My Rude Awakening

Well this is my first real official post.  As I said before I’m going to be talking about my health and fitness journey.  I’m 39 years old now so i won’t go too far back in time. In fact, I won’t even go back more than 10 years.  Let’s start when I was about 31 years old…..

Here I am a guy that’s lost some weight after packing on the pounds through college and shortly thereafter.  I graduated high school at a whopping 145 pounds.  At least that’s how it read on my driver’s license.  I probably lied to appear bigger than i actually was but let’s just start there…145 pounds.


In college I did what a lot of college kids do.  I ate a lot of pizza, stayed up late and  packed on the freshman 15.  After I graduated college I began working.  I tried to remain active but as we all well know our metabolisms slowly but surely begin to dwindle.


By the time I was in my mid 20’s I was approaching 190 pounds.  Then some anxiety and depression issues began to sit in and I started on antidepressants (I’ll explain some dietary links to that in a future post).  Boy oh boy did I put on the pounds.  I was getting close to 200 and so I told myself I wanted to become BEEFCAKE!  Let’s just see what 200 feels like and then we can lose some weight.


Next thing I knew i was looking in the mirror at a 217 pound person that could barely tie his own shoes.  That’s when I decided it was time to get back in the gym, ween myself from the Paxil and get my life in order.


So I did all of the things I thought was right and slowly but surely the weight did begin to fall off.  I was running 12-15 miles a week (nothing major I know) and eating “healthy” whole grains, lots and lots of “healthy” legumes and I never ate anything fried.


Needless to say, going out to lunch with my redneck coworkers was always a battle.  They’d always make fun of my food choices and make jokes.  I was the white collar guy trying to fit in inside of their blue collar world.


Anyway, I’d whittled myself down to 182-184-ish and i just figured this was the way that God built me and intended for me to be.  I was ok with it.  I was in pretty good shape and was even running in some 5 and 10K races and was aspiring to make my way up to a marathon some day soon…before I was too old.


Anyway, one day all of my fitness beliefs would be turned upside-down.  It was a simple visit to the eye doctor.  He examined me and told me that I had cholesterol deposits on my eye??  I was like whuuuut?


He said he wasn’t worried about it from a vision standpoint but that from a cardio aspect of things I may want to have it checked out.  Fair enough…it was time for me to have a primary care physician and begin doing routine check ups like most people need to do as they age.  For preventive care and maintenance if nothing else.


So I had my blood work done a few weeks later and sure enough my cholesterol was elevated.  Not extremely high but above “normal” nonetheless (I have my own thoughts on elevated cholesterol as well that I’ll be sure and include in a future post).


My cholesterol reading was 230.  Not within range but not too far above the 199 threshold.  Why was it so high I wondered???


My doctor began to explain to me that I was an active young male that ate a really “healthy” diet and there was pretty much nothing else I could to lower it.  I could possibly try and eat more oatmeal or something but that wouldn’t lower it more than 5%.


So I asked for a little more time to try and get it under control before we considered any sort of medication.  I DID NOT want to be on cholesterol medication at the age of 31!!


After making my diet more strict and really avoiding everything in my power including any weekend temptations, I returned to have it tested again.  228…..I was saddened to find out it was my family history and that genetics played such a huge role in my readings.  Both my parents have high cholesterol in fact so I’m destined and doomed.  He recommended medication and I obliged but did not fill the prescription.  I wanted some other answers and if anything at all I would seek out more natural ways to lower my cholesterol rather than take meds for the rest of my life.


This is the day my fitness journey and overall outlook on food totally changed…..