Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I've done good this week. I managed to continue eating better than when we were on vacation, so that without starving myself I weighed in at 131.2 lbs this morning. It's a slight loss from last week, though not much. I've actually gone over my calorie goal almost everyday, but I've also managed to keep my salt intake lower and drink plenty of water, which I believe has made all the difference.

But today isn't about me. Today I want to give kudos to my hubby J who, unknowingly, started me eating healthier and has indirectly contributed to my weight loss. J was considerably overweight. At 5'4" tall, he should never have gotten to 201 lbs, but he did. He knew it was affecting his health: his cholesterol was high, his triglycerides were higher, he was sluggish, and he had trouble sleeping. I was very concerned, mostly because both his parents and his older brother are diabetic, and his mother suffers from high blood pressure. Whenever one of them got sick, J would get worried and try to eat a little better, but it wouldn't last for long. My hubby's problem is very simple: he loves to eat. Alot. And often. Try as I might to get him to eat less, it was impossible. I would serve him his meal, and he'd sneak in for seconds. Besides, he was eating out AND eating at his mother's house. I prayed that J would see how this was hurting him and that he needed to take better care of himself. God answered in a most unexpected way.

J started feeling more worn than usual, and decided to go in for a check-up. He figured his cholesterol must have gone down and he no longer needed medicines for it. Ha, wishful thinking. What he found out was that his blood pressure was high. The doctor put him on medication which didn't seem to agree with him. She lowered his dosage, but he still wasn't feeling right. I could tell what his problem was: anxiety. He was stressed at work, stressed about his health, and now stressed about his blood pressure. This, obviously, is a recipe for disaster.

While in Central Florida for some new store openings, the stress became too much for him and his blood pressure started climbing, enough to have him rushed to the ER. He was alone and scared about what would happen next. More medicine, more pills, and he was sent home with a new perspective and a new goal. See, all along nothing really serious had happened to him to shake him up. Now he was seeing the consequences of not taking care of his body. He realized he needed to do something, and quick.

Thankfully my sister-in-law knows a doctor who specializes in natural medicines. She was very concerned about all the medicines he was taking when all he needed was a diet adjustment. She started weaning him off the blood pressure meds and prescribed a whole different regimen for him. First off, no red meats. No citrus fruits. Breakfast would consist of whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and fruits. Meals would include clear soups, dark greens such as broccoli and spinach, chicken and fish. Then, instead of all the medications he'd been taking, she switched him to Triple Omega for his cholesterol/triglycerides, melatonin instead of Ambien for sleep, ginseng and valerian for the blood pressure, and garlic pills for all of the above. His salt intake also had to be lowered considerably.

At first he wanted no part of it. He couldn't see how any of this would help him get better; after all, he was popping all kinds of pills before and wasn't seeing any results. Still, I got tough and made him stick to it. I was after him constantly to take the medicines and check his blood pressure daily. I cooked only the foods he was supposed to eat. I started using Mrs. Dash for seasoning and eliminating as much salt as possible. And slowly but surely, he started seeing change.

The first thing he noticed was that his blood pressure went back to normal. This helped his stress level go down as well. He also saw himself losing weight (magically!!). He began exercising, too; 1/2 hour on the treadmill in the morning, another 1/2 hour in the afternoon. As the weight dropped and the melatonin kicked in, he began sleeping better, more soundly. It's amazing what a difference a good night sleep can make! His mood improved (probably because he was sleeping more) which again, helps with the blood pressure, and his cholesterol levels normalized.

This morning my J weighed in at 178 lbs. That's a 23 lb loss in about 6 months. He looks better, feels better, and is happier for it. And thanks to the changes in his diet, I've been able to lose 14 lbs as well. It's been a domino effect for us, in a very good way. I'm thankful that God gave my hubby the wake-up call he needed. I'd like him to stick around for a long time!

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