Photo courtesy of holistichealthcarecenters.com
THE STATE OF MY WELL-BEING (at least physical, anyway) SINCE MY HEALTH SCARE IN 2014
It’s been four years since I visited the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente in West Los Angeles with the right side of my head feeling like a rubber ball being squeezed and not having much feeling in the side and bottom of my right hand.
Four years since I was told that a stroke may be imminent, my blood pressure being 300/200 as I was put on an IV with my arm being squeezed every 15 minutes to monitor any progress.
Four years since that stroke scare resolved me to change the way I took care of myself once and for all.
For anywhere from four to six days a week since, I exercised like crazy, doing cardio and designating Wednesdays as my “Weight Day”, when I hit the Nautilus machine in the downstairs gym at the clubhouse in my townhouse complex.
I also said goodbye to goodies like pizza, hot dogs, cold cuts, burgers and other red meats as well as to places like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell.
Not to mention sweet goodies like donuts and candy except for dark chocolate, even though I allow myself a little indulging on holidays like Halloween (which is today) and Christmas.
And taking two types of blood pressure medicine and a cholesterol pill, as my levels were high there, too – three medications in all.
Make no mistake, that health scare motivated me for one simple reason:
I didn’t want to die.
I have been eating more of this stuff the past four years. Photo courtesy of 635.gtbank.com
OK, fast forward to 2018 – yesterday to be precise…
After getting some blood tests done the week before, I went to my doctor’s appointment at Kaiser to follow things up and to get a flu shot and a needed tetanus shot, as it had been a decade since the last one.
I had gotten my blood test results back a few days earlier, and they looked good, so it wasn’t like I felt I was walking to a diagnosis of doom and gloom.
The first thing the nurse did was weigh me, and after the four years of hard work in trying to improve my cardiovascular health;
Well, I’ll put it like this…
- My weight on October 18, 2014: 330 POUNDS
- My weight on October 30, 2018: 281 POUNDS
I had lost nearly fifty pounds in the four years that I have partaking in my health endeavors!
And I was fervently hoping and praying the previous night that my weight would be at under 300, because I wasn’t 100% sure!
When the nurse checked my blood pressure, well…
- My blood pressure on October 14, 2014: 300/200
- My blood pressure on October 30, 2018: 112/69
It just goes to show that the saying “Hard Work Pays Off” isn’t a lie!
The doctor and I chatted about my progress, I got a prostate exam (all clear there, too, which is good because my grandfather and my uncle died of prostate cancer) and my flu and tetanus shots, and went home.
The good news about my weight and my health have encourage and motivated me to keep going; today is my “Weight Day” as well as my stair master day, where I spend nearly a half-hour on that machine.
What has most motivated me to keep going in this health progress, as much as anything else if not more, are the pictures of me on Facebook taken during 2014 and before, where I look like Fat Albert, with my face all puffy like some king of obese monster.
My one predominant thought whenever I see shots of me during those days…
A chicken and veggie bowl (which is my main choice) from Flame Broiler, a place that has helped me in my quest to get healthier and which I recommend. Photo courtesy of secretmenus.com
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not my intention for anyone to think of me as some kind of zealous health nut – I still partake in the occasional bag of potato chips, though I try to choose the lower sodium kind.
And whenever I see any ads from places like Tommy’s or In-And-Out, even though I gave up red meat, my mouth waters.
What has helped me is substitution, which I think is a personal key…
- Sparking water – I prefer black cherry because it helps with gout prevention – instead of sodas
- Fat free, sugar-free organic cookies (once in a while) instead of the regular, Chips Ahoy kind
- Low sugar protein bars instead of the regular Snickers/Reese’s/Three Musketeers kind
- Making sure I have some kind of vegetables every day, because I didn’t before.
- Choosing to eat at places like Subway, El Pollo Loco and Flame Broiler, places that have healthy, lower sodium options rather than the Jack In The Box/KFC places
As for future goals, I’d like for my weight to ultimately be in the 250s to 260s pound range.
And for my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels to not get as high as they were before I partook in this health and fitness program of mine.
I suppose there’s not much left to say, except to hold good thoughts and prayers for me.
And by the way, before I forget…
Being that today is All Hallows Eve, you know I had to say that.
And yes, I’ll probably have a few of those fun size candies; I can’t lie there.
Though I don’t plan to have too many…
The fitness room that I work out in every week looks sort of like this, though it’s like a sweat box for much of the year and I look like I swan in my workout clothes afterwards. Photo courtesy of endofthreefitness.com