If only I knew then, what I know now…
நல்வாழ்வுக்கு இரண்டு பக்கம் – செல்வம், (உடல்)நலம்
Good Life has two aspects – Wealth and Health.
While we concentrate on the first one, many of us tend to ignore the second one.
We will easily come up with many reasons for relegating health to the last line of our priority list.
I am not an exception to this cycle either. Health took the back seat.
Moving to a new country where food and drinks are abundant compounded the issue.
Stretch my arm and I will get some food. Food is everywhere, on the kitchen counter, dining table, coffee table, pantry, fridge, even in bedside table.
My weight quickly reached 100 Kgs (220 lbs).
படிக்கும்போது எந்தப் பாடத்திலும் நூறு மதிப்பெண்கள் வாங்காத நான்,
எடையில் நூறை இலகுவாக தொட்டேன்.
In any group picture, you can easily spot me. I would occupy most real estate.
Way back in 1999, when I moved to Ottawa, I was told that extended insurance is needed to cover dental procedures and prescription drugs. I thought why not. Some one from the insurance company came to our apartment, drew blood and left. First monthly deduction was higher than that was quoted by the insurance company. When I asked “why” so, i was told that I have “Cholesterol” and to cover the risk, my premium went up. I went to my doctor and he confirmed it and put me on “Statin” drug.
I wish I knew then, what I know now about “Statin drugs”.
When I went for my next general check up with my physician after 3 months, there was another surprise. This time I was told I am diabetic and put on one more medication.
I religiously followed all the medications. I was lead to believe all these are either hereditary or due to my life style and I had to live with medications rest of my life.
3 months after when my cholesterol level did not drop to the expected levels, I was given one more medication.
I wish I knew then, what I know now about “drug dependency”.
When I tried to do exercises or walk, my feet, ankles and knees hurt.
To loose weight I need to walk and to walk I need to loose weight.
I was caught between the “proverbial” rock and a hard place.
Later I was told, I have developed Arthritis and given more medications.
But for the first time, I started to think about this vicious cycle of events.
I wish I knew then about “Arthritis”, what I know now .
Then I met a 74 year young man Shree Kanhere who taught me Yoga. Few weeks into twice weekly Yoga, for the first time in so many years, my weighing machine needle tilted to the left. I was happy.
Another Yoga teacher Satish Anand offered few more lessons and also taught us how to cook “Kichadi” – Low Carb, High Protein Vegetable Stew.
Now that I lost the first few pounds (kgs), I started exploring other ways to loose weight.
I listen to Ottawa’s 580 CFRA radio and became a fan of Dr.Yoni Freedhoff of Bariatric Medical Institue (BMI).
Dr.Yoni Freedhoff – Family doc, Assistant Prof. at the University of Ottawa, Author of The Diet Fix, and founder of Ottawa’s non-surgical Bariatric Medical Institute (BMI) – a multi-disciplinary, ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre. Nowadays he is more likely to stop drugs than start them. – His own words from his blog.
My biggest weight loss (Health Gain) happened when I enrolled in BMI’s 22 week program. Yoni’s team includes physicians, dieticians and fitness instructors. They taught me and my wife how to count calories, fat, protein, carbs and steps. I bought my first pedometer from them.
I still wear one and I average about 10,000 steps (approximately 6 kms) a day. A digital scale permanently sits on our kitchen counter top near the stove to measure food intake.
As you can see in the pictures above, the “big bulge” or “beer belly” is gone.
Over the months, plates full of rice were reduced to 12 Oz, 10, 9, 8…5 Oz.
What happened to my “Arthritis”? We broke up and we never met again.
As an added bonus, my blood sugar and HbA1c started coming down.
I wish I knew then about “Carbs” what I know now.
The next break through came via a book “Wheat Belly” written by Dr.William Davis.
Dr.Davis has documented everything about wheat and its negative impact on our health based on his patients history (of course after changing names). It is a very good read and I strongly recommend every one of us to read it.
According to Dr.Davis: Wheat free diet may not cure Autism, but reduces the hyperactivity syndrome in children.
I started eliminating wheat. Bagel, Bread, Donut, Muffin, Pancake, Waffle, Pizza, Burger Bun, Poori, Parotta, Roti, Chapathi and everything made of wheat, whole wheat, multi-grain, Maida, All purpose disappeared from my plate.
After 3 consecutive normal HbA1c levels, I was taken off diabetic medication. There may be occasional spikes in blood sugar and I know exactly what is causing it. (Puttu, Uppuma – anything that is high in Carbohydrates)
And last year I joined the FaceBook group Arogyam & Nalvaazhvu (ஆரோக்கியம் & நல்வாழ்வு ), founded by Selvan who lives in USA and administrated by several experts and guided by doctors). I wish this group and FaceBook was there 20 years back. Diet advice is given to members on a golden plate and members can reap the benefits in 50, 60, 90, 100 days and keep the gain for ever as long as they follow the guidelines.
This group is great for networking with like minded people and offers support and guidance free of cost, yes FREE, totally free.
This group advocates Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet that is also known as “Paleo Diet” (முன்னோர் உணவு). They manage a subgroup just for recipes. They have a very structured way of joining, getting advice and follow-up as shown below >>>
Links to FaceBook groups >>>
நமது பேலியோ குழுமங்களின் facebook முகவரிகள்
paleo sandhai group
I am re-discovering myself in more ways than I ever thought and cooking my own food from scratch is one of them. That keeps me away from phone, laptop and TV.
And just in case if you want to know, my current weight is 81 Kgs (178 Lbs)
I frequently post my recipes in FB and also in YouTube >>>
I know this post may evoke strong emotions and reactions, but I am prepared.
If just one person who reads this, can reduce weight and lead a normal healthy life, I would have met my goal.
If only I knew then, what I know now…
அன்புடன் ஆனந்த் (முருகானந்தன்)