Health and Fitness Adjustments – Getting Started

About ten years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It came with the fairly common companions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. I’m still on medication for all of those and haven’t had much success in dealing with them, although I haven’t gained weight in that time, I’ve stayed fairly consistently in the 255 lb range, occasionally get up near 270 and occasionally getting down as low as 240. Here is what my weight looked like since Jan 2012.

So, for the most part I’ve been able to avoid the 1 to 2 pound weight gain that a lot of people go through as they get older, but I’m still in the Obese category. I have focused on trying to lose weight on several occasions, and had some success with low carb keto type diets, but have never been able to stick with them long term and they didn’t help with other issues.

The numbers that really haven’t been getting better are my Triglycerides, as well as my HbA1C and Glucose (Fasting) tests. The low carb keto diet really didn’t seem to help with these at all.

I haven’t graphed them, but my Cholesterol levels aren’t great either. My HDL (good cholesterol) is too low, and my LDL (bad cholesterol) is too high. The LDL actually can’t be properly calculated because of my high Triglyceride levels.

So, I decided to change my focus from weight loss to heart health. This led me to the “DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution” as my new starting point for a change of approach for my diet.

I had heard of the DASH Diet several years ago when I was looking into ways to reduce Blood Pressure. Looking into diets that are good for Type 2 Diabetes fairly consistently came up with the DASH diet and the Mediterranean Diet as being good for that.

They both seem to fit the pattern of diets that I’ve looked into that people seem to have long term success with. Lots of vegetables and fruit, about half your plate and many different colors.

Eat lean meats and fish rich in protein, avoid processed food. Go for whole grain carbs, avoid added sugars and salts. Fats are not necessarily bad, particularly those found in nuts and seeds.

I had cut out extra salt and sugar ages ago. This plan will actually add in more carbs than I’ve been eating. The biggest adjustment, which I already know I am short on, is vegetables. I’m going to have to focus on getting enough of them in at each meal. This is where the book and other resources will come in handy.

The other area that falls into the “I know that and just need to do it” is exercise. I have been doing Pilates twice a week for awhile now, although with a three month gap due to Covid, but I need to get more, particularly getting a bit more cardio, and eventually adding in some weight training as well. I’m going to start with daily walks and go from there.

I think the key thing for me is not to try and change everything at once, and to set a schedule and have a plan for things.

This will include planning the weeks meals ahead of time and making sure I have everything I need available. I need to have a couple “go to” quick meals figured out and maybe set certain days for certain foods. Taco Tuesdays and Fish Fridays? 🙂

I also need to get the exercise booked on my calendar. I often go for a 15 minute walk on my lunch break. If I keep a quick pace I do get into my cardio zone. I just need to expand my loop by a block or two and that gets me to about half my weekly total, which should be 150 minutes per week. And that’s not including the Pilates classes. I just need to do it more consistently.

So, not huge changes, but rather a set of adjustments.

And, if anyone wants a little more information on the “DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution” and other DASH diets, you can check out the website:

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