Friday, July 25, 2014

Getting back into shape - The beginning


Now, for the past few years, I hadn't really thought about my health. I figured, as long as I didn't feel anything too disturbing, that I was fine. The bad part was, I was still thinking this way even though I was already going around 200 to 2010 pounds in weight. I was on a stack of anti-hypertension meds, too.

And then it happened.


Blurred lines
Literally, my vision began to blur. To anyone who has had diabetes, this is an obvious warning sign that there was too much sugar in my system. However, I didn't know that, and I didn't even consider the idea of it being diabetes, since there were only two people in my family who had it - and they weren't that close as relatives, at that.

Thankfully, a friend of mine noticed that I was drinking too much water, and that I was complaining about my eyesight. He convinced me to have myself checked for diabetes.

The results that came back were not encouraging: as my doctor told me later on, I was a candidate for a stroke or a heart attack within a year's time, given that all my blood chemistry levels were practically at near-fatal levels.

And yes, I was diagnosed as a Type-2 diabetic. I was put on really powerful, cutting edge drugs, just to make sure that my blood sugar would go down as fast as possible. She also put me on a new anti-hypertension drug regimen.

And there I was, blaming myself for everything. But after a while, I realized, there was no use just sitting around doing nothing.

A life-saving offer
For the past year, you see, a friend of mine, Jay Lopez (of Rx Strength), had been convincing me to get back into shape. And, I hate to admit it until now, I was just putting it off, since I felt that if I did take him up on his offer, it was admitting that I had not taken care of myself.

But I had nothing left to lose. And so, I contacted him, and he took me on. Two months later, I was this:


As you can see, it's quite a difference from my photo above, at the beginning of the article. I'm now down to about 180 pounds, and all my blood chemistry is at normal levels. Heck, my cholesterol levels are at a few points below normal.

I've also been told to eat more, since I was losing weight too fast.

My medical costs in terms of the drugs I take have dropped from Php 4,000 a month, to less than a thousand. And it will be cut down even more, the more I stay in shape. I've been put on lighter doses of metformin, which definitely is a lighter load on my kidneys and liver. The big surprise, however, is that I am almost weaned from all my anti-hypertension drugs.

Looking forward
My goal these days is to lose even more weight (probably go down to 130 or 140 pounds), but, as my trainer Jay has told me, it's not about the weight as it is the body fat ratio. As long as I hit around 15% and below, I'll be fine.

So, I admit I'm still worried about diabetes every now and then. But at least now, I know I can be in control. I don't have to be so strict with what I eat. But I do have to make sure that I am working out as often as I can, and to a proper schedule.

To be honest... I prefer that. And the friendships that I am forming in the gym are sure to be long ones.

So, if you think there's no hope for your health, think again!

You can do it.