Last week I traveled back to Arizona from Indiana, got back into my routine here, and had a follow-up visit with my doctor for some blood work that was drawn before I left. Turns out, I have a cholesterol problem.
Now, the doctor seemed to think that there was a decent chance that some of the problem was genetic; that I had inherited some of this cholesterol issue from my family. But that couldn’t be everything, so we needed to discuss a plan of action. What we came up with was simple:
- Start medication. The numbers were just too high to not medicate. Could I ever be in a place where I don’t need the medication? Well, it depends. If genetics does play a role, how much of a role it plays will determine if I can overcome this without medication.
- Make some diet changes. It doesn’t have to be everything, but I need to start being more conscious of the choices I make and where the cholesterol is coming into my diet. So I’ll be using a lot less red meat when I make dinner, and I will be focusing on adding fiber. I’ll also be tacking my biggest obstacle: dairy products. I love cheese, so working on the dairy aspect will be hard. I’ll probably start by shifting my milk consumption over to something like soy or almond milk.
- Think about my exercise routine. I have tried a ton of different work outs. Back in Indiana, I used to go to Zumba 5 days a week, but it had, essentially, no effect on my weight or my muscle mass. Obviously a mostly cardio workout didn’t work for me. I had started a work out called 30 Days of Change right before I got sick, but the sinus infection put me out for about a week and a half (it’s hard to work out when you can’t breathe), and then I didn’t work out while I was in Indiana. I’ve started that up again as the few days I was able to do before I got sick really did seem to work for me.
If you don’t have regular blood work done, you should talk to your doctor. I would have never known that I had this problem if my doctor hadn’t ordered a full work-up since I was a new patient. I wouldn’t be making these changes because I didn’t know I needed to. I haven’t felt any sort of adverse health effects related to my cholesterol level, so it probably would have been something drastic that finally clued me in without this blood work.
As for the blog, you can expect me to try out some low-cholesterol recipes. I am a firm believer that, no matter what diet you need to follow, that shouldn’t mean that you sacrifice taste. I’ll also review the workout program at the end of my 30 days. I’ll let you know what, if any effect the program had on me and my body. Finally, when I do my follow-up in three months, I’ll let you know how these changes have impacted my overall numbers, so you can have a little anecdotal evidence about how these three simple changes have helped.