Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tales of Two Doctors Visits (with a third thrown in for good luck)

In October, I had a health screening that my employer provides/demands. It indicated that my cholesterol was high: not a huge surprise, since it was high before I started taking medication about 4 years ago and I hadn't been taking medication for the past two years.

As chronicled here, I dawdled a bit, but in January I went to see our doctor. We discussed matters, and to my surprise he was in no hurry to get me on drugs. We agreed to try diet and exercise and see if we couldn't bring the numbers in line that way. I was already in he midst of this resolution, with regards to eating meat that, theoretically, should be good for my numbers, and I was getting back on track with working out.

I kept my resolution fairly well over the first few months and I was working out with some regularity. Some years ago, I became familiar with the P90X workout when a high school friend of mine used it to lose over 100 pounds, down to 9% bodyfat and a ripped, muscular physique. I'd looked into the program and liked most of what I saw... except the pricetag. So I didn't buy it, but I took some ideas from the workouts and incorporated them into what I was doing, off and on. In early March, though, a friend had the DVDs and let me borrow them. I did the first week of workouts and decided that it was worth paying for, so I did and decided to commit to the whole program.

Then I got what I thought was a cold and stopped working out to recover. In retrospect, it was allergies, but it was early April 'til I got started on the workouts and the diet program.

Interlude: Monday, we took our daughter to the doctor and I got blood drawn. As a side note to my own story, at her 15-month appointment, as at every other routine baby checkup, they asked us about certain milestones. We were going through just fine, as always, because our daughter's so exceptional and always hits her marks, when we got to a stumper: "Does she stack blocks?" Ummm... have we ever seen her stack blocks? We have blocks, but she usually goes for other toys. "Not really."

Naturally, the first thing we did when we got home was bust out the blocks. Yes, she can stack blocks. We almost called the doctor's office so they could add it to her charts.
I went back to the doctor's on Thursday to go over the blood work. The P90X program has been going well--in the first two weeks, I lost about 7 pounds and was feeling great, and the results are starting to be visible, but after all, it's only two weeks. My expectation for the doctor's visit was that there'd be little or no change and I'd plead for more time. Now, for reference, in October my total cholesterol was 242, my LDL was 160 (it should be below 130) and my HDL was 42 (it should be above 40). Now, six months later, my total was 171, my LDL was down to 106, and my HDL was up to 55. Everything was in the healthy range!

Although my results on P90X have been good so far, it's hard to give it too much credit for 2 weeks out of the last 6 months. Since starting the program, I've more or less put aside my New Year's resolution in favor of more conveniently following the recommended diet, but I have to think that the meat I was eating (and, for that matter, the meat I wasn't eating) made a big difference in the numbers. But in any case, I think the takeaway is that I need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which comes down to the food and the exercise. I've made some good gains, but I'm not where I want to be yet and it won't take long for even the gains I've made to vanish. I've got almost 70 days left on the P90X program and a lifetime to go after that.

1 comment:

  1. Yup, eating (or in this case not eating) meat (especially red meat) makes a BIG difference in many ways. Good for you on your progress!