After my last post, I was all pumped up to write the next, revealing tips and advice on how I lost a bunch of weight when I was younger, and how I have managed to maintain my good health since then.
I started the draft of the post, doing my outline and taking notes, thinking of what a great piece of writing it would be, and how it could help. On the Friday before Columbus Day, I received a mail packet from my physician with the results of a recent blood test.
Briefly, some of my test results were less than optimal. My blood glucose levels were on the high side, but that wasn’t the number that set off the alarms. I had a triglyceride reading of 472. Above 500 is something my doctor refers to as “dangerously high”.
To say I was bummed by this would be an understatement. I was shocked, frankly. I thought I was living the right kind of life, that would keep me healthy. But, I wasn’t really living it at all. I definitely got more than a little mad at myself for this. And my ambition to write the next post was a little deflated.
For those that are unfamiliar with triglycerides, just think “fatty acids in your blood”. An overabundance of them puts you at risk for heart disease. Factors like a diet excessive in carbohydrates and alcohol use can raise your triglyceride level.
Apparently, the “party all weekend” mentality has caught up with me.
To lower these numbers, my doctor wanted to put me on a low dose prescription medication. I think I’m going to hold off on that for now, and try lifestyle change instead. Modifying my diet, as well as stepping it up with daily exercise.
After some consideration, I’ve decided to go through with the original post idea (it was meant to be part two of this previous post), although part of me feels that I’m obviously not the expert on living a healthy life. But, I have lost a ton of weight before, and I can keep this info in front of my face and make myself healthier by sharing with others. A win-win.
I don’t have a problem going this route now, as starting to change my eating and activity habits seems to be working for me. Last week, I weighed in a 206.5 lbs. This week I’m at 203.
Here’s my two cents on what helped me lose weight in the past, and what will hopefully get me back to better health now:
- Eat healthy foods that you actually enjoy eating.
- For me, this includes fruits like apples and bananas, eggs, chicken breast, turkey, and green veggies cooked with garlic and olive oil.
- Go for natural foods every time, not stuff in a box.
- Just because the box has words like “lean” and “healthy” on it doesn’t make it so
- In other words, be wary of food marketing. Educate yourself.
- Eat only pastas that end in the letter “i”
- Exercise. Your first move: push the plate away.
- Moderation, in all things, is the key.
- Avoid drive-through windows like the poison center they are.
- If you must do the drive-through, get the salad.
- Salads don’t mean “boring eating”. You can add to them with lean proteins, nuts, and berries to make them filling and tasty. Just no fatty dressings.
- Track your meals for a week. You might be surprised what you put in your body.
- Pick a “cheat day”. Mine is Sunday.
- On that day, have yourself some pizza and ice cream.
- Just don’t eat a whole pizza and a gallon of ice cream.
- Use the stairs. Leave the elevators for the elderly and the handicapped.
- Exercise. Try walking. You have all the equipment you need.
- Eat sweet potatoes instead of white.
- By the way, have I mentioned fruits and veggies?
- I’ve cut just about all sugar out of my diet. You can reduce it too.
- I’ve eliminated white flour. This is poison too. Whole grains only.
- Ask yourself: Would a caveman have eaten this?
- Cavemen ate meat they killed and plants that grew on trees or in the ground. They didn’t have Pringles and Doritos back then.
- Consume alcohol moderately, or not at all. Red wine is a good choice if you must.
- Exercise. My doctor’s letter practically screamed the word “aerobic” at me. I’m running now. For my life.
Bonus Tip: Exercise some more. Make it fun! Since I’ve gotten those test results, I’ve walked, jogged, sprinted with my dog, played touch football with my son and his friend, did jumping jacks, and calisthenics. I jumped rope last night for the first time in years. Wanna sweat? Try jumping rope for 15 or 20 minutes. I had a blast!
What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments, I can use all the help I can get!