By this time last year I had already quit smoking but I had not yet started my dieting or my running. He identified three issues at my last physical. First, I was borderline obese. Second, my blood pressure was high. And third, I was outside the safe guidelines in all four areas of my cholesterol (weighted average, triglycerides, HDL, LDL).
So over the last year I changed my eating habits and ran my ass off. Was it worth it?
He said my blood pressure is perfect, in line with what he sees from some of his professional athletes (cool!).
My cholesterol has improved in all four areas. My weighted average is now in line. My triglycerides dropped almost in half (that's good), and my HDL increased by 10 mg (also good). My LDL is still slightly elevated above the target amount but dropped by about 16%, a significant improvement.
He said with the combination of quitting smoking and my weight loss, I've reduced my changes of heart desease by 90%. Bottom line, he called the change in my test results "impressive!" I'm pretty excited about that!
So where do I go from here? I am going to continue doing what I've been doing for the last year. Trying to eat right, taking off the last 20 lbs., and continue to train for my first ultramarathon.
But the benefit of this lifestyle change far exceeds the test results. As for how I feel, I am full of energy, I am able to focus, I sleep like a baby, and I just feel good about myself. For those of you thinking of making a similar healthy lifestyle change, let me just say this...
It's worth it.