15 weeks later where is my health?

It seems a bit strange to write about this in a blog because I am sure that most people out on the internet do not do not care but since many people have asked I thought it might be easier to just put it out there.  At some level I hope this will keep me honest as y’all in return can help keep me accountable for my health.  Stepping out of management at work really gave me the opportunity to pursue this and it might have been the best thing I did long term in my life.  In the last month or so I completed a 15 week workout program at the PRO Club, which is a local fitness center that my work gives me a membership to.  The program consisted of working out three days a week with a personal trainer for 1.5 hours doing cardio and weights, meeting weekly with a dietitian, monthly with a psychologist, and eight weeks of a men’s group session where you sat for an hour with 6-8 other guys who were going through the same thing.  You were expected to do two additional days a week on your own doing at least an hour of cardio.  The diet is kind of ridged as they start you out on protein shakes and simple proteins like chicken or low fat (5-7%) beef and they each week they add more types of food back into your diet and at the same time increase your calories.  In this fashion they can identify if there are things that have interesting effects on your body.  There might be foods that instantly make you crave things and feel hungry.  There might be foods that just seem to block your weight loss.  Everyone is different and unless you go through this exercise you might never learn what is unique about you.  I would like to think that I did an OK job over that 15 week.  If you have read in other blog entries I am starting to be more active with things like fun runs of 5K in distance.  Kind of amazing is what cloths I now fit in.  I have to wear belts with most of my pants because they are all too big.  I cannot remember the last time where I could wear a large tee-shirt instead of a XL.  XL in many cases look like dresses because they are too long with my belly getting in the way.  All of this being said at the end of the 15 weeks; as you will see below, I have a lot of work left to do.  From the initial assessment the doctor said I had become type II diabetic.  I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  They have a little program that factors in your life style and health and it computed that I had a BodyAge of 55 compared to my chronological age of 34.  The doctor and really everyone else around the obese management program said that if you follow the program that I would get everything under control.  Let us take a look.

The measurements are from the start on 9/1/04 and then at the end of ~15 weeks on 1/21/05.
Body Weight (lbs.)          255       222  (31 pound loss)       (my goal was 220)
Body Mass Index            36.3      31.8      (US gov say I should be 23-25)
Blood Pressure               138/88  124/78  (120/80 mm/Hg would be ideal)
Body comp. (% fat)        34.5%   19.9%   (This seems too low but they did it twice.  My midpoint measurement was 28.3%)
Lean body mass (lbs.)     166       178       (Weight lifting paid off as the more muscle you have the easier it is to burn fat)

Lipids (for the doctors out there)
Glucose.            130       97         (< 100 mg/dl is considered healthy)
Cholesterol         255       218       (< 200 mg/dl)
Triglycerides       313       176       (< 150 mg/dl)
HDL                   52         49         (> 40 mg/dl)
LDL                   140       134       (< 100 mg/dl)
LDL/HDL            2.6        2.7        (< 3.5)
CHO/HDL           4.9        4.4        (< 5.0)
Globin HBA1C     5.4        (4-6% is non diabetic)
**Note that because my triglycerides were so high in the first measurement, the LDL number really was not that valid since they will mask the problem.

What does this all mean?  Well in a nut-shell I still have work to do.  I hit my goal of 220 but now their goal of 200 looks realistic.  I am not sure about the US gov goal of getting me down to 176.  My cholesterol is still high but I might have a family history that I am fighting against to get it into the norm.  I should be able to get it and my blood presure lower.  I was actually fighting a cold when I had my blood work done.  A cold that by the way seem to last for over two weeks!  I have in fact gotten myself out of being classified as a diabetic which is a great thing in my mind.  I still need to lose that last 20 pounds.  It is really the only way to add years to my life and at the same time lessen my chances of falling back into being more of a borderline diabetic.  The BodyAge program currently calculates me having the body of a 33 year old but that would not last.  Since the end of the 15 weeks I have not made much of any progress but this is mainly my fault as the workouts with the trainer moved down to twice a week and only are one hour of weights.  Outside of that I have not been as active and with the freedom of only seeing the dietitian every other week I have not been held as accountable for what I am eating.

I want to thank everyone for the positive comments along the way.  If you want to help, please stay on my case.  Question me if something really is on my diet.  Ask me how my workout was that day.  There will become a time when I hopefully have made the true lifestyle change and I can eat what I want and working out 5 days a week is truly a routine but I am not there yet and I could use a little poking and prodding to help keep my accountable.  I only have four more weeks and then I am on my own with no trainer or dietitian.  I have gone since late August without taking a drink since it was not allowed in the program and consuming alcohol can prohibit the burning of fat for up to 48 hours, let alone the water that your kidneys pump out to dehydrate you in the process but I will drink again starting the end of March (which will seem to make some of you happy) but again I ask you to help keep me accountable.  I will thank you and my body will thank you.

About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
This entry was posted in Health and wellness. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 15 weeks later where is my health?

  1. Maurice says:

    You\’ve made amazing progress. Keep up the good fight.Dad

  2. Lelah says:

    Truly inspirational! I\’ve just started a new job with a long commute and am trying to figure out how to fit in my workouts and eat healthy in my new hectic world. Your story of dedication and progress has encouraged me – excuses are too easy! Keep up the good work Aaron.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Congratulations, Aaron. That is a real acchievement, and I\’m proud you made a life-changing choice. I hope you\’re finding the habits of heathly living are becoming more instinctive everyday. I recommend trying to find some measures of that kind of progress as you continue — the small indications that the choice to be healthier is easier and easier to maintain. One of the measures I found for myself when I started boxing was finding that my system treated smaller and smaller portions of dessert-type food as enough. It was a good feeling, and one I would have probably overlooked if I hadn\’t been trying to find small measures.Again, congratulations, Aaron. Remember I owe you dinner somewhere; your choice.

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