As far as taste is concerned, I don’t feel any lack. Mary Ann and I cook a wide variety of food for dinner. Dishes such as clams linguine; shrimp saag; broiled salmon with asparagus and sweet potatoes or corn; turkey sausages with bulgur wheat, kalamata olives, capers and red peppers; and many more, are all delicious. Sure, I don’t eat steak anymore, nor do I go to Fat Boy’s Barbecue (well, hardly ever), but the sacrifice is minor compared to the health benefits that I’ve achieved.
My purpose in changing my lifestyle was not to lose weight and keep it off, but that has been the result. The last time I was 150 lb. was in 2007. I am currently at 148 lb. with a BMI of 24.3.
The health benefits of the SWLL are encapsulated in my metabolic syndrome score. Blood glucose, waist size, HDL, and triglycerides are all in the healthy range. The one bad value I have is my systolic blood pressure at 134. This is over the healthy range of <130. So I have a total of one metabolic syndrome point. Since it takes three of the measures to be in the unhealthy range to define metabolic syndrome, I conclude that I don’t have metabolic syndrome.
A major benefit of my lifestyle is that I do not have to take any drugs. The various drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes save millions of lives. But they come at the cost of side effects. If lifestyle can do the job, then it is a better solution.
As I write this, I am age 77. I am surely going to die of some disease in the next few years, but my lifestyle gives me the best chance of extending those years. Here are some specifics.
Heart disease. Exercise keeps my heart strong. My diet reduces plaque in my arteries. In 2012 an ultrasound of my carotid artery showed minimal plaque buildup. A 2015 stress test with echocardiogram showed no problems.
Diabetes. Given my lifestyle, there is little chance that I will become diabetic this side of extreme old age.
Cancer. A healthy lifestyle reduces the chance of contracting cancer. However, a lowered probability is not zero probability and I’m the proof. In 2009 I contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma. If you would like to read about my experience with cancer, check out my blog at http://nonhodgkinlymphoma.wordpress.com/
Dementia. As we get older the possibility of Alzheimer’s or other dementia increases. Six of the seven lifestyle factors that are associated with a raised probability of Alzheimer’s do not apply to me. These are physical inactivity, depression, smoking, mid-life obesity, low education, and diabetes. The one factor that is applicable to me is mid-life hypertension. I conclude that I have a reduced chance of contracting Alzheimer’s. I do have age related short-term memory lapses. My processing capacity seems to be OK.
Frailty. This is the condition that most frequently impairs quality of life as we age. So far frailty is not affecting me in a serious way. I am not as strong as I was, but I am strong enough to engage in activities like shoveling snow, carrying groceries upstairs, and hiking mountains. I expect this to continue for several more years as long as I continue to train with weights.
So, all in all, my lifestyle has played a major role in preserving my health and supporting a good quality of life. Of course, it’s not a panacea. I still have hearing loss; balance issues; pleural calcification, probably due to asbestos exposure as a boy; sleep apnea; latent tuberculosis; kyphosis… the list goes on. But, who cares? All the major systems are functional, I don’t need to take any drugs, I enjoy a glass of wine every night, I can hike mountains, and I spend all my time with a hot babe. I hope you are as lucky when you get to my age.