Fitness Challenge Days 56-58: The Lab Results Blues

Today has been a tough day and ended up with me singing the blues about my Lab Results from last week. 


Smile at a Mile

 To begin with, I really didn’t want to get up at 5:10 AM and walk. Had to really look hard and heard echoes of my #TeamSumoflam friends encouraging me to get up. Ultimately, my heart won over my mind and I walked this morning…2.25 miles. A small victory.


Two Mile Smile

 But, it apparently came with a sore price, namely my knees. All day it has been painful to walk.

As well, due to the strong urging of my doctor, I began taking Lisinopril-HCTZ to reduce my blood pressure, much to my chagrin. And I discovered that I was making more trips to the restroom, which also pained my knees.

But, the real BOMB came when I got my lab results. As I noted last week, my blood pressure had not changed a bit since last year…still high at 187/106. With the change in diet and all the walking and effort, I thought it would go down.

Then I saw my labs. Doctor’s note said: “Labs returned normal except cholesterol. Cholesterol remains elevated. Goal is <1300, yours is 1944. It was 1906 the last time it was checked and medication was recommended but not started.”

I was devastated…really!! All that I have read and seen indicated that a whole foods plant based diet coupled with exercise will DRAMATICALLY reduce bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. Yes, I am down 27 pounds or so in 50+ days, but I most certainly expected more positive results. Even my glucose is still high at 114 (when it should be between 74-99).


Green Juice for Breakfast instead of ham and eggs

 There are some days when I feel I am sacrificing so much of what I have enjoyed all these years so that I could see improvements and nothing has really changed but my weight!


Salad in a Jar for lunch on National Hamburger Day

 Of course, I know it can be a slow process and that my cholesterol could still be high, but come on…going up??? 

I know I must stay strong and keep moving forward. But the side effects of blood pressure meds and cholesterol meds scare me too. I have tried to consider what my wife says “Food is Medicine” as the real truth. 


Sweatoflam: Is all this sweat, effort and sacrifice worth it?

 Ultimately, I must keep going. Doctor said to visit again in August. Maybe things will be better at the 150 day mark than they were at the 50 day mark. I can’t stop now.

KAri - May 28, 2015 - 20:28

Ahhh…bummer about your labs! 🙁 I can see how that would be discouraging, but I’m glad for your resolve. Did the doc have any ideas about why the cholesterol would have gone up after switching diets and all? That seems really weird. I wonder if it has to do with increased circulation maybe freeing up stuff that was lining your pipes? As in veins, but whatever. Good luck with your BP medicine too. Hang in there! Glad you went to Woodflock and had a good time. Next year, for sure! 🙂

sumoflam - May 28, 2015 - 20:31

Thanks KAri!! You are so sweet and supportive. Doctor didn’t explain. He just chided me for not taking the meds as prescribed.

Ione Snyder - May 28, 2015 - 21:28

Sumo, don’t get discouraged!!! You may not be balancing your proteins with your greens. Also, only good fats like coconut oil, red palm oil, olive oil and very small amounts of real butter. Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats. According to the Food Addicts diet, you weigh everything and only have complex carbs (can add vegetables) in the morning with protein. Lunch is lean protein with vegetables of your choice. Dinner is lean protein with cooked vegetables and a salad. I lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks and people swear by this diet to get off HBP meds, cholesterol meds and diabetic meds. You also have to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Herbal tea can be considered part of your water consumption. I SO get the part about trying to walk and then you end up with pain. Check out and see if there’s a water aerobics class near you as it uses the water resistance to build strength and helps you bear weight while in the water. I’m there for you anytime you need it!

sumoflam - May 28, 2015 - 21:31

Thanks Ione!! You rawk big time Sistah!!!

Jane Birch - May 28, 2015 - 21:51

Don’t get discouraged. My cholesterol had not budged after a month, but they plummeted by the three month mark. For a healthy whole food, plant-based diet, stay away from all fats, even the whole plant foods that are high in fat. Smoothies are also not the best for cholesterol (they pack a lot of processed calories in a small space). Better to eat whole foods. If you want any more info or research on this, let me know (email me). Best wishes. Keep going!!

Gayle - May 29, 2015 - 00:48

David, If there was one thing I would do over in my marriage, it would be to urge my husband to take the cholesterol reducing medicine instead of counting only on diet and exercise to bring his LDL levels down. He was stubborn and believed that he could do it all on his own willpower.He turned out to be one of the people that created his own LDL out of thin air and the cost to his heart has been something he has paid for these last 19 years.
It’s ok to use every weapon at your disposal to fight to have a long and blessed life to share with your family. Sometimes it takes all three to work.

I’m talking to you from my heart as your loving friend,

Jude - May 29, 2015 - 21:07

Hi Dave – I feel your pain…I have been on a path of improved health after decades of being overweight had begun to creep up and create real health problems. It appears you are on a vegan diet, yes? Some of that, depending on the grains/legumes you are eating could be making some changes in your labs and could be creating pain.

I started vegan about 5 years ago and had to give it up after 6 months due to a highly inflammatory state my body was suddenly in. Well, well, well…can’t do many grains here at all it seems. I had to go gluten free, watch my legumes and not have ANY roasted nuts (raw seem to be OK except for peanuts which I have to limit).

I was so inflamed that I was in tremendous pain and went to ER….they could find nothing. I went on an elimination diet (allergy type of diet) and was pain free in a matter of days. However, it was also the beginning of a 4 year inflammatory illness for me….I was suddenly auto-immune.

I am not one to push or prod people into do things one way or the other…but cholesterol DOES take some time to change. 3-6 months maybe. Glucose can be influenced by many factors including too much protein, too much fruit, magnesium deficiency, etc.

I have not nor will I ever take medication to reduce cholesterol (not advised for women) but if you do…save your brain and get some CoQ-10 with ubiquinol! My cholesterol finally dropped to an acceptable level and I am on a low-carb, high-fat diet (coconut butter, butter, grass fed beef and lots and lots of veggies…not in that order).

If you want to do some more research, listen to a variety of health gurus that are not typical Western medicine…just ask. I’m happy to share. It IS a struggle, but a path well worthwhile and I am ALWAYS tweaking something in my daily habits…you also need the labs to lead you in the right direction. Be patient, I tell myself it has taken most of my life to get where I am now…change won’t happen overnight!

It is not all about calories in/calories out….it is a state of inflammation and it is a chore in itself to find out what inflames you and heals you.

May the force be with you!

sumoflam - May 29, 2015 - 21:11

Thanks Jude! Great comments and definitely food for thought

Jude - May 29, 2015 - 23:09

Dave one of my favorite ‘treats’ is Lindt 85% or 90% dark chocolate…only 5 grams or 3 grams of sugar respectively…and it feeds the beneficial gut bacteria as well as being a darn good antioxidant! Jude

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