Do you know your blood numbers? I recently had blood work done in October, a free service provided by my company. Seemed like a good idea, since I should really know what my BP & Cholesterol are. The numbers came out a bit wonky, but overall, I felt, OK. I finally hooked up with a primary care physician, and went in for an entire physical a couple of months ago. He asked me to repeat the blood tests because he didn’t like the way the numbers looked, and I thought, well, OK. At the time I had just joined weight watchers, and was trying to commit to a healthier lifestyle – so I was certain the numbers would be improved. I had the bloodwork repeated this week, and turns out, not so much progress has been made. Here are the lifestyle changes I’ve made since January:
- Dropped 10 pounds
- Increased activity level to exercising 2 times per week.
- Decreased fast food eating
- Increased fruits and veggies to 2-3 per day.
Good things, right? Well, not good enough. Although my total cholesterol is OK (it should be below 200, and I’m at 150 ish) my good cholesterol is too low (40, should be over 50), and my triglycerides are still too high. Also my c-protein levels are way out of wack, not exactly sure why (but it’s an indicator of heart disease along with a determination for chronic inflammation). Look people, I know I’m not a small woman. I know I’m overweight, and I know that not only does it NOT feel good, it is definitely not healthy.
Today I feel like a turning point has occurred. Weight loss is no longer a vanity issue. It is not a low self-esteem “I don’t feel good about myself” issue. It is a health issue. IT IS A LIFE ISSUE! It is a “I want to be here for my husband and kids for a long time if I can help it” issue.
In order to improve my blood numbers drastically by the time my next test occurs in six months I am going to address and focus on the following issue: Improve Low HDL; reduce triglycerides and inflammation:
- Lose weight by following more explicitly the Weight Watchers plan. 5-8 pounds per month, for a minimum weight loss of 30 pounds. I may need to switch from the online version to an in-person meeting + weigh in.
- Eat less prepared foods / trans fats by PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING! Pat and I do very well when we plan our meals for the week. This includes lunches, our menu, and that of Liam and Lola (if its not the same).
- Reduce consumption of refined sugars and non-whole grain carbs (this focal point is a little loosey goosey, but it still needs to be put down and addressed).
- Consume more Omega-3 by eating more fish, and/or taking a fish oil supplement
- Increase exercise to five days a week – incorporating strength training in addition to running. I’m already scheduled to run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K next weekend, but I will have to sign up for two additional runs (and set time goals) from now until October to keep me motivated.
Enough fooling around people - this is NO April Fools. I’m ready to kick some ass and take some names.