hill sprints is a better option for me. Not only is it better physically, but also its a mental break as well to be able to walk around outside and just listen to the wind and animals scurrying through the woods. I probably just lost some cred with that. It’s not very hardcore to just go on a walk. What it is though is relaxing and peaceful.

In the past, I have beaten myself into the ground during workouts because I thought that is how results are achieved. It’s just not the case for me. I want my training to make me feel better. I don’t want to make myself feel worse from a workout. I am not saying that things should be easy. It is important to have some level of intensity in a session. One common error I see quite a bit is when people test too often rather than train.

Does testing have its place? Of course it does. Should we be laying on our backs like a dying fish after each session? For me this answer is a definite no. I did think I needed to leave everything on the line for awhile. It didn’t work for me.

I find the best results from steady progress over time. If things aren’t progressing, I take a few steps back. In my 24 years of weight training going back to the basics has always seemed to work best.

I was fortunate enough to play college football. I loved this time of my life. It was very structured. I enjoy structure because I desire that need for control. College was tough because my first two years I was not doing well with testing and insulin dosing. I would just give myself big amounts of insulin and just eat. This did not help my self esteem or body image. This resulted in me getting up to a sloppy 248 pounds. I could’t move and I was slow. After some discussion about switching to more of a hybrid nose tackle position, I was motivated to be more proactive with my health,

My next few years playing college football were much better. I was looking like an athlete again and my diabetes was under better control. The football career was cut short due to too many concussions. I was lost without being on the field. Football was who I thought I was. Once football was over for me, so was my positive habits with my health. I ate whatever, whenever, hardly tested and just gave huge amounts of insulin. I ended up getting a bunch of tattoos, but that is a much different story for the future.

After I graduated college in 2002 I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t taking care of myself and I didn’t take responsibility for my diabetes. I often joke that I quit diabetes when things get a bit out of control with it. This was a time in my life that I did quit diabetes. I wasn’t testing as much, nutrition had zero direction and I was out of shape. I also missed playing college.

I wanted to be in shape again. I needed to be in shape. I needed to be healthy. When I finished college, my body weight was between 220-230 pounds. I wanted to be around 200 pounds. Like a knucklehead, I began running and doing nothing but cardio. Lifting reminded me too much of the football days and I was scared of putting on weight. What it comes down to is a pour self image. Anybody see a theme?

I was restricting my food intake and had zero direction with exercise and health. The minimal eating led to decent blood sugars, but I was exhausted. This is where I feel a lot of fellow diabetics fall into the same trap. Everything revolves around the blood sugars and number on the scale. We are told that insulin can be a terrible thing from some resources. Luckily in last few years, I have learned how to use my insulin for my advantage for my care of my disease. With a solid plan of exercise, nutrition and being responsible things are much improved.

At 38, I am currently the healthiest I have ever been. There are many people who have helped me get to this point. The love and support from my family and Dr. Kashey are the key elements. Everyday, I feel so very thankful for the care and love I receive from my wife. She believes in me when I don’t. I follow my nutritional parameters and my training program to a “T”. The biggest advice I would give to my fellow diabetic is to plan things out and don’t let diabetes stop you. Break Diabetes!

Post college picture at 22 years old:

 

January 31, 2017 at 38 years old:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diagnosis:

In January of 1991 was a very difficult time for me. Things were just falling apart. I turned 12, so things were wacky anyways. I had no energy, I couldn’t make it through a basketball game without feeling sick. I was urinating a ton and always thirsty. I was unable to think and make sense of a lot of things due to feeling sick. In one of my last games of the season, I broke my ankle after hustling down the court to try to stop a fast break. This was a blessing in disguise.

On one of my appointments to have my ankle checked because my cast was loose. My family and I didn’t think to ever have me step on a scale through this. I went from weighing around 115 pounds down to around 95 pounds or so. My mom and I went over the symptoms with my doctor and they checked my blood sugar. The next thing I know, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I had no idea what this meant.

From my general doctor’s office we went to my first endocrinologist appointment. My dad met my mom and I there. My parents were strong through everything. They didn’t want me to know that they were scared as well. I bottled all my emotions up(unfortunately, one of my strengths). Mentally, I was in whirlwind. I didn’t know what to think. Will I die soon? Why me? What did I do wrong? Can I play sports? The questions and self doubt were very overwhelming.

After meeting with my doctor, I felt a bit better because he helped put me and my parents feel  at ease. One of the situations they had discussed was having me stay at the hospital until my blood sugars came down. I can’t remember how high they were, but I want to say I was in the 300s or 400s. I am so very thankful for my parents saying no to the idea of me staying in the hospital. We wanted to throw ourselves into the fire and learn as we go.

As we got home from the doctor, my mind continued to be in whirlwind. I can’t really remember what my parents and I discussed on the way home. I did know that I would be okay. My life was going to be different than the majority of people. I would need more responsibility and be prepared for things, others do not need to prepare for. As we walked into our house, my grandmother said to me, “Jeffrey, it’s because you ate all those cookies when you were younger.” This killed me inside. My grandmother was trying to cheer me up with a joke. She knew my diagnosis had nothing to do with cookies. Unfortunately, I had no idea there wasn’t a connection for me. To say the least, her comment killed me on the inside.

After being settled at home, it was time for my first shot at home. My dad was the one to administer my insulin shot. I remember it very clearly in my head. My dad was wearing a white dress shirt that he was sweating through. He was a nervous wreck. I don’t think it was because he had to give me a shot, but for for what this meant for me and my family. He practiced injecting water into an orange a few times. After he was ready, he drew out the correct amount of R from the vial. He grabbed the back of my arm and then gave me my shot. It didn’t hurt and I didn’t even feel it. Shot 1 at home was a success. 

There was a lot of trial and error and a ton of not understanding how and why. My diagnosis made me an overall stronger and more driven person. 

Breaking Diabetes

So here’s my story…

My name is Jeffrey Huet. I am a husband, father, teacher, trainer and  a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed at 12 years old in 1991 and had no idea how my life would be changed. Luckily, my parents never made my diabetes dictate what I could or couldn’t do. If anything it was more motivation to try new things and push through difficult situations. We were a very active family and the diabetes wasn’t going to hold us back. I refer to “we” because it touched my whole family.

I stuck with sports and ended up playing small college football. Diabetes got in the way quite a bit. It was also a great source of motivation.  It would take me longer to recover from games and practice because I didn’t take the best control of myself. 

If there was one huge bonus to being diagnosed with diabetes it was the amount of responsibility I had to take on. I always have to be prepared with food or supplies. There have been ups and downs. Luckily, I have a very organized and supportive wife that helps me with all her heart!

Being active has helped me in huge ways. It is one of the things that make me feel like a normal healthy person. I have messed around with biking, running, powerlifting and strongman. Strength training by far has been the most beneficial activity I have done and continue to do.  Ultimately, my goal is to help my fellow type 1 diabetic.

Strength training has  helped me BREAK DIABETES!