on lifestyle…

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

I'm 48 years old, 6 feet tall, and 285 pounds. I am middle-aged and obese. I have hypertension, dyslipidemia, Type II Diabetes, and severe obstructive sleep apnea - not to mention Bipolar Disorder, anxiety, and depression. Every day, I take 5 prescriptions for metabolic and mood disorders. Every night, I sleep with the assistance of a CPAP device.

But, today, that all ends. Today, I'm taking back my life.

Almost ten years ago, my wife and I participated in a medically supervised weight loss program called 20/20 Lifestyles. It was quite rigorous, and very successful — I lost 85 pounds in 20 weeks. I was able to stop taking my blood pressure, cholesterol, and Diabetes meds. Everything was better — even (or perhaps, especially) sex.

The program prescribes both diet and exercise, both of which are tackled in 7 stages. The diet starts by removing virtually all carbs, then it adds back one food group at a time. By the end, the diet resembles the one described above by Michael Pollan.

As for the exercise component, it begins with a 30-45 minute walk at 65% of your maximum heart rate 5-6 times a week. The program later adds stretching and weight lifting components to help with flexibility and to raise your metabolism so you burn more calories all day long.

Finally, there's another component to the program called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (or, NEAT). Basically, that's a long way of saying that you need to remain active throughout the day. To meet that goal, you need to walk 10,000 steps per day above and beyond whatever steps you get during cardio.

So, beginning this Sunday, June 28th, my wife and I are going to do it all again. We're going to recreate the 20/20 program as best we can. And, I plan to blog about our progress regularly.

Wish us luck!

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