The twelve-year battle is over. (part II)

About four months ago I wrote about how it was finally revealed that, after twelve years, my high blood cholesterol was a genetic problem. No diet or vitamin supplement could permanently fix the problem. I was put on medication, an extremely tiny dose, and last week I had a blood test to see how things were going.

The weather has been quite warm lately, and last week I was feeling exceptionally headachey. Not sure what’s up, but I think the weather has just been getting to me. I also have low blood pressure, so bending over really quickly or having my head down for too long gives me headaches. So does exercising too suddenly. Warming up is important! More on that point later.

I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I dragged myself to get a blood test anyway. Surprisingly, the nurse didn’t take that long to extract blood. She said it would be just a prick, and I thought, yeah yeah.

I have a strange sensitivity to having blood taken and being given injections. If I have my blood taken, I can actually feel the blood being drained out of my arm, and I can feel my upper arm going numb. In the same way, I can feel vaccinations and injections going around in my arm before it floats all around my bloodstream. Slightly unpleasant… but interesting.

I have also had to train myself to keep breathing when I have blood taken, because I seem to hold my breath. I have to remind myself to breathe and relax.

When I returned to see the doctor for my blood test results, I was so happy I could have cried. My cholesterol was at 5.2, the limit here being 5.5 (mmol/L, if you happen to be interested in the unit of measurement). It has never been under the limit before now, with it reaching only about 6.5 at the minimum. It was hard admitting that genetics simply could not be defeated by being a health food freak and exercising like a nut, but I am glad that the medication is working for me. My doctor said I can continue taking it and return for a checkup in six months.

I’m just so thrilled. I don’t really know what to say. I am very happy.

My mum is a little bit amazed, because she claims that I have been eating a lot of junk and the medication still works. I do not think I have been eating junk… haha.

But as for exercising like a nut:

I was contemplating about writing this for a while because I did not want to be judged or told what to do or given advice that I could not accept. For many years I have been uncomfortable with my body, and comments about my body have left me feeling disappointed or confused. In late high school, I struggled with my eating habits along with trying to fight the cholesterol monster. I feel that lately, though, I have become a little happier with myself, and tried to exercise regularly.

I’ve always been pretty stick-thin. Dainty, frail, perhaps I had a dancer’s legs, but I was otherwise bony. I don’t quite know what happened, but after I lost my job I felt like it was inevitable I would turn into a chair potato, so I felt that I had to do something to avoid that. I somehow got into exercising a bit more. I used to love running, but since I don’t feel as dedicated to it as I was before, I wanted to try something else. I started to lift small dumbbells, then bigger ones.

I used to hate doing this. I used to think dumbbells were stupid.

For many years, I could not do one, single, simple, push-up. Not one. At all. The moment I bent, my whole body would collapse on the floor. My friends would laugh when I flexed my arms and there was no form of muscle at all. Just soft skin and bone.

I hate gyms.

I can’t catch a ball.

I like exercising at home. I like doing squats and sit-ups. I like putting music on and doing what I do best: jazz dancing. And I can hula-hoop alright.

I actually like lifting dumbbells.

The stuff I like is not everyone’s cup of tea. But I found something that works for me and I like it. And that’s what matters. Not what the television tells you to do. Not what infomercials make you buy and try. Not what your PE teacher yells at you as she blows her whistle and stands there. You do what you want. If you want to take it easy and walk to the train station, and that’s it, then do it. Because I did that. If you want to stretch every morning, and that’s that, then do that. If you want to run five kilometres every morning, then do that. If you want to dance, do it. If you want to go to the gym and lift kilos of metal, do it. If you want to punch a punching bag, do it. Find your cup of tea.

I can now do ten push-ups in a row.

And I actually have some form of arm muscles now. :D

Comments on this post

Georgie, I’m quite happy for you that you can do push-ups! Everyone is different, and I’m pleased to know that you’re alright health wise!

It’s okay to be thin, fat, medium sized or what have you. I think we’ve all struggled with how we looked in school, and elsewhere. I know I have always been because of my weight and my birth defect in my right ear. I’m very subconscious about that – but in time I have learned to accept it. Sure, I can cosmetically change it, but it is apart of who I am. Same with my weight. I am wanting to change how I eat, and how I do exercising and so far Weight Watchers seems to be doing it for me! I was very harsh the first week and I happened to start right before Thanksgiving. I lost 2.8 lbs.

I can’t even do one pull-up! I can do all the other exercises but that one! I guess we all have our weaknesses to some point. I used to couldn’t do one sit up either. I didn’t know how unless something or someone was holding my feet down. Now I know how to roll up and do a sit up and I can actually do them while watching SKINNY BITCH.

I think everyone hates needles in some way. I haven’t met one person that is fond of them unless there are people out there? Which there are those that do have weird fetishes. I have to remind myself that when you tense up the poke will be more intense. I have to remind myself that, the same way you have to remind yourself to breathe. Everyone in some way or form gets nervous around needles and makes it out to be more than just a ‘prick’ of the skin than what it really is. It’s just a poke. My boyfriend Tristan told me that the more you tense up, the more it’ll be intense. He’s absolutely right about that statement. I started tensing up one time when I received a shot, and remembered that the more I tense, the more it’ll be intense so just relax. As I relaxed – I didn’t feel a thing! Maybe that’s all you have to do as well? It does help to remind yourself about it.

I’m glad that your medication is working on you; however, I’m wondering if your body is adjusting to the medication and the weather changing doesn’t quite go hand in hand, and if that is causing your headaches? I would ask your doctor before you leave for your trip. By the way – your Christmas card has been sent. :).

Great news for you about the cholesterol! And no, nobody likes needles, not even we nurses! Drawing blood and inserting iv cannulas is so annoying, because you never know if you’ll succeed!
I also lift dumbbells and the likes. Most other forms of exercise are too inconvenient for me. We have built a gym in the basement at home where we do our exercise. very handy :).

this is so great!! i’m glad to hear that you are getting better and that the medication is working :)

and yes – exercise for yourself! as long as you are taking care of yourself and not overdoing it (to a pt where it harms you), just go ahead! after all, you should be only trying to be a better version of yourself, not anyone else. keep going! this is something i’ve to keep reminding myself as well :P

I’m glad to hear that the battle has been won! Hopefully, you won’t be on medication for the rest of your life. I’m glad to hear that the dose they prescribed you was very small.

Also, yay for doing push-ups! There is nothing wrong with liking to lift weights as a girl; guys who lift weights generally know that it’s good for everyone and love it when girls start lifting, in my experience.

That is absolutely awesome news about the cholesterol levels. I am very happy that you were able to get it to acceptable levels, and proud that you did so in a healthy manner.

I can definitely understand not being happy with how your body looks, as I spent all of high school wishing for curves. The ironic thing is that I would like to have less curves now, but I know that only I can change my body and my attitude towards it.

Kudos for the lifting of weights. :) I have been wanting to start once again – perhaps get a medicine ball. I would love to be able to do 10 push-ups in a row, so maybe I should set a goal of being able to do that many.

Confession here, I also cannot catch a ball. :P I dislike gyms as well – the ones in my hometown smell like bleach, and a gym shouldn’t smell like chemicals.

But again, yay! I hope that your health continues to improve.

Although the fact that genetics ultimately dictate your health is cruel, I am happy to see a great development in your health. For one, you can actually do pushups, which I think is amazing. Your improving health and a generally healthy habits definitely help. Stay strong and positive. Your realistic expectations and perseverance will guide you through. :)

I’m so happy about your cholesterol (I just spelt it wrong three times before I got the letters right @_@ ) levels! You tackle that beast, girl. Dayum.

And congratulations with your improvements in health! Any girl who can do a push-up is a BAMF in my eyes. /bounce

I can’t do a push-up, but it is one of my goals. Can I be a bit nosy about the dumbbells and ask how you got into it, so as to speak? I always find I never know how many sets, reps, blah, whatever I should do. 😳

I like bodyweight exercises myself. I’ve done a few pilates videos in the past and I liked them, although I had to take a lot of breaks because all the beginner videos had me down and out. /oh Oh well. I’m just going to have to ease into it, I suppose.

In my games lesson I take gym — that is, I get on a minibus and actually go to a gym, instead of staying behind and sitting off the badminton court for half an hour before I get to play. I like the rowers a lot. I could stay on them for hours, for sure.

Treadmills, cross-trainers, and stationary bikes (why not just get on a proper one?!) are the bane of my life.

Also (I’ve worked backwards through your recent posts, whoops) I am SO JEALOUS YOU ARE IN HONG KONG / JAPAN. It looks amazing. I hope you’re continuing to have a fantastic time! ♥

Take care! xx

[…] my condition was genetic and not influenced by my diet. (Read: The twelve-year battle is over. and part II.) It was a relief to be able to better my relationship with food. To this day, I still don’t […]