Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Living clean - a cautionary tale from a fat guy who loves to eat...

That defining moment...

My hba1C results back in June last year...
You don't get fat overnight.

If you neglect your body and kept on eating uncontrollably, you will gain weight. And if you keep it up over the years, your body will bloat up. That's a fact.
My turning point came sometime in the middle of last year. I mentioned this on my earlier post. So, what I have with me, was a piece of paper that read: "Diabetic, poor control".
After putting two and two together, it dawned on me that a poor diet, irregular eating hours, consumption of excessive carbohydrates and carbonated drinks had contributed to a spike in my sugar-levels.

At the height of my peak weight around 105kg...
It was hard to swallow the hard facts. 

"Diabetes", is a disease associated to your lifestyle. If you are docile and have trouble breaking down sugar in your food, there is a very likely chance of diabetes to occur. People in their mid-30s should check their sugar-levels to determine if they have diabetes (type 2) that is linked to weight gain and a carbohydrate rich diet.
Now, the carbohydrate part itself, needs a bit of explaining to do. We need sugar that converts into energy. Food containing starch is converted into sugar. If you can use the sugar and burn off the excess, then your body is doing a decent job in keeping your health in balance. This means, you exercise regularly and observe a balanced diet. Not too excessive on the carbohydrate intake. That was my problem. And it became from bad to worse.

A recent shot of me and my girl...
Change - it's inevitable...

A few things happened last year. My career was on a rocky path. My food column was cancelled and my health was deteriorating rapidly.
I chose to do something about the health part. Career decisions, well, I made mine. The only way to shed the extra bulge was to exercise and go on a diet.
When I said this to a couple of co-workers, they laughed. I was determined. I wanted to live past the age of 50 with no major health issues. I can fight diabetes.

Husky-power!
My motivation? Siberian Huskies!

I have two wonderful dogs. Each time I leave my house for work, I kept thinking on how much I have neglected them. 
To make up for this, I was motivated to leash them and walk at least 30-minutes a day. This became 1 hour and later, the workout was intensified to 2 hours a day. On the average, we walk about 10km. In total, for the first 90 days of my weight loss program, I walked almost 15km and lost 1kg a week.

Rise and shine!

The morning workout...
A happy Husky is a tired Husky!
Each day when I wake up in the morning, I was motivated to harness my pups and go for a 45-minute walk. 
If I don't, I felt that something was not right. My body needs the exercise to keep the sugar-levels balanced.
So, that said, I get the exercise I need, the dogs are happy. On food intake, I limited my carbohydrates. I consume rice in small portions only once a day. For breakfast, its moderate intake. I go a bit heavy on vegetables for lunch and eat as light as possible during dinner. Over a period of 90 days, I lost more than 10kgs.

Coffee, sandwich and the naughty boy...

Loading up... 
That "no guilt" dinner... 
Exercise, eat right and sleep well...

If you are an obese dude with a body mass index of 32, there is no shortcuts to losing weight and toning up your body. The first order of the day, is to get up and out to burn of the excess fat.
How did I achieve this? I walk. I eat less carbohydrates. I eat plenty of greens. Drink plenty of water. Abstain from carbonated drinks. Since I don't have a sweet tooth, I don't eat cakes and sugary pastries.
All that good food? Well, been there, done that. Eating clean, for starters, is not a cheap affair. It can be costly. The good and clean stuff are. It's a fact.
Sleep is the next agenda. You get good sleep, your body heals from the inside. Considered the fact that you exercise and eat well.

Toning up in the gym
Toning the limbs - after getting rid of the fat...

The human skin can stretch. If you put on weight, fat fills the area beneath your skin and puffs you up. Once you experience drastic weight loss, the skin becomes loose. This is a crucial time for you to hit the gym for weight training. I've done the cardio part, shed plenty of weight, but its time to take care of the skin which was once filled with fat. I pinched the skin on my forearms and it was stretching like rubber. So, I signed up at the company gym and underwent a program to tone up. Free weights was on the agenda. I started to curl weights to strengthen my upper body and core area.

Sweating it out at the gym

Curling the dumbbell.. 
After seven months, the moment of truth...

I was scheduled for a blood test on January. Did the usual fasting and prepped myself to see my physician.
She commended me for losing weight and maintaining a regime. The routine has become a part of my life. 
In short, I have changed my lifestyle.

Drawing blood..
The specimen

Normal sugar-levels
After a week, I went back to the physician to obtain my test results.
My hba1c reading was at 5.6%. The sugar-levels were back to normal. But this don't mean I can get back to binge-eating, gulp down Coca-Colas like a thirsty camel, eat what I want and as much as I want.
No Sir. I am not going back on that path again. That said I still have about 8kgs to shed to make it to my ideal weight of 78kgs. 
From 101kg in June last year, I weighed-in at 84.6kg at present. In total, I have lost about 16.4kg. But the war on diabetes is far from over.

My latest blood-glucose reading

With my buddies during Chinese New Year
It's good to know what to do when it comes to staying lean...

My goal is to be clean, lean and strong. I hope to achieve this by regular exercise and having a clean diet.
The last 8kgs is the hardest and I am committed to stay on course to gradually shed all the fat around my belly. I have kept diabetes under control and the next move, is to keep my blood pressure steady and cholesterol levels as low as possible. Can this be done? Absolutely! 
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