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Thursday Tidbits: My Husband’s Case Study

Posted Feb 07 2013 6:05pm

Happy Thursday! Only one more day until the weekend and one more day of our Paleo Challenge ! I can’t tell you how excited my husband is to be done with our challenge. His “foods to eat after Paleo” list has been growing by the day, with things like pizza, burritos, cheese, beer and jalapeno poppers! But, he was VERY excited about my new pancake recipe, Paleo Almond Blueberry Pancakes , that I created yesterday! He actually thought I cheated and didn’t make them Paleo-friendly, since they resembled traditional pancakes! If you haven’t seen the recipe, make sure to check it out!

It is too funny to see my husband SO ready to be over our challenge! He ate fairly healthy prior to “going Paleo,”, except for having his nightly beer or two, and cheese here and there, but that was enough to make the Paleo way of eating a little too extreme for him. I do have to say, I’m looking forward to incorporating dairy back into my diet, but I’ll definitely be continuing a lot of the “Paleo” ways of eating. I’ll be posting a full summary of our experience early next week!

Speaking of my husband, I’m going to devote my “ Thursday Tidbits ” to him, as my little case study. He had his annual physical today, which included a full blood panel, since he has had high cholesterol in the past. When he was done with his appointment, he was so giddy and super-proud, that he was like a little boy showing off his report card filled with straight A’s!

To give you a little background on my husband, when we met back in college twelve years ago, he was a cyclist–riding his bike everywhere–and taught swing dancing lessons. He ate anything and everything, but he was still thin and very fit. Soon after he graduated, he took a corporate job in San Francisco and stopped riding his bike as regularly, thus slowly gaining weight. As the months went by, he became heavier and he achieved his “corporate spread” (as he calls it). After years of working in the real world and not really changing his eating to match his more sedentary lifestyle, he finally had a full physical and was diagnosed with high cholesterol, well above 200, and his triglycerides were off the chart. His doctor threatened to put him on medication at the young age of 25, if he didn’t start exercising and eating better. He was shocked, as the last time he’d had a physical, the doctor told him that he had one of the best blood panels he’d ever seen.

After we were married, he started eating better, since I was controlling what groceries we bought and the portion sizes of our meals. He went with me to the gym a couple days a week, but wasn’t really interested in regular exercise. At all. As a Health Educator, I tried to educate him on healthy eating and help keep him motivated to workout, but it was a constant battle. I figured if he didn’t want to help himself, then it wasn’t worth my energy, or our relationship.

As the next few years went by, his cholesterol and triglycerides slowly crept up. With the birth of our son, he recognized he needed to do something (in addition, he wasn’t fitting in to any of his pants anymore!). A few months after I started CrossFit (over a year and a half ago), I brought him to a class with me, and he was hooked. He started going to CrossFit on a regular basis (5 days a week) as well as keeping a better eye on his portion sizes, and making better choices when eating out. As the days and weeks went by, his waist size starting getting smaller, the number on the scale started dropping and his clothes were fitting again (some are too big, now, and he acts “angry” that losing weight will cost him so much money, to replace his wardrobe).

So, today, after a year of exercising, here is where he is at:

One Year Ago:

Weight: 198 pounds

BP: 114/70

Resting HR: 80bpm

CHL: 210

Triglycerides: 222

LDL: 128

HDL: 38

Today:

Weight: 160 pounds

BP: 115/63

Resting HR: 69bpm

CHL: 155

Triglycerides: 75

LDL: 96

HDL: 44

He has lost a total of 38 pounds and his cholesterol is finally well in normal range, along with his triglycerides! His HDL (aka good cholesterol) increased and his LDL (aka bad cholesterol) is in the normal range. He has come so far and I’m SO incredibly proud of him! Despite a few injuries with his knee and ankles along the way, he managed to stick with exercise and improve his health. The bonus to all of this is he wasn’t intentionally trying to lose weight. He knew he needed to become healthier to lower his cholesterol, but that was it. He simply changed a few things in his eating (not taking extra or larger portions, choosing better snacks), started exercising regularly, and the pounds fell off. He still enjoys his beer, bourbon and cheese (well, after our Paleo Challenge is over, that is!) and  the occasional indulgence of dessert and other goodies, like I do, but he is still able to maintain his weight and overall good health. His fitness goals for 2013? “Still exercise, but no injuries!”

My slim and fit husband shoveling snow while we were at my brother and sister-in-law's house in Montreal over the holidays!

My slim and fit husband shoveling snow while we were at my brother- and sister-in-law’s house in Montreal over the holidays!

I know this is a long post, but all in all, my husband’s example shows that by making healthy lifestyle changes, instead of “going on a diet,” you can still achieve your health and fitness goals, no matter if it is weight loss, fat loss, lowering your cholesterol or blood sugar levels. Making small, gradual healthy changes to your eating and fitness routine are key to successful and lasting results that last a lifetime.

Questions: 

- What is one healthy change that have you made to your way of eating and/or fitness routine? I’ve added more healthy fats, such as coconut oil, avocado and almonds to my eating, consuming them on a daily basis.

- What are your health and fitness goals for this year?

**REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a sampler pack of  Drink Chia ! Thirteen lucky readers will win!! Contest ends Monday, Feb. 11th at midnight PST! To enter,  click here .

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