Well, here we are at the sixth week. I had some blood work run during the fifth week and got the results during the sixth. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The last time I had blood drawn was almost 3.5 years ago and I weighed less than I do now (the Husband weighs about the same). Two years and almost 4 months ago, we switched over to a plant-based lifestyle (vegan). When we had those tests done, the Husband and I both had lost a lot of weight doing Weight Watchers. He lost 50 lbs, and I lost 75. I regained some during that year before we started eating only plants. The reason for the gain was my dependence on the old program and when they changed it I was thrown for a loop and quit doing it. Why am I giving you this background? Because when I tell you what our numbers are, I want there to be no mistaking that our weight wasn’t involved like people typically think. The Husband thought losing all that weight was going to give him great cholesterol numbers, but his were still on the high side of what traditional medicine calls “normal”. Mine was on the mid/lower end of “normal”. He had other markers that were still high too, but the cholesterol is what jumped out at him. We’ve often wondered what his numbers were when he was 50 pounds heavier, but maybe they were only slightly worse? I don’t know.
These last couple of years, we’ve begun to realize that it’s okay to question what is considered “normal” today. We’ve read books and watched documentaries (Netflix) that convinced us to give this “plant-based” thing a try. I can’t say I was happy about the changes at first. I mean, I loved cheese, and hey, my numbers were “fine”… I was “normal”, right? And then I read that some doctors* believe that our total cholesterol should be below 150 to be considered healthy. “Um, that’s not ‘normal’,” I thought. And in fact, less than 10% of Americans have these kinds of cholesterol numbers. So, no, it’s not normal, but I had to listen when I realized that the leading cause of death in this country isn’t cancer… it’s heart disease. I was horrified to learn that even many American children today have the beginning stages of heart disease. Then I learned another startling fact… plants don’t have cholesterol in them, but animal products do. Now, you may think everyone knows this, well, I didn’t and I had read tons of books on nutrition. I’ve even had gestational diabetes and had to see a professional nutritionist. To add another scary thing, I was told that I’d likely be a type 2 diabetic later in life, and that my kids might too… that’s what every expectant mother wants to hear – not. But no one ever told me the things I’ve learned about plants in the last two years. “Hmm, there might be something to this plant-thing”, I thought.
Well, the Husband and I kept talking about repeating our blood work, but I think we were both just a little afraid of being let down. I mean, what if it all turned out to be another “pie in the sky” promise by some doctor (or trainer) promoting a new book… another thing that didn’t deliver. So we put it off… until last week that is. After we got the Husband’s results, we went to pull out the ones from 3.5 years ago – and they are currently missing. We’re not sure if they were accidentally thrown out or what, but we can’t find them, otherwise we might have much more exciting comparisons than simply total cholesterol numbers. What we do know is that in late 2010, the Husband’s total cholesterol was in the 190’s and mine was in the 150’s. I only remember mine because I razzed him about it, which of course wasn’t very kind of me especially considering we were both in the range where most heart attacks occur. Did you catch that? Yes, the “normal” range is where over a million people will die this year thinking they are “okay”. Yikes. In light of this, you can imagine how much better we felt when we got our new numbers… they were 145 (the Husband) and 135 (me). That’s right… on plants, not medication. I’d also like to point out that our B12, protein, and calcium numbers are all within what is considered “healthy”… just in case you’re getting ready to type: “what about getting enough protein” or “you need milk for calcium” or “vegans have low B12” in the comments. It’s true that vegans do tend to have lower B12 numbers, but that is very easily rectified with a simple supplement.
God is so good. I don’t know that I would have abandoned cheese (and shrimp) if my husband hadn’t said, “you know we’re trying this don’t you?” I was too in shock by his words to contest, and I’m so glad I didn’t. He said all of us were doing it… yep, kids too.
As for the sixth week of this challenge, I released a total of 1 pound. I did have some roti bread on day 38. It was the first time we’ve made roti bread at home, and two of the kids were the chefs. So, I simply had to have some 🙂 The Husband made Baingan Bartha the same night… so I had one bite of that too (ooo la la).
SIX WEEK CHALLENGE TOTALS
For this six week challenge, I’ve released 17.4 pounds and 11.4 inches (7 different measurements taken – one side of body).
Where am I going from here? Well, I think I’ll do another six weeks.