Why My Cholesterol is 248

A New Goal to Improve My Eating Habits and Be the Boss of My Health

Eating a donut

For about the past week or so I have been having really severe back pain. It’s been weird pain because nothing seemed to help it and then the pain turned into stomach pain as well. So I did something I don’t do very often.

I went to the doctor.

After describing my pain, he told me it doesn’t sound like anything to do with my back. It could be my kidneys or pancreas or a few other things. I got some tests done and everything was normal. The actual pain I was having was actually coming from either acid reflux or an ulcer. My bet was on reflux as I’ve had that most of my life.

Time to start a round of Prilosec.

One of the tests actually did come back negatively. My cholesterol was 248. Apparently that is pretty high. Even worse, according to my doctor, was that my good cholesterol was low and my bad one was high (whatever that means).

The doctor said high cholesterol could come from family history, which was very nice of him because he gave me a good excuse to use! Then he said it also could come from diet. My acid reflux comes from my diet as it always gets bad when I’m not eating well.

Here is what I have eaten in the past week or so:

  • McDonald’s (multiple times)
  • Burger King
  • Pizza
  • Wings, lots of fries
  • Chinese food (the fried kind)
  • P. Terry’s burgers
  • Some donuts
  • Oh yea and at least 2-3 sodas a day and Red Bull. I love Red Bull.

After thinking about my diet lately, it’s no wonder I have had such bad pain from acid reflux. And it’s no wonder why my cholesterol is so high. The doctor gave me an excuse by saying it could be due in part to family history (and yes it is true that I do have a history of high cholesterol).

But the real reason why my cholesterol is 248 is ME. I have made the decision to eat the way I have been eating. I’m actually drinking a Red Bull and eating a donut as I write this blog.

Being healthy is not on my goals list and it really isn’t a priority for me. But maybe it should be? When I think about the pain I have been having this past week I wonder if my diet is worth it? I wonder if I need to quit eating for convenience and taste and start thinking about what the food is doing to my body?

I am working to be the Boss of my life and to help other people become the Boss of their lives. Being the Boss means taking personal responsibility and that is what this post is all about. I take responsibility for my poor eating habits. My high cholesterol is my fault and it is up to me to lower it. Perhaps it is time I became the Boss of my health?

We are now in the final quarter of 2015. It’s crunch time. It is also planning time. I am beginning to think about my 2016 goals. I have not really set a healthy eating or a fitness goal in the past 8 years or so. Now is the time because I would like to see my doctor again next year. I would like to be the Boss of my life for a long time, not just for a couple more years.

We only do things in our lives for two reasons: to gain a benefit or avoid a loss.

I am going to set a healthy eating goal because I want to avoid a big loss. But there are also many benefits. I can become pain free. I can sleep better. I can get more energy. I can be a better husband to my wife. A better friend. A better everything.

I know why my cholesterol is 248. It’s not because of family history, but because of ME.

It’s time for a change. The buck stops here.

Let me know if you have any advice that can help me improve my eating habits and lower my cholesterol.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Why My Cholesterol is 248

  1. Billy,

    I’ve been in your shoes. I love energy drinks (I was a big AMP fan). Also, if it were up to me I would have eaten donuts and fast food for years and years. I wish I could tell you I took control of my own life… but to be honest I improved my diet mostly because of my amazing wife.

    I know that is not a solution in and of itself. But from my own experience, the person who has THE MOST control over your health (other than you of course), is your wife. She is always around. A practical thing Alyssa and I did that has tremendously helped me, was we started recording how I felt after certain meals. For instance, we have a real capacity to completely forget how much pain certain foods caused us. One time after going to Chili’s and powering through WAY too much food Alyssa broke out her iPhone and recorded me in my misery. The next time I felt like over eating… she broke out that recording and I listened to myself telling me to not overeat.

    That’s one small way to make some improvements I think, from a fellow junk eater :).

    Heath

    • I wish I could blame my wife, but I have actually been the bad influence on her. We often talk about eating better, but have yet to take much action on it. I agree though having someone else to help really makes a difference.

      • Would definitely never, ever suggest BLAMING your wife lol. Merely I was suggesting that Alyssa has been a largely beneficial influence on me.

        You’re going to get me in trouble with Ashley using words like that 🙂

  2. I love stories like this! I too was starting to have health issues and decided to do some reading. It is amazing what you can do to your body and mind with food, both good and bad. So, at first I decided to go on Weight Watchers. I lost 35 pounds. But that was only the beginning. I soon became vegetarian. The more I explored the factory farming world, the more I started leaning toward being vegan. It’s not for everyone but it’s been great for me. No more depression or hypertension and my energy level is great! I wish you luck in your healthy endeavor, although what’s luck got to do with it? 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment, Katherine! There seem to be so many myths out there about why you can’t eat healthy or you can’t lose weight. I 100% am my own worst enemy with this. This blog I think is me taking responsibility for my situation and it is a realization that a change is need. Stories like yours really inspire me and prove that it is possible. Thanks again for the comment and for the encouragement.

  3. YES! Thank you. Personal responsibility is something we as humans tend to shy from, but until we realize that our health, our success, and our well-being is in our hands, we’ll never succeed in any area.

    I had a health scare of my own about ten years ago. I was in college and had a typical college diet… Wendy’s, Chinese Food, alcohol and Ramen. Eventually, it put me in the hospital on Christmas eve where I found out that I was born with kidneys that weren’t, well… normal. I spent the next four years in and out of emergency rooms until finally I changed my diet. I took my doctor’s advice and became a vegetarian, cut out fried food, and reserved alcohol for special occasions (followed by water as a lovely chaser to keep my hydrated).

    The change gave me my life back. My back pain was gone. I had more energy. I lost 30 pounds. It wasn’t an easy choice, changing my habits, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

    It’s easy to think that taking care of ourselves doesn’t matter. We say, “I don’t care how I look,” but taking care of ourselves is about more than aesthetics. It’s about being healthy mentally, physically and emotionally, while preventing tragic health issues down the road. If you have a family; if you have dreams; you should care about your body enough to take care of it.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Elizabeth. I love this quote: “It wasn’t an easy choice, changing my habits, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”

      Changing habits is not an easy choice to make and it is never very easy to do, but like you mentioned it often is what is best. Personal Responsibility is one of those things that’s easy to do, but also easy not to do. I think that is the challenge many people face.

  4. People with busy schedules tend to put their health on the back burner, which in reality is terrible since eating well is what gives you good energy and keeps you going! From someone who tries to treat their body well, I would suggest cutting down your fast food intake to once a month! Also, I recently totally cut out sodas and my overall health (and skin) has made a complete turnaround!

  5. Thanks for being so transparent with us and sharing about your health. It’s so true, I tend to try to blame other things for problems in my life, when most of the time it’s really just ME not making the best decisions. Good luck with healthy eating!

  6. Turning your cholesterol around will take some time and a lot of effort, but you can do it! I wish more people could be like you and realized that they are the ones in charge of their choices. It’s important to choose good health for your life! Eat well, drink water, cut out soft drinks, and get plenty of exercise!

  7. Billy,
    As a friend of you and your Dad, I can simply suggest that on the wheel of life is “Health”. At 30 many people ignore it and the consequences are devastating but they may not show up for a while. The cumulative effect is where the problem exists. 248 is ridiculously TOO high. Ask any cardiologist and you will hear the many horror stories they can tell you. Yes you can chose to ignore it and continue to abuse your body but look at your body weight now and look at it when you were a kid. I can see the difference and everyone else can. They mostly will be too polite to tell you that you should fix it now rather than later. I have friends and co-workers who died of massive heart attacks in their 40’s. They too knew they were overweight. They chose not to change. I encourage you to take this as serious as a heart attack because it just might be that heart attack that has no recovery or it may leave you an invalid or on serious medicine the rest of your life.
    30 is a good time to redirect your life to become the very best version of yourself and that includes your health.

    I certainly applaud you for discussing this but I encourage you to be serious about making right food choices gong forward.

    All the best! Good eating is healthy eating.