I had my annual physical (first one in at least a couple years, really) a couple weeks ago. As usual, this included a whole bunch of bloodwork.
The results finally came back a couple days ago and although everything else was perfectly normal, my cholesterol was 240. Now, I’ve always had a high-ish cholesterol, but usually hanging just over 200. With excellent HDL and ratios, my doctors were never very worried about it.
I wouldn’t say this was upsetting in the usual sense, but it once again reinforced that I haven’t been taking good care of myself the past 2 or 3 years. I went from being an Ironman athlete to not exercising regularly (and changing from triathlon training to running to weight lifting to all other things so there was never any progressive overload) and eating crap. Add more beers, 10 extra pounds, and stress (thank you 2020) and…yeah. Wake up call. No wonder my cholesterol went up so much!
Now, my #MentalHealthMonth challenge does include regular exercise (yoga every day, running six days a week), but I was going to wait until next month to start tackling diet as to not try to take on too much all at once. With a retest in three months, that plan has changed a bit.
I’m starting with some simple swaps – instead of my usual two eggs for breakfast, one egg and one serving of Egg Beaters (I actually really love their Southwestern Style ones), chicken breast instead of drumsticks, etc. Also no more obvious junk food, which isn’t good for health or stress anyway.
I’m hoping these changes along with the exercise will help make some good headway in this first month. For April, I’ll definitely be focusing on diet. I don’t want to make another challenge because I want to make small, sustainable changes instead of doing anything drastic.
The GERD and high cholesterol have really opened my eyes and I think given me the nudge I needed to treat myself better. I’m definitely going to start now before those nudges become full-fledged bricks being thrown through the metaphorical window.
Peace and Love,