This is one of my favorite songs: 少年時代 (shounen jidai = “Days of Youth” or “Boyhood”) by Yosui Inoue. It was a number one hit thirty years ago in 1990.
Somebody made this beautiful cover for 2020. A neighbor shared it with me. I don’t know who made it.
The cover words, in Japanese, are all about this trying year: the unusually long rainy season, the heat wave we are going through now, of course the covid pandemic and how we are dealing with it – and gives messages of hope as we go forward that we will get over this year.
Even if you don’t understand the words of the song, or the words on the screen, it is so beautiful to watch the images and listen to the music that I think if you just understand what they are trying to say you will find it moving.
I don’t know if the embedded video will come through email notifications ok or not. If not, please click on the link to this post and check it out in my blog.
My blood sugar remains normal (even went down some more), cholesterol is fantastic, blood pressure is great, and I continue to (very slowly) lose weight.
The rest of this post are details, if people are interested in numbers and more!
What I eat and don’t eat
I follow WFPB (whole food plant based) eating: mostly vegan, no oil, very limited nuts, and limited sugar and salt. No intermittent fasting, no keto, lots of carbs including potatoes and fruits. I stick to low calorie density foods to help with weight loss. For example potatoes are surprisingly low calorie and bread is very high calorie.
Basically I eat lots of veggies, including starches, and have fruits every day. In other words, I eat lots of carbs. Carbs do not impact negatively on blood sugar or weight.
Logging with MyFitnessPal
I log my food and exercise calories in MyFitnessPal, and keep within 1500 net calories per day (food calories minus exercise calories).
Today is my MyFitnessPal Streak Day 3,014. Daily logging in MFP has been a great sanity check and prevented me from having a complete rebound when I fell off the wagon in the past.
I’ve lost a total of 54.6 kg = 120 lb, currently weigh 74.4 kg = 164 lb, have lost 42.3% of my original weight, and am at a normal BMI. I’m at the lowest weight I’ve been in my entire adult life. I’ve only lost 1 kg = 2.2 lb since my last checkup though. But slowly losing is better than a rebound!
My stomach still sticks out a bit, and in Japan my shirt size is LL (maybe M or L in the U.S.), so I will continue healthy eating and doing as much exercise as I can. Actually, I’ll continue healthy eating and exercise even after my weight is perfect. This is for life.
My doctor said I really don’t need to lose any more weight though. He was pretty emphatic about that. He did think I could add more upper body muscles and should generally move more. I know I reported the same thing last time, but I really do have to start those upper body exercises! Or maybe do swimming. He was enthusiastic about that idea. And there is a public sports center near here. Not sure what they are doing during the pandemic though.
Blood test results
Here are the latest and previous results. Normal ranges are in parentheses.
Total cholesterol (120-219)
2020:Aug 20 – 108; May 21 – 124; Feb 20 – 120
2019: Nov 28 – 118; Aug 29 – 116; Jun 8 – 136; Mar 19 – 133
108 is very low. Below normal range. But it’s supposed to be heart healthy this way.
HDL good cholesterol (35-80)
2020: Aug 20 – 39; May 21 – 43; Feb 20 – 40
2019: Nov 28 – 46; Aug 29 – 40; Jun 8 – 34; Mar 19 – 38
LDL bad cholesterol (70-139)
2020:Aug 20 – 46; May 21 – 56; Feb 20 – 54
2019: Nov 28 – 55; Aug 29 – 56; Jun 8 – 73; Mar 19 – 72
Quite low! The lowest for me ever. Also lower than normal range. But, again, that’s supposed to be great for your heart.
2020: Aug 20 – 69; May 21 – 93; Feb 20 – 107
2019: Nov 28 – 62; Aug 29 – 79; Jun 8 – 129; Mar 19 – 114
Went down even more, and well within normal range.
Blood SugarHbA1c (4.7-6.2)
2020: Aug 20 – 5.6; May 21 – 5.8; Feb 20 – 6.1
2019: Nov 28 – 5.9; Aug 29 – 6.1; Jun 8 – 5.5; Mar 19 – 5.9
2018: Dec 20 – 6.5; Sep – 8.2; June – 10.8
This dropped some more again. The doctor said I have my blood sugar under control and there was nothing more to do about it. Remember, he finally decided to drop all blood sugar medication last November.
This value does not fluctuate much over the short term. It’s a 2-3 month average. It’s a great improvement over time (it had been dangerously high), and has been in the normal range since March, 2019.
In fact he said all my blood values were fine and I just should concentrate on being active and moving about.
My blood pressure was a great 113/66.
The nutritionist was also very pleased, as long as I promised her I was eating tofu and using soy milk to get enough protein. Honestly though, there is protein in everything I eat. I don’t know why people worry about vegans not getting enough protein. Anyway, I mention soy and she’s happy. She also suggested lifting PET bottles of water at home for exercises and laughed when I said I guess I have no excuses not to work out.
More on the “E” Word
I have also been taking my puppy, Pao, who will be 9 months old in a week, for walks along the river, so that helps. He’s gotten quite large. Last December his weight was 1.3 kg = 2.87 lb and I could weigh him on my food scale. Now he’s 23.35 kg = 51.5 lb! So the Doug/Pao ratio is currently 3.19, close to pi.