On September 1 2012, I made big changes to how I eat. I don’t eat meat now, or dairy, I don’t use oils. Everything we eat is made by my wife. I quit eating processed foods. We were already buying organic whenever possible, but we’ve stepped it up more. Am I a Vegetarian? Not in the political sense. I quit eating meat, chicken, fish, anything with a mother or a face because I believe it’s bad for me.
I’ve had a physical each year for the past 5 years or so. Here’s the numbers:
1. 7-18-05, Cholesterol, Serum = 247, HDL Cholesterol = 61, LDL = 169, Triglycerides = 87
2. 5-2-06, Cholesterol, Serum = 221, HDL Cholesterol = 64, LDL = 169, Triglycerides = 130
3. 11-17-08, Cholesterol, Serum = 180, HDL Cholesterol = 62, LDL = 101, Triglycerides = 121
4. 11-25-09, Cholesterol, Serum = 209, HDL Cholesterol = 61, LDL = 122, Triglycerides = 121
So as you can see, my numbers weren’t alarming. Or as my doctor told me today, “Not so high that I’d put you on something”. But then again, not the numbers we know to be healthy.
During this time I was still eating the old way. I’d make a few changes now and then, get “healthier”, which for me meant eating organic burgers and drinking skim milk. My weight would fluctuate between 215ish to 208. I’m 52, 6’2″. We’ve always ate “healthy”, or should I say what advertising has convinced us — as eating healthy.
On 9-1-2011 I had my bloodwork done: Cholesterol, Serum = 209, HDL Cholesterol = 66, LDL = 122, Triglycerides = 78
I can’t recall my exact weight, but I’d guess it was 208 to 210.
On 1-24-12, after 5 months** of living this way, here are the numbers:
Drum roll… Cholesterol, Serum = 171, HDL Cholesterol = 61 (it went down, which I don’t understand. Progress, not perfection), LDL = 89, Triglycerides = 106
*Progress not perfection. Eh, I had some binge eating over the holidays — candy for Halloween, turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving, ham at xmas. But the stuffing was organic the turkey was a fancy turkey from Vitamin Cottage. The ham was organic something or other. So that helps, right? Did I mention my wife’s fudge? Throw in a few slices of pizza at the bowling alley. But even so, I was still 90% on.
But even so, my friends look at the way I eat as radical. Aside from the binge time over the holidays, I’m back on; no dairy, no meat, no oil, nada. All of what we eat comes from recipes from here, or something my wife came up with on her own from reading the books. My Vitamin Cottage bill has gone way up — and that’s a good thing!
No doubt about it, I’m healthier than ever. I feel great, I’m hiking Highland Bowl better than ever. Looking at the numbers, I’m happy. But I can do better and I’m working on it. I’ve still got some weaknesses, but I’ve made huge strides. One day at a time. But I love living this way and I’m not going back. I have so many reasons to live this way and I enjoy being different. It fits well with me.
Changing my life to eat this way, well, it hasn’t been easy. In fact it’s been hard. Like so many, I see a pizza and go…eat it. Food plays tricks on my mind and in my body. Instead of fighting that, I’m learning how to manage it. Without my wife, who believes in what I do…well, I’m not going to say I couldn’t have done it, but she’s made a helluva difference. It’s just so much better to have my partner in this with me. Never mind that I can’t cook. So yeah, I have an advantage.
And it’s sure fun to see the results in black and white — and in my body. My belly fat is gone, that feels great. Today I’m 185, a solid 34″ waist, down from a 36 — or at times, a 38.
So there’s my experience so far, I hope it helps someone out there. This has worked for me. It’s changed my life. Like others, I looked at my dinner early on and said to myself, “This sucks”. But now, everything I eat is tasty. Instead of my old deserts, I’ll eat a couple pancakes with pure maple syrup. Or I’ll have a blueberry muffin. Or I’ll have a bowl of Uncle Sam’s with Vanilla Almond milk, or one of my dark chocolate (70% or more) bars.
I’ve said it before, I don’t like the word “diet”. For me, that implies something I do that’s temporary. This is not a diet for me — it’s a lifestyle. My old way of eating seems…not normal. I missed it in the beginning, I don’t now. This is the new norm for me.
Has it been hard? Yes. Nothing good comes easy. But now that I’ve seen some paybacks, it’s rocketing me. Yes, I was hoping for better numbers. But instead of focusing on that, I turned it around – realized that this is just the first step of hopefully a long journey. When I think about it like that, I click my heels.
And I really enjoy seeing the folks that work at the Vitamin Cottage in Glenwood Springs, or The Good Health Store, here.
I wish I could transform others, but all I can do is move my feet. Like I say, it sure has made a difference for me. I believe anyone can do this and that they’ll have the same experience I have.