That was me.
I've been doing pretty well overall in my efforts to get healthy physically by slimming down and getting stronger, and mentally by kicking that fat chick in the mirror in the butt in an effort to actually like myself. I've been watching everything I eat. Sure, on high-stress days i probably don't eat enough to keep up the weight loss but that's not often and I'm not slipping back into my old ways of not eating enough to survive. Well, enough to survive but not enough to really live. I've hit roadblocks and overcome them.
Then today I got news that has shaken me. My cholesterol screening came back and it appears I have the cholesterol levels of a fifty year old, male, pound of bacon a day, never exercising, two pack a day smoking, couch potato. I have no family history of anything heart related. I'm rattled. I've made SO many changes to get healthy. I researched healthy options to loved foods so my husband wouldn't have to suffer during my weight loss. I exercise and had even started training for a 5k. I can run a 5k but I want to do it well. I want to really race. Completing a race is amazing! BUT I wanna beat people. Anyway... so I'm at a point where I really don't have that many things I can do in an effort to fix this cholesterol problem myself. After an informal consultation with my favorite nutrition guru and some independent research talking to friends and using Google, here is my gameplan:
- oatmeal, fruit, egg whites, or a combination of the three for breakfast
- add Benefiber to everything I can
- take fish oil and niacin capsules daily
- switch to all low or no-fat dairy (goodbye 2 year old, black label cheddar in my soup)
- eat more quinoa and brown rice for the whole grain
- no butter, just SmartBalance plus Calcium
- eat beans at least twice a week
- eat wild-caught fish at least twice a week
- avoid juices with added fructose
- only lean meats (goodbye favorite cut of meat: ribeye)
- use sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil
- add an extra 15 minutes of aerobic exercise per day
It cramps my holiday style! I rarely see anything that at holiday buffets that look like they are heart healthy. "Heart Healthy". I never figured I would be overly concerned with that sorta thing for at least another decade or so. My doctor would prefer medical intervention and drug therapy immediately but dang it! I'm not seventy! I insist on trying to manage this all myself for a little bit first. If no change in three months, I'll accept the doctor's opinion. I'm too young for heart meds.