Holy Cow, who would've thunk it? To quote ol' Festus Hagen on Gunsmoke. Who would have thunk Ol' Dutch was 75 pounds overweight a little while back, before my cardiac adventure. I mean I knew I was fat, heck the mirror told me that, that son of a gun, but 75 pounds! I went in the hospital April 21 at 235, I remember telling the nurse I weigh 225, she said, "The scale says 235." So did all the other scales. I left the hospital, my tired ticker patched up, May 2, still 235. A body would have thought all that hackin' and stichin' would have trimmed a few pounds away. Nope.
|Kessy likes the lighter me too!|
At home again our scale confirmed the way too high poundage. In the hospital they had begun the education necessary for diet and exercise to peel those pounds and prime the patched up pump again. The beginning of the diet change was pretty easy, you've all heard it, no fats, skim milk, no fried food etc. Funny thing Ravishin' Robbie and I had thought we ate pretty smart already, bit by golly this was the beginning of a real eye opener.
Exercises at first consisted of re-hab from surgery, 5 minutes walks twice a day at first, then 15 minutes and within a month or so, an hour. Even though our diets and portion sizes had changed, a lot, no real weight changes occurred for a while, only about 10 pounds had peeled away. As I got stronger, in about 2 months, real cardio re-hab began at the cardiac therapy clinic. Boy howdy do they put a fellow through the paces! It was all good, they were fabulous folks. They were extraordinary at figuring out what exercises I could do to get healthy and fit, without hurting my back and other structural issues. Pretty much eventually boiled down peddling a recumbent exercise bike.
Also at the cardio re-hab they taught us quite a bit about diet and nutrition. Robbie and I were surprised to learn how much we really only, sort of knew. Not only did we totally embrace the guidance they gave us but continued to research and learn all we could about truly heart healthy eating, living and exercising. Pretty much we are following what might be considered the Mediterranean diet, and doing very well with it.
A few huge tips they gave us at rehab were, have no snacks in the house, but do keep plenty of fresh cut up veggies in the fridge, our new snacks. And have several of those snacks a day. No processed foods at all, we had thought we were avoiding them, but golly now we know we were fooling ourselves. Zero fast food. Almost zero salt, at least 12 servings of vegetables and fruits a day. Smaller portions all around and mostly fish and poultry, limited to 3 ounces.
And of course the exercising. Both Ravishin' Robbie and I peddle an hour a day at least 5 days a week, and do a bit of strength building and stretching exercises.
I'm hoping by sharing this it might help a few other folks review their diets and life styles. The adjustment really is not very hard. It's a heck of a lot easier than the surgery!
My real weight lost began about the middle of May. So at 50 pounds gone that's about a pound or two a week. That's what's recommended as sustainable weight loss. They explained losing weight at that rate allows the mind and body to adjust and keep the weight off. Losing weight too fast they say usually doesn't last.
My target weight? Doc says 160 ... I argued that when we got married 38 years ago I was 5'10", but my spine is collapsing and now I''m 5'6" ... Doc said, "160 will be a good weight for you." I agree now, too.
I'm tipping the scale at 185 today. Right now I'm only losing a pound every two weeks or so, so I reckon it'll be another few months before I can celebrate. But I can already tell ya how great I feel, how much better I can sit Kessy ... and it's great to be able to see the top of my belt buckle again!
Ravishin' Robbie? She's lost 40 pounds so far.
Hope this chat helps. We tip our hats to your health!
Gitty Up, Dutch Henry