Sunday, November 11, 2012
My weight has always been high. For the past few years, so has my cholesterol. I have resisted medication to control it, instead opting for diet and exercise. Last year it seemed to be paying off. My cholesterol was going down. Still needing to lower it more, I took a drastic step, I gave up meat. At least to me it was a drastic step. Becoming a vegetarian wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I could still find something to eat at most restaurants, although the tended to be deep-fried. Also, I knew my sugar intake was higher than before, but I just made a mental note to cut back. Also, I was keeping track of my protein. The end of October marked a full year of no meat. I was filling proud of myself, that I had a goal and stuck to it. My weight hadn't gone down, but it hadn't gone up either. I had honestly thought I had had a successful year.
November 1st marked my yearly blood work. I was excited to see how much my cholesterol had gone down by not eating meat. My balloon of excitement burst when I discovered my cholesterol had not decrease over the past year. Instead my cholesterol shot up 46 point. I was devastated and decided to drown my sorrows in meat-less tacos complete with lots of cheese and sour cream. Obviously, I needed to make changes. The first change I made was the way I thought. For some reason, I thought a vegetarian diet is automatically healthy. I was wrong. So I went about dissecting my diet and researching low fat diets. I found my biggest source of protein was coming form dairy products, which in turn have lots of fats. I also had to start watching how many grams of fat foods have. Being a vegetarian then became a lot harder.
In the past week I have gotten rid of most of my favorites foods around the house. Keeping protein, calorie and fat levels in balance have been a daily struggle. Tracking the foods I eat has been a wake up call and a valuable tools. None of the foods I eat have more than 4 grams of fat. Some days my protein and calories levels are low. More than once I have felt like I'm starving and have wanted to give up.
There has also been bright moments. Everyday I find new low-fat vegetarian recipes. I find foods that satisfy my sweet tooth that are part of a low-fat diet. Most importantly, everyday I find inspiration in others who share their experiences, some similar, some not. I can't guarantee that I am going to finally lower my cholesterol and lose the weight this time, but I feel like I have the tools to succeed like never before. I'm hoping by sharing my experiences as I go, it helps to keep my accountable and on track.