Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WOW!!! All I can say is WOW!!!

Well my 100-Day Heart Challenge is now in the history books.  I can not be happier with the results!!!  I ended up sharing the 1st place honors with Cathi Penrod.  I can not believe that I had improvements to land me in this position.  Here is a wrap up of how the numbers improved:
  • Total Cholesterol was 187 now 121.  Folks I have never seen my total cholesterol this low!!!
  • HDL was 36 now 39.  I wish this was higher, but at least it has improved.
  • LDL was ??? (they could not get a reading at the beginning) now 48
  • Triglycerides was 560 now 165.  I am thrilled with this result, even though Cathi had better improvement.
  • Chol/HDL was 5.2 now 3.1.  This is good news!!
  • Glucose was 288 now 121.  Mine was the best improvement in Glucose of the bunch.
  • Blood Pressure was 130/88 now 116/70.  Mine was the best improvement of the bunch.
  • Resting Pulse was 70 now 54.  Another "WOW" for me!!
  • % of Body Fat was 23.3% now 19.  Close to getting into the acceptable range!!!
  • Waist Circumference was 46 now 38, a loss of 8 inches!!!  Can you say baggy pants?
  • Weight was 218 now 189.5  
What a ride this has been!!! I am so blessed to have had this experience.  I hope that I can continue to improve on these numbers so that I can add a few more years to my life.  Life is too fun and too good and to satisfying to cut it short.

To all of my fellow Heart Challengers, thanks for taking this ride too.  I have loved sharing this experience with you.

To JD, thanks for being there for me in helping me to make life changes.

To Traci, Maria, Janet, Dr Carter, and anyone else who is responsible for this program that I don't know, you have my never ending gratitude for creating this program and allowing me to participate.  You have indeed made a difference in my life!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

September 24, 2011 - A Very Nice Day

Today will go down in the History of James A Tanner as one of those all time great days.  Here is the low down:

  1. Started the day by doing the End of Heart Challenge 2 mile "fun" run.  Sorry I wouldn't call it fun, but I would call it personally satisfying.  I did complete the 2 mile course with out stopping to walk.  It took me 23 minutes and 49 seconds to complete the two miles so you can tell that am not a fast runner.  No surprise there I have never been one to run/jog, or what ever you want to call it.  I must state that it was probably the most physically demanding thing I have ever done outside of the Y Mountain Hike a couple of weeks ago.  It was great to do the race with my fellow Heart Challengers.  What a great group of people!!  Each one has inspired me in some way.  I am happy that each has found some measure of success with the challenge.  My never ending thanks and appreciation to JD, my personal trainer for the weeks of help and encouragement and especially today as he ran along side of me for a good portion of the 2 mile run giving me words of encouragement and praise.  My thanks also to JD's wife Summer for sacrificing some of their personal time so that JD could teach me how to better take care of my old body.
  2. Today just happens to be my30th wedding anniversary.  The entire day has been spent with my wife.  She was at the fun run to support me and give me the much needed hug at the finish line.  After the race we spent a little time recuperating and cleaning up and then off to the temple.  We thought it would be a nice way to spend some time in service at the Temple.
  3. Next up we headed off to Park City.  Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Prime Steak House on Main Street.  The food was great and the reminiscing over the past 30 years with my wife was priceless.  Finished up the day with a nice stint in the hot tub at the condo we have rented.  That soak sure felt good on my sore and aching body.
At this point I can not share the results of the 100-Day Heart Challenge.  The powers that be would not allow us to know the numbers, not even our official finishing weight.  They will give us that news Tuesday night at a celebration dinner.  Regardless of how it turns out I count my self lucky and fortunate to have had this experience.  I can't say  it has been fun, but I can say it has been as personally satisfying as anything I have been involved with in my 52 years of time spent on this earth of ours. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Almost Done

Well the 100 - Day Heart Challenge is just about over.  On Friday we weigh out, get measured, and have the blood tested.  On Saturday we (the 100-Day Challenge contestants) get to have the fun of doing a two mile run.  Are you kidding me?  Even when I was in high school and college I never ran 2 miles at one time.  The most I ran was 1 1/2 miles in the Fitness For Life that BYU required.  Do they still require that class?

At any rate I thought I would provide a few thoughts that have coursed through my brain molecules over the past few days.  I apologize now for the length of this entry in my blog.
  1. Entering the Heart Challenge was exactly the right thing for me to do at this time in my life.  It was through the initial blood tests that my diabetes was discovered.  I am grateful that this disease was discovered sooner rather than later.  Having this challenge with all its supports and helps has been a wonderful gift in getting me a strong foundation for living with diabetes for the rest of my life.
  2. I set a goal of 25 pounds of weight loss during the challenge.  As of last Saturday I have lost 27.  Goal accomplished.  New goal reset to another 25 pounds lost by New Years Day.  I know this will be a real stretch especially with the holiday season leading up to my target date.  But go big, or go home, right?  To say I am thrilled with the 27 pounds lost would be a huge understatement.  I have never lost this much weight in my life.  If I can drop 50 pounds .... FANTASTIC!  That would be way cool.
  3. I do worry about being able to keep up with the good eating habits and physical exercise.  It is so easy to back slide.  I would like to work myself up to being able to run an 5k race with my son Joshua before he moves out of state to work on his doctorate's degree next year.  If I can do 2 miles on Saturday I should be able to add one more mile to it by springtime.
  4. Things that have brought me satisfaction during this challenge?  Baggy clothes that were once tight.  Belts that are on their last hole.  Climbing to my seat at the BYU football games without getting winded.  Having people notice that I have lost weight and comment on the baggy clothes.  
  5. The biggest satisfaction to me?  Being able to play racquet ball with my son Joshua.  Before the challenge there would have been no way I could have played racquet ball.  Now I can do it and find that I love it.  I love it for the workout it gives my body.  But mostly I love it for the time I get to spend with my friend/son.  One on one time, you can't place a value on that.  I hope that we can do it many more times before he moves away.  It makes me wish that I could have done something like that with my own father.  Unfortunately he was diagnosed with cancer when I was 12 years old.  While he lived another 20 years after that, his health did not allow him to do that kind of physical activity.
Well that's it for now.  We will find out the results next Tuesday.  I'll report back to you on how everything ended.  Thanks to each of you for your kind words of support and encouragement!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I could use a new wardrobe.

I only have one pair of pants that fit me anymore.  All of the others are sagging so badly that they are bunching up horribly under the cinching of my belt.  And speaking of belts I'm down to the last notch on my best belt and it is starting to feel a little loose.  The one pair of pants that actually fit is a pair of white pants I used to wear at the temple.  I last wore these pants when my daughter Jamie went to the temple for her first time nearly 3 years ago.  At that time I had to suck in my gut as far as I possibly could, while jumping in the air in order to get the pants buttoned up.  Man it was a bad scene.  It took a good 3-5 minutes and multiple tries to get those pants on.  Just on a whim yesterday I decided to try them on again.  It was a nice fit.

I'm not ready to run out and do some shopping yet.  I think I need to wait a few more months for some more weight to find its way off my bod before venturing out for new clothes.  Well, truth be known, it will most likely be my wife who will go buy my new clothes.  She does it all the time for me.  She is the perfect mate for me.  Spoils me and takes better care of me than I deserve.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Something new again and football season challenges.

Today has been a pretty great day.  For the second Saturday in a row I did something I have not done before in my life.  This week's new item:  Racquet Ball.  My son Joshua introduced me to racquet ball this morning.  I found that I liked it a lot.  It gives me a nice cardiovascular work out as well as some thigh and hip work as well.  I was surprised how sore my hips got.  We played for about an hour and a half.  Almost 12 hours have passed since playing and I am experiencing a pretty sore right shoulder.  I know you can get tennis elbow, so can you get racquet ball shoulder?  I enjoyed this experience so much that I am looking forward to doing it on what I hope will be a regular basis.  Its nice to have a son so close by who is so supportive of me and what I am doing with these changes in my life.  He is patient in teaching me new things and his companionship means the world to me.

Now to explain the football season challenges.  It has become a tradition at our house to have a game day gathering.  If BYU plays at home we have a pregame meal at our house and then car pool to the game.  If the game is an away game then we have a house full of family to watch the game with us.  Naturally there is lots of food to enjoy.  Today we enjoyed the company of Stuart & Christina Heimdal and family, Julie, minus Darren, Wright and family, and Joshua & Sherry and family.  It was a great time and lots of great food.  It was a challenge for me to keep away from the foods that were not in my best interests to consume.  I did enjoy some fresh veggies and pretzels for a snack.  I had three bites of some banana bread and had a couple of the coconut M&M's.  All in all I think I did well in keeping to my eating plan.  There are 11 more games to go this season.  I am sure each one will present its temptations.

As of today I am down 24 pounds.  Only one more pound before I reach the goal I set for weight loss at the beginning of this 100 day challenge.  This is great in my estimation.  I have never lost this much weight before in my life.  Once I reach the 25 pounds lost goal, my intent is to move on to another 25 pound goal.  I would be thrilled if I could be down another 25 pounds by the New Year's.  I am certain that loosing another 25 pounds in that time will be a big challenge especially when you consider that I will not have the helps and supports of the 100 day challenge to keep me moving in that direction.  But what they hay, you've got to aim high.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Short trip to St George

The family just got back from a short trip to St. George.  It was I believe a fairly successful trip.  Here are a few details:
  1. We rented a condo.  This enabled us to prepare our own meals helping to ensure that I was eating according to my meal plan.  The condo helps feel like you are at home and helps save a few $$ on meals.  You do spend more for lodging so overall it pretty much comes out in the wash.  We did eat one dinner out.  Went to an interesting steak house called Anasazi.  Steaks cooked on a rock.  Now there is a novelty.  We passed on the fondue appetizers.  Plenty tempting, but knew I did not want all the fat in the cheese.  Had a very nice steak, grilled veggies, crisp green salad with raspberry vinaigrette (on the side).  Dessert proved a bit hard to resist.  I did resist the chocolate fondue but instead shared a Creme' Bruele.  I have a hard time passing up Creme Bruele.
  2. No problem keeping up the exercise.  The Condo complex had an exercise room at no additional cost that to say it was complete would be an underestimation.  Life Cycles, treadmills, all sorts of weight machines and free weights.   It had everything that I have been used to using in the Wellness Center at Utah Valley Regional.  I got in a full work out for the two days we were there.
  3. Took the family to see Disney's The Little Mermaid at the Tuacahn Theater.  We had front row seats which came in handy as we occasionally hot a little hit of mist or water splashes from the stage.  This helped keep us cool on a hot summer's night.  The play was top notch.  The talent level of the cast was fantastic, the set designs were amazing and the special effects were great.  The show runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights through October 21st.  Our family highly recommends seeing this production.  Our kids loved it and as adults we felt that they found a way to make us feel like we were a part of the action and not just watching something on a stage.
Life keeps moving on.  So far in the challenge 23 pounds have melted away, 7 inches have been lost from the waist, blood pressure and blood sugar levels are so good that I seem to not even worry about them any more.  Good stuff.  It is certainly worth the efforts.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sweet sucess with the help of friends

This morning I did something I have never done before in my life.  I climbed Y mountain.  I have lived in Utah Valley for 36 of my 52 years of life.  Yet I had never attempted to climb to the Y.  For those who are unfamiliar with Y mountain, here is a photo. 
After the past two months of good physical exercise I thought I was ready to take on this new challenge.  My physical routine includes treadmill, biking, and elliptical.  These work the legs and give good cardiovascular exercise.  It did not take long to for me to realize that I was not really ready for such a hike.  The trail to the Y is 1.2 miles long and has a series of 10 cutbacks.  By the time we hit cut back one, my legs were well beyond feeling the burn.  My heart was pumping, pumping, and pumping.  Sweat was dropping like rain.  At that early stage I wondered if I could really make it to the Y.  It was great to have the support of my two sons, Joshua, and Chris and my daugter-in-law Sherry.  Had I been on my own, I may have given up at about the halfway mark saying that I just wasn't ready for this hike.  Chris would periodically say "Come on dad, you can do it".  Sherry keep me in conversations that allowed my mind to think of other things beside my aching legs.  When the going got rough, the trail steep and it took every ounce of energy I had to take just one more step, Joshua would put a hand on my shoulder and give a gentle push.  That little push certainly lightened my burden and made my steps so much easier.  My thanks to Josh, Sherry and Chris for being there with me.  I could not and would not have done it without you.

Sherry, Joshua, and me at the Y.  Picture taken by Chris

Joshua, me & Chris at the Y.  Picture taken by Sherry

On the way down, as we got close to the end of the trail, we saw three athletic type young men sprinting up the trail.  Man, oh man.  How can they do that?  It took everything I had to make it and I was simply walking.  My body feels plenty sore ... just enough to appreciate the exertion that it went through and the fact that I did accomplish this goal.