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2006-07-27, 12:44 p.m.

Day 704 Weaner

Yeah, I spelled that right, in spite of msw0rd having a problem with it. I use the freebie version of st@tc0unter to monitor the flood of traffic into this journal. Just went and checked some of the recent “referring links”. One of them was “wean off Lipitor” from @sk.c0m.

I don’t know exactly when that person cruised through, but if they come by again, here’s how you wean yourself off lipitor.

Do everything your doctor says. Take what they say seriously, and DO IT. Your doctor will be surprised that you actually did it, and you’ll be surprised (and pleased) that it actually works.

My story & timeline in a nutshell: October ’04 – cholesterol = 250+. HDL/LDL ratio hosed. But I was already 2 months into quitting smoking, so it wasn’t all bad. Started on Lipitor. Weight – who knows. 250+ for sure on a 6’ 0.5” frame. (yes, that extra 0.5” is SO important)

January ’05 - weight @ 265. Cholesterol coming down, due to Lipitor. Decide to go on a serious diet, exercise and drop some lbs. Promised my doctor I’d get off my and butt join the Y. BP was 150/95, so I got put on HCTZ (water pills) too.

February ’05 Actually joined the Y. Signed up for training on how to properly use their equipment (cardio & weights). Bought a calorie, weight and exercise tracking program called FitDay. Started using it religiously (still do).

May ’05 Cholesterol actually under 200, weight @ 230 lbs. BP now 125/80 with meds.

June – September ’05 Continue working out like a mad dog. Cardio 5 - 6 times a week, resistance training 4 – 5 times a week (rotate muscle groups so everybody gets a day off between work outs)

October ’05 Doctor check up again. BP 117/78, Cholesterol 138, HDL/LDL ratio something like 3.8 (<5 is supposed to be good) weight @ 214.5, (-50 lbs.) Taken off both Lipitor and HCTZ.

December ’05 Doctor check up again – monitoring closely after going off meds. Weight at 206 (-59), BP 120/80 but cholesterol around 190. Maybe a bounce from going off Lipitor?

Jan – May ’06 Still working out like a mad dog. 2 aerobics classes a week, 4 other cardio sessions, 4 – 5 weight lifting sessions a week. Basically take Wednesday & Sunday off for rest. By May, weight is down to 192 (-73), BP is 110/70 and the Cholesterol came in at 150 with a good HDL/LDL ratio.

Currently - Still working out like a mad dog. Do aerobics only once a week lately, but added a nice, hour long 15 – 16 mile bike ride, still doing the other cardio & weight sessions. Weight down to 186. Lost 6 inches of waist line, 2 inches around the neck. BP consistently comes in at 110/70-ish. Have almost 2 years smoke free (704 days actually), and have actually run several local 5K races for fun.

The basic framework of the diet I used is pretty simple. Tried to keep to 2500 calories a day. If I went over that, I had to back it up with an equivalent amount of cardio burn off. FitDay is excellent for keeping track of that. It also helped with tracking macronutrient levels. I tried to get 25% of calories from fat (5% saturated), 50% from carbs and 25% from protein. That is directly counter to the Atkins/South Beach movement that severely restricts carbs. Heh – Atkins plan killed him, didn’t it? I still follow my own diet plan, try to get 5 or more cups of fruit & vegetables in daily and avoid the saturated and trans fats. My plan is sustainable for me, Atkins/South Beach isn’t.

My doctor is pleased. She’s threatened to make me their poster child for cholesterol & BP improvement. She’s kidding, I’m sure. I’m thrilled with the results, and am striving to make this a whole new way of life. I don’t want to ever get back to where I was 18 months ago.

My results are proof of what works. Do what your doctor advises. Follow the USDA food pyramid guidelines. Give yourself some tools to monitor and measure your progress. It took a solid year or steady work to get off the Lipitor. It ain’t easy, you’ll sweat a lot, but you’ll learn to like it and you’ll love the results.

Updated stats:
Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 185.75 on 7/22/06
Next weigh in: 7/29/06

New target – 8/22/06 to be at 180 (my 2 year quit anniversary)

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 7/27/06: 584.44
Miles with cooldown: 642.68
Target for 2006: 1000 miles
Plus 45+ miles biking so far.

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old habits - new tricks