No one likes going to the doctor. Even in my healthiest days many, many, many pounds ago, I wasn’t a fan. Fast forward to age 49, and I am even less of a fan.
Past DVTs, weight gain, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol numbers have all played their part in my distaste for doctor visits. No one likes to hear the truth about their poor life choices and mortality. And I should know because I make a LOT of poor decisions and think about death almost as much as I think about sex. It’s kind of my “thing.”
In January, I found out that I had high blood pressure and was prescribed medication to control it. I was not thrilled, but it beats being dead. At the same time, I had some lab work and found out that my cholesterol—which has been quite normal for nearly all of my adult life—was up to 233. Yikes!
Thinking about my history of blood clots, recent blood pressure, increasing blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels, the doctor was quick to want to get me on a statin to get it down. I disagreed and made a deal with him (and my wife) that if I couldn’t get it down through diet and exercise, I would start the meds.
I continued on with my near daily visits to the gym and the magic Zwift machine in the Not So Stankment. Then we got dick smacked and ball-hogged by the COVID.
After the start of lockdown, I said, “fuck it!” and I hardly did anything but drink and eat poorly until boredom and spring weather got the best of me, and I finally returned to riding.
The riding helped, but I was struggling to lose weight. Then Fecal Blowout 2020 hit me in mid-June when I ate what I believe were some tainted chicken thighs.
Since eating that chicken almost 12 weeks ago, and spending the next 24 hours turning my bunghole inside out like a dirty dishrag, I haven’t eaten a piece of meat. No, I’m not vegan, nor am I technically a vegetarian; I guess I’m a pescatarian in that I will eat eggs and cheese, and fish on the rare occasion, but no meats.
In addition to cutting out meat, I’ve cut out hard liquor altogether and have limited my intake of IPAs to hardly any. I still enjoy beer, but instead of bitter-tastic double IPAs, I’ve rekindled my love of Belgian and German wheat beers like Hoegaarden, Weihenstephaner, Alaskan White, and the pedestrian, but uber tasty so who the fuck cares, Blue Moon. Fewer beers and fewer beers with lower ABVs and calories sure have helped.
I’d noticed some results on my own in recent weeks in the weight department, down 10 pounds overall, and feeling way better on the bike. But it was the test results that I was worried about. What if I’m just old and have a family history? What if the weight loss is from declining muscle mass due to not weight training? After all, there’s a shit-ton of thin as a rail people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Not to mention, my brother has heart issues and Type 2 diabetes, and my father has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, has had 2 heart attacks, open-heart surgery, and has dog knows what else wrong with him. Of course he also has a history of eating Costco-sized tubs of Dinty Moore Stew.
Well, this week, I finally got back to the doctor for bloodwork and a followup exam, and I’m happy to say that things are going in the right direction! In fact, my doctor actually said, “I rarely see someone able to reverse results like this on their own.” I thought that was shit you only hear guests on the Rich Roll podcast say! 1
My blood pressure remains on the higher end but is under control. And while losing 10 pounds is a great feeling, knowing I have to lose about 50 more to REALLY feel good is a bit hard to swallow.
Whatever! I may get hit by a bus full of coked-up, runaway nuns while I’m crossing the street tomorrow, but today I will take joy in that I ACTUALLY made a doctor happy and proved to myself that I can do it on my own.
My recent results showed that I shaved 7 points off my fasting glucose numbers, bringing it down to 82. Took 64 points off of my total cholesterol, bringing it down to 169, and got my triglycerides from 166 to 133.
I still have lots of work to do, but I feel a ton better about getting those numbers down. I’m not sure my pseudo-vegetarianism will last forever, or why I felt the need to share this here, but I have. It could be to show you that it’s not all bitching, moaning, and sophomoric humor here.
The office nurse was unaware the doctor told me the results and called to tell me later in the day. As we hung up, she said, “I don’t know what you did, but keep doing it.” Thanks, gurl.
- Rich Roll is a vegan endurance athlete, podcaster, writer, spiritual guru, etc., etc.,