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  • My Story Back to Good Health... by Bill Lightner

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    After leaving our Desert home temporarily in 1997 due to poor economy/work, spending 4 years in Missouri (misery, no disrespect to Missourians, just a city boy in the country) and 2 years in So. Florida, we finally made it back to our Desert home where we belong. While away and during the first 3-1/2 years back home, I had been doing a lot of traveling, sitting in a plane or car, entertaining clients, eating out a lot and just generally “porking it up”!! The tennis a couple times a week with my wife just wasn’t cutting it for enough exercise!

    Of course I was in denial about my weight gain……….."No honey, I’m just retaining some water! It’ll go away”, LOL!!! Then I started going to the Doctor for physicals……. I was told that while I wasn't terribly overweight and could stand to lose a few pounds, my cholesterol and triglycerides were dangerously off the charts!!! Although I don’t like taking medication, I was placed on cholesterol reduction medicine. When I asked what I needed to do to avoid being on medication for the rest of my life, the Doctor told me to lose about 10lbs, start exercising more and to change my diet. I thought, “Gosh, what do I do? Work is so demanding and I love to eat……!”

    My sister-in-law and her husband are personal fitness trainers and are into cycling big time. With their encouragement I thought I’d get back on my 20 year old Schwinn and see how it goes. Well, after nine months of riding by myself and building up the mileage on the bike, I went out a purchased a new, 'real', light weight, carbon fiber bike. I finally felt that I could attempt riding with the local Bicycle Club without embarrassing myself. Wow, what a RUSH that was!! I started out slowly and in the back of the pack until I learned what I was doing and slowly got used to riding in a large group. I quickly found that it was GREAT!! I had been bitten by the “cycling bug”!

    Now, almost 5 years later, I continue to ride 4 times a week, booking 150 to 175 miles a week (other than my long distance challenges….blog to come), play tennis with my beautiful wife (though while I’m moving way better on court, she’s still kicking my butt!) and walk 1.5 to 4 miles 5 to 6 nights a week.

    I’m reaching the ½ century mark this month (turning 50 years old) and I’m proud to say that I’m 35 to 40 pounds lighter. I have reduced my medication to every-other day (in the process of things, I found out that the cholesterol thing is also hereditary. That means the best I can hope for on the medication is every-other day), my cholesterol and triglycerides are well within the proper range, and my resting heart rate is down to about 50bpm! The Doctor said if my heart rate went down anymore, I’d be dead, LOL! I also altered my diet a bit without hurting my love to eat and I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel. It’s truly an AWESOME feeling!!! I feel like I’m finally ready for the second half of life!! Who wants to join me?? It’ll be a great ride, I promise!!

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