Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting today (01/01/12): Eat Healthy in the New Year

Well, I did it...not a good thing, but a bad thing..... to my cholesterol. I made a really stupid mistake. After taking a two hour ultrasound test to determine the amount of plaque in my arteries, I found out I had zero plaque. I was surprised, amazed,  and very happy. But instead of focusing on the fact that my cholesterol was only 190, I focused on the "no plaque" diagnosis and decided I could eat all the fat, including saturated, I wanted. Yeah....I know, as I said...stupid! I love dairy, so I just went nuts eating all ice cream, cheese, sour cream, etc. I wanted. And not the low-fat kind.

The result, a year later, was a rise of 30 points in my cholesterol. I can't believe I did this to myself. I didn't gain a lot of weight, only around seven pounds, but the increased  cholesterol has me and my doctor worried enough that I've made a New Year's resolution to get it down. My doctor says it's not high enough to put me on medication, so he evidently trusts me to do what I can with diet and exercise. I really know what to do; I've done it before, but I scouted around the intenet to find a few reminders and some new ideas just to get me back on the right track.

So here's my plan:  Diet wise, of course I have to stop eating all that Ben and Jerry's ice cream...that's a given. In addition, I'm going back to low fat dairy in general and cutting out processed foods, including cookies and crackers. One exception is rice cholesterol there. Here's one thing I haven't tried before: Cheerios for breakfast every morning, with walnuts and dried cranberries. They say it works; I'll let you know if it works for me.

Now, for the exercise. I know for a fact regular exercise lowers cholesterol. So yesterday, I trekked over to the YMCA, where I have a membership I haven't used in months, and checked out what's available for seniors. First thing was the weight room. In October and November, I was in physical therapy and worked on my quads and ham strings. It really strengthened me and I lost some weight to boot. Anyhow, I'm going to work on the same machines at the Y. I lost some of that strength, because I didn't continue exercising after I was released from PT, so I need to get that back right away. In addition to the weight machines, I plan on using the treadmill. It's a machine that I can handle pretty well so I think it will be helpful. Finally, I will take a "sit-down" free weights class for seniors twice a week, for upper body strength.

Now, besides lowering my cholesterol and gaining back some strength, I want to lose some weight. I have stage 4 arthritis, which is essentially bone on bone. So, strengthening those muscles around the knee and losing weight will help alleviate the pain.

Good plan...right? Well, I just hope I can stick to it. It'll be hard when the business picks up again after January. But right now I'm pretty motivated and if I can get myself hooked on this program, like I was on PT, I think I can muddle through. Anyhow, at my age, it's super important to maintain my health and strength.....Pray for me.

I found this video and I will be posting more ideas as I find them.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a comment


  1. Good for you! I blogged last week about weight loss -- I, too, got my numbers back from the doctor, and LDL is on the high side. HDL is good, so she's not putting me on meds for now. I don't carry a lot of extra weight, but with my family history, I can't really get away with any extra pounds. I'm with you. Let's do this thing!

  2. The daily tyrany of healthy eating - I'm sure you are doing great!

  3. Nadine, Glad to hear I've got some support and another who is willing to push ahead with what needs to be done. Thanks.

  4. @Ednovean: I wouldn't exactly call it "doing great" but I'm giving it the ole college try!