Week 4: 299 Pounds, Blood Tests and Screenings

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to check their bank account balance when they know it is very low. I don’t like going to the Doctor. I always assume that the absolute worst outcome is always the most likely outcome. Overdrawn bank account. Cancer. You get it. So, last week I went for my first blood test (and more) and then I had a functional movement screening done.

I have Capital Blue Cross health insurance. Capital Blue operates a “store” at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. Inside this store, people with this insurance, can – for free – have their blood glucose, cholesterol, weight, BMI, blood pressure, and fat mass checked. As a serial pessimist, I have avoided (yes, stupidly) tests like these for years. I was a long time smoker and then I got fat. No good could come from such numbers. They were going to be terrible. They were going to be the first etchings on the tombstone.
IMG_0076 Well, yeah, they were bad. But, they weren’t that bad. The first thing was my weight – 299. That didn’t register at first but then I realized I dropped below 300 and that I had lost 11 pounds since this whole endeavor began. My blood pressure was 126 over 80 – significantly down from the 160 over 100 readings that had become common and caused my rarely seen Doctor to call me “pre-hypertensive”. My blood glucose was 78 and with diabetes all over my family tree, I was happy to hear that.
IMG_2181 My cholesterol was 166. Again, not so bad. Until I saw the 15 I had scored for an HDL level. I need to eat a whole bunch of oily fish and avocados folks because that is a shitty number. Naturally, my 33% body fat and 42 BMI were the stellar stars of sucking regarding the entire analysis. Thing is, I am already working on them. On this day in April – I have taken double the amount of steps that I took per month, October, November, December, February, and March. I’m walking these numbers into the past tense.
IMG_2180 For 60 bucks, I paid a very fit person to analyze my functional movement at the new Sports Medicine Center (Lehigh Valley Hospital) in Center City Allentown. Guess what? I’m not so functional. This came as no surprise to a man who had ballooned in body weight while sitting every day for 9 hours at a desk in an office. The fit person was very nice to me and laughed often at all the obscenities I uttered. She is going to write up a workout plan for me and I am seeing her again to review the plan next week. I will be doing the 30 minute workout every day and meeting her once a month to assess progress.
IMG_2184 Now, I know where I am. It’s always better to know what you are dealing with so that you can make a plan, take action, and go someplace new. I’m feeling better. I tightened the belt by a hole this morning. The other day, I climbed from a basement level in the PPL Arena to the very top of the parking deck. (These pictures are from there) It was a nine story or so climb. I was out of breath, for sure. But it didn’t hurt like it used to and my heart rate wasn’t as fast as it used to be climbing stairs. I am changing. It is not easy. It is not getting easier. It’s the only thing I can do.

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