Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crunching the Numbers: Diabetes

Good morning world! I hope you are all bright eyed and bushy tailed. It's the week before Christmas!!!!

Today, my post may err on the side of serious. For my Realities in Nutrition class, we were given an extra credit opportunity. The extra credit was to get your lipids panel done to determine your cholesterol levels. I didn't necessarily need the extra credit points, but it's been a long time since I'd had my cholesterol checked. Plus, it was only $5 on campus. You already know I love me a bargain! ;-)

On Monday, I picked up my results, and I was truly floored to see my numbers.

My total cholesterol: 243 [Should be less than 200]
HDL Cholesterol: 71 [That's actually good. Should be more than 40, or ideally more than 60.]
Triglycerides: 105 [Ok. Should be less than 150.]
LDL Cholesterol: 151 [Should be less than 100, some say less than 130.]

For the sake of this post, I will hugely oversimplify things and just say LDL is the bad stuff and I'm way high. Needless to say, this is not cool. I was very embarrassed at first. I kept thinking, I'm going to school for dietetics and I'm borderline diabetic?! But, I also realize that being honest about who I am is part of being a healthy me. It's part of the Jasmine Myers Mission Statement. So, here goes...

If I step back and look at myself honestly, I see that since my wedding my life has changed drastically. I went from working a full-time, high-stress job in an office setting to working out of my home, random hours on random jobs (ah, the life of a freelance writer). Then, the fall semester began and I was going to school full-time and working those random hours to boot. I've gained approximately 7-10 pounds since the wedding. Here's where I think I made my mistakes:

* Pasta. I love pasta. I love it because it's really quick, easy, and you usually have enough leftovers for another day. Very handy when I'm running around doing school and work, but not good for my waist line or my cholesterol. All those extra carbs (even 100% whole wheat carbs) add up to fat, especially when you're making a pasta dish like 3 times a week.

* Gym regimen. I used to go to the gym at 5am every morning before my full-time job. When I left my job and my life became a bit more chaotic, so too did my workout routine. I still worked out (thus, my high HDL), but I didn't work out as much, which allowed me to put on weight.

* Stress Eating. I battle with binge and emotional eating pretty often anyway. But, when life gets chaotic, I get a bit stressed. I began grazing alot over this semester. Extra calories = extra fat on my bod.

I'm not trying to be hard on myself, but I wanted to use myself as an example. I'm studying to be a dietician. You'd think I'd be on top of these things, but I'm human. I'm busy, and so many things can take priority over the gym. But, what it all boils down to is your health. It's not so much about going to the gym as it is maintaining a healthy balance. It's important. Those numbers were a real wake-up call.

Weight loss and maintenance isn't just about looking good. It's serious. You wouldn't look at me and think I have high blood sugar. But, here I am, borderline diabetic. I need to remember that eating well and exercising isn't just something I do so I can fit into my favorite jeans. It's something I do so I can live a long and happy life.

In the spirit of good-for-you food... Breakfast...


So, as we all go into the crazy-foodness of next week, let's all remember that being well is the best gift we can give to ourselves and the ones we love. No resolution required. Just do it.

How do you plan to stay healthy through this holiday season?

--Mrs. Myers

Related Links:

How to eat healthy on a budget in San Diego

Beat the Cold and Avoid Winter Weight Gain

Strength Train to Burn Fat



  1. This is a great, honest post. Thanks for sharing.
    I try to not get caught up with the "food" aspect of the Holidays - sure I'll indulge on xmas eve and xmas, but it is definitely not a month long event. (And I don't have any cookies or candy at home)

  2. Good job for putting it all out there. I am curious about my own numbers now that I'm thinking about it. Over the Holiday I know I will be indulging. My plan is to stay active. I know that when I get a workout in I am more likely to keep eating well.

  3. I'm trying to stay healthy by picking my splurges. For example, the luncheon at work doesn't intrigue me and seem worth it, but my mom's appetizers and my sister's desserts are sooo worth every single calorie! I'm trying my best to balance it all out, but most of all, trying to keep the focus on being with family rather than eating as much as possible.

  4. Hey girly! Don't freak out too much! Your numbers aren't off the charts, and can probably be improved with a healthy diet and exercise. :D Oh, and high lipid numbers don't necessarily equate to high blood sugar, so you may want to get that checked too since this doesn't mean you're borderline diabetic. My dad, for example, had high fasting blood glucose but didn't have any cholesterol issues. It can work either way.

    Good for you for taking care of your health! And how cool is it that you were able to check your cholesterol numbers? I would love to know where I'm at right now. :D

  5. Just stumbled on your blog. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great post. I plan on eating in moderation during the holidays. Which is how I eat every single day. To me the holidays are no longer special because of the "treats", but because of the memories.

    Happy Holidays!

  7. I love this post! I went through similar challenges when I was studying to be an RD. After taking 10 steps back, I realized it was about balancing everything else going on in my life.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  8. Yup, refined carbs sure can be the culprit. Cutting those out will probably make a big difference.
    BODA weight loss

  9. good luck with everything - i had high cholesterol when i first started my blog but have managed to lower it to just below borderline now. you can do it!!!


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