As you may know, I have been on a major lifestyle change push these last few months. This was prompted by a few things: reading a book by Daniel Amen called “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body”, being sick and tired of carrying around 30 lbs. of excess weight, mostly around my stomach, and the inspiring success of my nephew who was diagnosed pre-diabetic and then changed his lifestyle, dropping from 250 to 160 lbs.
A few days ago I had my blood checked. Compared to six months ago, my total cholesterol dropped from 235 to 194 (should be <200), triglycerides from 194 to 138 (should be <150), and a modest LDL drop: 168 to 136 (should be <100). I am ecstatic! Time for the happy dance.
What have I been doing? I have lost weight, about 15-20 lbs over the last three months, with another 10-15 to go. My nephew said he keeps it simple: calories in vs. calories out. Calories out? I have been walking the local trail 45-60 minutes 3-4 times per week, and have lately added short intervals of running. I have also been doing a lot of yard work, although I have to moderate due to my hand issues. Calories in? Watching what I eat and attempting to keep daily consumption below 1,800 calories. Diet soda, sugary drinks, processed foods, candy, starches, saturated fats, and fried foods are mostly cut out of my diet. I still struggle when around tortilla chips and fries, although I’m doing much better. I could go on about my diet changes, but maybe on another blog post.
So I am VERY encouraged. Progress. Still have pounds to drop. Yet, my HDL (the “good” cholesterol) is still too low. It is at 30, should be 40-60, virtually unchanged over the past two years. There is no history of heart disease in my family but one of stroke, so I need to figure out how to get this up to proper levels. But the trend is positive, indeed.
A potpourri of snackables for lunch: baby carrots, apple slices, cucumber, Wasa cracker, smoked salmon, cherries. Yummm…