Updated: Apr 17, 2020
On July 14 2017, I visited my doctor’s office for a Fasting Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. These were my results:
A1C (blood sugar), 4.9
Creatinine/BUN ratio (kidney function), 9.8 – LOW
AST/ALT (liver function), 20/13
Cholesterol, 224 – HIGH
HDL cholesterol, 154
LDL cholesterol, 55
Hemoglobin/Hematocrit (iron), 12.5/27.7
White blood cells (inflammation), 7.2
At that time, I was in the middle of the core classes for my dietetics program. I was probably taking Research Methods or Foodservice Management, either way I was definitely getting my ass kicked. I was also deeply unhappy at home. I felt like my whole life was collapsing + I was in a constant state of extreme stress.
The stress continued to build up as I entered my internships.
From March to August I worked in hospitals where I ate greasy lasagna, fried tator tots + cookies FOR FREE every.single.day. Not to mention that I was drinking a LOT in the evenings + weekends. At one point I thought my lax attitude was so impressive that I decided to just let myself eat all the unhealthy stuff I could until I graduated in August, just to see how my lab results would change. I figured that if they got worse, I could document my journey back to good health + share it with ya’ll.
On August 17 2019, I went back for another panel. Here’s what happened:
Glucose, 70 – improved 28 pts
A1C (blood sugar), 5
Creatinine/BUN ratio (kidney function), 14 – improved 8 pts
AST/ALT (liver function), 28/15
Cholesterol, 215 – improved 9 pts
Triglycerides, 61 – improved 15 pts
HDL cholesterol, 133
LDL cholesterol, 70
Hemoglobin/Hematocrit (iron), 12.4/39.7 – improved 12 pts
White blood cells (inflammation), 4.6 – improved 2.6 pts
WTF?! How could my blood sugar, kidney function, cholesterol, triglycerides, iron + inflammation actually improve??
You may or may not have heard me say before that DIET ISN’T THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Turns out, my body proved it for me. (You might notice that my HDL + LDL shifted in undesirable directions, the only evidence of my failed experiment.)
Yes, I had fried chicken, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, cheesecake + coffee with cream for six months straight – and that’s definitely enough to eff up ANYONE’S blood work lol.
But I also held fast to a few tiny healthy habits that I created years ago + now they’re just a part of who I am – I don’t even have to think about them anymore. They kept me healthy, even when I didn’t care to. THAT’S the power of small habits!
For me, those habits are:
Sleeping AT LEAST 7 hours a night (no matter what!)
Chugging 24 ounces of water as soon as I wake up (Japanese water therapy I read about a long time ago)
Meditation (morning or before bed, whenever I could fit it in)
20-30 minute walks in the afternoon/evening (sometimes 5, other times just in front of the TV)
Fasting (most Tues + Thurs nights, with the occasional 3 day fast Mon through Wed)
ALWAYS being kind + gentle with myself and NEVER making myself feel bad for doing what I felt like I needed to to stay sane!
So I have two questions for you…
When was the last time you got your numbers checked? Do you know current state of your health?What foundational h