Wednesday, October 7, 2009
How is Rod Westwood healthy?
I try to be healthy by being more conscious about what I put in my body, trying to get more exercise, taking my medications as directed, finding social outlets, and taking care of my mental health. I these things are essential to be a whole healthy person.
I recently received a huge wake-up call last November when I stepped on the scale and it read 305 pounds.
I went home and cried.
I finally decided this was the breaking point for me. Enough was enough! I made a commitment to stop eating out for every meal and start eating at home more. I also pledged to myself to walk a little every day. I started out small. I started by eating dinner at home every night and walking a half mile everyday. Within a month, I was eating most meals at home and walking a mile everyday. That doesn’t sound like a lot to most people, but when you’re so fat that you can hardly breathe climbing three flights of stairs or bending over to tie your shoes, this was a huge accomplishment. And slowly, the weight came off.
Eventually, eating at home became a challenge of finding healthy things that tasted good. Diabetic Cooking and The Biggest Loser Cookbook became my friends. With my tax refund, I bought a Wii Fit. And the pounds kept coming off.
To date, I have lost 50 pounds. And I’ve kept it off. I’m still losing weight and still trying to eat healthy. I don’t deny myself things. If I want cake or pizza, I eat it, but I have learned that I don’t need to eat half the cake or the entire pizza to satisfy my cravings.
Last month I started my HIV HAART regimen. I’m taking Truvada and Isentress. I’ve been able to be mostly adherent. I’ve never missed a dose by more than 3 hours, so that is going well. Fortunately I don’t have to take the medicines with food, so I’m not eating late at night, which helps with my weight loss. I find the regimen easy to follow (as long as I have an alarm to remind me) and I will find out soon what effect this is having on my body. I’m hoping for good numbers.
After much coaxing by my therapist, I’ve finally started going to support groups and social events. For the longest time, I was a hermit and never left my house except to work or go grocery shopping or to see my health care team. Now, I go to two support groups per week, and try to go to at least one social event every other week. I’ve been making some new friends and getting out of the house a lot. This has really boosted my self-esteem and made me start being more alive.
Two years ago, I couldn’t wait to die. Today, I can’t wait to live!
-- Rod Westwood
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