Having just been released from the hospital with a diagnosis that a less-than-health-conscious individual like myself should have the immaculate circulatory system and heart function of a twenty-year-old, is an enigmatic miracle that frankly, I don’t deserve. The reason I say that is simply that, if I’m to be honest, I don’t know anyone who has actually had more disregard for personal health than myself, but more significant is the fact that I subsist on major amounts of fat intake.
My cardiologist’s quote: “I don’t want to see you back here for another four years at least because, barring any unforeseen circumstances, it will take you at least that long to build up enough arterial plaque to be remotely threatening and your heart muscle’s fine.” And this, after having a benign tumor (unrelated) surgically extracted from my left ventricle in 2004. So the medical problems that brought me to the hospital (another story altogether) were definitely NOT heart-related.
Some of the common foods I eat are heroic quantities of cheeses, bacon, sausage, beef, pork, butter (a lot), whole milk, eggs (with yolks) and of course chicken (SKIN ON).
The one factor I might be able to point to for this odd-seeming gift of heart health is that, over the years, I’ve been relatively carb-conscious. This was a really good thing because, as it eventually turned out, I developed type 2 diabetes and if I’d been loading up on the carbohydrates, I might have developed much more serious complications than I did.
I began this carb-conscious regimen with a drastic program called the Protein Power Plan (which I recommend to anyone interested, and can be found online) when I ballooned up to 318 lbs. (I’m 5’6” ) and decided that enough was enough. This program was a highly structured form of the Atkin’s Diet. It’s a four-phase program in which you are given a projected protein intake for your given weight/body-type. After determining what these are, you are given a formula (which you calculate yourself) that determines what your target weights for the four steps should be.
In the first step you are prohibited from having any and all carbs. In each step you are allowed more and different kinds of carbs until, on the fourth and final step, called Maintenance, you can eat any carbs you want (sanely). The idea is that by this stage you have completely re-trained your metabolism.
When I went to my doctor and told him my plan to undertake this diet and what it entailed, he suggested that there are quicker and more cost-effective ways of killing myself. I decided not to take his advice and began the diet anyway. Of course I researched the logistics of the plan before beginning it and decided the risk was worth it. Long story short; I went from 318 to 180 lbs. in eight months and kept it off for a decade. Upon revisiting my doctor, we found my vital signs and levels to be textbook and he told me, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” I’ve recently gained some of the weight back but it is largely due to retiring and becoming sedentary.
Here I should say that the reason I’ve always followed my own advice and the advice of those I trust, as opposed to the “authorities”, is that the conventional “wisdom” that the medical community has our best interest at heart, has become contemporarily flawed. By that I mean that what began with Hypocrites as a purely altruistic endeavor has become a self-serving industry that, if its main commodity (sick people) went missing, so would the industry. So, always consider that fact when you enter any relationship with your doctor. Actually the same logistics apply to all facets of life (especially politics). It doesn’t take a genius to figure things out logically and yet we have had our self-confidence so sociologically undermined that we have handed over the lion’s share of our personal strengths to anyone with a degree hanging on their wall. Why?
Back to thinking for yourself.
I thought about my decision to do my diet like this: If you want to keep something from sticking to something, what do you do? Grease it, right? So if you put a bunch of animal fat (grease) into your system, how would you make it stick? Answer? Add some kind of paste (carbs). In the first place the body, especially the brain, desperately needs all manner of fats and proteins to function properly. Protein is, after all, what is commonly attributed to transforming us from monkeys into a species so comfortable with our evolutionary dominance that we feel it’s acceptable to let others do out thinking for us. So the diet was kind of a no-brainer.
It’s not fat that clogs your system. It’s what makes the fat sticky that does it.
Now, the medical profession will provide all kinds of confabulatory disinformation and “science” to justify their reasoning AND their very existence, but the fact is that nature gave us a brain to use and question the miracles of life for ourselves. This miracle is a free gift of birth. What a sin it is not to use it.