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.
I think I may have found the right way to stop Pao from leaping after cars and motorbikes. When he does that he is really really strong, and if he does it suddenly it can hurt my arm.
These are the recommended things I tried which don’t work:
Delicious treats to lure him away.
Using force to restrain him.
Crates. (Just kidding on this one, but at Reddit it seems whenever you ask a puppy-raising question they suggest sticking him in a crate).
What seems to work (he didn’t jump after one car yet today – fingers crossed) is complimenting him on what a good boy he is while rubbing his back. He’ll stop and stare at the cars, but he will be more-or-less still and not use force.
He was calm enough at his late morning walk that I could take this short video with one hand.
Good boy! Good boy!
I look forward to trying this again at our 4 pm walk.
Note: This does not work with cats. I have to drag him away from cats and he gives me a look like, “Are you insane, man? There’s a cat there!”
In retrospect, I’m not so sure this was a great idea
My neighbor, who has a sister of Pao, was getting into her car as I was coming back from a walk with Pao. She said, “Let’s go to the Arakawa Sports Field.” It’s on the river bank.
I asked how far away it was and she said 2 km, and very spacious and empty.
It seemed safe enough, so Pao and I got into the car and went over. It seemed to be the very essence of social distancing. I don’t think any two small groups of people were within 100 yards of anybody else. But there were families playing ball, some runners, and other people around by the river.
Pao enjoyed the car ride, but he wasn’t used to all the stimuli. When we got back and got out of the car he threw up what appeared to be his lunch and snacks. He’s quietly resting now. I think it was a bit too much for him. And it didn’t exactly follow the Tokyo Governor’s advice to stay home this weekend.
There was no contact with other people though. And the river looked nice. But Pao is subdued at the moment. He loved having the open space to run around in at the length of his 5 m leash though.