I’m a little early for a health accountability update, but I’ve have a couple of things of interest come up lately. This is convenient because I’m a little too mentally exhausted to write anything terribly ambitious today.
Neat Topic #1 – Bloodwork!
Last week, I went to my doctor for my annual physical, and of course got the full complement of bloodwork that they like to do when both of your parents are diabetic and your father had his first heart attack in his early 50’s. Now, I am very fortunate because despite being overweight for ages and ages, my bloodwork has always been quite good. My blood sugar is typically in the 80s, and my total cholesterol has always been below 200. The only thing my doctor has complained about (other than my Vitamin D levels which are a whole different post) is my LDL cholesterol, which was 113 last year. They like that number to be under 100, especially with my family history.
My blood work was once again quite good …. here are some highlights since my last round of labs in September 2012
- Weight – down 18 pounds per the doctor’s scale
- Glucose – down 5, from 87 to 82
- Total Cholesterol – down 23 points, from 178 to 155
- LDL Cholesterol – down 12 points, from 113 to 101
- Triglycerides, down – down 42 points, from 110 to 68
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read these results, particularly the triglyceride result. See, these numbers are not from my *first* year of exercising and eating better – I have been at that for over 3 years! I just wouldn’t expect that much improvement in just 7 months when I’ve already been at it so long.
I told one of my good friends about this, and after offering their congratulations they asked me what I thought caused such a drop, since I’ve been eating fairly well for a long time. It took me no time to answer.
For all my assertions that I believe we can eat whatever we want in moderation, my food intake since early December had a few significant shifts. I am now eating about 80-90% paleo. I’m not super strict in that I still have an average of one serving of grain and one serving of dairy per day, and I haven’t gone so strict that I’m making my own condiments, but the first couple years of this health journey I definitely ate more grains. Also, I have reduced the amount of fruits I eat in favor of more vegetables. I used to not eat salads much because I didn’t want to buy all the stuff to make them and have things spoil in my fridge, but the last several months I’ve been just hitting the grocery store salad bar so I can have salads and not waste.
I’m pretty sure Coaches Amanda and Brian will be quite pleased when they hear about these numbers – mostly because they spent a lonnnng time trying to convince me to eat more like this and I didn’t want to. 🙂
Neat Topic #2 – 8 Week Physique, Take 2
Back in February, I elected to sign up for an 8 week challenge at my gym, which I outlined in a previous Health Accountability Update here. With one thing and another going on in my life (work/family/friends/injury/other types of stress, plus some travel), I ended up not officially completing the challenge because I wasn’t able to meet the requirement to work out 3x per week. I did decide to continue my weigh-ins, though, because it gave me a short appointment with Coach Amanda each week to talk about how things are going and what I was going to do to keep things up as much as possible.
On the one hand, it’s very disappointing that I didn’t officially complete the challenge, but I am pretty proud of a few things, especially given the injury and the other stress I was under.
a) I did lose weight! My final weigh-in only reflected a couple of pounds of loss because I weighed in after a Saturday night out that involved a couple of cocktails – but the number was lower!
b) My ability to eat the right amount of good food even when I am not logging food consistently (which was the case for about 2.5 of the 8 weeks) is improving. This makes me very hopeful that I will have the skills to MAINTAIN my weight when I hit my eventual goal.
c) I didn’t completely fall apart and quit the challenge – I still went to weigh in, I still acted like I was on it as much as I could. Most others in my situation would just quit entirely and might even GAIN weight instead of lose.
So, all in all, it wasn’t what I hoped it would be but it also wasn’t a total loss. And the best part is that there is another 8 week challenge that starts this week, so I get to try it again with the same great coach and a few lessons learned under my belt.
Vive la 8 Week Physique!