Well it appears that my lifestyle of food choices has caught up to me. You see, I am a daily red meat eater. Steaks, burgers, pepper sticks, ribs…you name it. It’s a way of life really. Well until I decided to get a physical done recently. I have been feeling a little sluggish lately and it literally has been since high school sports when I had my last checkup. I wanted to make sure everything was in order since it had been so long.
The doc went through the normal routine, made me cough, all that fun stuff. Physically all was well, I stay in decent shape at 6’1″ 200lbs. I did mention the energy concern and he said the blood test will tell the story. So I had my blood drawn and off I went to go home and wait for the results to roll in. Receiving results online make things so handy now days. As the tests roll in, I am anxiously looking through them. Blood sugar good, thyroid good, a whole bunch of other things in the normal range. But then I get to the cholesterol section. I immediately notice one of the levels outside of the normal range that I was hitting earlier. It was the LDL level which is the bad cholesterol. The crud that causes blockages. At least it was in the “elevated” range and not “high” but still concerning enough for the doctor to write and tell me to fix my diet and get retested in three months. If my levels are good after three months, I wouldn’t need any medication but would need to be checked annually.
Diet Changes To Lower Cholesterol
The alternative to not changing the diet is to go on medication to lower the LDL. This really isn’t a road that I want to go down in my mid 30’s. My plan is to drop 10lbs and clean up what I am eating significantly. I’m incorporating more fish, chicken breasts, oatmeal, almonds, and fruit. On the other side, the fatty diet is being replaced. The daily beef pepper stick, cheese, and summer sausages that I love to pickup from the local meat market are slowing way down. I will cut them out almost completely but I have a surplus at the moment and I can’t let that go to waste hah! I’m also substituting the ranch dressing for the olive oil vinaigrette and cutting way back on the fried chicken. That one hurts! Oh and the potato chips. Double ouch.
I was never really bummed when I saw those levels high. In fact, I was really relieved and grateful that everything else checked out. I view this situation as one that I can control and it is kind of fun to have a challenge and a date on the calendar that I need to conquer. My plan is to give it my best shot for the three months and retest. If I get my numbers significantly down, great. If it is only moderately down, I may ask for more time and get checked again. However, if I make no progress after giving it my all, I might have to really think about the meds. I remain positive that I can do this naturally though.
How’s It Going So Far?
To be fair, it has only been about 5 days. There have definitely been temptations to slip back into the old ways though. Case in point, I did have a doughnut today but that wasn’t enough to derail anything. I have dropped about three pounds already however. I am lucky to have pretty good metabolism still working in my favor. Having that vacation right around the corner is also motivation to keep the diet in check! I plan on posting updates as we go along to highlight the hits and misses of the changes. Wish me luck!