Friday, March 30, 2007

After the Doctor...

I had a week to think and act. I knew how to start the diet and did immediately. I started to walk Molly (my Australian Shepard dog) faster and faster during that week.

I also entered a blue funk. Heaven help those around me and close to me. Even though it wasn't their fault, they had to deal with me.

There were cookies that first night and I blew up at the lack of perceived support for me. It was extremely selfish of me. I knew that I had to get my head on straight and just do it.

I sat down to the computer and wrote an spreadsheet program to track the information for my diet. It tracked what the food was as well as salt, fat, carbohydrate and protein. It was somewhat cumbersome, but did the job. It required me to look at my diet.

I also tracked the exercise according to what the activity was and how long I did and approximated the calorie usage.

I dragged the old treadmill out of storage and set it up.

I was starting to prepare to change my life.

I thought I was ready for the next medical visit...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Test Results

I went back to my new Doctor in a week. The news was not good. My natural waist line was 42" in girth. Cholesterol was at 275. Blood fat was high. I was definitely pre-diabetic.

I was diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome. The syndrome affects mostly older individuals. What is it though?

The metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person. They include:
· Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen)
· Atherogenic dyslipidemia (blood fat disorders — high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol — that foster plaque buildups in artery walls)
· Elevated blood pressure
· Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can’t properly use insulin or blood sugar)
· Prothrombotic state (e.g., high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor–1 in the blood)
· Proinflammatory state (e.g., elevated C-reactive protein in the blood)
I must admit that I was definitely affected by most of the items on the above list.

The Doctor looked at me after discussing the results and asked me if I was ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle. I told him that I was.

He told me that he was going to put me on a diet. I needed to improve my numbers. I would need to start an exercise regimen. It came down to this. An 1800 hundred calorie diet - Low in fat, low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and protein. Lots of salad and fresh vegetables. He suggested 2 books, "The South Beach Diet" and "The Glycemic Index."

He asked what I do currently for exercise. I knew that I went to work and sat in front of a computer all day long. I also watched TV in the evening. I told him that. He suggested walking, then go faster and jog. Work up to a run. The Doctor told me that I needed 1 hour of vigorous exercise each and every day.

We set an appointment to meet with the Physician's Assistant to aid in understanding the need for exercise and to understand the diet.

My evolution began that day...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The madness starts...

I thought about my situation. My old Doctor was not pushing me to improve. My family was concerned but not my Doctor. I made the decision to change Doctors. Even though the Cardiologist that was conducting the study said that I could see him, he was on the wrong side of town and could only see me in the afternoon.

I asked friends and neighbors about their Doctors. I called and asked a few Doctor offices some questions. I decided on a Doctor, called and made an appointment.

I showed up on the day designated. I weighed 260 pounds. I saw the Doctor. It was the usual first visit. I was examined. It was determined that I would get some tests and see the Doctor again next week. On the way out, it stopped at a lab for a blood test.

I did not know what to expect, but I assumed I was in for a rough ride.

Next time? What the tests showed...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How this madness got started...

I have never been a real athlete. Until recently.

I was content in my life at one time. Active enough, I thought. Exercise is for someone else.

I subscribed to a poll service. They send me polls to take. I answer the questions and get points.

One poll asked about heart health. I knew I had high blood pressure (at times). I answered the poll questions. I was offered an opportunity to participate in a study. I didn't qualify for the study but I learned a lot about my health status. I definitely needed help to control my blood pressure.

My family had been pushing for me to get a check up so I did. That is when it all started.

More next time...