Sunday, May 1, 2011


My office hosts a wellness check-up every two years, which essentially consists of a blood draw and analysis, and a health survey that tells me what I should be doing (exercising, and not surfing the WWW), versus what I shouldn't be doing (snacking on cheese and crackers, rather than carrots and celery).  It's pretty basic stuff, and while it doesn't replace my annual physical, I still participate because it's incredibly convenient (and a hell of a lot easier to get to than my doctor's office), and I get the results in a package that provides a comparison from the prior test two years ago.  Plus, it's covered by my health plan, with no co-pay.  And even though I love my personal doctor, she doesn't always have time to explain the results from my physical. 

So the bad news is that my triglycerides are still out of whack - 159 (rather than below 150) - and my overall fatness body mass index is 27 (rather than between 18-25), and has not changed since the last test.  Yes, ladies and gents, it's no secret that I could stand to lose 20 pounds.  And many, many more.

However, the good news is good on multiple fronts.  First, the guy who drew my blood did so very painlessly and did not go spelunking for a vein.  (This has happened to me in the past - not fun.)  And even though it was painless, I still couldn't watch as he filled up two vials with my red stuff.  And that's why I'm a fundraiser, and not a doctor.

Secondly, I appear to be in relatively good health (and I use the term "relatively" lightly) for someone who doesn't belong to a gym and who doesn't have an active dieting plan.  Well, unless you call "eat what you want until you're full" a dieting plan.  My blood pressure on the day of the test was 108/78 (below the recommended upper limit of 139/89), my good (HDL) cholesterol reading is five points above the lowest limit (yes, this is a good thing), and my total cholesterol reading is almost 40 points below the recommended limit.  And though my triglycerides are still higher than recommended, I've managed to bring them down a full 30 points since the last time the test was taken, which I attribute to actually getting off my butt and doing something.
Screw the apple.  Temptation looks good in a bag.

Why the higher-than-regulation triglycerides?  Well, I know I could be better at managing what I eat.  Though I eat a lot - as detailed here, for example - I have been trying to have the "bad" things in moderation.  Still, I'm addicted to salt, and my bad triglycerides can probaby be attributed to my love of chips, a habit which I cannot seem to break.  And though I do not really have a sweet tooth, I don't turn down dessert nearly as often as I should.

But I like to think that these vices are balanced out by the fact that I don't smoke (never have, never will), don't drink alcohol (see last week's post) or coffee (since 1996) or soda (for about three months, which was less of a conscious decision than a we-ran-out decision), and have been curtailing my love of orange juice over the past few years by diluting it almost equally with water to cut down on the sugar intake.  Add to that the 6-10 weekly miles I have been averaging since getting back my running legs a few weeks ago, and I think I will be able to get both triglycerides and BMI under the recommended limits.  

Just give me another year or so.


A Lewis said...

I've been on cholesterol meds (Zocor) for five years with nice results. But the triglyceride level is still a bit too high -- after a small bit of research, I've doubled my fish oil intake daily (4 pills instead of 2). Fish oil is supposed to do nice things for triglycerides. June is my annual blood work. We'll see. Also, walnuts, avocado, red wine, purple grape juice, selenium, almonds, and oatmeal every morning.

Christopher said...

Thanks for the tips! I've been having regular oatmeal for the past few weeks (having migrated from the instant sugar-bomb oatmeal packets that I used to enjoy). I'm hoping to avoid medication (Zocor/Lipitor/et al) for as long as possible, and hope that my (painstakingly increasing) running will help do the trick. Hadn't thought of fish oil - will do some research.