Turning A Health Scare Into A New Lifestyle

A month ago now, we went to Bangkok for a complete health check at a hospital famous for their health check packages. There are comparable packages available in Singapore in terms of price, but there’s nothing like the setup they have there. In this Bangkok hospital, batteries of X-ray and other diagnostic machines line luxuriously appointed hallways that look like they belong more in a five star hotel than a hospital. This also means that as crowded as it gets because of its fame, a typical patient could be in and out of the place with their test results within five hours.

So I got my results and a partial explanation of why I had been feeling tired for the past year – hypertension (153/90), a fatty liver (non-alcohol related), a triglyceride level twice the recommended high end figure and a suspected narrowing of one of the coronary arteries, based on the stress ECG which is part of the package.

We left the hospital did some shopping and eating and returned to Singapore to a cardiologist’s appointment and a brand new diet.

I’ve cut out alcohol since 26 June (though the cardiologist did say a glass or two of red was permitted), and have been on a very low carb, very low cholesterol, very low fat, 95% vegetarian diet, allowing myself a stress free bigger meal on the weekend with the family. It was just as well I did. Last week, on my second visit to the cardiologist, I did a sugar tolerance test and failed. I am diabetic, but only slightly.

I’ll be making an appointment for an angiogram and if needed, angioplasty. Till then, I’m not allowed to exercise yet. But I’m really enjoying the new diet that Naomi has jumped into helping me plan – and in fact I’m writing this between my now routine glasses of banana-blueberry-protein-powder-dunnowhat (I’ll get the recipe later) smoothie and fruit (beetroot, celery, yakon) juice for breakfast. Most days, barring a lunch meeting, I pack a lunch box from a Naomi-planned menu containing fruit, vegetables and some protein, usually tofu, and a banana for an energy boost. It gets me through the day without snacking.

I weighed in at 72kg in Bangkok on 17 June. I’m currently at 66.5kg. Some way to go before I get to a safe weight for my frame. But I’m happy with this diet and have been surprisingly disciplined about it but that’s probably because I’ve not had any cravings for carbs or meat that plague many dieters. I think we must be doing something right.

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4 thoughts on “Turning A Health Scare Into A New Lifestyle”

  1. Well done! Remember this: healthier lifestyle choices will be akin to a marathon, and not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul, with a healthier, better you as the end result. The weight loss alone will do wonders for all the ‘lifestyle’ health issues you’ve developed – blood pressure will decrease, TGs will come down, fatty liver will gradually reverse, and diabetes control will be easier. If only all patients were as motivated as you!

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