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Joe’s Screening Success Story

Screening results: High Total Cholesterol & Low HDL

“This is not good.  Oh well, those are just numbers.  I feel good.”

The initial feeling I had was sobering, but I quickly tried to downplay the results that I was hearing and reading from our worksite health screening.

I had briefly read the literature that was provided at the time of the screening and simply blew it off as it was the same old information we had all heard numerous times.  Watch your fat intake, increase your physical activity, and visit a doctor…blah, blah………  There must be an easier way that doesn’t take any effort.  I started to browse internet sites looking for the secret, and then I found it!  You must reduce your fat intake and increase your physical activity. The secret to improving your health is: there are no shortcuts.

It started by going back to the basics. Vegetables, fruits, oats, bran, rice and low fat meats such as fish, skinless chicken and other lean meats became stocked items in the pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Today’s market place has helped as the demand for healthier foods is growing and many selections are readily available. 

Even though my incentive was to improve my cholesterol ratio, I started to feel my clothing becoming looser.  I started weighing myself regularly and it was amazing to me and my wife how the pounds started to melt off.

To this point I had lost 30 pounds, but had not made any significant changes to my physical activity.  This is when our wellness team introduced “Every Step Counts”.  At first I was taking 2500 step walks in the morning before work and finding some time to bike with the kids and my wife.  Soon I found myself walking behind the push mower and leaving the rider with the nice cup holder in the garage.  I was soon pushing myself farther and farther on my walks and riding longer and harder on the stationary bike.

I have kept my walks interesting through different techniques:

  • Listening to music & audio books
  • Bringing my camera and capturing the interesting things I see
  • Trying different routes & driving to new areas to walk
  • Walking at different times of the day
  • Dreaming and goal setting

I have also learned many new things while developing my new habits.  A few of them are:

  Walking

  • Our city is beautiful and interesting if you slow down to see it
  • The fish are extremely busy eating at the surface early in the morning on Lake Winona
  • You have to walk “briskly” to get 8000 steps in one hour

   Food

  • Watermelons are really good for you
  • Fiber doesn’t taste like straw
  • Yogurt is good / frozen yogurt is better
  • Omega 3 is not a video game

   Myself

  • What I thought my limitations were are simply hurdles that I just have to decide to overcome and I will!

I am now approaching 40 pounds lost because of the eating habits that our family has adopted and the increased physical activity.  My next venture is to add more resistance training into the mix.