I decided that if its broken,fix it.

by Pat

My weight kept climbing though I tried to lose so that I would look better and fit into my skinny or at least my medium clothes. But when I found my cholesterol levels were high, I decided that I would use this more serious issue as a focus to get the results that I want. I took it as a challenge and decided to have fun with it and go at it full bore.

I dropped my total cholesterol 60 points, did best on triglycerides, which went from 220 to 94, and only took my HDLs up one point, but I'm going to focus on that now. I took 2 years to do it, but I'd bet that you can get quicker results from what I learned.

I read about what I needed to make in exercise and diet, and I decided to change whatever needed to change. What I was doing wasn't working, so why do it? It took me a while to change everything, but it is really a long term change, and that is what counts.

The different articles on cholesterol got me confused, so from my reading, I made four lists: what lowers LDL, what lowers triglycerides, what raises HDL, and what works for all three levels.

I have always been a walker, but I slowly stepped up the pace, duration & frequency. I went from 3 days a week to 5. I've slowly added resistance exercise, with bands, dumbbells, sometimes little belly ball and a big workout ball. I've used Callenetics and Heavy Hands. Both of these are books from the 70s. I get bored easily so I didn't buy any one exercise tape. Instead, I jump around to different TV exercise programs. I usually do my own thing, but use their energy to keep me going. My knees are 60 years old, and I found that they can't take any jumping or twisting. So I twist at or above the waist only.

I found an easy website to track my diet (mine is caloriescount.com) so I know just what I'm taking in.

Two of the most important foods have been beans and hulled barley (one of my favorites). It’s hard to find, call serious health food stores. It grabs cholesterol out of your system very well. I use it as breakfast cereal or side dish and add it to about anything. It adds body to things like chili, without affecting the taste. I saute it with onions, mushrooms and black beans, alongside a big catfish or any other entree.

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