Originally written on January 6, 2016 on my former Blogger account. I am transitioning all blogs onto my website now.
It has literally been years since my last post on this neglected blog. This is actually one of the things I wish to address this year, I have a lot going on in my head and I've just been storing it instead of giving it a platform. Much has happened, some bad, mostly good. Fatherhood has taken up a lot of my time but I have no complaints. It's the most rewarding thing I have ever done and Julian is doing beautifully. We are good parents and we're learning to be better ones every day. He's at daycare right now and I have some precious alone time to write. Here's what's on my mind:
I lost 50 lbs in 6 months. Since then I have hovered around 190 to 185 comfortably. I've never been this healthy or happy with my physical well being in my life. I have become an avid cyclist and try to get out every weekend. I never saw myself living this way or being a "health nut" as Monica calls me. The reasons I got as big as 235 (again, mind you. I was as big as 245 in my 20's but that's another story) were the usual ones. Busy life, work. Being a parent and that first year of sleep deprivation and trauma. That first picture was at Julian's first birthday party. His first year of life is what I call "the lasagna year" What we ate was primarily frozen food that had to be thawed and delivered loads of calories in short order. I was not happy having my picture taken. My reaction to my self image was "I don't care. Who am I trying to impress?" These were just excuses that I gave myself, I realize now. I knew I could do better but was not willing to make the lifestyle changes necessary to positively make a change.
Then, the doctors visit. This was in November around his first birthday.
I was surprised to find this audio file on my computer yesterday. I recorded a very important 5 minutes, it was just to make sure I got all the information correct, but it wound up being the crucial moment where I knew I had to make a change. Please excuse my boy from interrupting, he had a lot to say about my health too.
To summarize and if you choose not to see my awesome video skills, my cholesterol was out of control. My triglycerides were at 415! They didn't even know how much LDL (bad cholesterol) I had. She had prescribed me cholesterol medicine to bring it down. You can hear my disappointment when I find out that I had to be prescribed medicine for the first time in my life. What really struck home was when she said, "We want dad to stick around." To my son. She was right, I had to fix this. If not for me, then for him.
Everyone I spoke to told me not to take the medication. That the side effects were not worth the benefits. I was on the fence. The way I saw it I had four options:
- Don't change my habits and don't take the medication. Absolutely foolish. This is the choice of the idiot. The guy who's neighbor is saying "Your house is on fire! Run" and you sit there and just stare, doing nothing. Not a real option.
- Don't change my habits and take the medication. Foolish once again. Hippocrates said "let thy food be thy medicine" I believe that the human body can heal itself from many illnesses with the correct fuel. I also think that many, many people do the 2nd option. Too many, in fact.
- Change my habits and take the medication. Dr's advice. Seems like the right idea, or I could...
- Change my habits and not take the medication. Daring, a little risky. I like the idea of eating healthy beating out medication in instances like this. This was an interesting experiment.
I was in line at CVS when I handed my prescription to the clerk at the drive through window. She came back with the total. "$125.00 for the medication" I thought about it. "No thanks" and I drove off. Option 4 it was! My wife later told me that I could have had a copay instead if I gave them my insurance card, but I was already motivated to fix this on my own.
Right now it's time for my lunch, wild caught salmon cooked in grass fed butter seasoned with sea salt and a whole avocado. I will continue this story in my next post. The steps in my journey and how my doctor was pretty much right.
But a little wrong...