Wake up call!

I had blood tests last week as part of my health review. Went to the docs yesterday and my cholesterol is too high at 6.8 and my blood pressure is too high at 165 / 96! I think this is the 'kick up the bum' I need to get me motivated to crack on with weight loss and exercise. Has anyone else had a wake up call similar to this and did it help you to get on and do something about it?


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14 Replies

  • Hey joddles,

    I had a similar scare at the very end of last year; I get ectopic beats periodically (where the top part of the heart beats out of sync with the bottom) which are nothing to worry about but getting more noticable and I knew I was gettting chunky again so I decided to join my local gym. They do health MOT's at the start of membership and as the beats were becomming more frequent and noticable it made me wonder if there was something more sinister going on so I signed up for the MOT. They tested my cholesterol and told me it was 7.2! So completely terrified I went to my GP who did a fasting blood test. Turns out the test was totally inaccurate and I was actually 5.9 which is still elevated but not high - nothing that can't be solved through diet and exercise but it was enough to scare me half to death!

    As soon as I heard I had high cholesterol I changed my diet, cutting out as much saturated fat as possible because frankly I was terrified that the next chocolate / sweet / cake / crisp I stuffed into my greedy mouth would be the one that killed me! So far I've lost around 11lbs (I'm making sure I have lots of heart healthy fats which aren't always the lowest calorie choice so it's been fairly slow) and I can't remember the last time I had an ectopic beat. I haven't had my cholesterol taken again as my GP said to wait for a year (because is wasn't too elevated) but knowing what I'm eating and doing a fair bit of research I know that my cholesterol will have gone down because I'm only having small amounts of saturated fat and a good chunk of good fats every day along with much more exercise, fruit and veg and trying more fish and quorn products.

    There have been wobbles along the way because, although I know I'm loosing weight for my health, I still have weak moments but I'm much more conscious now so a slip every now and again isn't that bad and certainly nowhere near as bad as my diet was in general before I started loosing weight! Just try and remember that having high cholesterol and blood pressure doesn't have to be something that stays with you for life; if you make some changes now you can reverse both of those!

    Best of luck and keep us posted on how you get on :)

  • Thanks for that Natalie. It has spurred me on to seriously tackle my weight and lifestyle. My BMI is 31 so I am officially obese - how horrible! As I said though, it is a wake up call for me so I feel very motivated and hopeful :)

  • My BMI is 31 too; well 31.4. When I started to try and loose weight I was quite far into the obese range well on my way the morbidly obese range which was really horrible!!! I think part of my problem is that I'm quite muscular so I didn't look as large as I should have at that weight so I told myself it wasn't too bad even though it obviously was!

    If it helps I find meal plans so useful in stopping me from having things I shouldn't and they also help me spot when I'm in a food rut (which is usually when my weight loss slows down).

    It's great that you're feeling motivated; try and keep that motivation up and you'll be saying goodbyb to those excess pounds and health worries before you know it :) Good luck :)

  • Natalie, have you tried taking omega 3 supplements - they are supposed to help with cholesterol.

  • Thanks Anthony, I'm trying to eat more fish generally as I know it's really good for you but I'll give the supplements a try.

    BTW well done on your progress so far :)

  • Having high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol is something to be worried about but all these conditions can be either controlled or reverted.This can be brought about by a few lifestyle changes and medicines.The main goal of treatment is to lower the low-density lipo- protein cholesterol level,enough to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and other health related problems.

  • I had blood tests and got the results just before Christmas. My blood pressure, which I had expected to be high, was fine. However I was told that I had very high cholesterol - over 6 - and it was the bad type of cholesterol :( The doctor said to try to reduce my cholesterol by changing my eating habits, have another test in six months time, and if changing my eating habits hadn't reduced my cholesterol, then I should go on the old statins. The doctor gave me some advice on what I should avoid eating. I really don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life (the pharmaceutical companies' dream is for everyone to be on statins or some other medication they have to take for the rest of their lives). This has been a huge motivation for me to change my eating habits. Since Christmas I've gone from being over 30 BMI to under 30 BMI, so am no longer obese, and now losing about 1 pounds a week and am aiming for BMI 25. Even if I don't lose any more weight I feel I have the motivation to keep eating healthily to get my cholesterol down. I'm doing a little bit more exercise, mainly just a walk in the evenings after work, and I have been on the exercise bike a bit more recently. But while my exercise levels haven't exactly gone through the roof, my eating habits have totally changed. So I do feel it has been a positive experience and do feel a lot better since losing the one stone or so since Christmas.

  • That's brilliant - thank you for sharing that with me Anthony :). I feel it was definitely the motivator to get me to finally tackle my weight and lifestyle. Good health is so important and I don't think I should abuse that any more. Here's to a new me and continuous good health to you :)

  • Thanks. Are you just eating healthily or doing exercise as well? I find it hard to stick to exercise, apart from normal walking, but I think I need to try to do more exercise. I've read one should be doing 150 minutes a week of exercise, eg 30 minutes exercise on five days, in at least 10 minute bursts. I'm thinking of trying to do 30 minutes a day/evening on the old exercise bike, and watch some films on the laptop while I'm doing it, otherwise I give up after 10 minutes.

  • I am going to do exercise too. I have a brilliant treadmill which I have only used half heartedly so I intend to use that properly. I have also started an exercise class on Tuesday nights. My GP has referred me to a 12 week program at my local leisure centre called WaistWise. It is a diet and exercise program so am looking forward to hearing from them and starting that. Meanwhile I am going to follow 1400 calories per day, including at least 5 fruit and veg and also incorporate some healthy fats, like a few almonds. I think the exercise bike sounds like a good idea - it's hard when you work full time isn't it, but I think it's important to try and 'diary it in'. Good luck! :)

  • It's a good idea for the sake of your health to keep some saturated fat in your diet. Going too low fat is not good for you. The real culprits for raising cholesterol levels are refined carbohydrates.


    Increase the amount of fibre you eat, lots of veg, oats, almonds.

    Good luck.

  • Yes I agree. I have been having porridge oats with blueberries for breakfast and I intend to buy some almonds to have a few as a snack as I know they are good for high cholesterol. :)

  • Hi Joddles, I had a similar wake up call last year - blood pressure getting high, cholesterol borderline and blood sugar borderline. I decided that if I didn't get my life in order that would be the start of a downward slide. Since then I have lost over a stone (although still not enough!) getting down to overweight rather than obese, I've done the C25k and run regularly as well as other exercise. I haven't had the checks done again yet so can't say if it's made a difference, but I know that I feel much better in myself and am less prone to stress. Good luck!

  • Awww thank you! Sounds like you are doing really well and I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised when you next get your checks done :)

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