That’s how long it took me to get my shit together, health-wise. I’m still working on the other parts of my life but I feel like I’ve finally got my health under control.
I’ve always been a chubby kid, even in high school when I was a star lacrosse player, I was never really a great athlete. But I was active enough that I could get by with eating complete garbage every day.
I look at my photos from my junior and senior year in high school and you can tell I gained about 10-15lbs. Once I hit college and stopped playing sports I really took off. I went from being 5’8″ and 190lbs, steadily climbing until I just recently hit my highest weight ever of 270.
As with most gradual changes, I never really noticed it. I knew I was getting bigger and buying bigger clothes, but hell, there was nothing I could do.
I got serious about my health two years ago and started eating all the traditional healthy foods, and working out every day. I lost 20lbs in two months, but I burnt out soon after and fell off the wagon.
There is a saying, that you truly can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves, something I am sure Anthony ‘Dream’ Johnson, my good friend and former roommate knows very well. I lived with Anthony for a year and have known him for 5 (geez!), and it isn’t until just recently I decided to help myself. Despite the massive amount of knowledge on nutrition and exercise I had available to me while living with Anthony, I never took advantage of it. I took a passing interest in some of the stuff, but it went so far against conventional wisdom and everything I knew I never took it seriously.
To give Anthony credit, it must have been tough to see me destroying my health on a daily basis but he never tried to push anything on me and only offered advice if I asked him about it. I will always appreciate that.
Well 3 months ago I finally listened. I watched the Mark Sisson 21 Convention speech and immediately ordered all three of his books. When I got them I started following the Primal Blueprint plan religiously. I have stayed on it for about three months though and the one thing I realized is that losing weight and taking control of your health is SIMPLE.
The concepts to eating healthy are simple and easy to understand. You don’t have to count calories or keep track of points. There are foods you should eat and foods you shouldn’t eat. It’s that simple, but it definitely isn’t easy. It’s been nearly 3 months and it has been tough. I have fallen off the wagon multiple times. I have cracked due to stress, lack of willpower, whatever on multiple occasions.
I just ate like complete crap this weekend, but I am eating healthy enough on a consistent enough basis that I am not losing sleep over it. How did I respond? I went to the store and bought a bunch of healthy foods and prepped my meals for the week.
So after 3 months, how has my body responded?
Let’s compare my blood work from a little over a year ago to my blood work today. Obviously this isn’t perfect, and who knows how bad some of these numbers actually got in the 9 months between the original blood tests and when I started eating Paleo, but regardless it is still interesting.
- Weight: 262
- Blood Pressure: 145/90
- Cholesterol Total: 201 (out of range is about 200)
- HDL Cholesterol: 41 (out of range is below 40)
- LDL Cholesterol: 129
- Triglycerides: 156 (above 150 is out of range)
- Glucose: 88
- Creatine: .98
Compare that with my most recent blood work
- Weight: 231
- Blood Pressure: 120/70
- Cholesterol Total: 175
- HDL Cholesterol: 36
- LDL Cholesterol: 111
- Triglycerides: 141
- Glucose: 84
- Creatine: 1.12
My HDL result concerns me since it should be at a minimum of 40 and a healthy range is 60 – I am not sure why it has dropped, but my doctor said not to worry about it and to keep eating healthy, it may have dropped even lower since my last test and have been rising. I am following up my blood work after Christmas – and until then I am following tips from Mark Sisson on raising my HDL.
I thought it was interesting that my creatine increased. Apparently it is found in red meat, something I rarely ate before.
As you can see, 3 months of eating well and my cholesterol dropped 26 points overall, and my LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped18 points. My triglycerides which were originally out of range are now in range, dropping at total of 15 points.
According to wikipedia, in humans, triglycerides are a mechanism for storing unused calories, and their high concentrations in blood correlates with the consumption of starchy and fatty foods. I have cut out all grains and starches and increased my intake of saturated fat through meat and healthy oils, and my triglycerides actually decreased.
I plan on getting my blood work done again when I drop below 200lbs (hopefully around Christmas if I bust my ass doing the right things) and I will be able to compare again.