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Update: Blood Work

Posted Apr 23 2013 4:40pm
Back in October, before I started my new diet and training program, I had a yearly physical with my PCP. You may remember how this physical included fasting blood work which spun my head. I shared my first pictures of my overweight and tired body. I revealed my Blood Pressure, Weight (175lbs), BMI, and my October Lipid Panel Results. I wrote,

"It means that for far too long I have used and abused my body. Most of my issues: Depression, over weight, High Triglycerides (Bad Fat), constant nasal congestion and post nasal drip (no it's NOT allergies), 24/7 upset stomach where it feels like I have to constantly "go" and.. my years of discussion on this blog about my irritable bowel during races... are ALL a result of my poor diet."
My PCP requested that I get a lipid panel check-up, 6 months after my physical. The time for this test came last week. So, I headed to my local medical facility for some fasting blood work. I won't lie, I was nervous and excited at the same time. Over the last few weeks on this blog, I've discussed with you all how my new diet and training plan has affected my weight loss and my running success. The results there speak for themselves. But it's the raw data of a Lipid Panel that was going to be the true scientific measure of success for me. It's on thing to feel better and look better. It's an entirely different thing to actually be better.

Here is a refresher of my October Lipid Panel
Cholesterol: Cholesterol is an important type of fat (lipid) that is made by the body. It is needed for the body to function. It also is found in foods that are made from animal products (meat and dairy products).

Cells need cholesterol to function. But excess cholesterol in the blood builds up in blood vessels and may lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart disease, and stroke. People who have diabetes are at higher risk for atherosclerosis.

Triglyceride: Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. You need some triglycerides for good health. But high levels of triglycerides raise your risk for heart disease and other serious problems.

HDL: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is sometimes called "good" cholesterol, because it helps move cholesterol out of the body. HDL does this by binding with cholesterol in the bloodstream and carrying it back to the liver for disposal.

LDL: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is "bad" cholesterol, which carries mostly fat and only a small amount of protein from the liver to other parts of the body. A high LDL cholesterol level is considered a risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) because, under certain conditions, it can cause hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Cholesterol is measured either in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or in millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L).
An LDL cholesterol level of less than 100 mg/dL (less than 2.6 mmol/L) is considered optimal.
100 to 129 (2.6 to 3.35) is considered near optimal.
130 to 159 (3.35 to 4.10) is considered borderline high.
160 to 189 (4.12 to 4.88) is considered high.
190 and above (4.90 and above) is considered very high.

People who have at least a moderate risk for developing heart disease (especially those who have diabetes) may benefit from lowering their LDL cholesterol levels. The specific target LDL level depends on a person's number and type of risk factors.

So, again...
October Lipid Panel

I think the results are rather dramatic. Everything is normal except for my Triglycerides, which still require a little more work. But look at it, from a 341 to a 171. That is HUGE. The point here is this.. over the last few months I've talked about how life is all about choices. The choices we make dictate everything about who we are and how we feel. I made the conscious effort to completely redesign the way I eat and drink. I made changes that I forever made excuses for, and in the end, the proof is in the pudding so to speak.

If I can do this... anyone can do this. All it takes is commitment, hard work, determination, and turning your excuses for "why not" into reasons for "I will." None of this is easy, it's not. You have to ask yourself to turn around a broken ship. You have to want it bad enough and it's more than just food, it's psychology. It's up to you to live a healthier life, or live as another statistic. Nothing I did was overly dramatic in the grand scheme of things, just dramatic for myself and my "usual." I had to get out of my comfort zone and take a giant leap towards living a healthier life. 

If you haven't watched this "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" yet, you owe it to yourself to do it:

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