I’m back! An Update. New Goals.

The last entry here was on the 8 January 2017!! My weight was 111kgs (245 pounds) – Today 12 June 2018, I am 97ks (213). What have I been doing?

Since I last posted here, I was offered a job as a Paramedic with Queensland Ambulance Service. I moved to Yeppoon QLD with my family and started my new career.

Map

We also welcomed our new daughter Asha to the mix!IMG_2846

I also had a crack at the Taupo Half Ironman. I got through the 1.9km swim and 90km bike ride but got back a bit too late to start the run. Still, I had a go.

Here’s me at the Rocky River Run 10kms. I didn’t break any speed records but I finished!

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I started here in March 2017 and my Grad Year was for 12 months. I knuckled down, studying and learning. My running goals slipped. Yep. I’m that person who writes big goals then does absolutely nothing to follow them up. Anyway, that was then. This is now.

I’ve lost a little bit of weight over this year and a bit, and have just recently got more serious about fitness and weight loss. I had some blood work done recently as I have Hypothyroidism and need that checked regularly. What was also discovered is I have high levels of both LDL (the bad cholesterol) and Uric Acid. Technically, both of these things can occur with a poorly functioning thyroid. They can also occur with obesity and excess alcohol consumption. I have/do all of these things. I am adjusting my Thyroxine intake so hopefully my Thyroid will be functioning at an adequate level. The other two are all up to me.

Here’s what I’m looking at;

High levels of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) in the blood essentially become stuck to the walls of arteries, this is Coronary Heard Disease (CHD). This plaque builds up over time until it eventually either blocks the artery or ruptures causing a blood clot to form. Depending on how far advanced the CHD is, people will experience episodes of angina (where blood flow is reduced), Stroke (the plaque breaks off and becomes lodged in a smaller vessel usually in the brain), or the king of them all -> Heart Attack (Heart does not pump blood efficiently and cardiac muscle is starved of oxygen and dies).  Currently in Australia, the likelihood of someone surviving a heart attack outside of hospital is 8%. That figure is very generous in my opinion.

High levels or Uric Acid -> Yep. 35 year old me is at high risk getting the old mans disease, Gout! When the kidneys cannot filter the uric acid, it can crystallise in joints, most commonly the knees ankles and toes.

I have been a Paramedic for a short time, but one thing I have noticed about the people we visit is that they all have something in common. I’m not talking about trauma patients or the one offs, I’m talking about the large majority of Ambulance call outs which are to patients with chronic illnesses. You think as an emergency service, our calls would be to car accidents or broken legs, asthma attacks ect. That’s not the case. Most paramedics go weeks or even months between seeing a patient acutely unwell or involved in a major trauma. What we go to mostly are patients who have chronic illnesses who are either experiencing an exacerbation of that illness or have an unrelated illness which they cannot deal with appropriately or which puts them at greater risk due to their pre-existing chronic illness. As an example, if someone with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease gets a simple common cold they often end up in the ED because of their reduced ability to clear mucus normally, the common cold becomes much more serious.

I have a theory – not tested or researched – but a personal idea that we can all compensate for a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking or excess alcohol consumption for 50 years. This doesn’t include the extreme versions, like the super morbidly obese, the 2 pack a day smoker or the alcoholics that drink 8 litres of wine a day, but the “normal” amount of these things. After 50 is when you will tend to see the obese experiencing chest pain and other obesity related illnesses. The smokers will develop a chronic cough which will lead to COPD or Emphysema.

I am so fortunate that as a paramedic I am able to talk with such a wide range of people from my community that I would never talk to if I wasn’t invited into their home and trusted to help at their worse time. So I can see snapshots of people, their medical history and what their concern is today. I see the 98 year old man who still mows his own lawn who has called us because he has cut his finger sanding back his kitchen table. We always ask what meds they are on, he is on two – Vitamin D tablets and 100mg Aspirin, because he heard its good for your ticker! Then I see the 45 year old who is obese, she sits in her well worn lounge chair complaining today of a sharp pain in the centre of her chest. Her meds are kept in a large snaplock container, a list on top to assist the paramedic understand whats inside. It’s two pages. As I read over I interpret the meds she takes with why she would take them. I see heart meds, blood pressure meds, diabetes meds and of course, about 3 different types of very strong opioid medication. These are for knee pain, or back pain. Sometimes they don’t know why they take them.

These are examples and not based on any one patient that I have seen. My point is, I can see exactly where I’m headed. Things snowball when your body gives up. So here I go again.

My plan at the moment is to focus on diet and strength training as the majority of what I do. The diet component of health and weight loss is both the most difficult and most important. You cannot out run a bad diet. A guy from work who is super fit and runs marathons told me the other day that he still puts on weight when his diet is full of rubbish despite running for up to 3 hours 9 out of 10 days. Let that sink in. So I’ve cleaned up my diet. A typical day is this:

Pre Workout – 1 Scoop Protein Shake with water. I like Giant Sport’s Delicious Powder. It’s the only one I’ve found that I like.

Post Workout – 3 Egg Whites on a Whole Wheat Muffin

Meal 3 – 3 oZ chicken 2 Oz Green Veg 1/2 Avo

Meal 4 – 3 Oz Chicken 3 Oz Green Veg 90grams roast potato

Meal 5 – 3 Oz steak 3 Oz Green Veg

Meal 6 – Peanut Butter Protein Freeze! 1 scoop protein Powder, 1/8 Tablespoon Peanut Butter, 2 drop Vanilla Essence and water to combine it all, put it in a cupcake patty and freeze.

I have been on this for about 6 weeks and have lost 5 kgs. It’s a mindset change. Food is fuel, that’s it.

Workouts — 5 Days a week in the gym. Strength training. Cardio at the moment consists mainly of the indoor trainer and Zwift. That’s because I like it but really any type of HIIT for 20 minutes will do.

My plan for the next 12 months. Continue to lose weight and strengthen my body. Get healthy! Start running 3 times a week and get faster!

It’s tricky with my job as planning for time off for races is hard but here is my schedule so far.

Sunshine Coast Marathon 10km    –    19th August 2018

Melbourne Marathon 21km    –    14th October 2018

Blackall 50km  —   20th October

Ultra Trail Australia 100km   –    19th May 2019

See how I go 🙂

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3 thoughts on “I’m back! An Update. New Goals.

  1. Hey, Thanks for updating your blog. It was good to read and I hope you do more.
    Parts of it really scared me and got me thinking..I was pretty anxious after reading about all the things that you see in your profession, I can see where I have been going down that road for a couple years now and it really scares me and I really need to continue on the path that I have just started…and enhance it working on eating better….not necessarily a diet…that is a terrible word….just eating better. …but it’s so much easier eating junk and sitting on the couch doing nothing……but thanks for the warnings!

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  2. Thanks so much for your comment. Great work on starting down the path of change. It’s a daily struggle. I have debates in my head to not eat that donut. In the end I think it’s about what you want long term and I remind myself of that when temptation happens.
    Keep kicking ass bro!

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  3. Hello again, I just wanted to check in with you to see how your training is going. And to encourage and wish you well on your race this weekend.
    I know it’s a struggle. I fight with it everyday, “I don’t feel like exercising” “It’s too hot”, “I have other stuff to do.” “”I really want a hamburger”…all of that.
    Periodically, I read your entry above and remember the horrible things that WILL happen if I don’t eat better and move (thank you). One of my greatest fears in life is to be older and unable to move and be in pain. My wife and kids think it’s weird when I see an older person running, or doing something strenuous. I gush about, it gets me motivated. When I get to that age I want to be able to do that and not be chair or bed bound.
    Anyway, good luck in your race (though luck is achieved by being prepared) and
    GO GET IT!

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