Friday, August 3, 2012

What A Difference A Year Makes

Last year in Winter I had my annual physical.

Among the numbers staring me grimly in the face were my weight, my blood pressure, my cholesterol numbers (both HDL and LDL), my triglycerides, and my A1C (measure of glucose in blood for determining diabetes).

My weight was 265/270 lbs.

My blood pressure was 203/131.

My total cholesterol last year was 240 (HDL: 34).

My triglycerides were above 170.

My A1C level was 5.9 (borderline diabetic).

It took some minor tweaking over the course of a year and a half.

This Monday past I had another physical with a complete blood series.

This year, the numbers look a lot better:

Weight: 235 (and dropping) lbs.

Blood pressure: 139/85.

Cholesterol: 198 (HDL: 45).

Triglycerides: 157.

A1C: 5.4 (normal range).

The secret? Initially, medicine to bring down my blood pressure. In January I changed how I eat. Instead of three big meals a day, I began eating five to six smaller meals per day and incorporating more fresh fruit, low fat yogurt, and backing off red meat.

I still have red meat, but only once a week or so.

For example, Christine and I split a 3 pound Porterhouse steak last night. We didn't eat the whole thing in one sitting. I trimmed the "tail" off and chopped it up for the dogs. That was about 12 ounces of meat on it's own. We each had about 7 ounces, with 1/2 baked sweet potato, and a steamed crown of broccoli.

There was a time I could have put the whole steak down by myself.

Not any more. It's just not worth it.

Over the last two weeks I've also given up vodka. Too many empty calories, too much impact on blood sugar, not enough happy memories.

My target weight for this year is somewhere between 215 and 220 pounds.

That would put me at my weight in 1986.

My overall weight plan will hopefully get me back down to between 200 and 205.

That would put me at my weight in college (1979-83).

It seems doable.

Now I just have to go out and get a smaller belt, smaller shorts, and a smaller swimsuit.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

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