Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cholesterol Results

Back in May, I went for a cardio consult and was told "you're not as healthy as you think you are". The main reason the doctor concluded this is because my total cholesterol number was 245 which is not just borderline high (as it’s been in the past), but high (anything over 240). The doctor said he would give me 3 months to get my numbers down or I’d have to go on an anti-cholesterol drug. I definitely was not up to taking an anti-chol drug as one of the side effects of most of them is anal leakage. I kid, but there are many potential side effects and I wanted to avoid taking anything extra if I could.

The doc said I needed to work my heart out more than I had been. Instead of taking a leisurely stroll during the day, I should hit the treadmill and walk with a not-inconsiderable incline. I should also speed up my walk as well. In addition, he wanted me to reduce my saturated fat intake as much as possible and try to do some strength training to build some muscle. Over the past 12 weeks, I’ve hit the treadmill pretty hard (about 3 times a week). Many evenings, I’ll go for more than an hour. I start out at the highest incline and every 5 minutes, reduce it a bit. Throughout the hour, I walk at 3.4 mph. I have to say I sweat a great deal during that hour. So mission accomplished on working my heart out more.

For reducing saturated fat, it’s been more of a mixed bag. I’ve been to Friday’s a ridiculous amount of times though I typically only eat half a hamburger, a handful of fries, and half a dessert. Every two or three days, I stay home and eat very good (my one guilty pleasure being having a couple Oreo Cakesters). For strength training, I had good intentions, but only did the lifting a few times over the last quarter. I believe I’d been eating less SatFat over the last 12 weeks, but wished I hadn’t given in quite so much. Oh well. What can you do?

Eat better, duh.

I set up the appointment to have my blood drawn a couple weeks ago and waited with bated breath to get the results. So excited was I to see if the hours of treadmill riding had made a dent that I called the doctor’s office two days after the test and was told a letter had just been sent out with the results. The nurse said she could read it to me, “Dear Mr. D****, your blood results from yesterday show quite a bit of improvement. They are so much lower, in fact, that I’m tempted to believe you prayed to Obama and were aided by him in accomplishing this”.

In all seriousness, I was told that not only were my total numbers now out of the HIGH range (240 and over), but they were even out of the BORDERLINE HIGH range (200-239). I actually have DESIRABLE numbers at the moment (193!). How ecstatic was I? Well, I went to Friday’s that very evening and had an entire burger as well as a whole frickin’ Brownie Obsession! It’s kinda like when someone goes to Weight Watchers, finds out they’ve lost 2.8 pounds over the past week, and then binges joyfully that evening.

The type of cholesterol that you want to be high was still fairly low in my case, but I know I can improve this by reducing SatFat even more than I already have. The doc said I should get retested again in 6-12 months to make sure I’ve still got it under control. Needless to say, the doctor sees no reason to prescribe anything for me at this time (unless there’s a drug that can reduce my feelings for Obama from obsessive to merely enthused).


Sarah said...

a) i literally laughed out loud at the obama bit.
b) congrats! the hard work paid off!
c) i totally understand the WW binge.
d) it bears repeating: CONGRATS!

Thomas said...

Yes, Sarah, our man, Obama, is something else. Thank you for the well-wishes. My wife is also in WW.

Coconut said...

Good for you! My dad had to go on Lipitor and it made him really cranky and irritable and no one wanted to be around him, everyone was walking on eggshells. You definitely don't want to have to get on that stuff, you'll start PMS-ing like a girl. Keep it up!

Timothy Smith said...

Its amazing how resilient the human body is.

Be a good Bumper sticker: Obama lowered my cholesterol!

Good work, I know first hand how hard it is to give up the burgers, fries and pizza. (well not totally give them up, that's just silly)

paige said...

woooo hoooo that is AWESOME
love the obama thing also...too funny

Rocketstar said...

Great work hombre

Thomas said...

Thanks, everyone! Like John McCain, I’ll do all I can to earn your continued trust.

Coco, hope your dad’s mood is better these days.

Tim, that would be a kick-ass bumper sticker! I’m sure it would get a lot of laughs. It really plays into the “Obama as Messiah” thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I have to say this-but keep up the good work. Just like you got your numbers down, they can just as easily go back up.