Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cholesterol, Schmolesterol

I was just on the phone with a friend marveling at how "adult" I felt. I have blocks of time scheduled to study, I quit studying at responsible times so that I'm not exhausted at work the next day, I squeeze in good walks with the dogs, I have about ten thousand different things going on, but as long as they're written down in my calendar in advance (no, I don't have a crackberry, thanks for asking) I can plan around them, and usually show up as scheduled. (I say usually because sometimes? Naps with warm dogs simply can not be avoided.) Look at me! Completely in control and doing what I should be doing. Isn't this the very definition of an adult?


Okay, so below the surface, it's not all completely in control. What I've done is make a list of priorities and then focus on what I can. School? Mega important. Dogs? Also Mega important, but unfortunately, trumped by school. Sleep? Recently moved up to Mega important - not trumped by anything anymore.... etc. etc. Some things have gotten scrapped. Reading for pleasure? Gone. Visiting friends who are out of state? Gone. Blogging? Well...I can't give up ALL my guilty pleasures. Diet? Um, not even on the list of items to focus on. Actually, it's nowhere near the list. Not even in the same room. Which brings me to the call from my doctor yesterday telling me that my cholesterol is high*.

I'm sorry, what? Isn't that something that only grown-ups have to worry about?

Oh, right.

So then comes the anger. The doctor can't save me from death's door, but oh thanks so much for diagnosing something ELSE I have to treat.

Then comes the acceptance. Damnit. Must now move "diet" up on the list of importance.

I knew this was a risk. I know where I come from. (Hi Dad! Thanks so much for these genes! Love you!!) But, you know, there are only so many hours in a day. And besides, Emily does like herself some queso dip. Yum.

I'm supposed to meet with the doctor to discuss "treatment of this issue." Blech. So I talked to my new BFF, Google, and we discussed exactly what "treatment options" the doctor would bring up. Not being such a fan of medication, I am resigned to the fact that I must alter my diet and lifestyle to be more healthy. (insert heavy sigh here.) I'm not looking to change everything all at once....I know that sets you up for failure. (Although, this seems to be my MO... Swing all the way over to the side of "healthy" and then chip away at the good habits until there is nothing left but queso and Ben & Jerry's and regular Coke, all while deluding myself of my "healthy" status and ignoring the fact that none of my pants fit.) I'll be adult about this. I can do this... unfortunately even changing little things right now seems daunting.

Easy things: oatmeal for breakfast each morning (sniff... bye bye McMuffin) and at least two meals per week that focus on tuna or salmon. And olive oil? Dude. No problem. I'm Italian. I've just got to rein that in. :-)

Regular exercise.

Right. Regular exercise. Not so easy. Let's see... I can squeeze that in in the mornings before I have to be at work. Um, wait, it's dark outside then. Shoot. Um, I can squeeze it in after work! Right. Three times per week - MWF. I have to walk the dogs, I will combine the two. Done.

Three times per week? Really? That's all? And only walking?

Um, gym membership? Right. When it's included in the soul-sucking tuition payments and the powers that be decide to add two hours to the day, I'll consider it.


So when I read this post from a favorite blogger, I was tempted. I've never purchased an exercise video before, but, hey, there's a first time for everything, right? And the price is right because Amazon.com is awesome. But still... an exercise video? Like, to do at home? It just seems so... so... cheesy, somehow. I've always been a fan of going somewhere (outside, gym, class) to get my workouts in.

Pros: I can wear whatever I want to work out and not worry about who's seeing me. I can fit this in in the mornings before I shower. I don't have to spend a lot of money. I don't have to tell anyone about this. (well, unless I post it on my blog.)

Cons: Um, I feel like a weiner.

So I bought the video today. When I start I'll let you know. I'm sure it will be a rollercoaster of fun. (stupid cholesterol.) Any other suggestions to get in a decent amount of exercise? I know you all have busy schedules too...

*I knew nothing good would come from going to the doctor. Blargh.


kat(i)e said...

I totally saw that video too and thought "hmmmm." Being that my cholesterol is a-okay though (note bragging) I chose to skip it. The reviews scared me quite frankly. But let me know how it goes. If after a week you still don't feel like death, maybe I'll give it a try...maybe

ems said...

If it DOESN'T go well, I'll mail you the video myself :-)

Farmerspice said...

um...question...is there really room in your living room?? I mean I know there is room in the dark scary basement, but the living room? Just curious how you plan to work this workout diva.

ems said...

Right. Um, I'll move the coffee table, and, um.... Um.... I'll figure something out. I'm short, so I don't really need THAT much room :-)

AnnD said...

That sucks! I'm sorry! I need to get mine checked, I believe the last time I had it checked was when I was pregnant! Good luck with the diet and exercise thing. I'll be watching from the sidelines. Well...maybe not but I'll be a silent and invisible cheerleader from afar!

The Carrels said...

Emily...not to sound like a mother hen...but high cholesterol can lead to a lot of other health problems...I think the American Heart Association has done a great job in the past few years increasing awareness to heart health issues, especially for women! I think heart related deaths are close to top 3 for women in the US. Please take this seriously!!!

ems said...

I know, I know. I've already changed my diet and for 48 hours I've been low-cholesterol and grumpy. The problem is that I expect to see results NOW and I just get more grumpy when I don't...

Anonymous said...

I just had my yearly checkup. My total cholesterol was down 43 points from last year. The secret is to be poor so you eat less. Food is expensive you know.