Monday, February 06, 2006

Ahh middle age

I went to the doctor the first of January for my annual checkup. In previous checkups i was treated for high cholesterol and higher the average blood pressure but everything else checked up fine. This time a blood test showed elevated blood sugar levels. To treat this my doctor said lose 20 pounds and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise everyday. Now lets start with i am already in decent shape. I have been going to the gym 3 times a week and lifting weights. I had a small ponch, but I consider it much smaller than the average middle age man. My diet was good. I stopped drinking sodas last year. I stopped putting sugar in iced tea and my morning coffee. I was eating a bowl of whole wheat cereal each morning. The milk I used was non fat. But I took my doctor's advice and decided to change my eating habits and change my workouts to lose the weight. But I needed a plan.

To lose 20 pounds ( I was 196 lbs naked on the scale at the gym), i decided my bad habits had to go. Fast food at lunch was a big issue, so i had to find substitutes. I love to cook and my wife, kids and friends say I am a very good cook, but I looked at the dinners I usually prepare and found many of the portions were too big, not enough veges and never any fruit (not a big fruit fan, but thats a future post).

So here is my plan:
30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, mostly at the gym
Take my lunch to work
Avoid the "food cube" of snacks that most softare companies have (I design software)
Find foods with no high Fructose Corn syrup.
Smaller portions
More veges
More fruit
Avoid fast food when ever possible.

Here is what i wont do:

No fad diets: Diets are isolating. the last thing I want to do is decline dining out with friends because it doesnt fit my diet, or making food that meets my diet restrictions, but turns my family off.

I am not giving up good ingredients like butter, cream or breads. To prepare good food you need good ingredients. Margerine is not an ingredient. I will continue to cook with good ingredients, but i need to alter their proportion.

We enjoy go out to nice restaurants. If the special has an alfredo sauce, then damn it, i will get the alfredo sauce.

I enjoy wine and occasional beer. These will continue.

I am 1 month into my change of life plan and I have lost 8-10 pounds, depending on which scale you use at the gym. I will detail each part of my plan in future posts, but generally all things are working fine.

For inspiration, read the beginning of Rick Bayless's "Everyday Mexican" cookbook. He had a similar realization that he was losing the middle age battle and changed his lifestyle as well.
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