Monday, October 10, 2011

Get low, low, low, low!

     Well, ladies and gents, I have an update about my cholesterol! For the new readers, on August 25th, I posted this blog, and talked about how I had just discovered that I had very high cholesterol for someone my age.  Then, I posted this blog, exploring what all of the numbers meant.

     On September 30th, I had to get bloodwork drawn again for a program for my health insurance.  They were going to test my cholesterol and sugars, and I was a little nervous about the cholesterol test.  I didn’t know if there would have been any change yet. My mom warned me to not expect much of a change because it had only been about a month, and she knew that if there wasn’t a change, I would be disappointed and discouraged.  I was kind of in a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” mindset. 

     I got the results of the bloodwork just before lunch on Tuesday, October 4.  Guess what? ALL OF MY NUMBERS WENT DOWN!  Well, with the exception of HDL, which is good, because HDL is supposed to be high!

Here are my old numbers:
Triglycerides: 171 mg/dL
Total Cholesterol: 248 mg/dL
HDL: 67 mg/dL
LDL: 147 mg/dL

Here are my new numbers:
Triglycerides: 157 mg/dL (-14 mg/dL!)
Total Cholesterol: 233 mg/dL (-15 mg/dL!)
HDL: 67 mg/dL (same!)
LDL: 135 mg/dL (-12 mg/dL!)

     I may be a little biased, but I think those numbers are awesome!! I am still really excited about them, and  I’m sure you’re wondering how I managed to complete such an amazing decrease.  I’ll tell you this:

I did not:
  • go on a crazy fish-only diet.  (or any other kind of crazy diet)
  • run every day. (or even go for a long walk every day)
  • stop eating ice cream.

I did:
  • Buy light ice cream instead of regular
  • Make more of an effort to avoid fast-food (though I did still have it once or twice)
  • Take my puppy Tucker for longer walks (and by longer, I don’t mean marathons.  I mean on good days, we did 4 laps around my small apartment complex.  On bad days, we did about half a lap.  Which is still better than before when I’d walk him about four steps outside the back door to do his business)
  • Have oatmeal for breakfast instead of 2 eggs with toast and butter
  • Switch from olive oil to an oil with Omega 3s
  • Tell my boyfriend and my family and his family and my friends and my coworkers (and all of you readers) what I was trying to do.  You were all a great source of knowledge and support.  Thank you!
  • Buy baked chips instead of regular chips.

     I suppose my point with all of this is to say that making small changes really does make a difference.  Plus, these changes are sustainable.  I didn’t go out and join a marathon team because it’s not realistic for me.  If you’ve always wanted to run marathons, then I think it could be great for you.  But for me, it was definitely the right decision to make small, maintainable changes.  And now that I see what a huge difference in my health those small changes have made- why would I go back? 

By Kayla Murphy

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