Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mystery Achievement

November 2013:
     Total cholesterol - 251
     HDL - 69
     LDL - 160
     Triglycerides - 110

November 2014:
     Total cholesterol - 196
     HDL - 56
     LDL - 126
     Triglycerides - 66
I'm psyched, however I am not really sure I did anything differently this year, except maybe pass on the large, sugary Dunkin' Donuts coffee right before the blood work...;)

My cholesterol level has been over 200 pretty much most of my adult life, except one random year maybe 10 years ago.  I have always been in pretty good shape, but more so these past few years due to quitting smoking, running more consistently, and eating healthy.  Despite those positive changes, my cholesterol level remained unusually high.  I just chalk it up to genes.  I am not a fan of taking a lot of medication (in most cases, but not all.  I believe in vaccinations and treating serious illnesses that have no viable alternative treatments).  My doctor told me that because everything else was great (low blood pressure, regular exercise, etc.), she would hold off on trying to convince me to pill up (My plan to refuse would still stand when the time came).  We were both pleasantly surprised when these recent numbers came back.  However, this is not necessarily a cause to celebrate because I'm not really sure why the numbers went down in the first place which means I'm not sure if I can repeat the process again next year?  

I thought perhaps this year's results were the accumulated effect of a diet change from over the past three years.  I stopped eating piggies the summer of 2011 after going to a state fair in Massachusetts and seeing the most adorable piglet race in the history of the world.  From that moment on I said goodbye to my beloved bacon omelets forever.  A few months later I stopped eating red meat, as well.  Once in a blue moon, I might eat a steak or hamburger if it is grass fed.    Two years ago I also stopped eating ice cream on a daily basis. I did this not for the cows, but my own convenience.  If you are a regular reader, you know that I have bathroom "issues" when I run.  Ice cream sundaes were not helping.  My cholesterol levels in 2011, 2012, and 2013 were still pretty high.  Did it take a few years to set in?

Or maybe I just didn't fast properly before most of my physicals which is a good possibility if my appointments weren't first thing in the morning?  

I just don't know, but I'll take it.

My test gets the same refrigerator
treatment as the kids!

5.35 miles in 43:13, an 8:04 pace.  This was an interrupted 8 miler due to...a bathroom emergency!


  1. That is a significant drop. I've learned to fast the morning of my annual physical (I usually get the first appointment of the day) and my numbers improved. I also stopped running those mornings because it sometimes makes vitals like BP and blood sugar seem low when they're measured. I used to have worse cholesterol than you and tried to minimize with diet and running but I could only make so much improvement. I started taking a statin daily about four years ago and that put me exactly where I need to be.

    1. Apparently, menopause increases cholesterol, as well. Oh the joys of womanhood!

      I'm going to just keep on keeping on...

    2. Not that I'm experiencing menopause. Just something to look forward to in twenty or so years...

  2. Read 'Cholesterol Clarity' by Jimmy Moore