So it turns out I’m not the health fiend I fancied myself to be. I have high cholesterol. Perhaps what’s worse, I had to ask, “What is cholesterol exactly?” after the news broke. Still not sure I know. Something about fat in your blood, which seems odd. This is why I am not a doctor.
I made this alarming self-discovery about 10 days ago at my work’s fitness program weigh-in. As if it wasn’t bad enough that they measured body fat and weight, which I was only somewhat comfortable with, they also measured cholesterol. No problem, I thought, glancing around at all the other poor blokes whose numbers would surely be in the danger zone. I’ve got this one. Ah, but I was mistaken. Mine measured high, 272 to be exact. (For reference, 200 and below is considered the safe, healthy, responsible citizen zone.) Granted the number doesn’t break down good and bad cholesterol, LDLs and HDLs, but 272 is high anyway. For a relatively thin (I think), 29 year old female. Seriously.
Call me judgmental, but when I think of high cholesterol, I think of a heavyset man, t-shirt barely rounding his midsection, chowing down on two or three McGreaseburgers. For the value, of course. That guy’s food pyramid is upside down. Of course he has high cholesterol. But me? Little old me? Well, I guess I did get a little carried away in the sugar aisle at the in-laws Christmas celebrations. Drat. But still.
Now before you or I jump to conclusions about my lifestyle or start blaming dead family members for my genetics, let’s not forget that we don’t actually know if my outrageously high number is in fact bad. I might have high good cholesterol. Obviously that means that the fat in my blood is not blobby fat hanging out of its t-shirts, but well-proportioned, “curvy” fat that knows how to dress for its size.
All this is to say, I’m not panicking. Not at all. Since I’m not making plans to visit to the doctor – yes, I’m a social worker; I can recognize denial even in myself, thank you – I’ll be taking up a new kind of diet. This time it’s not about eating horse-like quantities; instead, I’m focusing on one primary equine diet ingredient: oats. To start my day off with a cholesterol-killing bang, I’ll be alternating between a breakfast of oatmeal and Cheerios. I’ll also be throwing in an oatmeal raisin cookie after every meal for good measure. And if I have my way, I’ll live in denial for a few more weeks, until they measure my cholesterol again, at which point they will suggest I find out that good fat/bad fat breakdown. I will politely thank them for the suggestion and resume eating my Cheerios, but twice as many this time, because after all, I am a responsible procrastinator.
|Part of this gal’s complete (cholesterol-reducing) breakfast.|