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Victory! I lowered my cholesterol with diet and exercise!

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I know there are others on these boards who struggle with high cholesterol. Here's my story--we can improve the numbers without killing ourselves!




Age: 46

Height: 5' 5"

Weight: 150 (About 10 lbs. too much for age/frame/height)

Cholesterol: total--232; LDL (bad)--162; HDL (good)--70


Diet: My diet was decent, with mostly home cooked meals. I'm not a high fat cook. But--when we were on the run, I would allow myself to eat fast food, snacks from the gas station, or pastry from Panera Bread. The $1.00 popcorn snack from Target was a major downfall!


Exercise: I pretty faithfully attended a strength class (with some cardio thrown in) at our YMCA. It meets twice/wk.




Age: 46 plus 4 months

Height: 5'5"

Weight: 150 (still 10 lbs. too much :()

Cholesterol: total--207; LDL (bad)--140; HDL (good)--67 :D


Diet: I focused on the aspects of my diet where I had the most room for improvement. Mainly, I tried to increase my fruits/veggies and whole grains. (I probably average 4-5 per day) I checked out some American Heart Association cookbooks for vegetable recipes. I made a salad and cleaned/chopped vegetables as soon as I got home from the grocery. I discovered that I like blueberries in my oatmeal (I buy them frozen) and I am enjoying Texas ruby red grapefruit peeled like an orange. I have oatmeal for breakfast, and I keep whole wheat bread and English muffins on hand (topped with apple butter, jam, or 1 Tbl of peanut butter).


I have also begun to reign in my on-the-go snack habit. I try to bring fruit or a baggie of whole grain crackers with me if we're going to be gone for awhile. I allow myself fast food (junior burger/med. fries) once or twice a month, but try to do deli sandwiches when we have to grab food (I pay attention to portion, and 'no cheese or mayo'.) If I get something at Panera, it's a whole grain bagel with jam, and I occasionally allow myself Target popcorn, but I have them fill the bag only 1/3 full. When I have a day where I fall off the wagon, I don't let it turn into a lifestyle change. I enjoy the indulgence, and I start over.


Exercise: I have added a 30-min. spinning/cycling class that meets three times per week. On average, I make it to two spinning and two strength classes per week. (My kids are older and can work at home on their own.) Occasionally, I feel like superwoman and make it to all five classes. If I miss class due to our busy schedule, I do not make it up by using our treadmill or weights at home. I'm not compulsive about exercise, but it is a priority.


I feel kind of dumb giving out unsolicited advice, but we need to take care of ourselves. I just wanted to let you all know that small changes that fit within our lifestyle can make a difference. Don't give up!



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I am actually glad you posted this. I have something similar with labs:


Total: 223 (in the too high category)

HDL (good) 66 (which is in the acceptable category)

LDL (bad): 137 (in the too high category)


Ours are very much alike. I am 39 , 5'8", and about 130 lbs. I am thin but admittedly do not exercise. I am working on how to do that.


I too am guilty of the occasional eat on the run (did it today). I just found out the results about a couple of weeks ago. I have changed my diet around pretty well, but totally fell off that wagon the past 2 days. Tonight is grilled salmon and salad though. I am back on.



Your post reminded me of how I need to be more vigilant with my health. I have taken it a bit for granted since I am naturally thin and I don't usually eat a really bad diet. But that is just not good enough. I confessed here. I included my stats! I will do this too!


Thanks! And congrats on your victory!

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THANK YOU FOR POSTING!!! I just found out this week that since last May, while my total cholesterol had come down from 220s to 217, I had traded some good chol for some bad chol and my ratio of total to HDL was not as good (went from 3.7 up to 4.45). I need to get back into regular exercise primarily. The renovations/move have consumed my life for too long now. Thanks for the encouragement!

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