Six-Week Veganism Results

My highly anticipated (by me) date finally arrived. It was time to make my way to the VA and have my lab work done. It had been six weeks since I began this culinary journey into the depths of plant-based eating.

To recap, initially I was going to try this for four weeks and see how it looked; however, my doctor informed me that she really needed six weeks to see the difference in my labs.

So I agreed.

During this period I did not cheat a single time – although I did unintentionally have a few bites of a meal with egg in it. Once it was noticed, I was done.

As far as cravings – very minimal.

Detox – nothing that I can point to.

Results – well, I wish I had better news to report, but let me explain.

Having had the detailed discussion with my doctor about my lifestyle change, I was very curious to see all of my lab results. Glucose, Cholesterol, Calcium, B12…I really wanted to see the effects.

Unfortunately, all of those labs weren’t ordered. So I have nothing to report about my cholesterol…yet. I go back in two months for a complete set.

So, first off, weight loss. According to my weight at the VA I have lost a little over nine pounds! Additionally, I have lost an inch across my waist.

Glucose – my readings were consistently in the 300’s prior to starting. Yeah – that’s not good. That’s major diabetes.  I am now in the 110’s – 130’s. Still diabetic, but a huge difference in only six weeks.

Both calcium and B12 are in the normal ranges.

I specifically chose NOT to take any supplements during this period as I wanted to see the effects of the diet alone, so that was a welcome result.

A few other changes – my resting heart rate has gone from the mid 90’s to the mid 70’s.

Also, and this was another big one – my blood pressure. I went from 150/91 six weeks ago, to 117/79!

Last week I was noticing my energy level dropping though. So I have started taking a multi-vitamin with B12 to help with that. I don’t know if it really starts working right away or if it’s in my mind, but I do already feel better this week.

So, I consider everything a success so far. I go back on December 8 for more labs and will see how I’m progressing and decide if this is what I plan on sticking with.

Thanks for the words of encouragement that I have received and questions you have asked. Please feel free to continue.

#Depression is a Bitch

depression_by_ajgiel-d7l4ewu

This is going to be a tough discussion.

Not easy to type either. Or talk in person, or even think about.

But depression is a bitch. And I have it.

I don’t know when. I don’t know where. I don’t know why. But I have it.

On the outside, you would never know it. Hell, people in my “inner circle” wouldn’t even know. I’m an excellent actor. After all, I am an introvert that does a ton of public speaking.

I’m not in the medical field. I have no real research, so this blog is only going to be about my experience. Don’t take it as medical advice.

Seriously, please don’t.

But I have to talk about it. If anything maybe it will be beneficial for me. I don’t know if we introverts have a higher rate of depression or not. It would seem to make sense to me since many of us cherish our alone time. But with alone time comes that dreaded thinking time.

A little history about me.

I grew up in a middle class family. A happy family for the most part. After graduation from High School I joined the Army and spent four years being a soldier. A successful soldier.

When it was time to get out, I did. A buddy and I drove around the country in a U-Haul truck until we ran out of money in a small town in Montana. If you have been to Montana, most towns are small.

About a year later I moved to the capitol city, and even though I struggled to get back in “civilian mode”, I was fortunate to land a decent job that allowed me to pursue my degree while working.

College came much easier to me than High School did, and I graduated with a 3.5 gpa.

I met my wife (The Hippy), we got married and enjoyed travel vacations as my career became more and more successful. We were able to buy a house, and though it took a long time, were blessed with an awesome son. We’ve also been blessed enough that The Hippy has been able to be a Stay-at-Home mother for that awesome son.

So why do I battle that bitch depression?

I don’t know.

I do know that I would go through what I called my “blue” periods at times before my diagnosis.

They didn’t register much to me though. It was in my mind it was just my time that I needed to be alone to recharge. Perhaps it was.

Perhaps I just didn’t recognize the truth.

Finally a little over a year ago I told my doctor that I thought I might have a little depression.

But when I got my prescription, it was an eye opener. My bottle had the lovely diagnosis on it of treatment for “major depression.”

MAJOR.

To be honest, it was kind of a relief. I didn’t have to wonder. I didn’t have to WebMD myself. It was in black and white.

MAJOR.

But treatable.

So it’s been over a year now. My meds have been increased slightly once, but for the most part it helps. People still don’t know. People would be shocked. When someone asks how I’m doing as part of opening a conversation, I don’t really answer. My answer is, “How are YOU doing?”

I still have times when I am sitting alone “recharging” when I wonder if I am really recharging or being depressed.

When I was down in Denver last week I had the opportunity to have dinner with a high school buddy of mine. I haven’t seen him since we graduated nearly 25 years ago. I haven’t seen anyone from high school since then since I don’t live in Colorado anymore.

I actually was hoping during the day of our bro-date that he would cancel. This was a good friend of mine. Someone I still consider a friend through Facebook. But I just wanted to sit in my hotel room, order room service, and do nothing.

He didn’t cancel.

I’m glad he didn’t.

I enjoyed reconnecting with him. It was by far the best part of the entire week. He’s also kind of a hippy dude, like my wife.

The moral, if there is one…if you “think” you may be battling depression, talk to your doctor about it.

I didn’t want to. I don’t know how long I have been suffering, but I didn’t want to admit any weakness. But I am better for it.

Yeah, I have to take some meds each morning. If I miss them I have some pretty jacked up dreams at night. But ultimately I think it makes me a better person.

You deserve to be better too.

Trust me.

Worst Vacation Ever – Except for me…it’s AWESOME!

introverts-las-vegas

My wife (The Hippy) is about 900 miles away from me right now.

She is in Las Vegas with a few girlfriends. I am sitting at home taking care of our six year old kindergartener and our nearly 16 year old puppy.

She is recharging in Sin City (hopefully without all the sins).

I am recharging in silence and solitude.

Don’t get me wrong…as introverted as I am, I can enjoy trips to Vegas too. But they really do exhaust me. Her trip just happened to fall in line with our son still being in school and our puppy still enjoying life. (Unless she is traveling with us in the camper, we always keep one person home for when she passes.)

This is the first time in nearly two years I’ve taken a vacation. Yes, two years.

It’s not the first time I’ve traveled. I have had the opportunity to go all over for work. DC, Boston, New Orleans, San Fran, Dallas, Austin, Denver, Chicago, Seattle…just to name a few. Usually I am traveling on my own, and then sight seeing on my own too. Of course, with headphones on and my cell phone ready to be at my ear in case there are conversations heading my way.

So what does an introvert do on his first vacation in forever?

Nothing.

Ok, that’s not exactly true.

I have completely redesigned our living room. And kitchen. And bedrooms. And basement.

And our camper.

And mowed the lawn. Twice.

Sound like fun? No?

How about relaxing? No?

Ok, definitely sounds like a way to get recharged for work, right? No?

Well, maybe not for you. Guaranteed not for The Hippy. In fact, she is probably freaking out right now in the middle of all the neon and slot machines dropping coins (it’s been a long time since I’ve been there and I hear they don’t actually drop coins anymore…that sucks) knowing that I am clearing out the house.

In know there are thousands of articles regarding Introverts needing peace and quiet and Extroverts needing everything else. I’m not going to reiterate all of that, except to say that for me, it’s true.

When I get back to the office on Tuesday morning, I know I will be asked the mandatory question about what I did on vacation. And I also know that when I tell the truth, they will most likely tell me, “Worst Vacation Ever.”