Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Daddy!

As a kid I remember my dad to be a 'large' man. Looking back at pictures, he really was quite thin. OK, maybe a little pudgy, but not like the images that were in my memory. I remember in 1977 when we all made jokes about one particular picture of him leaning on the hood of a car, saying "If ya take a picture of a barn, ya get a picture of a barn...hahaha". It's a joke we still use sometimes today when the opportunity is right.

During my junior high and high school years I remember many nights after dinner when my dad would find snacks. It wasn't unusual for him to eat most of a bag of potato chips or most of a pound of salami, or spaghetti, chicken rice soup, hot dogs or sandwiches. Dad was always snacking, it seemed. I thought it odd when I got married and my husband didn't snack all night. Seriously.

Over the years my dad's weight exceeded in real life the childhood memory I had of him; he gained lots of weight. I remember him trying all kinds of diets, fads, non-fads, cutting out carbs, cutting out meat, trying different diet theories, but always struggling with his weight and his health. He's had high blood pressure, gout, diabetes, and probably others I'm not aware of.

I'm not sure when or how the change got serious, but it seems like the last year or two he has changed his eating habits. He's learning what foods work for him and which ones to avoid. He's always been good at eating vegetables, but he's now eliminated the salami and junk food is no longer part of his life. I know he does excellent at drinking water. He's become more active and has lost lots of weight.

Earlier today he posted this on his Facebook:

As a senior citizen, I'm glad to say I am no longer on any type of perscription drug. I was able to shed them via lifestyle change and diet. Sometimes drugs are needed but they all have side effects that I don't want. My diet includes a lot of fruits and veggies with severe restriction of meats and just about any white food - bread, white rice, pasta, etc. Most people my age that I know are on up to a dozen or more drugs!

When a friend questioned what he did, he responded:

Yes, BP meds was one of them. For me, weight was the problem. I was on several different BP drugs and a water pill. I first shed the water pill then the BP drug. I had to lose 40 lbs to get off those meds. The diet that worked best for me was close to a vegetarian diet but I also counted calories and wrote them down BEFORE I ate the food. There were times I decided not to eat the food! ...

...What you might do is to write down the calories of the food before you eat. You might decide to only eat 1/2 of the potatoes, etc, to stay within your daily calorie total. I change my daily totals from time to time, but this week I'm staying between 1200-1500 calories per day. Other times I'll limit the daily calories to 1500-1800 per day.

I'm SO proud of my dad! He is a testimony and inspiration that seniors don't HAVE to live with perscriptions! It's not a rite of passage or a curse of 'old age'. Seniors CAN be perscription free. And if THEY can do it, why not us younger folk?

Note: Before following my dad's methods, please be sure to check with your doctor, as you may need a different plan of action!

Dad, 1964