Friday, 3 February 2012

Hey, Conventional Wisdom: Eat It!

I used to have a doctor with the bedside manner of a seedy roadside-bar comedian.

"Silk or satin?" he says to me one day.


"It's the question your wife is going to have to answer about your coffin if you don't get things together soon."

Shortly thereafter I left the office with a high-blood pressure medication and a high cholesterol drug. Well crap.

Fast-forward to yesterday. My blood cholesterol panel never got really good despite some pitiful efforts at CW eating (but I must admit no exercise). I began a Primal eating regimen and exercise program in the first week of December. So yesterday morning, Feb 2nd, I got my latest blood work results:

                                      25JUN10         24FEB11           1FEB12
Total Cholesterol                252                   206 (-46)         162 (-44)
HDL                                   33                      34  (+1)            34
LDL                                   176                   138  (-38)        113 (-25)
Triglycerides                       243                   191  (-52)        102 (-89)
Fasting glucose                    --                     116                    88 (-28)

I changed what I had been doing for years 7 weeks before this test

Oh, and it gets better. You may remember that I entered Yokota's Biggest Loser event since I was already making these sweeping changes to my life. Well I had my first weigh-in today:

                                    2NOV11     5JAN12*          3FEB12                     
Waist @ hip crest, inches      --              50.6               49.5 (-1.1)
Weight, pounds                  272          267.4 (-4.6)    254.8 (-12.6) <~~~~~ DUDE!!!!!
Body fat, %                        --               37.3               36.4 (-0.9)
BMI                                   --               40.1               38.6 (-1.5)

*Yokota's Biggest Loser Challenge starting weight

Again, I changed what I had been doing for years 7 weeks before this weigh-in. So what am I doing?

I eat BACON and make my REAL EGG omelets with BUTTER and on occasion I have a cup of WHOLE MILK and I use COCONUT OIL which is super-high in SATURATED FAT. I drizzle MACADAMIA OIL on my salads and have regular handfuls of MACADAMIA, ALMOND, SUNFLOWER, PUMPKIN, WALNUT and CASHEW nuts. I eat HARD BOILED EGGS wrapped in PORK SAUSAGE and BACON for breakfast. I have THAI CHICKEN SOUP made with COCONUT MILK for supper. I've eaten more BROCCOLI, BELL PEPPERS, CAULIFLOWER, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, ROMAIN LETTUCE, SPINACH, KALE, MUSHROOMS, SHALLOTS, ONIONS, GARLIC, CABBAGE and AVOCADOS in 7 weeks than I have in my entire life. I make my own GUACAMOLE every week. I put real freaking CREAM in my occasional cup of coffee!

I do SIT-UPS (I originally could not do a single one, now I do them in sets). I do PUSH-UPS (not regulation yet, but have gone from leaning on a wall to leaning on a couch and I make gains every week). I do SQUATS (and no longer hold onto a chair for support). I do KNEE-PLANKS (and have gone from seconds just barely into the double-digits to closing in on two minutes). I do this three times a week.

I run. Let me repeat that: I RUN! 7 weeks ago I ran for less than 30 seconds before I was gasping for air. Now I'm on week 3 of the Couch to 5K app. It's not pretty and I took 3 weeks to confidently perform the first week and I take 2 weeks to do each new milestone. But I can now run for over 3 minutes at a time and do that multiple times in a row. I don't LIKE running, but I like OWNING each segment. Hell, I spent money on running shoes. I do this three times a week.

I do hard things. And when those things get easy, I do something harder.

What DON'T I do?

I don't eat SUGAR, FLOUR, GRAINS, NOODLES, BREAD, MARGARINE, ICE CREAM, VEGETABLE OILS, BEANS/LEGUMES including PEANUTS or THINGS THAT CONTAIN THEM! I don't drink FRUIT JUICE, BEER, SODA or DIET SODA. I don't eat PROCESSED FOODS if I can help it. I don't eat FAST FOOD if I can help it (but still follow my guidelines as closely as I can when I have to). I DON'T SHOP FROM THE AISLES in the middle of the grocery store except for those items that promote my lifestyle (I shop around the edges mostly). I don't think of buying a new item WITHOUT READING THE LABEL. I ignore the standard FOOD PYRAMID, MY PLATE and RDA %.  I pretty much don't eat crap food anymore.

That's how I feel about Conventional Wisdom.

I don't blindly follow CONVENTIONAL WISDOM. I don't attend a social function WITHOUT EATING "MY WAY" before leaving the house. I have learned to liberally use the phrase NO THANK YOU. I don't spend HOURS working some CARDIO program to "burn calories". I don't take CRAZY SUPPLEMENTS or outlandish FAT BURNING PILLS. I don't put FUNNY DROPS in my water. I don't exercise because I HAVE TO or because someone TOLD ME TO. I exercise because I UNDERSTAND that it will BENEFIT ME and allow me a longer time to yell at kids who walk on my lawn. I eat the way I do because I understand that CONTROLLING MY INSULIN LEVEL is a VERY BIG DEAL and A DIRECT RESULT OF THE CHOICES I MAKE EVERY TIME SOMETHING GOES INTO MY GAPING MAW.

I EXERCISE RADICAL RESTRAINT on a daily basis (thanks for that Dean!). It is a LEARNED SKILL. I FAILED at many early attempts but I KEPT TRYING. I can now walk past plates of hors-d'vours or jalapeno poppers or petit fours or <gasp> glazed doughnuts unscathed. I'll say it again:  

EXERCISING RADICAL RESTRAINT is a LEARNED SKILL. Which means you can learn it!

If you don't try to figure that out, you'll never figure it out. I also learned that if I do eat something decadent that a) I'll feel like a steamy pile of poo later on, and b) the world will keep right on spinning. Meaning that I didn't BECOME A FAILURE, it means that I HAD (past tense) a failure. Get back on the flipping horse and continue the race!

Stepping off my soap box...

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