Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Son of Beneath the Planet of White Death III

Long-time readers of the blog might recall my adventures with White Death, i.e., the Harrowing Tale of Too High a Triglyceride Level.

If not, a brief recap: Four or five years ago, I had my medical check-up and my lipid panel came back and sneered at me: The good cholesterol was too low, the bad stuff was too high, and the triglycerides were too high. Not so much that they want to drain and replace all my blood, but still ...

Hello? All that jocking out doesn't fix that?

No, no it doesn't.

Cholesterol is not a fat, by the by, but a waxy substance your body makes from fat. Too much fat, it makes too much. Clogs things up.

Triglycerides are fats, and they get kicked up by eating junk food and other low-density nutrition. They clog up the plumbing, too.

I did my research. The fix, in my case was, easy. Stop eating sugar, aka "white death," and other high-glycemic sweeteners, drinking alcohol, leave off the saturated fats, and white food in general–bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, unless they were the whole-grain or brown kind. And processed food, especially in a box on the shelf.

Instead, go with fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meat, fish, salads. Roots and twigs. More exercise.

I did this. The bad numbers fell like a brick on Jupiter, the good went up, all was well.

All fixed, and maybe the old heart doesn't clog up and sputter to a stop, hey?

(Yes, yes, it is easier to say than to do, but my resolve was stern. I wasn't ready to leave yet.)

Ah, but the Devil is insidious. Stuff crept up while I wasn't looking. Candy magically appeared, cookies, cakes, pies, butter, cheese, eggs, they called to me. Hey, Steve? How about it? and, of course, I wanted fries with all that, so one day I looked up and had regained the weight that melted off, and sent my bad numbers back into the clouds.

Well, crap!

So here we go again. Starting today, the stop-eating-so-much-junk diet returns. Not to say I won't have a cookie or a beer or a glass of wine now and then, just not so much as I was chomping and swilling down ...

Six months, I'll go have the blood retested, and see if the old diet and exercise regime works again. And with any luck, the beat will go on ...


AnnieB said...

You've already "fixed" your diet once, so you know you CAN do it. And I agree with you on the "moderation" philosophy - why deprive yourself of things you enjoy (beer, cookies, whatever) to live longer if it's an unhappy longer life. Sing it along with Sonny and Cher "... and the beat goes on"!

Anonymous said...

chief egaairsI have a similar problem. I learned to divide my food into two groups. Nutritional requirements that come from proteins, fruits, grains and vegetables. And comfort food that tastes good and is just bad. Oddly enough I had to put all wheat and wheat products into the comfort food category...It works for me. Good Luck!

AF1 said...

Have you considered having a cheat day, Steve?

You eat religiously clean and disciplined 6 days a week, but allow yourself one day to indulge in whatever bad stuff you might be craving.

Seems to help me stay lean and healthy while also letting me eat cake or cheeseburgers or ice cream if the urge hits.

Steve Perry said...

Cheat day ... Yeah, I thought about that. I think the better way for me is the Special Occasion; celebratory dinners, holidays, like that.

When our kids were small, we let them have junk food Saturday, and it wasn't two weeks before they started stashing stuff, or wheedling to stretch it to Sunday.

Sometimes I fast, have done so for years, and a day off from all food buys me six days wherein I can chow down with no weight gain. Good for my fighting weight, which stays the same, and the jeans still fit, but it's not healthy.

I think a too-strict diet will fail, because I immediately feel bereft. So I don't tell myself, "You can't have that cookie!"

Instead, I ask myself. "Do I want that cookie more than than my health?"

Sure, one cookie won't make much difference, but it quickly becomes a slippery slope. Today, an Oreo; tomorrow, a Double Cheese Whopper with Extra Bacon; Wednesday, the Myocardial Infarction ala mode ...

No matter how well you eat or how much you exercise, gravity always wins in the end. Might not be anything you can do to make your life longer, but there are things that are apt to make it shorter. And the length notwithstanding, the quality of what you have matters.

If you have a disease, but you can cure it, the medicine doesn't cost anything, and the side effects are beneficial? It's a no-brainer for me.