Most Americans are over weight. As I travel around the world it is amazing to see the difference — people tend to weigh so much more in America and so much less in other countries.
Here are two fun and revealing websites: Ideal Weight and Body Mass Index. The first is obvious but the latter tells you the ratio of fat to muscle is in your body — and what it should be. Six months ago I would have been afraid to visit these site :-)
With a little teamwork Janet and I have been working at taking care of the bodies and health God has given us, even if we are Americans! We use the free www.LiveStrong.com site and the free www.superfoodsrx.com site. We also began exercising together slowly — and man, has it all paid off! But we did it slowly so as not to get discouraged. Next month I will be running a half marathon with my son Jesse and my daughter Emily. We’ve made this a family adventure!
Six months ago the doctor gave me a prescription of Zocor to reduce my cholesterol which was between 246-330 (thanks a lot dad!). Many people use drugs instead of self-control. Ideal numbers should be under 180. I tried the Zocor for two days and it made me very sick. No way was I going to do this. I threw the Zocor in the trash and decided to correct my problem naturally.
We decided to do something about it — as a family! We started by 1) using plant-based phytosterols (you should check these out, since research says they can naturally reduce cholesterol and certainly helped in my case), 2) eating only healthy and natural foods, and 3) included daily exercise — even when I didn’t have the time. I figure I can put in the time now or have a heart attack and be forced to put the time in later :-)
MY RESULTS: I had my cholesterol checked this week and it was 164 with a ratio of HDL to total cholesterol at 2.9:1 (normal is 5:1 or less). Six months ago my triglycerides were 179 (normal less than 150) and this week they tested at 52! My older brother has Diabetes II and six months ago the doctor told me I was pre-diabetic with a glucose count creeping up to 118. Today my glucose is well within the normal range at 96 (normal 60-110). I had high blood pressure too (thanks a lot mom!) Today my blood pressure is well within normal, averaging 114/75 over the last month.
I feel great and with a big smile my wife says I look great (blush!) She looks great too! We have more energy than we’ve had since we were kids. Since I am a rebel and non-conformist at heart I love bucking the indulgent American way of life and swimming up stream. It is also one of the reasons I love being Catholic! You don’t have to get body piercing and tattoos to stand out — just be a Catholic! — and get healthy!
You too can do this! It is not rocket science and it’s not complicated. I don’t report this to toot my own horn but to encourage others to do the same. Gluttony, lust and sins of the flesh are sinful vices (CCC 1866; Gal 5:19-21; Phil. 3:19) which are also destructive. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit (CCC 1832; Gal. 5:22-24) which is also very good for us!