Where, here I sit writing my first journal ever, digital or otherwise.

I am 45 years old, Chinese American, a father, a software engineer, and travel alot internationally (think over 100K miles/year for the last 10 years). Oh, and of course I love to eat as my main form of dealing with stress (and I have alot of stress).

At the beginning of the year, my doctor did a series of blood tests and had the following news for me:

1. My HbA1c (blood sugar level) was approx. 8%. Means I was headed towards diabetes and increased probability of cardiovascular disease.

2. My blood pressure, previously somewhat under control with a cocktail of 4 medications, was now consistently 140-150/100. She didn't want to prescribe more powerful drugs as we maxed out on the "safe" drugs and the next level were central nervous system manipulating drugs.

The conclusion of that was an additional prescription to help with the elevated blood sugar level (can you say insulin resistance?) and a referral to a diabetic clinic and a cardiologist to get a different view on the blood pressure.

I went to see the cardiologist and his medical diagnosis was metabolic syndrome (genetically pre-disposed based on parents profile). However, he did not prescribe medication. He informed me of a hospital program that he and his fellow MD's run that takes a holistic approach to the issue focusing on behavioral changes for the mind, body, and spirit. All very new agey and as you would expect in silicon valley. However, I liked the idea and signed up, but the start wasn't for at least a month (this was beginning of Feb 2011).

As I started researching metabolic syndrome, I came across this website and Mark's book/eBooks. The stories here really resonated with me and my situation. I decided to give PB a try while I was waiting for the MS program to begin. It was relatively easy for me as I love meat and fat, don't really have a sweet tooth. My issue was starch. Being Chinese, there are rice, noodles, and dumplings. Being American, there are sandwiches, burgers, fries, hash browns, corn, and chips. So I quit. Cold turkey. Never looked back. Wasn't as hard as I thought, just compensated with meat. Initially, alot of meat, but the amount I could eat became lesser. At least to the same point of satisfaction. Also started eating nuts and alot of eggs in the mornings. About 2 weeks into it (this would be mid-Feb) I started to try some IF by skipping lunch. Then skipping breakfast and lunch and only eating dinner on some days. Haven't made through a full 24 hour or more IF period yet.

Well, it's now Mar 17, 2011 and the MS program is going to start the end of this month. I've been living PB now for 5 weeks. So what's happened so far?

1. I don't get sleepy anymore in the afternoon. No food coma like I used to after a big bowl of noodles at lunch (though I do have like a pork chop or chicken thigh with skin with a salad or veggies or a big burger in a salad bowl).

2. I seem to need less food overall. I am eating till I am full (still haven't been able to stop eating when I'm no longer hungry, that's the next level), but I seem to reach that level with less volume of food. I think it has to do with the amount of protein and fat I'm eating along with the leafy/colorful veggies.

3. I went to have an echocardiogram 2 days ago and my blood pressure was 120/80! I made them do it again just to make sure the reading was correct. Still on the 4 meds, but this is definitely a huge step in the right direction.

4. I did not weigh myself to start, but the doctor's last reading was 215lbs (I am 5' 9" tall). Today I am somewhere between 195-200lbs. Still need to drop a bunch of fat, but I do feel smaller.

5. I was wearing 38in. waist pants and they were tight. I am now in 36in. waist pants and they are loose.

I have been exercising a little bit more, but nowhere near the higher levels I was at when I was younger. Mark's exercise as little as possible approach resonates with me also.

So far, it seems the results are promising. I have more energy than before and am sleeping better. I will still go through with the MS program as it seems that they are very consistent philosophically with PB (manage stress, eliminate processed carbs, etc...). I am very encouraged by the progress so far. I never started out with the goal of having abs and a body like Mark, but hey, given how things are going, I may get there. I did take a before picture but am very embarrassed to post it. I think I will post it if I get a decent "after" picture to post along with it. I'm not there yet by a long shot (and I'm not using high standards).

Thanks for reading. I know there are others out there who face much greater challenges than I do so I don't want to sound like a whiner, but this medical scare really got to me. Just glad to make some small progress in the right direction. Hope airing this all out will give me the motivation to continue...