I know, I know, AGAIN?!!?! You guys are probably sick of hearing me talk about my health and fitness journey. Well, get used to it! This is about to become a health/fitness blog. I'm no health/fitness guru and I'm certainly no Jillian Michaels (i LOVE her!). I am me. There are probably more people out there like me than there are like Jillian Michaels. Don't you worry, there will still be plenty of books and movies discussed on this here blog! In fact, I'll have an Oscar post on Monday!
Just a few weeks ago I told you why I changed my tagline to My Journey to a Better Self. The main reason behind the tag line is my health. I'm going to get so real today, that you might just cringe! Here's the down and dirty. On December 16th I had my annual wellness exam with my primary physician. The nurse took my blood as usual. I waited all day (appointment was at 3pm) to eat because of blood being drawn and I was starving! I was looking forward to Carrabba's with my friend that evening. Pizza!
The doctor came in and he wasn't so chipper. My family has been seeing Dr. K for as long as I can remember. A good 20+ years and he is always chipper. When he's not chipper, then you know something is up. Well, I'll tell you what was up - my Cholesterol. Before I tell you what my cholesterol currently is, here is the breakdown of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol):
Want to guess where my numbers are? My HDL is 85 (good) and my LDL is 182 (BAD!!!). There are also Triglycerides that go into your total cholesterol number - mine is 69 (that's good). My total cholesterol is 280.8 - NOT GOOD! I am in the High Blood Cholesterol with twice the risk of heart disease. So, basically every bite of pizza I have been eating is sending me to my grave.
My mom suggested that I do some research on heart disease, because she's certain that is what the doctor is most concerned with. I did some research and here's what I found:
Heart disease is the #1 Killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year.
That's approximately one women every minute!
The American Heart Association website for women (Go Red For Women) has so much helpful information. It also puts a lot of myths to rest. I looked through different heart issues (stroke, congenital heart disease, etc) and have a good idea of where I'm headed if I don't make a serious change: ATHEROSCLEROSIS. What is it, you might ask?
Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis. The name comes from the Greek works athero (meaning gruel or paste) and sclerosis (hardness). It's the term for the process of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood) building up in the inner lining of an artery. The buildup that results is called plaque.
Arteriosclerosis is a general term for the thickening and hardening of arteries. Some hardening or arteries normally occurs when people grow older. Plaque may partially or totally block the blood's flow through an artery. Two things that can happen where plaque occurs are: A piece of the plaque may break off and/or a blood clot may form on the plaque's surface. If either of these occurs and blocks the whole artery, a heart attack or stroke may result. No bueno!
What it boils down to is if I can't get my cholesterol down, then I risk plaque building up in my arteries and having a heart attack or stroke at a ripe old age of thirty-something. That would suck!
Why did I wait 37 days to look all this stuff up? I don't know...coz I'm lazy and didn't want to deal with real life. I wanted to hide in my little pizza bubble for as long as I possibly could. The thing is, every moment matters. It's taken me more than a month to get my shit together and I now have two months from yesterday to get my cholesterol down. I'm already on Lexapro for my depression and I really don't want to go on another medication for my cholesterol.
My doctor wants me to stay away from dairy and red meat. The only form of dairy I eat is cheese pizza and I don't really eat red meat very often at all. He also wants me to keep a food journal. I've tried the phone apps and I don't like them, so I'm using good old fashion pen to paper.
I need to stay accountable. So....I'm going to start posting about how I'm doing with everything: working out, food, beverage (diet coke..I'll miss you), etc. I'm using the hashtag #SaveMyHeart on Twitter and Instagram. Fair warning - I post a lot of cat pictures on Instagram :-) I'm thinking that on Sunday I'll do some weekly updates. Sunday I'll post 'before' pictures (I apologize in advance) and my current weight and measurements. I'll update every Saturday until my follow up appointment on March 21st.
*have a great weekend*
*stay warm and enjoy the snow*
All the information above can be found here: Go Red For Women.