As a lifelong athlete, I’m aware that my recent lack of exercise, coupled with an unhealthy diet, has caused some adverse affects on my overall health. I’ve gained weight, of course, but also started to feel a little sluggish, and I get out of breath easy when I do move, and I feel my midsection growing with every bite of pizza.
This week marks the start of the end of all that.
I’m working with my friends at Heuser Health to get better – starting with diet and exercise, some vitamins and hormone replacement therapy. My enthusiastic leader on this journey is Peggy Heuser, APRN, who spent a few hours with me this week explaining what has happened and what we’re going to do. I’m beyond excited about it.
First, the bad news. My lab work came back and indicated that I have a mild case of Type 2 diabetes. Rather than treat it with medicine, Peggy believes it can be managed with a strict diet and exercise. I attended the first exercise class at Heuser’s facility in the Mellwood Arts Center Friday, and plan to go three times per week.
The bad news, Part 2, was that I weighed in up there at an all-time high of 229 pounds, and she measured the circumference of my belly at 44 inches. Now, I do believe there’s something amiss on those numbers – my digital scale at home, the next day, put me at 221. And the largest pants I have are 36 inches, and I’m squeezing in them. But I’m alarmed.
During my 30+ years of playing competitive racquetball, my weight never went above 210, and I spent much of my 30s and 40s between 190 and 200. I had to quit in 2017 after surgeries on my knee and ankle, and the discovery that my good ankle was deteriorating with osteoarthritis. But I want to remain healthy and athletic, and to pursue activities like biking, swimming, golf and, yes, even bowling.
So it is time for something radical.
My new diet eliminates most sugar. I’m going to miss pizza, sandwiches, fries and bourbon. But Peggy showed me a whole new way to eat and drink — focusing on fruits and vegetables, fish and chicken, and sugar-free drinks. No more morning stops at McDonald’s, instead it’s yogurt and berries.
My first Friday exercise class, which features alternating periods of weights and cardio, has my muscles sore — the good kind of sore — which means I’m on the way. The challenge is setting aside the time, both for exercise and eating right. I’m determined to do it.
I’ve started taking Fish Oil and Vitamin D supplements, on Peggy’s recommendation. I’ll also be taking DHEA, a hormone supplement, and for a short time Anastazole, which has to do with reducing estrogren. During our conversation about the drugs, and given my lifelong aversion to medicine of any type, all this went over my head. I’m also starting on a Testosterone Cream, which I’ll update you on once we get started.
I’ll keep you posted, dear LouisvilleKY.com readers, on my progress, and on the Rusty Satellite Show. Many thanks to Peggy and the good folks at Heuser for everything that’s going on.