I was diagnosed with having high cholesterol in 2001. My total cholesterol was 337 (normal should be below 200). Some facts about cholesterol from Wikipedia here.
That really put me in shock. I was not fat. I didn't even think I was overweight. I thought I was of just normal, average weight.
My weight at that time was 65 kg. I wore size 12 - 14 clothes. Not exactly fat, don't you think? I was sort of flabby in the middle section of my body. When I sat, especially visible when I was wearing a t-shirt, you can see the folds of my body around the sides and front of my tummy area! Yikes, that looked really awful!.
My diet before diagnosis in 2001:
- Fried chicken with skin and fried anything.
- Beef and lamb, prawns, crab (ooh, how I love seafood).
- Lots of gravy over my rice. Our local Malay/Indonesian style of cooking contains ingredients using coconut milk and lots of oil to fry the ingredients. That helps with the spread of fat in my tummy area!
- White Rice
- White Bread
- Cheese, cheesecake, peanut butter, butter
- Chicken liver and heart.
- Coca cola and other canned, bottled, gassy, sweet drinks.
- Loads of coffee or tea with condensed milk.
- Fried snacks - samosa, banana fritters, etc.
- More snacks - prawn crackers, potato crisps.
Do you know that high cholesterol means my blood is thicker and it can form plaque in the linings of my blood vessels? These plaque sometimes fall off from the wall of the blood vessels thus forming a blockage that can prevent smooth blood flow to the heart and brain which can result in a stroke.
My action was immediate as I felt my life was threatened. My son still needs me around and I would like to see him graduate and become successful, etc. etc. (what all mothers wish for). I was not ready to leave yet.
- Firstly, a complete 360 degrees change in my diet -- replaced all white bread and rice with wholegrain, low fat dairy, chicken with no skin on, more fish, cooking with less oil, eating more vegetables, fruits a must every day, less gravy, less rice, no coca cola or gassy, sweet drinks, 1 cup of coffee (black, with no sugar), no snacking and stopped buying snacks so that I can't eat them. (Just wait for my friends to buy and then take from them!)
- I fasted twice a week. This helped to trim my tummy and waistline.
- I went for brisk walks once a week to my favorite place at the reservoir which is about 15 minutes walk from home. I walked to the train station (also about 15 minutes walk) instead of taking the feeder bus service.
- Watched television, read and researched on health related matters.
My weight is now 57 kg (ideally should be 55 kg) and my BMI ( Body Mass Index ) is 20.6. Have you checked your BMI yet? You can calculate it here.
My Personal Health Plan
- Brisk walk or jog three times a week. As I can't do it in the mornings on weekdays, I'll have to squeeze it in the early evenings.
- Eat more fish.
- Less rice.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Eat more fresh fruits.
- Drink more plain water or freshly squeezed fruit juice when I have the time to do it.
- Portion control.
- Fasting 2 days a week.
- Correct breathing and breathing deeply. (Read 18 Benefits of Deep Breathing and How to Breathe Deeply here.)
Come, join me in this health challenge and link up with Callie from Unladylike at here.
How do you keep yourself and your family healthy? How do you incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily life?