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After a long rest

18 Month Cooper Clinic Physical

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A couple of weeks ago I had a complete physical at Coopers Clinic in Dallas. This physical coincided with me being back in the pool 18 months. The physical was very complete including blood work, full body MRI, stress test, hearing, vision, vocal chord exam, dermatology, nutrion analysis, a visit with a sports physiologist, etc. I got a two thumbs up during the visit but yesterday I got the written report they promised me giving me the details of my physical.

I am not sure if i would have found the report so interesting if they had found some anomalies but they did not and the 60+ page report was very interesting. I am very pleased to say that there were no anomalies in the report.

I found a few things in the report particularly interesting.

  • My body fat is now at 13.5% and by the health charts at 180lbs and 6'5" I am under weight and my body fat percentage is marginally under the healthy range for an adult male 40-44.
  • Comparing my stress test results from this time to the last time I did one(2009) were like results from two different people. In 2009 at 39 years of age I lasted 21 minutes where as this time I went over 30 minutes.
  • I live in Dallas where it is sunny most of the time yet my vitamin D levels were very low(25), and they want you in the 30-100 ng/mL.
  • I had overall high cholesterol but my LDL is low and my HDL is high and according to the report I don't need to worry about my total cholesterol. My heart was clear of any calcification so I am at low risk of heart problems.
  • Despite my life style change I still have elevated blood pressure which I am going to work on through refinement of my diet a little more. I plan on reducing my coffee intak in particular.


As I have written previously I credit my life style change 100% to swimming. I know if I did not enjoy swimming and if I was not setting swimming related goals I would not have changed my lifestyle. 18 months in, I am now swimming at least once a day except Sundays and I try lifting and doing dry lands Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This is a big commitment and I know by doing this I miss time with my family(at least the evenings), however I also know that the consequences of my new life style are positive on my health, both physically and mentally and I know long term I will have a higher quality of life and hopefully for a longer amount of time.

Another benefit I have found from my swimming is that I now have an even more special relationship with my daughter who is also swimming. I don't swim all her USAS meets but I do swim a few and get a very different perspective by being on the deck with her. I try to keep my distance so she has her space and time with her friends, but I am close enough that we can relate to things that happen on the deck. These will be very special memories for me that I would not have had,if it were not for swimming.

I am still really enjoying my swimming(actually if it's possible I am actually even more crazy about swimming) and i am now at the point that my weight fluctuates very subtly from week to week. I still have the fear of putting the weight back on but my life style change seems to have stuck. Out of choice I still don't drink alcohol, eat deserts, and I avoid snacking but other than these i eat pretty normally.

After going through a big weight loss and life style change I understand that it is a very personal thing and what works for one person may not work for another. I also realize that getting up at 4.30am and heading to the pool everyday may not be something that everyone is able to do or wants to do. I am not crazy(despite what my wife tells our friends when describing my workouts) and I too have those mornings where it's cold or I have achy muscles and staying in bed is a better choice, but I choose to get up and go to the pool. Its not because I want a healthy life that motivates me but rather because I have competitive swimming goals. Working towards these goals are what keeps me motivated. It's almost like the weight and health are a side affects of my swimming goals. I can't believe I was out of the pool as long as I was and in hindsight I wish I had never stopped swimming. I can't change my choices and all I can do is focus on continuing to have fun at something I have realized i love and is a very important part of my life.

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Weight loss

Comments

  1. pwb's Avatar
    Stewart, This is great. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and been very inspired by your efforts, commitment and workouts. I agree with you that the goals in swimming drive results elsewhere. For me, I came back to swimming partially for health, but primarily because I had nothing that was 'mine' in between work and family. Even though I spend more time swimming now than I did 14 years ago when I wasn't swimming, competitive swimming has given me so much more energy and a healthier perspective on life so that, paradoxically, I think I'm more committed and engaged in both my career and family now than I was when I wasn't swimming. It truly is a magical sport.

    Keep up the great work and keep on blogging.
  2. flystorms's Avatar
    That's fantastic news, Stewart. Great job on really great progress in that short of time. And to echo pwb, you're inspiring! I can see where the vitamin D might be donw... it's been a long winter, even in Dallas.
  3. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Stewart, This is great. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and been very inspired by your efforts, commitment and workouts. I agree with you that the goals in swimming drive results elsewhere. For me, I came back to swimming partially for health, but primarily because I had nothing that was 'mine' in between work and family. Even though I spend more time swimming now than I did 14 years ago when I wasn't swimming, competitive swimming has given me so much more energy and a healthier perspective on life so that, paradoxically, I think I'm more committed and engaged in both my career and family now than I was when I wasn't swimming. It truly is a magical sport.
    It really is a magical sport and I wonder why I lost my love for it when I was in my early 20s. My parents never put pressure on me but when i was a senior in college and training to make the olympics i lost sight of the fun part of swimming. It was all about winning and nothing else mattered at that point in time. I think one of my lessons is to try to help my daughter focus on the setting goals, working hard and having fun swimming and let the results be what they will be. I know we are all different and I never want to be one of those parents who live through there kids, however I want to be a role model for her and show her that if she is going to swim, she needs to continually have fun, and keep that as the primary motivator.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Keep up the great work and keep on blogging.
    Thanks. I certainly will.
  4. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms
    That's fantastic news, Stewart. Great job on really great progress in that short of time. And to echo pwb, you're inspiring! I can see where the vitamin D might be donw... it's been a long winter, even in Dallas.
    Thanks. If I inspire people that's great. I hope people have as much fun as me setting goals and working toward them. Whether I achieve mine or not the journey is going to be great.

    On the vitamin D front the doctor said that recent studies show that generally people's vitamin D levels are getting lower for,some reason. They suggested I take take 3-4 times the daily recommended intake. I started right after the visit and can't tell any difference yet but it's early days....you are right about the winter this year. I know we are lucky compared to a lot of places but it's been a long cold winter by our standards.
  5. ekw's Avatar
    Literally everyone I know who has had a blood workup recently has had low vitamin D. I asked a friend who's a doctor and he said they only started measuring it routinely recently. My doctor told me to take an OTC vitamin, which I have been doing. I don't feel any different but it's not hard or expensive to do.
  6. knelson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartACarroll
    On the vitamin D front the doctor said that recent studies show that generally people's vitamin D levels are getting lower for,some reason.
    People tend to use sunscreen a little too much, I think.
  7. StewartACarroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ekw
    Literally everyone I know who has had a blood workup recently has had low vitamin D. I asked a friend who's a doctor and he said they only started measuring it routinely recently. My doctor told me to take an OTC vitamin, which I have been doing. I don't feel any different but it's not hard or expensive to do.
    I too take a multi vitamin but coopers said to take a multiple vitamin d3's instead. They recommended 3000 IUs. they are cheap and very small so i dont mind either.