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Monday, December 24, 2012

A Year Later

It's now been a little over a year now since the heart catheterization that revealed my coronary artery disease.    Thanks to my good friend Dr. Cliff Packer, I did not elect the coronary bypass surgery that the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recommended.   The doctor from the Clinic in his letter to my family doctor indicated that "the patient could try medical treatment, but I consider coronary bypass surgery his best option".      Dr. Packer is my baseball teammate who read the report and suggested that if I was up to the task, I might be able to reverse my heart disease with lifestyle changes that included diet and exercise.

Considering my relative young age (57), if I elected to have the surgery and did not change the lifestyle that most likely caused my heart disease, I would be back in the hospital for another bypass operation 10 years down the road, so if figured WTF, lets see what the lifestyle changes can do.

The changes:

  • Daily exercise of 30-60 minutes.     Began with slow walking and escalated into cycling and finally into running.    
  • Diet:   Elimination of animal protein, saturated fats and liquid calories.   No fast food, no fried foods, no soda.   Lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
The Results

Weight Loss:   Beginning Weight 211,  Weight now 169
Cholesterol:   June 30, 2011:  Total 211; LDL (bad cholesterol) 135, HDL (good cholesterol) 45
July 10, 2012 - Total 136, LDL 73, HDL 52
Exercise Heart Rate: Walking August 15th, 2011 4.03 miles in 1:08:28 (16:59 per mile) HR Avg 123, Peak 151.   Same course August 17th, 2012 1:04:37 (15:57 per mile) HR Avg 108, Peak 120.
Cycling : September 2,