Sunday, May 9, 2010

278 + 216

Two numbers that have to change: 278 is my total cholesterol, while 216 is my approximate current weight. The numbers I’d like to see are 150 and 165, respectively.

I once wrote that “There Is No Fitness Fairy,” but I didn’t really believe it. A part of me honestly believed I could half-ass my way through life and look like Rich Roll, but honestly, right now it’s more like Bob Roll (nothing personal, Bobke!).I thought that with more consistent exercise and minor diet modifications, I could be healthier, and I am, but it’s not enough.

Tomorrow, I am embarking on a new journey, a more radical transformation of myself. There will be mileposts along the way, measurements taken, steps forward. After one year, give or take, I would like to meet my goal numbers above. 128 points lower in total cholesterol, 51 pounds lighter – 2.5 points, 1 pound per week.

I have spent the last week contemplating my options, eating many Last Suppers (saying goodbye to my favorite foods), and preparing for some major life changes. Injuries to my lower leg and foot have necessitated recovery time, which is appropriate, considering tomorrow will be a new beginning.

Short-term plans: I will start taking red yeast rice to assist in lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL); there are some nay-sayers regarding this supplement, but I have tried it in the past and it worked for me then, so I’m willing to try it now. I will also overhaul my diet by cutting out all red meat as well as processed food. These two actions will improve my cholesterol and also help me lose weight, which should further lower the cholesterol number. Positive side effects will include better overall health, increased athletic success, and, hopefully, a father and husband who will be around longer to take care of my family.

Long-term plans: Along the way, I will repeat tests that will let me know how effective my changes are in achieving my goals. If they are successful, and I am sure they will be, I will consider reintroducing some of the banned foods, should I still desire them. After calculating their impact on my health, I will reject them again or use them in moderation, periodically testing and reevaluating. When I was younger, I vacillated between vegetarianism and veganism, and they are definitely options again. With a wife and 3 children (+1 on the way), I don’t want to impose my requirements on them, so veganism, while appealing, might be difficult to do just for myself without making my life difficult for them.

If you are squeamish, or small children are reading over your shoulder, please stop now. Do not scroll down, do not look at the pictures below. Come back in a year and see the “After” photos.

(and yes, I DO like to wear dark socks, even with shorts)

Oh and by the way, Happy Mother’s Day! Thank your mom, your wife, or a random woman on the street, for bringing life into this world and nurturing it safely through to adulthood. Gentlemen, they couldn’t do it without us, though with time, I’m sure they’d figure it out.


  1. My wife's doc recommended Red Rice Yeast, Fish oil, and flax oil to reduce cholesterol. I thought it snake oil but just taking these supplements got her down 15 points!

    Note: I'm now taking the same "snake oil."

    Good luck.

  2. It's not snake oil if it works! :) The last time I used red rice yeast and modified my diet, my total cholesterol went from 270 to 185 - you'd think I'd learn, but... I'm reading a really good book on veganism, sports, and health called "The Thrive Diet," by Brendan Frazier, a Canadian triathlete. Good stuff, seems based on common sense.

  3. Epic post and best of luck. Everyone in the community has got your back.

    Funny about you being from here. If you ever come out we'll have to find you a bike so we can ride.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) Good luck with your goals! I just noticed in your follow up comment to RockStarTri you mentioned Brendan Frazier. I take is Vega shake sometimes for breakfast (i'm not a big morning eater) or as a post-workout recovery drink. Decent amount of protein, etc. By the way, I'm not vegan, just seemed a healthy option :)


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