That can’t be right

When I undertook the task of raising enough money to buy a cow from Heifer International, one of the added benefits of all the do-gooding was going to be that eating less red meat was good for my rapidly increasing cholesterol (weighing in a year ago at 197).

So I thought.

Dr. Robert Jarvik

Today, after my physical and subsequent lab testing I found that 4 months of eating no red meat actually managed to INCREASE my cholesterol by 6 points, bringing it over that dreaded 200 mark and bringing my doctor to prescribe Lipitor, made famous by the creepy Jarvik artificial heart guy.

I’m not thrilled about the news in the least.

After 4 full months of not eating red meat, I was expecting my doctor to say, “You’re doing great. Your cholesterol is no longer a problem.”

Not so much.

After talking it out with Alli, I’m pretty sure I know why this is: I lead a sedentary lifestyle. My life consists of getting up, showering, driving a half-hour to work, sitting at a desk all day, driving a half-hour home, and sitting all night. Occasionally (when it’s nice out), I’ll take the dog for a walk, but that’s not happening nearly enough.

In talking with my doctor, I found that I need to lose about 55 pounds to get into the “normal” range for my BMI. I’m a tall, big guy, but 55 pounds is still a lot of weight. It’s daunting, for sure. But now I know that diet alone is not going to cure my health problems. (Let it be stated that I consider myself in “okay” shape. I couldn’t run a marathon or anything, but I grew up an athlete, so the muscles are still there.)

Whatever my circumstances, something has to change. Maybe this latest bit of news will be the kick in the pants I need to work harder.

8 thoughts on “That can’t be right

  1. Having a husband with heart issues, I’ve studied this subject a lot. Only 25% of your cholesterol comes from what you eat. 75% is manufactured by your body, and that’s a heredity thing. Cliff takes Lipitor. I hated the idea of that at first, but his GP doc takes it too, and the more I read about it, the more I think it’s a good thing. Study up on it. By the way, what about your HDL and LDL? High total cholesterol isn’t such a big deal if it’s the HDL that’s making it high.

  2. As a small contributor to the cow project I hereby release you from my portion of your obligation not to eat red meat,staying away from meat obviously is bad for you and I cannot take the responsibility of making you feel worse.

  3. Interesting. I definitely think that any diet has to be accompanied by an exercise program of some sort. I actually managed to run 4 out of the last 7 days, and I’ll be biking to work on Tuesday, and hopefully doing more biking in the coming weeks and months. Exercising is definitely made much easier by the fact that the weather is nicer!

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