Friday, 18 September 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.....

Well there's nothing like being launched into "high risk for cardiovascular disease" to focus the mind - I could no more eat a pizza right now than fly to the moon. (when I say right now, I use the term loosely since it's barely 9:30 in the morning!)

In addition to the high blood pressure, I now know I have high bad cholesterol and low good cholesterol. The odds are stacking against me. Good job I don't smoke and am not diabetic, or I'd have the full set of risk factors!

So, cholersterol then. I'm struggling to think of what I can now cut out to help matters. I scarcely touch meat these days, maybe once a week maximum. I can't remember the last time I used any kind of fat other than Fry Light to cook. I eat tons of fresh fruit and veg, pulses, grains, a variety of beans and only very low fat dairy products. Even when I was off track and gaining, I wasn't down the chippy every night, nothing even close to that unhealthy.

Raising the good cholesterol concerns me a little bit too - oily fish seems to be the way forward but I'm not a huge fish fan (although I did actually have fish for tea last night before I even knew this latest news.)I will have to do my research!

Many years ago, when I was a student nurse, we were taught about Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs, the premise of which is that as humans we need our physiological need for food, water, shelter etc fulfilled before we are able to address our higher needs such as the need for love and personal achievement. It's all a bit woolly now, it is 23 years since I looked at it! But I've remembered it this week because I have found myself floundering at the lower levels involving health, and so unable to focus on any higher needs. It's astonishing how much these simple test results have adjusted my own view of myself. I feel mildly embarrassed about myself and suddenly the reflection in the mirror looks like an imposter - that person who I still perceive as being young and full of opportunity in my reflection bears no relation to the person who's blood pressure is 166/118 and has high cholesterol. The two identities are incompatable.

So I'm looking a little bit harder at the mirror, and who is that I see? Why, it's my mum!


Chris said...

Sorry to hear about your high cholesterol - especially as it sounds like you're already doing the right things diet-wise. I guess some people are predisposed to need to work harder at that - I know my father has high cholesterol, so I wouldn't be surprised if I have the same trouble myself at some point.
I'm sure you have thought of it - and maybe there's a reason why this wouldn't work - but have you considered taking fish oil supplements rather than forcing yourself to eat fish against your will? I regularly take omega-3 capsules and they have no fishy taste at all (unless I burp straight after taking them - is that too much info???)
Anyway, good luck for sorting out the cholesterol and blood pressure (I find walking helps me there) and I'm sure once you start to feel better physically everything else will start to fall into place!

Miz said...

SO MANY THOUGHTS for you on the cholesterol.

starting with one word. FLAX!

ok 2 :)



Anonymous said...

That's a scary point. I hit a point where I was seeing my grandmother before I started seeing me again.

You probably know that your cholesterol problem is probably genetic and not related to your foods since you've been eating better.

There are times we need to recognize that the best we can do is be the best ME we can be... that each of us has a different set-point for who we are physically, emotionally and (if you believe that sort of thing) spiritually. And it may be that diet and exercise doesn't solve all our problems, and it certainly won't totally reverse aging (an issue I'm also dealing with now).

It's easy to get stuck on the lower level of Maslows:

but I really believe that no matter what you go through, if you don't pepper it with some of the pursuits on the higher levels, you can't have the motivation and joy to keep up the struggle.

Lakeland Jo said...

It's sometimes these little ( or large!!) wake up calls that make us make the big necessary changes. I have had a shed load of wake up calls in the last couple of years, and this year I find myself not being ABLE to eat fat or drink wine because of health problems. I have been forced to look at myself in the mirror and forced to change my ways- and the good thing is- I am getting into better habits- and starting to enjoy different choices. Good luck to you

outlaw said...

I used to have ground flax seeds on porridge for breakfast. In fact now you remind me I'm going to go back to that in the am.

Flax needs to be ground and munched pretty fast....

and we used to have porridge with the green organic raisins on top too. not hugely sweet but made a huge difference in am cravings.

Be careful about the fats in low fat foods, think about cooking as much as poss from scratch and tbh as much as poss where *you* are stir frying with water not oil - and then put a tsp of extra V olive oil on after the food is cooked.

best of luck and hang in there....

Kath said...

Hey there!! I'm back on the diet bandwagon and hopefully by the end of the day might have found my blog-mo-jo (if there is such a thing). Re the cholesterol...someone told me soya milk is great for this. Have to say, I'm not much liking the taste, but I've been using it to make my porridge of a morning and if you add a tiny bit of cinnamon it's not that awful.

Off to catch up on more of your musings.