High cholesterol runs in my family. It also runs high in me. I first got my levels checked eight years ago; the good (HDL) and the bad (LDL) cholesterol were both way high. I wish doctors would let the good and bad cholesterol cancel each other out, but they’re sticklers for things like scientific research, so every year we’ve had the “It’s too high, we should consider drugs” conversation.
I avoided drugs for the first five years by having children, because you can’t take cholesterol lowering medication while pregnant or breastfeeding. While I did NOT have children for the sole purpose of keeping my cholesterol high, I had four babies in less than six years, so I think I maxed out on that excuse. When my youngest was weaned, I had to make a decision.
I didn’t like the idea of drugs; I wanted to have a go at lowering my cholesterol with diet and exercise. Two years ago I started losing weight and my bad cholesterol went down about 20 points that first year. Still way too high. “But doctor,” I said, “It went down! Give me another year.” I just got my levels checked a few weeks ago and it went down 20 points again. I am now within ten points of “normal”! One more year of this healthy lifestyle stuff and I will be able to sit in my doctor’s office with an smug little smile that says, “I dare you to find anything wrong with me!”
My weight hasn’t changed at all this year. I weigh now what I weighed a year ago. (GASP! I know, I know, I’m not exactly happy about it either, but don’t give up on me until you finish the paragraph.) While this weight plateau is a bummer, the encouraging part is that I’ve been changing for the better on the inside this past year: I have visible muscles in my arms and legs, my clothes fit better than they did last year, and my blood vessels have less lipoproteins in them. The point is that I’m making progress. If your scale numbers haven’t changed, be encouraged that every healthy thing you do for your body (sleep, exercise, good food, and lots of water) ARE making a difference, whether you see the results yet or not.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s physical: victory is mine!
“It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.” Psalm 44:3