Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Health Update from Tristi

Back when I first started this diet and announced that I was going to be eating meats, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and that I was giving up sugar, fruit, and grains, a lot of my friends were concerned about my overall health. They worried that eating eggs and meats would throw my cholesterol out of whack. There were issues about the lack of grains - we've been taught for years that grains are healthy, and in my religion, we follow the counsel of the Word of Wisdom, which tells us to eat grains. I thought I would take a few minutes to give you all an update on how I'm doing. You can rest easy - I'm doing so, so well.

Let me give you a little bit of back story. About two years ago or so, my husband's work had us do some fitness evaluations for our health insurance. At that time, my triglycerides (fats in the blood) were 400. My cholesterol was so high, they couldn't even accurately measure it. My blood sugar was fine. They counseled me to go on medication for the cholesterol, which I did not want to do. I believe in changing health by changing lifestyle, so I paid better attention to what I was eating, and seriously cut down the fast food. I got my triglycerides down to 177, less than half of what they had been, and my blood sugar was still fine. My cholesterol was still too high to measure, though.

This last June, I started seeing Dr. Blamires at the Injury and Wellness Center. You'll remember my telling you in this blog post how enlarged my pancreas was - my blood sugar was testing just fine, but the organ itself was screaming for help. I began my journey, all 300 pounds of me, eating the diet I described above. Today, seven and a half months later, I'd like to share with you just how I'm doing.

1. I have lost 78.5 pounds without sacrificing muscle.

2. I have gone from a size 26/28 to a size 16/18.

3. I had some blood work yesterday, and guess what - my cholesterol that was so high they could not even measure it? My total cholesterol is 183, which is well within normal range, and my LDLs, which are the bad cholesterol, are mere points away from normal. That's how far it's come down. That is amazing.

4. My triglycerides have continued to drop and are now at 130, which is 20 points below the average range.

How am I doing? Fantastic. How is my overall health? Fantastic. Is consuming meat and eggs hurting me? Absolutely not. I'm pulling the numbers I'm supposed to be pulling. I could not have done this without radically changing my diet.

To address the concern about grains and the Word of Wisdom - the Word of Wisdom counsels us to eat healthy, natural foods, and tells us that it can be adapted to the weakest among us. I don't assimilate grains. Grains were packing the pounds on me, and causing other health problems that are too varied for me to even list here. Those health problems are now either gone or are almost gone. If I were to go back on grains, I would see a decline in my health. God doesn't want us to eat things that are unhealthy for us, and for me, grains are unhealthy. So no, I do not feel like I am breaking the Word of Wisdom by giving up grains. I feel that God led me to this diet, and I feel that I'm keeping the Word of Wisdom in that I have adapted it to fit my own body's needs. We wouldn't expect someone with celiac disease to eat wheat, would we? Of course not. Well, I may not have celiac disease, but I, too, need to stay away from the grains, and I feel very spiritually comfortable with that decision.

I wanted to share something else that's fun. Take a look at this picture. It was taken January 24th, 2011:
This is me at my heaviest weight ever, 300 pounds, as the Cubmaster congratulating my son for his performance in the Pinewood Derby. I met Dr. Blamires and began the diet about five months later.

Now take a look at this picture. It was taken last week, January 25th, 2012, at the Pinewood Derby.
Again, I'm the Cubmaster congratulating my son ... but look at the difference in me. Compare my face in the first picture to my face in the second picture. It's amazing. I honestly can't believe it. I have held these pictures side by side and stared at them over and over, just blown away. You know what, I look really good.

Best of all, I'm happy. I'm finally seeing results, I'm finally starting to feel like the person on the outside matches the person on the inside, and I'm not fettered by my weight any more.

I do appreciate the concern for my welfare, because I know that what I'm doing doesn't align with traditional methods of weight loss. I watch The Biggest Loser and I see them eating their whole-grain breads and wraps, and that's not what I'm doing. But I'm doing better than ever before. I am healthier at this moment than I've ever been in my entire life. Unusual choice though it may be, it's what's working for me. I mean, come on ... look at those pictures. :)