Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

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Going Green Again!

Vegan ShirtI wore a vegan shirt at the gym the other day. I'm not completely vegan yet but wanted to let others know that I'm doing a weeklong vegan challenge starting on Sunday. I want to challenge the notion that a lot of body builders have, that you have to eat animal products to get muscle.

I was recently reminded from Facebook that the last time I did a vegan challenge was two years ago. I thought it was time to do another challenge. So why a vegan challenge again? I don't think consuming too many animal products is good for you. I want to prove that eating a plant-based diet can build muscle.

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Ultimate weight loss motivation, fighting Diabetes.

Ultimate weight loss motivation, fighting Diabetes.

It has been a while since my last update.  Back on October 20th of 2015 I wrote about my desire to get back on the wagon to lose 91lbs. I mentioned how I haven't been feeling all too well and I was also at my heaviest weight of 274lbs. Knowing I had something wrong going on, I still decided to ignore it for a month or so without taking my own advice about seeing a doctor to check out what was ailing me.  Eventually, I saw a doctor and was able to get myself back on blood pressure medicine along with a statin to manage my cholesterol. Once back on the medication, after not having been on it for well over 2 years, I figured I was ok to continue my eating habits for a short time, sort of as a "last hurrah" before I kicked in my weight loss regime with the start of the new year.  With a follow up visit to the doctors to run some blood work to determine whether or not the medication was causing any havoc in my system, that is when the bomb dropped.  The abuse of my body had taken its toll.   It was discovered I had a high fasting blood glucose reading. (138) My A1C had me dipped into the insulin level of a diabetic. (9.6) Aside from all of this I also had an ear infection that was going on for some months and would not fully go away. 

I wasn't surprised and I almost suspected that something like this was happening based on how I did not feel well even after restarting the blood pressure and cholesterol meds. It was enough to give me a kick in the pants when it comes to making some key changes in my life.  Millions of people live with diabetes and many die due to complications of the disease.  This fact alone is enough to narrow my focus where I am to engage in battle against the disease as well as lose weight. In times past there was some wiggle room for excuses such as the "I can start up my diet tomorrow" which would roll from day to day, had turned into a "holy crap, you have no choice having two young children, you need to get your butt in gear and try to rid yourself of this disease so you can watch them grow up!".  Realistically, I realize I may not be able to get rid of diabetes if it is discovered that my pancreas is no longer creating sufficient insulin. Still, I need to give it a shot and see if I can conquer the disease that so many seem to fail and fall victim. Fortunately, it appears to be Type 2 where the cells in my body may be resisting the insulin my body may be creating.

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Still Building Muscle, Abs Somewhat Better!

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1939-1.jpgI met with my personal trainer on Monday. He measured my body fat with the 3 site skin fold caliper test. This was the best reading yet, close to 11 percent! My weight has been holding steady for a few months now, which is what I want. I weigh on average between 191 to 195 pounds... just trying to build muscle!

My trainer gave me a new workout that focuses on building bigger muscles for my legs, exercises that should target the lower abs and other exercises that will continue to build muscle for my arms, chest and back. The areas that have the most fat on my body are my abdominal area (obviously) and my back. My chest, arms and legs have the least amount of fat.

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A Tummy Tuck? What Was I Thinking?

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1913.jpgFor a brief moment the other week, I thought about getting an abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a tummy tuck. I went to a consultation a few weeks ago and learned about the procedure, how much it would cost and what recovery would be like. But I've decided against it and here's why...

There are signs of improvement! Every consultation I get seems to suggest my abs are improving. The first consultation I did back in 2014, the doctor said I would need a full body lift, essentially removing skin from both my front and back around the abs. No way would I consider that... there must be a better way. I went to another consultation and the doctor told me she thought my muscles looked good and wouldn't need any repositioning. People who have tummy tucks often have to have their muscles repositioned because of how stretched they get from the extra weight. This last consultation I had a few weeks ago, the doctor told me he can see some definition starting to show (of course much of it is still hidden under the extra skin). This made me think, why rush into a tummy tuck, there's still room for improvement.

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It's Hard To Remember How Heavy I Really Was

It's Hard To Remember How Heavy I Really Was

I've been maintaining my weight for about three and a half years now. I think so many people are used to me at this weight, I thought I would remind people how far I've come.

The picture on the left I barely remember looking like. When I showed a doctor my before picture last week, her reaction was I look nothing like that. She never would have recognized me from my fat picture.

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I Accomplished My Goal... 200 Crunches Done Today!

I've been building up to 200 crunches. I was doing the Greater Waterbury YMCA ab challenge last month and the last day of the challenge stopped at 160 crunches. I thought to myself,, I'd like to do an even 200 of them. So I kept going, increasing 5 per day until I reached 200 today.

In addition, I'm doing their other ab challenge, a planking challenge. It's five different kinds of planks, increasing by 5 seconds each day. There's only 2 days left of this challenge. Today, I held the planks for 50 seconds each.

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