So, a million years ago, when I began boring you with tales of this new whole foods, plant-based eating plan, I mentioned that the basic goal was to try and bring my cholesterol into check. As I mentioned in a previous post, part of the problem with me has been managing my expectations, which I was concerned were growing completely out of control. I have been known to start a food plan and throw in the towel when I failed to lose 20 pounds in two weeks. It was not too far afield to think my expectations of the Engine 2 Diet's cholesterol-lowering powers would be equally unrealistic.
As it turns out, not so much.
First, let's go back to the beginning, shall we? Back to my starting numbers, my lipid portfolio of shame - which I never did quite get around to telling you about, did I? I knew I'd have to eventually, but I was embarrassed. So let's start with the worst...
Let's start with what I weighed...
Ha! That's cute. You thought I was actually going to tell you that. Not on your life. Besides, I don't actually know what I weighed at the beginning of this adventure or what I weigh now. I stopped weighing myself a while ago and I don't keep a scale at home. I'm just too susceptible to pinning my entire self worth on that number. (I do let my doctor weigh me, however, but she doesn't tell me what the number is.)
Some numbers, however, I do know. I know that I started this process with an all-time high combined cholesterol of 243. (It's funny, when I tell people this, they either say, "Oh, my God, that's huge!" or "Oh, that's not so bad," which I think says a lot about their own family's numbers.
My LDL (the bad stuff) was 162. Not good. My HDL (the good stuff) was a respectable 50 - not great, but not the worst. And my triglycerides, whatever the hell those are, were 206
For the past month or so I've wondered - and by "wondered," I mean "obsessed about" - what results a person could reasonably expect in just 30-odd days. Sure, I wanted to see 60-point drop. That seemed fair and I''m impatient like that. After many long and mind-numbing internal arguments, I settled on hoping for 30. But I told everyone I was hoping for 20. Gotta save face an' all.
So when my doctor emailed me my results yesterday, I was gobsmacked to find out that my current total cholesterol is...189. Yep, that's a whopping 53 point, or 22%, decrease. The majority of that - and the part my doc's most pleased with - is the drop in my LDL from 162 to 104. A 35% drop.
You guys. In just 28 days. OMG.
To say I'm pleased with the results so far is an understatement. Honestly, while I wasn't exactly contemplating a cheese steak, my focus and enthusiasm have been flagging a bit lately. Nothing like knowing that what you're doing is working to keep you motivated.
Ultimately, my goal is to get my total cholesterol under 150, which some researchers consider the "heart attack free zone." We'll see where I am in another 30 days.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, the news isn't all the best. Oddly, my good cholesterol also dropped, from 50 to 44. That's not exactly a desirable outcome, but I'm hoping with greater focus on exercise I can turn that around.
My triglycerides went up considerably - from 153 to 206. Not sure why that would be. Maybe because I'm not even sure what they are. Still, that's a move in the wrong direction, so I'm just going to sally forth and hope that things on that front even out over time.
But the point is this, y'all: I'm going to sally forth. Seems to be a theme around here of late.