OK, I definitely dropped the ball on this series of blogs, but the silver lining is that my efforts to lose weight and get in shape have not been as abysmal as my attempts to report on those efforts. Proof of that came in my yearly physical a few weeks ago, which included the usual blood tests. The results were highly encouraging. My weight has dropped to a healthy 205 lbs. from the hefty 226.5 lbs. that I reported in my first blog in this series back in February of last year. In addition, I had my best cholesterol readings of the last decade or so! Here they are. (I’ve also included last year’s levels for comparison.)
|HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol|
60 or higher
|LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol|
100 to 129
*For high-risk individuals, the ideal level is below 70.
The good news is that for every cholesterol reading, my current levels fall within the healthy range as defined by the American Heart Association and the majority of cardiovascular specialists. And for every measure but one, I made significant improvements over last year’s numbers. Now, I’m not reporting these figures because I think you’re really all that interested in my personal numbers; I’m reporting them to give you encouragement about your own ability to make positive changes for yourself. After all, if someone with the high-stress, long-hours , sedentary job that I have—and a proclivity for making unwise choices about dealing with same—can make some significantly positive changes to his own health profile, then you can too!
How did I do it? Well, as I mentioned in previous posts, one of my weaknesses that led to my blimping up in the first place was my enjoyment of going out and having a few drinks with dinner as often as possible. This was an easy way to wind down after a long day, and the ritual helped me feel like I was wringing out at least a little fun from the end of every day. The problem was that this habit was unhealthy—and unsustainable. I cut back gradually at first, in fits and starts, and then after the first of this year, I made a commitment to get serious and begin the real effort I had blogged about last year.
I can unabashedly say that I switched over to eating the delicious, nutritious dinners offered by California Chef’s diet meal service every weeknight (in addition to sticking w/ the California Chef breakfasts and lunches that I’d already been enjoying), and on those occasions during the weekend when I did go out, I ordered alcohol only rarely and still made the healthiest choices restaurant menus would allow. I had a hunch that the results of my new choices would, over time, bring me more happiness and satisfaction than my old strategy. And I was right!
I’m elated about my cholesterol numbers, and I don’t have to deal with the guilt that occasionally cropped up during my old meals. I still have some work to do, and I still need to somehow carve out more time for exercise, but I’ve put a firm foundation in place, and now the competitor in me wants to do whatever it takes to have my numbers at my 2014 physical blow my current ones out of the water! So, I’m going to keep up my current efforts, sprinkle in some additional ones, and fill you in every once in awhile on my progress. But, more importantly, I urge you to do the same! Make the healthy changes in your life that you’ve been putting off—whether they involve California Chef meal delivery services or not. Then write us and tell us about your success!