The Unexpected Starting Line

I made a major life change in April of 2009 following a heart attack the month before.  I had thought I was doing a pretty good job taking care of myself, but clearly, it wasn’t enough. And so, I talked to good smart people, read good smart books (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD http://www.heartattackproof.com/) and made a decision.  My life was going to change.  My working out was going to intensify and I would go vegan.

People thought I was crazy, that I was going too far, but my cholesterol numbers (HDL51 and LDL 95 at the time of the heart attack***) improved in just over a month (HDL still 51 and LDL 74).

Then I got a little conflicted.  I read that soy negatively affected thyroid medication.  So, I stopped the soy and went back to skim milk.  And I got a little cocky and maybe once a week would cheat with a brownie or cookie….

Retest in October:  HDL:  56, LDL: 98

That was it.  I recommitted and made the decision that this would be my life.  I would live according to my needs.

Fast forward:  January 26th the new results are in:  HDL: 63, LDL 70.  Total: 143

Throughout this time, I’ve had conflicting responses from people who know me.  Some people make jokes about it.  My dad jokes that I eat birdseed and gravel.  Some friends think I’m being extreme but offer me acceptance saying, “Well if it makes you feel better.”  Some people get stressed out about it and worry about what to feed me if I come over for dinner.  Some people are completely perplexed and flustered,  “What in the world do you eat?”  Overall, I’ve been surprised by how confused and opinionated people are about how I’ve chosen to live my life.  Maybe they think that I’m judging them?

I’m not.

This last year or so has confirmed what I’ve generally believed about life:

The way you live on a daily basis is the the fruition of a series of choices. From what you eat, to how or if you exercise, to purchases and relationships, what you decide is “normal” can be your life. We are constantly told by our mass media in all of its manifestations what should be normal.  Feel good commercials sell us fast food, commercials that seem to understand our busy lives sell us processed, packaged convenience, and there are many others that sell us lots of other things that complicate and infect our lives.

I reject it.  I’m deciding what’s normal and sharing how I get there and live well.  This is about finding new ways that are better for our health, our environment, and each other. It’s about being satisfied with our choices.

I’ll share info I find including recipes, books, smart things I hear, things that work and things that don’t.  Stay tuned.

***These numbers are really great for most people, but they don’t work for me.  See your doctor to determine appropriate cholesterol goals for your health.

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One response to this post.

  1. I ejoyed reading your post Lori. Thank you for being you!

    Sara

    Reply

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