I just got my annual labs done. I have had dangerously high cholesterol, as you can see, since at least 2006, when my total cholesterol was 253. (For reference, it is supposed to be under 180.) Even more alarming, my triglycerides were 396! They were more than double what is considered the maximum safe level of 150 mg/dl. Triglycerides measure the fats in the blood. My blood was so fatty it was thick and hard to pump through my body. My poor heart had to work over-over-over time just to get blood to all my organs. No wonder I had sky-high blood pressure, too. (Don't worry-the doctor was happy to give me a drug for that, too!)
The next few years, I was on a cholesterol-lowering statin, drugs like Lipitor and Crestor. You can see my cholesterol went down, but not enough. The bad thing is, statins lower your cholesterol, but they damage your liver! I was lowering my cholesterol, but I was doing toxic things to my liver! This was double bad, because I already had a "fatty liver" from being obese. My liver was so clogged with fat, it wasn't able to do it's job properly. Then I added toxics to it. Not very nice of me!
You can see where I made an honest effort to get healthy in 2007. I didn't know about raw foods, but I went vegetarian (not vegan) and I started exercising. That, combined with the drugs, got my cholesterol down to 163, and cut my triglycerides in half, yay me! But sadly, I had not dealt with my compulsive eating issues, and I was "white knuckling it." I fell off the wagon, hard, in 2008, and went back to fast food, sugar, meat, cheese, quit exercising--and my cholesterol went up just a little (due to the drugs) but my triglycerides doubled again!
In Sept, 2008, fresh off the bad news from my doctor's office, my friend Chasmyn told me about raw food. I was intrigued but it sounded hideously healthy. I knew I could never live on fruit and salad and wheatgrass juice! lol But she did a wonderful thing for me: she took me to a live food restaurant here in Portland, called The Blossoming Lotus. And the food was AMAZING. Beyond delicious! It made me think, "hmmm, maybe I could do this! ....Nah!" But I decided to try anyway. I did a 100-day RawFu challenge, but quit after 30 days because of the compulsive issues I had not dealt with. Still the seed was planted. I knew how great I felt on raw food. It just felt right! I love animals, I care about the environment, I wanted really badly to do the right thing and be vegan. I wanted so so much to be able to control my crazy binging, to release the weight that held me down (I weighed 402 lbs!) I wanted so badly for me to be healthy!
I took time out to deal with my compulsive eating. I did it following a Christian path, through an organization called Celebrate Recovery at my church. That worked for me where nothing else had. (Remember: 402 lbs! Lifetime obesity! Child abuse survivor! I had issues, people!)
Once I experienced the miracle of being relieved of my compulsions, wonderful things started to happen! I gave up all artificial sweeteners. (I found out they were basically poison. That was pretty easy to give up.) Bouyed by my success, I tried giving up other things, like caffeine. I loved iced tea like crazy. I drank it all year long! I loved fancy coffee drinks. I live in the Pacific NW, the birthplace of Starbucks! But I was able to let the caffeine go.
Fast forward to January this year: my miracle of relief from compulsion happened and I gave up: sugar, white flour, and meat! Then I went all sane, and went vegan! Then, I went even saner and went back to raw! The results: 4 and a half months later, my cholesterol is 140! My triglycerides are 136! I have released 80 lbs (60 of it since January on raw!) I exercise at least 5 times a week (walking and coming thisclose to dancing, bopping out to my tunes on the track or the treadmill! lol) I love to move my body to the music, big as I am. My body finally got off the couch, and it is ready to boogie!
I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for my daily miracle of abstinence, to my body for healing itself, and to you my friends for supporting me! And last night, for the first time, I DID NOT take my cholesterol-lowering drug before I went to bed! It served it's purpose when I was battering my body with SAD cooked animal fats daily, but I won't let it hurt my liver anymore. With my doctor's complete blessing, I am throwing it away!
(EDITED TO ADD: I can't get the stupid chart to publish successfully in blogger. If you want to see it, go to my journal on RawFu, I posted it there.)