Diet, Fitness and Young Living: My Cholesterol Success Story
by Jim Mayhew
I’m a 43 year old male with a history of high cholesterol that I inherited from my father’s side. When first discovered in 2008 my overall cholesterol was in the high 200’s, but it was my Triglycerides that were the bigger concern. It was suggested by my family physician that because I “appeared to be in reasonable good health” and because of my family history, that the best option was to use medication to lower it. The doctor didn’t inquire about my diet, exercise or any other lifestyle question. At various times I used name brand and generic medicines. Dosages were periodically adjusted with routine blood work about every 6 months. While on these medications the levels came back to average or normal levels. But I was undisciplined with staying on them and long lapses where I was off the meds occurred, and I made no concerted effort at lifestyle changes.
My doctor startled me in 2011 when he discovered that he didn’t have my exact Triglycerides count on the report. The reason was due to them being off the scale. He was more than surprised, suggested he’d seen higher before (was that person alive?). It turns out they were in the thousands. It was at this time that I decided to stay on the meds. When doctors and nurses get excited about results, it’s not a good thing.
In October of 2012, I committed to a lifestyle change. I changed my diet by focusing on portion control and reducing caffeine, snacks, and other “bad foods.” I also began to a regular workout routine consisting of strength training, cardio, and competitive sports. In October 2012 I weighed 209 pounds at 5’10” which put my BMI around 30 with 26% body fat. I was disciplined to stay consistent with taking my cholesterol drugs, too.
By summer 2013, coworkers and family members noticed my weight change. I was down to 180 pounds, I was deliberate, even religious with fitness regiment and I continued on my last 3-month prescription of Gemfibrozil and simvastatin. My diet change was more significant: I eliminated all known sources of hydrogenated oil (margarine, peanut butter, etc.) and continued to consume more natural foods with even greater focus on portion control. I also began a lunch meal replacement, Shakeology by Beachbody.com.
In August 2013 my prescriptions had run out and I had blood work done. My overall cholesterol was extremely low (119) but my HDL was severely low. My doctor recommended that the dosage be reduced but I stated I would not be using them going forward, so my last dosage of cholesterol medication was around August 10, 2013. Those numbers served as my baseline for going forward. Beginning in August I began using Young Living’s Ningxia Red (2 oz. per day) and four Omegagize capsules (2/2 morning/evening) per day. By this time my weight was down to around 170 (39 pounds lost), BMI at 23, body fat at 16%.
January 17, 2014 was my next blood screening. My results were shocking! Cholesterol (total): 131; Triglycerides: 93; HDL: 44; LDL: 68; VLDL: 19; Chol/HDL ratio: 3.0. Weight: 176, BMI 24, body fat was 17%.
In summary, there are 3 primary reasons I attribute to my cholesterol success story: diet, fitness, and Young Living. I still eat pretty much all of the foods I want to: red meat, butter, eggs, bacon, natural peanut butter. The key is portion control and moderation in the frequency. I also consume large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, and water. The only “prescribed” meds I’m using are now Young Living’s Ningxia Red and Omegagize, and they will continue to be. I look forward to sharing my story with my family doctor.