Did My Apathy Just Raise My Cholesterol?

I am a relatively thin female college student who walks about 2 miles a day to class. I also have a total cholesterol of 240 and a LDL cholesterol of 153. For those who don’t know, 243 is 73 “cholesterol points” above the upper limit for my age group and 153 is 50 points above the upper limit.

It’s bad.

20 “cholesterol points” ago I should have gone on cholesterol-lowering drugs. You know, the ones your 40-year old parents take. I’m 19.

Never did I think that I could have such a problem. I’m thin, I’m occasionally active; you can see my collarbones for christ’s sake. And every person that I tell my cholesterol to, their jaws drop. “No way could someone who looks like you have a condition that is associated with being overweight or having heart problems.” Really, this just shows how ignorant most of us are about our own health. Turns out, you don’t have to be overweight to have high cholesterol, you don’t need to be old to have osteoporosis, and you don’t have to smoke to get cancer.

I have never (to my knowledge) had my blood taken to have a full bloodwork test until last year. Ironically enough, my friend and I went to get a blood test last year as a friendly competition to see who had better numbers; I quietly prepared my gloating speech because I was convinced my smaller frame was my not-so-secret weapon. False. I had high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and inflamed lymph nodes. My friend was perfectly healthy.

I had to become a vegan. Literally the most undesirable fate that life could bestow upon me. And not just any vegan, a vegan who eats only organic and non-fried foods.

I LOVE meat. Not just love, maybe not even love, but I LOVE meat. I love it raw. I used to freeze pieces of pork tenderloin, marinate them in vinegar, and eat them raw. Waiters think I joke when I ask my beef to be “still moo-ing.” I’ll laugh to be polite. I love cheese, heavy cream, butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, all of it. I also love foods that are fried, foods that come in frozen packages, and fast food. I plan on eating Cheetos on my deathbed. Seeing it all written down, it’s almost no wonder why I have the health problems that I do. But you never think about health when you bite into that country fried steak, and I know that is the case with many people. Even less often do people think about the animals, people, and environment that were harmed to create this food.

I wish I loved animals enough to not want to eat them. I really do love animals, and a video-clip of a piglet getting castrated soon after birth with a kitchen knife really upsets me (VIDEO CONTAINS DISTURBING IMAGES OF A PIGLET GETTING CASTRATED, BE CAREFUL). But I just can’t seem to carry that upset-ness to the table with me. Apathy is definitely a reason why I have high cholesterol.

desperately don’t want to be vegan. I am not a hippie, I don’t feel the need to tell people I’m better than they are because of what I eat, and I think healthy stuff that tries to advertise itself as “yummy” consistently tastes like cardboard. Those are the stereotypes I’ve heard about vegans. I’ve never actually met a full-on vegan, so I can’t attest to the truth or falseness of those stereotypes. I don’t believe in taking drugs and having surgeries to fix what I’ve done to myself, so becoming a vegan is really the only option, assuming I choose to live, that is.

I plan on using this blog as a means of helping someone. First, I hope this will help me. I have only just begun my research of the foods I eat, the exercise I occasionally do, and the things wrong with my body, and I plan on using this blog as a way of keeping track of that research. Secondly, I hope this blog serves as an encouraging agent to myself so that I can turn to it when I feel like I’m going to give in. Lastly, I hope this blog can help someone else. I will never give any kind of medical advice, claim to be an expert in any nutritional/chemical/medical field, or even make suggestions with the exception of one: don’t be ignorant about your health. I strongly recommend getting regular blood and urine tests to make sure you aren’t fooling yourself. I will be posting personal stories, aggregate research, interesting concepts, and some other fun stuff to keep me from going insane.

Goals:

  1. Lower total cholesterol to 160
  2. Lower LDL cholesterol to 90
  3. Lose 15 pounds
  4. Tone muscles through exercise
  5. Discover the benefits of a vegan diet

Methods:

  1. Eat only vegan, organic, and non-fried foods
  2. Strength and Cardiovascular exercise daily
  3. Being miserable?
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