Monday, June 1, 2009

My Story Part I

I graduated from high school standing at just under 6'2" tall, weighing a whopping 105 lbs. I was the proverbial bean poll, and as a result I could eat anything I wanted. And routinely did.

High-fat, high carbs was the order of the day. A typical day of meals would go something like this:

-Coffee for breakfast, occasionally a big southern breakfast (eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy) accompanied my breakfast coffee. Also, I would routinely eat 2-8 (yes EIGHT) donuts.
-Lunch usually consisted of high fat, high carb fast-food. I had no preference to the chain, but you could count on a healthy calorie count and fully sweetened (not diet) soda.
-Dinner sometimes was eaten at home prepared by mom, but more often was out and sometimes fell into the same category as lunch.
-Snacks were all day, every day. Chips, popcorn, sweets, and LOTS of soda (not diet). I also drank a lot of kool-aid.

At nearly 6'2" and weight steadily increasing (140 lbs by age 21), I still could eat pretty much anything. My metabolism was still in high gear, but my consumption was over the top even for someone as active as I was. And unhealthy too.

By 26 I started to get out of shape and develop a little bit of a weight problem. My activity level had dropped with age as I wasn't participating in as many pick-up sports. I was up to 180 lbs, and needed a change. I began to work-out and eat more healthy, but I still pretty much ate anything I wanted. I just got smarter about including fruits and vegetables into my diet.

This continued until I was the age of 35. Married with one child, I finally got a physical, and low and behold I had high triglycerides. (I had always had low HDL, but with my metabolism and body weight overall cholesterol was good.)

I instituted several changes:

-Skim milk instead of whole milk
-Diet soda and more water instead of regular soda
-Less beef, more venison, chicken and turkey
-More whole-grain breads and pastas
-More olive oil and other sources of Omega 3s
-Omega 3 rich butter substitute (Olivio, etc) in place of real butter
-Introduced more whole grain cereal as well as fruit into my diet
-Lots of oatmeal

We already were eating lots of vegetables so I didn't need to add more into my diet.

Instituting these changes, and getting more exercise, I was able to raise my HDLs (though they were still low), and lower my triglycerides. I thus avoided the doctor's recommendation to take the drug Tricor, which was my whole motivation. I went from weighing 196 lbs to 165 lbs in the process.

The amount of information I learned about diet and nutrition during that time was incredible. I was amazed at how ignorant I had been related to food and nutrients. And I was even more surprised at how ignorant those around me were in relation to those topics.

Part II soon.............

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