Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reality Check

It can be hard to navigate how personal to be in the blog-osphere and I did not really want to write this post. But of course the point in being open is to realize there are other women out there going through the same things and are willing to build up a community of support, right?! So here it goes.

Two weeks ago I had a routine check up at the doctor and discussed my health history and my family's. It was no secret to the doctor that my father had passed away at the young age of 37 from a massive heart attack due to high cholesterol. He wasn't overweight by any means, but when you mix poor diet habits with a genetic risk of high cholesterol, the odds are stacked against you.

I've known about my own cholesterol since I was 5 years old - what five-year-olds need to know about that?! Routine blood work was done to check my HDL and LDL and my mom did her best to control my diet and my sister's until we were old enough to go on medication. At 18 I was put on cholesterol-reducing meds and again, what "perfectly-healthy-and-athletic" eighteen-year-olds going off to college have to worry about that? After 4 years, 2 different meds, and numerous trips to a cardiologist, my numbers were at a good, controlled place.

When major life changes hit like being a newlywed and starting my first real job, routine went out the window and bad habits crept in. I would forget to take my medicine to the point where I just didn't want to catch up and take it anymore. While being married to a personal trainer I did my best to work out consistently and stay fit, but it didn't change what was going on inside my body.

Back to my routine check up two weeks doctor requested I get some lab work done to see where my numbers were (now as a 25 year old) and the results came in this week. If you're familiar with cholesterol, you know that HDL is the "good cholesterol" and LDL is the "bad cholesterol" and you want your LDL to be under 100. My LDL is at 230, so naturally I have to go back on meds.

Not only that, but I really need to crack the whip on my fitness and diet routine which means cutting out my absolute FAVORITES - breads, pastas, and sweets (can you hear the teardrops falling on my keyboard?). As much as I want to throw a pity party, I know I am lucky to have a chance to improve my health, even if it means having to take medication. It can be easy to feel like "why do I have to deal with this at such a young age?", but it could always be worse. And considering I want to live much longer than 37, I will do whatever it takes to improve my health.

I share all this to say - take care of yourself! Even when it's not something that can be seen from the outside! We all deserve long healthy lives and the inconvenient, unpleasant hard work is worth it.

// Photo by Hilary Maloney //

1 comment:

  1. It is hard to have a genetic medical burden and so frustrating to be on meds- like, "i just want to live my life!" I am going to be making some big changes in my diet too, also due to health, so we are in this together! xoxo


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