Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The walk..

"These legs are made for walking.."



My health has gone to the dogs and of late, I have inherited my late father's lifestyle diseases.
High Cholesterol, Hypertension and Type II Diabetes: it's all in place.
That said, my dad lived up to 73 before he passed away.
On a routine trip to the clinic near the office, I was "forced" to take a blood test without fasting.
The results were simply devastating.
High-Cholesterol, and a glimpse into my blood-sugar levels indicated that something was not right.
The doctor said my kidneys were leaking protein.
Later, another test was made and the results weren't good either.
Glucose-levels in my blood and urine were high.
This was followed-up by another test that sealed my fate.
The doctor had diagnosed me with type II Diabetes.
There was a moment of self-denial and disbelief, but hey, dad had it, and it was in the late stages of his life.
I was put under medication and was told to go on a low-carb diet and eventually cease consumption of starchy food such as rice and noodles.

 Coping with the "unholy" trinity.

High-cholesterol, Hypertension and Diabetes can only mean one thing: Death.
There's risk of getting a heart-attack as plaque from extremely high cholesterol clogs up the main arteries in the heart.
Next, is stroke. And last but not least: kidney failure due to chronic diabetes.
Sounds scary, but it's true of such condition goes untreated.



Positive mental attitude and a change in lifestyle

The first thing I did, was to talk to Michelle, my wife.
A change in lifestyle is imminent. 
Being Asian and with my brains hotwired to consume rice, it will be hard to reduce intake of this grain, but what has to be done, has to be done.
Our first measure was to replace the polished rice with brown rice from Cambodia. Consumption is reduced to small portions.
This also means a change in eating habits. No more nasi lemak in the morning. My breakfast is now a piece of Canadian purple wheat sandwich. Fillers would be Japanese Soba or buckwheat noodles.
Natural "healers" like Okra and Bittergourd became my daily diet for the last 30 days. I love okra, so, there's never been an issue consuming this vegetable.
Eating well is one part, the other is exercise.
I don't need gym membership because I have working dogs.
They are my motivation and I have scheduled my time to accommodate their wellness by taking them for morning and night walks.
This is now my routine. 
We walk for 3.5km a session. It feels good to sweat it out and the kidz love it.

Our Siberian Huskies are getting the most of my exercise regime
My usual walking route

The longest distance I've done in a day
Don't stop.. Believing.. 

My buddy Bob Lew, a Diabetes sufferer also contacted me about my weight. At the time, I weighed-in in at 101.0kg.
He managed to shed 22kgs through a new diet regime and aims to hit 88kgs in the months to come.
Bob is a man determined and would not stop at anything to achieve his goals. I know this because we've been friends for 30 years.

Bob (3rd from left) with me back in 1988
At Broga Hill in 2010
So, having heard what he had to say, I took on a 90-day challenge. 
The aim, is to shed 10kgs.
With controlled food intake and adequate exercise, this can be achieved.
Since my last weigh-in on June 16 at 101.0kg, I have lost some 5.8kg and stand at 95.2kg. I strive to eat healthier and stay away from food that is heavily-laden with carbohydrates. Since I don't have a sweet tooth, sugar has never been an issue. I drink my coffee black without sweetening. 
I guess the straw that broke the camel's back was the high consumption of canned drinks like Coca-Cola and 100PLUS.
This contributed to the spike in sugar-levels and the blood test confirmed this.
To fight the bulge, I walk a minimum distance of 6km a day. This helps to burn the fat and get rid of excessive calories.


Never give up

I have never stopped my outdoor pursuits and this medical condition is by no means, a hindrance to by active lifestyle. Now that exercise is a daily routine, I need to head out even more.
So, the part where I find balance is very important. Spouse support helps a lot as I have nothing to hide from my significant half.

Living with Diabetes doesn't spell the end for outdoor pursuit such as angling

Sweating it out at the archery range
I've hit the middle-age and based on my life journey, I have little regrets if my life ends abruptly.
As a matter of fact, life has been excellent!
My only regret, if I die before my time: is not being able to grow old with Michelle, my wife.
Things happen for a reason and given the chance to make it right, I will do my level-best in controlling this lifestyle disease. So, there's no room for thoughts like giving up or throwing the towel. Life's worth living if you have people who care for you and you don't let them down by ignoring your own health and well-being.

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