A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor. We moved nearly two and a half years ago, and I hadn’t really gotten set up with a new doctor here.
Truth be told, I hadn’t really had a doctor in Chicago either — unless you count the OB/GYN who took care of me through two pregnancies and two births.
At age 41, I figured it might be time to take better care of myself, including scheduling some routine tests, including bloodwork.
I consider myself a healthy person, with few bad habits and at least one good one (running regularly.)
I do enjoy my peanut M&Ms and have had a longstanding love affair with a daily glass of Coca Cola (and not the diet kind.) And I’ve tried to give it up before, but my commitments to “drink only one Coke a week” always crumble and soon I’m back to my daily habit. Despite that, and despite regularly eating handfuls of M&Ms before breakfast, my weight is reasonable; we don’t eat much fast food; I eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily, though perhaps not as many as I should.
So, I met the new doctor a couple of weeks ago, and she told me that all my tests looked great, except my cholesterol levels. I am genetically predisposed to high cholesterol, it seems.
She wants me to return for blood work in 6 months, so I decided to make a real effort to eat more healthfully and exercise more consistently.
It’s been nearly 3 weeks.
I have had one glass of Coke — on my birthday, with pizza. I’ve started a new coffee habit, and one cup in the morning seems to satisfy my need for caffeine. I am drinking water instead of Cola, and I’ve forsworn sweets, save one small square of dark chocolate after lunch.
I’m hoping that these new habits are sustainable and that they will make a real difference in bringing down my higher-than-desired cholesterol level.
Tell me something! How do you stay healthy? What’s your worst health habit?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
First, Ob/Gyns are always good to have around :).
I don’t really consider myself the healthiest either, but I decided to try to focus on consciously eating better. I too have given up Coke; have not had one since Christmas, and even though I never really believed it, I think it has made a difference in managing my weight.
I am down to 1/3 ration of coffee in the morning, as it seems to keep most of the migraines away.
The rest has been about balance and paying attention to what I am eating, and sometimes why I am eating it.
But what I am surprised at is that I didn’t do any of this to lose weight, but to do better in taking care of myself. That has been a interesting phenomenon.
It has been working so far…
(Also did a post about it.)
Becky, every couple of months, sometimes more frequently, I crave ice cream. When it happens, it’s not good. Oh sure, there’s the short term enjoyment of diving into double chocolate covered in Hersheys syrup along with a piece of pound cake for foundation.
A few hours later my body feels the effects.
I’m tweaking a few things regarding my behavior and will write about it soon.
Congratulations on cutting out the Cola. But I love that you are giving yourself little, reasonable treats! That makes a lot of sense.
Hi Becky: If you remember anything about me you know I can’t comment about pop/soda drinking… I drink way more than my share. I can tell you that no one food is responsible for our health. Drinking one Coke a day will not change your cholesterol.
In fact, given how healthy I know your habits are I’m sorry to say you are probably about to enter the wonderful world of prescription therapy. The good news… that will give you another topic to blog about. The other good news: there is a solution for the problem and it’s not too hard to take.
Yay! That’s awesome, Becky. I used to be so addicted to Diet Coke and when I gave it up all kinds of great things happened. It can be tough and those silver cartons used to taunt me when I’d enter the grocery store but it’s probably been 12 or more years now since I had one and I don’t miss it at all. Of course you know I’m a huge coffee fan and I won’t be giving that up anytime soon but the pop is a way done deal. Good for you! 🙂
Hehe. My worst habit is drinking soda in general. I go on little spurts where I try to cut it out completely. I tough through all the headaches on day 2 of no caffeine and then I”m good for like a month.
Somewhere along the line I end up feeling exhausted and find myself returning to my soda/caffeine habit. My wife and I joke that we don’t like me when I’m not on caffeine.
The sugar, and caffeine are NOT good for me. Another “spurt” of no caffeine may be in order soon. I’ve done much better now that I’m not delivering papers at 3 am or working overnights. Still, it keeps up with me.
Worse yet, we live 1 block away from a McDonalds and they just started their annual $1 for any size drink promotion. I may have to wait until that’s done for my next “break” from soda 🙂
Congrats on your accomplishment Becky. I too used to love drinking Pepsi/Coke but for weight management switched to Diet, a tough transition at first but after a while could not stomach the high test stuff. Last September, I followed Alton Brown as he announced on Twitter that he was giving up soda all together. It was tough at first because my wife still drinks it, and it’s easily available when you’re on the road. Needless to say, unsweet tea is an acquired taste and I found just as available as any soda. Take my word, once you get over the first 2 or 3 hurdles, it gets easier. I hope you’ll continue to push through despite the challenges you may face. Good luck!
Get into vegetable juicing, all your cravings will vanish.
Hi Becky! To reduce cholesterol, try reducing the amount of fat in your diet. It seems as though you eat pretty well from what you’ve said, but how much meat and dairy do you eat? Meat is full of extra cholesterol and fat. I personally stopped eating meat except for chicken maybe once a week and actually lost 10 pounds. (I wasn’t looking to lose weight at all.) My father did the same and his triglycerides went from 180 (high) to 76 in 2 months. THIS IS HUGE!!!! He would still have meat 1-2 times per week, but kept it very lean.
Definitely try this out. I have many recipes on my website that give you protein without animal protein.
Sugar turns into fat as well, so it’s great you’ve cut down on Coke. Do you put sugar in your coffee? Eat sweets? The piece of dark chocolate is great for cravings.
Hi Diane —
Thank you for your helpful comment. I don’t eat a lot of meat, and not much read meat. The funny thing is though my cholesterol is high, my triglycerides are fine. So – no sweets since the diet change, and no sugar in my coffee (only flavored creamer.) I’m curious to see how all the changes affect that number.