A million years ago, the doctor told me that I had high blood pressure. *AND* bad cholesterol. *AND* a fatty liver.
She told me that I needed to lose weight and eat healthy and, for god’s sake, get some exercise. Well, here’s the problem: jogging sucks. Lifting weights sucks. Using an elliptical sucks. Incumbent bikes suck.
So I first went the route of dieting. Low-carb works to lose weight but I was eating bacon and eggs and cheese every breakfast, and some combination of meat and spinach/romaine and cheese for the other meals. Which did not help my cholesterol and only barely helped my fatty liver. Did you know you can get cirrhosis even if you don’t drink that much? Ugh.
Anyway, I started rock climbing and went to the doctor last week where she told me that while my blood pressure was 110 over 78 (WOO HOO!), she was still worried about my cholesterol (even though, to her feel, my fatty liver had receded somewhat) so I needed to drop some blood off for some tests. We agreed that if my cholesterol was 130-160, we’d have a serious talk about diet and if it was over 160, I’d go on medication.
I got my results: 117. My liver had returned back to full functionality.
I haven’t changed my diet. (Well, I go low-carb every Lent but that’s months ago now.) The only thing I’ve really done is started rock climbing a couple times every week. This simple change to my lifestyle has resulted in my cholesterol turning around, my liver getting better, and me losing weight and keeping it off.
All that to say: Seriously. Look into going to a climbing gym. It doesn’t *FEEL* like exercise. It feels like climbing a wall (or, in my case, mostly failing to climb walls). But it *WORKS*. I mean, I looked at the peg board today and wondered “huh… could I do that?” and, as it turns out, I couldn’t. But, and here’s the point, I didn’t know. Instead of immediately knowing “Yeah, I can’t do that”, I had reason to believe that, maybe, something had changed.
And, among other things, it included my cholesterol.
The weird thing is that I’m noticing psychological changes. Like I’m wondering about Yoga. Yoga! This is crazy! (I find myself wondering about going vegetarian. VEGETARIAN!)
So maybe the advice is that getting out and doing stuff is a gateway drug to vegetarianism.
But if you have been thinking “jeez, I need to change my life… but the gym sucks…”, then see if you’ve got a climbing gym near you and get on the wall. Climb up one quarter of one wall. Eventually, you’ll be able to climb up half of it. You won’t believe what happens after that.
Seriously. My life has improved so much that I can’t shut up about this. You need to get in on this.
As such, I’m going climbing this weekend.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)