Friday, January 23, 2009

Good Health News

A few months ago, I posted about my health. I talked about how much I like my new doctor and then about how much my new doctor scared me by checking my blood-triglyceride levels.

Back in mid-October, I weighed 224 lbs. (I'm 6 feet tall) and my triglycerides were at 310. Thanks to the 'guy sheet' that my doctor gave me and to the fact that I actually followed the suggestions I now weigh 194 lbs. and my triglyceride level is 130.

Here's how I did it:

  • I cut out almost all sweets. I indulged slightly during the holidays but even then I held myself to a bite of something here and there or a single pastry after a meal. I used to eat a lot of ice cream.
  • I replaced my two butter-covered bagels per day with two pieces of fruit. Most days, only a single apple.
  • I cut fried food completely out of my diet. I may have some fried fish again at some point but after several weeks of being on that wagon I find I don't crave it anymore.
  • I severely reduced the number of eggs I eat per week even though I'm not convinced that they are bad for me. There's a lot of conflicting information on that.
  • I'm eating a lot more salmon and other fatty fish along with turkey and chicken instead of beef or pork. Good news: I really like salmon. I haven't cut the other meats out of my diet but I have seriously reduced the amounts I eat.
  • I avoid avacadoes and olives. Who knew?
  • I cut the amount of food I eat in a day by one-half to two-thirds. This means almost no snacking and smaller portion sizes at meals. That's been the hardest part. I have had to redefine the word 'hungry'. Usually, when I think I need food, I'm just bored.
  • I have stopped putting sugar in my coffee and, for the most part, don't even use milk or cream.
  • I walk 30 minutes a day at a pretty fast clip. The wicked-awesome pedometer that Perky gave me for Christmas makes it even more fun.

All this has led to a loss of 30 pounds and triglycerides in the normal range. I look better, I have more energy, I sleep better, and I'm generally happier. If that's not incentive to keep up with this, I don't know what is. Those are some pretty radical changes but I think that merely being aware of what I'm putting into my body has been the biggest factor. I have a better idea of what to look for on nutrition labels.

The encouragement I've gotten from everyone I've told is a strong motivator, too. One of my co-workers noticed that I'm thinner and my doctor was exceptionally pleased even before my new numbers were in. Not to mention my mother and wife. Thanks!

My plan is to lose around ten more pounds but, really, I'm more concerned with my cholesterol levels than I am with how I look.

I also have the timing of these results to thank for my uncharacteristic determination to become healthier. My wife and son have been going to the incredible community center across from B's school for several months. Once I realized I needed to exercize, I began joining them there. It removes the bad-weather excuse from my arsenal of reasons why I can't get out and walk. Also, the sense of community I get from the other people who are working out pushes me to do better.

The one drawback is that I now have to get new pants. I look like MC Hammer.
. .

9 comments:

Joy said...

Congratulations!! This is wonderful! I'm proud of you and inspired by you, too! :-)

Perky Skeptic said...

Mrrrrraow! :) :) :)

David Dust said...

I know we've never been formally introduced, but my name is David and I'm pretty much your Cousin. Well, not really, but I call your Mother my Auntie Flame. It's kind of a long story ...

Anywhoo - one of the things that your Mother and I obsess about on our blogs is health/weight/etc. Congratulations on your success.

So the next time I walk past McDonald's and crave a Big Mac, I need to remind myself that if my Cousin can lose 30 lbs, so can I!

:)

David Dust AKA "Cuz"

Joy said...

Love your comment, David! I've told Brian about you, and he's been to your blog, I think. Have you, Brian?

ell said...

Congratulations! Being a former nurse, I'm always happy to hear people's success stories about attaining a healthier lifestyle.

I've also come via your mom's blog and heard so much about you. All good, of course. ;)

:-)

Vaklam said...

Welcome, David and Ell! Thanks for the kudos and if I can help a cousin out with all this, that makes it even better.

Also to Perky: Ahem. Yes. Mrrrrraow.

Bob said...

Hello Brian,
I'm Bob, and I've visited your Mom, CliffieJoy's blog on a regular basis.
My partner has a high triglyceride count, and he has added oatmeal to his breakfats, sprinkled with flaw seeds, which are very good for him
Just a thought.

Peace
Bob

Bob said...

And by flaw seeds, of course I meant FLAX seeds.
Gosh dern keyboard!

Vaklam said...

Hey, Bob!

Thanks for the tip. I'll try that.