George chats with his long-time friend and music career manager Jim Cressman about personal discipline with his overall health and well-being by including physical activity and exercise into his daily routine. They discuss how focusing on fitness and health, not just diabetics, can boost your own productivity, performance and resilience, as part of living a healthy lifestyle.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode six. I'm George Canyon. "Life as a Diabetic - The Highs and the Lows" podcast and Vlog on YouTube. It is a pleasure to be back with you Episode six and in this episode I'm very excited because we get to speak to ah, gentleman whose like a brother to me and he's actually my manager in in the music business. But he has been with me for a long time, and he's, uh, he's actually witnessed a lot with my diabetes and my control when I'm on the road. And he's also in great condition physically and emotionally as well physically, and knows a lot about training and the values not just physiological values, but the values mentally, for training for any kind of exercise and how to motivate yourself to get there. Because, as we know as diabetics, it's so vital that we exercise, and sometimes people you know they hate getting on a treadmill. Well, maybe that's not what you should be doing. Maybe there's something you don't know that you love doing like maybe playing tennis, and Jim actually talks about his dad and how his dad enjoys playing tennis and that's how he gets his exercise. We're all built differently. And especially as diabetics, that's for sure. So his interview is coming right up. It is such a pleasure to have everyone back here with us for yet another podcast. Please tell all your friends Come on back to "Life as a Diabetic - The Highs and the Lows" on all all podcast podcast services. And, of course, every now and again on video on YouTube on the Vlog. It's not gonna have a video for every every episode, but certain episodes it's going to. And of course, we're all home. So you're going to hear my kids in the background and dogs barking, everyone still getting through Covid. And we hope everyone's staying safe out there as well. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce my manager and, more importantly, one of my dearest longtime friends. And like a brother to me, Mr. Jim Cressman. Hey, Jim, How are you, buddy?
I'm good, My friend. How are you doing?
Yah, doing good. Welcome to "Life as a Diabetic - The Highs and Lows" Podcast number six. Actually, things are rocking along.
Congratulations on getting this off the ground - doing so well with it. You've been crushing it.
Well, it's, um, a long time coming. Something I should have done probably a long time ago. Now, everyone knows I've already introduced you before we started talking that you're my manager and my buddy and you're family, basically, um, but we were talking a lot about working out and exercising, and I've been I never really touched much on it yet in the podcasts, umm... We are gonna have a vlog about working out as well. There's lots to, lots to record.. Um, but I thought today we could talk a little bit, start off a little bit about the health side, um, of working out for....for a diabetic, especially. You're not a diabetic, but you have worked with a type one diabetic for a long time. That's me. And and you've seen, you know, the positive and positives of when I'm training and the negatives of when I'm not. And and you're also, you know, exceptionally well in shape and train. And you were, I believe, a pro boxer for five fights or something back in the day.
Yeah, well, most mostly amateur, but yeah, Yeah, I know I um. I had, uh I had a background. I had a background in that world. And, you know, the great thing about athletics is that if you really enjoy them, it's sort of instills these habits and rituals that you can carry forward for the rest of your life, right? So that's the blessing that I got out of getting exposed to physical fitness at an early age with a really highly demanding sport like that. And, uh, and that just as I've gotten older and I've been traveling a lot and on the road, as you know, I'm not on the road with a lot of tours, that sort of thing. It's like, It's like, How do you keep your mental, emotional and physical health in shape? Well, for me, it always starts with physiology. And I know you're wired a lot the same way.
Yeah, big time. Well, when when you work out your mind is I don't know, hap, I'm happier. I know a lot of it has to do with endorphins too, but yeah, working
well, but you I'll bet your wife could tell the difference on days you haven't have worked out...
Yeah, unfortunately for her, she can that it's one of those things. And then there's days where you're going ... You go into work out and you're like, I can't do this today. My body can't take it and you know, then that's when you make the decisions and not. But, um, when it comes to our business and I know lots of I've always said this as far as the business goes, I picked the wrong business to be a type one diabetic in because we're always traveling, not eating, staying up late, getting up early. Did I mention traveling? What, What have you witnessed over the last 20 years when it comes to what's it like to have to work with a type one diabetic? What do clients say? There must, there must be red flags raised by clients now and again? I never hear about it, but
I mean, you know, everybody knows that you are...you're very highly motivated and disciplined, so you manage your health very well. That's never been a concern for you. When I'm dealing with with buyers or or customers on that end of it. As a client, I certainly like it better when you're eating well, making regular ah trips to the gym because it it does do things to your ability to be able to manage stress and stressful situations, of which there's many on the road. Many of them, you know, are out of your control, especially if you're flying and you've got delayed flights or you got a bus that you know you're breaking down in the middle of of a tour or whatever you're dealing with. You certainly make a you're certainly in a much better headspace to deal with, uh, navigating stress when you are taking care of yourself physically. And I noticed that for sure. And when you say, what have I seen in the last 20 years? Well, one thing I've really noticed and I'll bet you've noticed this, too, is, for the most part, hotels, almost every hotel now in every town has a fitness facility. 20 years ago, that wasn't always the case. You know, more people are prioritizing their health. It's become more of a macro movement in society and culture, and, uh, thanks to that those of us who have been fitness nuts for a while, get the opportunity to actually work out in a real gym most of the time these days.
Or a reasonable facsimile, which which leads me to my next question because there's lots of type ones and type twos. There's a lot of type twos that that really, really want to get exercising. They want to get to the gym and working out, but they're intimidated. All they see is, you know, muscle heads. I believe this, what they call some of them, and and they were like, well, I can't do that. I don't want to do that. And you know, what would you recommend for them? Because working out with weights for me is the trick. I can run till the cows come home if you're chasing me and I'm scared. But when I when I pick up a weight, no matter how heavy it is, there's something that happens to my body with my blood sugar control for at least 24 hours after I trained.
Right. Well, I mean, let's back up a little bit, even even before, when you talk about, like finding the motivation to go to the gym before we even get to the exercise itself. It's like you gotta know yourself and you've got to know how you can poach yourself into it, right? And everybody's wired a little differently. So, um, I'm at a place now in my life where I can be blatantly honest with myself. I can look in the mirror and go, "Man, you're looking fat - like you gotta get your ass to the gym (I might of did that the other day) I can speak to myself, right? It's not from a place of its from a place of love. Like I could be blatantly honest with myself, but still care for myself. Still love myself. And I have that relationship. Now some people don't have that yet. So you've got to find another angle. You gotta you gotta know yourself enough to go. OK, Do I need to start slow? Is this something I need to build into incrementally and a lot of people are wired that way. So what I suggest for them is just just start really small, but build out a plan day-to-day and week-to-week to grow it into something that you're gonna be proud of once you accomplish it. So if day one is literally lacing up your sneakers and then taking them back off and going back to bed, you know, hitting your snooze again. Well, You know what? Okay, that's where you start, right? But day two you might want to lace those up, open the door, walk down your driveway and head back, right. Day three. You can build it out. Right? So, the key to this is finding some leverage points on yourself to figure out how you're gonna get yourself into the gym. And you talked a little earlier about about, you know, some days I don't feel like it. So I want to bounce that question back on you when you don't feel like it, what is the thing in the back of your mind that goes? I got to get to the gym. I don't have a choice. How do you navigate that within yourself?
As ramifications of not doing it right. It's It's a consequence of what happens if I don't. And then once you start going, you you get that workout high, if you will. I don't know what you want to call it, but that's it sort of feels like that, that workout high where you feel so good when you're done, even though you're exhausted and you're not going to get that, that's not gonna happen that day because you're not going to the gym, you know, you're going to feel sluggish, and, you know, just find that I never think about my blood sugar. I never think. Well, if I don't go, I'm gonna have issues with my blood sugar for 24 hours until I go until they get to the gym. I don't think about that. I think more about the mental side of it.
Right? And you know, you're not gonna be yourself emotionally or mentally if you don't get that good sweat in at some point during the day.
Yeah, very much so.
And your desire to be a better a man, a better husband, a better father, better individual to interact with probably is a massive motivator to get you to take that massive action you need to take to get into the gym.
Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, because it diabetes is not something that you just live with. It's everyone around you lives with it as well.
Right? Well, like almost any chronic disease, right? Uh, it's not just you. There's there's definitely ah, a ripple effect. Right. and, um and as it pertains to the workouts themselves. You know, whether it's whether it's cardio, whether it's weights, whether it's yoga, whether it's my wife, is into Pilates and Kit Stretch, which is all about alignment and proper movement, which and I really like weights. But I like running. I like doing all kinds of crazy things. I love Jiu Jitsu. Um, it just depends on what you enjoy. You know, my, my my dad, who I'm always trying to get to go to the gym. He doesn't like the gym. But I'll tell you what. You get him playing tennis. He will play for six hours without taking a water break. If you can, if you can get him playing, he won't stop. So, um, yeah, I've always I'm always like urging him to, uh, find a way to integrate his fitness regime into something that keeps him compelled and interested, right? Because a lot of people go. I know I need to work out, but I just don't know what to do when it's like, that's okay. Just try a bunch of stuff. You know, you'll find something that that you don't hate and that you could keep up for 20, 30, 45 minutes. Whatever it takes. Um, I mean, I really enjoy weight workouts because I really enjoy the results I see from those and I'm able to I integrate a cardio component into the weights by super setting, which means stacking the exercises back-to-back. As you well know, you've done that too. We've done workouts together, so you know, it's like a 40 minute workout but you're soaking wet when you're done.
Oh yah, you feel like you ran a marathon.
Yeah, you feel like you ran up a mountain and and so I really enjoy those. Because for me, that's a good compact way of getting what I need to get done and accomplished for the day within a 40 minute block so I can go back to servicing my clients, booking and routing tours, enjoying time with my family and everything else. I have every other obligation I have in my life that falls outside of taking care of my own physiology. I can get back to that if I'm not spending hours in the gym. You know, I don't really want to spend hours at the gym. I mean, I enjoy it, but I don't enjoy it that much.
No I'm with you on that. I'm trying to figure out ways to get out of gym quicker cause you're in there some days for 90 minutes. It's a long, it's a long haul, um if people because you every now and again you post these crazy workouts and they're workouts that anybody can try to do. It's not like you have to have all this equipment to do them. Um, where do people go? Where were the the listeners go to get to witness some of these workouts that maybe they want to try. Maybe it's something that they would enjoy.
Um, my instagram account, which is ah, @jimcressmaninvictus maybe we could pin the handle to this podcast
Yah, no I'll pin it for sure, I'll put it up
uh that's that's where I usually post my workouts. I've got a really great home gym. I work out down there with my wife, with my daughters all the time, and, um, and then I also, um, uh, I also just want to back up a little bit and say that that when it comes to working out, it's like everything else at life. It boils down to two things: consistency and intensity. So when you're thinking about what you want to do, and where you want to evolve yourself to physically think about those two things. Am I being consistent and am I being intense? And by the way, it's okay if you're not intense in the beginning because you're gonna get more intense. Yeah, exactly. You get won't get right as you get more competent, right? Like you don't want to start go so hard that your stiff for two weeks and you can't move because that's really going to de-motivate you. But intensity and consistency and eventually your body starts to adapt. We're all created to adapt to our environment. And if your environment is, you know, the iPad and the sofa and bon bons where your body's gonna adapt to that, right? And you're yeah, if your environment is you know, some of that, which is fine. I mean, you know, I like sweets as much as anybody else, but you're also forcing your body out of its comfort zone on a on a daily basis or on a you know, 3, 4 times a week, you're going to see results because your body is going to have to adapt. It can't carry around the excess weight that it could carry around prior to you, adapting and adopting those habits. So, uh, I'm just a really big fan of of people figuring out what their thresholds are physically. And then I think that we really underestimate the mental health value of doing difficult things and surmounting what we previously thought was the insurmountable. So when I post these videos of workouts, sure, some of them are really hard. But you know what? I built my way up to those things. A lot of times I didn't just start there and and now that I can you know, now that I can do ah, you know, 45 chin ups in a row or, um, last night I was I was doing ah, set of filthy 50. So a bunch of different exercises where I would do 50 reps in a row. Now that I built myself up to that, um, it feels good to know that these are things I don't know if I pull off in my twenties, you know, and not just again fortifies your confidence. There's a backstop of self assurance there. There's the feeling that, you know, you did some good hard work, right? Like and I think we really underestimate the importance of those things. I'm not a I'm not a huge fan of this. This this instagram hashtag you are enough culture because sometimes you're not enough. You know, sometimes you gotta work harder. Sometimes there's more things that you got to do and if you're not honest with yourself about that, because you're too hung up on the bullshit of making yourself feel self assured rather than stepping outside your comfort zone and proving yourself what you're actually capable of, you're not going to feel good about yourself. You know, you wanna push that envelope every once in while I'm not. I'm not saying people should injure themselves, but definitely push yourself to the edge.
Yeah, And it's vital as a as a diabetic that you take on that mindset because the more you do, the more you do, the better you feel and the more tighter your control is and the longer your life is, God willing, that's you know, it's kind of how it works. Your organs don't suffer as much damage because your sugars aren't running consistently consistently high because you're able to take them down - and patience!
...patience. What kind of damage does that do if you're, if you're not, if you're not, if you're not burning off that excess sugar with physical activity?
Your organs get beat up, they get beat up when you have too much blood sugar in your in your body, especially in your blood stream. You know things like your kidneys, especially your liver. The organs take a take a kickin' pretty bad. And it's not like "Oh my God, my sugar's 20 on one day and what's gonna happen"? My kidneys. You know, it's not that. It's when you run those numbers consistently over a time period. So you know, I mean, I have days where I wake up and my sugar's 16 and I don't know why I asked my endocrinologist. He's like, sorry, we don't know. Welcome to Type one Diabetes, but but that's
Now how does stress affect you?
Stress is nasty. And stress affects. Um, every diabetic differently. There's good stress. And then there's bad stress, and usually the fight or flight characteristic of the human being causes our sugar to go through the roof because we have to be prepared to fight or flight. So the body prepares you and it dumps a bunch of sugar and where you're concerned, your bodies dealing with that sugar by releasing insulin. Where I'm concerned there is no insulin. So my sugar goes right through the roof. And then there's good stresses, you know, exciting stresses, and they'll sometimes drop your sugar. Um, it's just depends
So what's an example of that?
A good stress?
Oh, uh, a roller coaster.
You know, it's a, for me? I love it.
It's more like a euphoric at that moment
Yeah, it's like euphoric thing you're like you're kind of going whoo hoo
You know, that's exciting. Your heart rates up and, yeah, your sugar drops. Um,
when? When? When your wife wears the exact right pairs of jeans. Same sort of thing.
Good stress. Yeah, it's It's funny, though, because of physiological side of it is really important. But the mental side, the psychological side, is huge. And that's what we're that's what we just talked about, right? Is that I mean, exercising that exercise is just going to fuel your mind. Um, and finding what you love.
The other thing George is, probably, I mean, I don't want I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I would imagine when you were diagnosed you were thrown into chaos because everything you thought was real now didn't exist anymore. Like when you're when you're diagnosed with a disease, and thank God I haven't had the experience. But from what I've witnessed for people who are I'm close to in my life, including you, it's like the rug gets yanked out from underneath them. Right? And so what? What exercise and what a prioritization of physicality can do, is it, It gives you structure and certainty in a domain where you're doing, you know, certain amount of reps for a certain amount of activity and you're keeping track. And you're keeping, uh, maybe a work out log. And you have this this structure and certainty that offsets the chaos that's brought into your life by the disease, and that just has a bit of a mental antidote effect to everything you know, because it's like, OK, now I know I've got some structure and some discipline, so I know I could manage my physicality, which means maybe managing this disease isn't beyond the after all, you know, and I've just seen you take such strong command of that over the years, and I would imagine that started at a pretty young age.
It did, but not like it needed to, right? I went, I went from 14 where Mom and Dad were right there and and making sure everything was good. And when I was 18 in my own, the arse fell out of it. Really. I mean, I didn't take proper care of myself. I was rationing my insulin; not testing my sugars; not exercising. I was on the road, you know, eating at McDonald's at midnight - nothing wrong with McDonald's, but you know, back then there's no insulin pumps or any of that stuff or C. G. M's and, um, but having like I remember when we started going to the gym - this is years ago on the road - that constant, consistent discipline of going did did spill off into the control of my diabetes. I mean, yes, I felt better. So when you feel better, you want to maintain that you want to continue to feel better. So I was able to kind of lean on that that discipline. But a lot of kids nowadays type one diabetic kids, especially, are very disciplined. I've witnessed it. It's it's a different disease than it was 36 years ago when I was diagnosed.
We know more about it. Even if the disease hasn't changed that much. We know more than we did 36 years ago without a doubt.
Yeah, we do, but but it still follows the same principles. You know, you want to eat healthy like everybody - not just a diabetic. You want to exercise - like everyone should - not just a diabetic. Um, and it follows those principles, and the mental health side of it is is vital.
So are you doing... when you when you eat throughout the day, describe describe your breakfast, lunch and dinner, what you typically would would have on any given day,
Any given day, well I'm in training mode right now because we're all stuck home for with Covid.
Nobody go anywhere on. I'm very blessed. I put a little gym in our basement because I know I have to work out. That's just part of my discipline with my diabetes. So I'll get up and, um, I have my oatmeal, my super grain Quaker Oatmeal, the instant stuff. But it's the super grain stuff, and what you think it would do to you is not what it does. It has the opposite effect. It actually helps your body metabolize fat, and it gives you incredible energy so that you can work out and train. And it does not spike my sugar. Um, oatmeal is is huge for for a type one, and I've only learned that over the last few years, really. So I try to try to be disciplined. I have that I have my protein shake, which has zero carb in it because carb is what I'm concerned with when it comes to my sugar going up
So what's in your protein shake?
Just I use the New Zealand New Zealand Natural Whey Isolate? I think it's the only one that doesn't hurt my stomach. Um,
Welcome to be in diabetic too, stomach issues, but that's that stuff is fantastic. There's no spike at all. You mix it with water, you shake it up. You don't put it in a blender. You can drink it like you'd pound a glass of Gatorade. It's it's very thin. That's not you know. You
know why? No fruit. Nothing like that. You don't blend to shake.
No, I don't blend anything. I pound that after my workout. So I have my oatmeal. Then 20 minutes later, I work out and then probably about 20 minutes after my workout because I usually don't want have anything put in my stomach. This is all all congruent with my sugar staying nice and level. Yeah, Cause sometimes when I'm working out, my sugar just goes fumpf! And now and I always carry Gatorade with me So if I have a Gatorade I pound my Gatorade and then my sugar comes back up. But if it all stays normal, that's what I do. And then that's Ah, that's it. Until usually until lunch. We'll have a little bit of Ah, maybe I'll have some crackers. I don't really eat a lot of lunch. I'm too busy. And then supper is my my main meal as most of us.
And what do you have for supper generally, I'm like a perfect dinner for you.
The perfect dinner for me would be a steak or fish. I'm a big steak, fish or chicken. Steak, fish or chicken. Yep. Yeah, and ah, Outside of that, I just I just kind of keep an eye on what I'm eating for carbs so I can tell my pump and then some veggies. Oh yah, always veggies - Always. Yeah. Veggies and salad.
What's your favorite vegetable? I don't know - Carrots?
Carrots and and probably beans. Yeah, beans, peas, carrots. I'm that kind of guy. Yeah, but that's me right? Everyone's different.
You've done a good job man. Yeah, well, listen, I mean, uh, if you if you take a look at how active you are in different domains. Um, you know how much energy you expand, how much you're on the road. Uh, obviously, what you're doing, you're doing something right. So I think it's really great for you to have this podcast to just share information. You get experts on from different, different realms. And, you know, I don't purport myself as a personal trainer, so don't get me wrong. But, you know, I've been ah, I've been in shape for over 30 years and I'm on the road a lot too usually 150 days a year. I'm I'm a big proponent of I use, um, intermittent fasting when I'm on the road. So the way I have weighed eating bad food is just by not eating it all, um, I try and carry around or or buy them when I'm on the road are raw, uh, raw almonds. I'm a big fan almonds. I find that they've got just the right balance of fat, fibre and protein for me uh and they're good healthy snack when you're sort of like in between meals and then just sticking to a lot of meat and veggies on the road. I love that I love having a protein shake, but you're right. You gotta watch some of those proteins. Some of those are just processed in a manner that just don't jive with my digestion system. I have to be very careful when I'm on the road that not giving people too much information. But I can't. It's not always good. So you gotta be really cautious about that. And then do you take your fish oils and stuff too? What's your supplement, regime like? Yes Omega-3.
I don't take much in the way of supplements. I take Omega-3 and, um and that's pretty much it. That's it with I mean, yeah, I'm getting minerals and stuff in the pro with the New Zealand Isolate for sure. They've got some stuff in there. It's not just protein, but right. Yeah, that's my my go to is my Omega-3. That's it. Fish oil.
That's great man.
That's what they used to give kids.
Whatever you're doing, you're doing it well. (Cod Liver Oil) You're in the best shape of your life.
What are you weighing these days?
I don't even know anymore. I gave up weighing, and I'm probably now I'm probably about 225. I was up to 231 muscled up, but I leaned down a bit because I felt I was carrying a little too much weight. And so I just what I did was I, um, it's really weird. I ran every morning. Not hard, just like, you know, whatever you would call it. Fast jog. Yeah, 20 minutes, 22 minutes - straight. And I didn't just do that out of the gate. I ran, and then I walked - I ran and I walked. And then and I did that for two weeks straight on top of my normal workouts. I just added that in in the morning when I first got up. Wow. Just I lost. I cut pretty fast yet. Um, but that's I think that's
It's amazing the ah - it's amazing how the um, how you can have ah, such a great effect on your physicality, just by integrating something like that that's like literally 20 minutes, which, you know, is not a lot of time. When you add that up week over, week over week, it starts to really, um uh, put you in a calorie deficit situation, especially given your not eating a lot of food. You're lifting weights really hard. I've seen you work out. So you know, it's funny how just a little adjustment like that can make such a huge difference in a relatively short amount of time.
It does and I encourage people to go on YouTube and research as much as they can go to your you know, then go to your instagram page and see the workouts you're doing. But but constantly be be learning new ideas doesn't mean they're all gonna work. But if you're engaged that way, it will keep you engaged into exercise, right? That's the other trick for me. If I find new stuff like, Oh, I'm gonna try a bench, press this way, or I'm gonna try chin ups this way. Just that little bit of different training, just the thought of training differently gets me excited to go back to the gym and see what that's like trying this or trying that, um, that's another another trick for me, but ah, it's been great, brother, thanks so much for joining us here and man there's lots of information for people to get through on this one, that's a good thing - they can replay it. They can hit replay and kind of go through it and take notes because I'm gonna want to when I listen to this.
Listen, man, I really appreciate all the inspiration you're putting out there in the world through your music, through this podcast, doing everything you can to make the world a better place through your art and through your knowledge. So God bless you for that brother.
You too. thanks buddy.
Thanks for having me on.
You bet. Take care and talk to you soon.
You too. See yah.
Well, a big big thanks to Jim. That was awesome, man. I learned a lot and I didn't know he was going to turn it around on me and asked a bunch of questions. That was a lot of fun. Thanks so much everyone for tuning into "Life as a Diabetic - The Highs and Lows". I'm George Canyon and we look forward to being with you again next week for Episode seven. God bless everyone. See you soon.