On 5-15-2012, I went for a medical checkup for the first time in seven years. (Yes, I was long overdue.)
Turned out that my scorecard was one for three.
I found out that my blood pressure's normal (118/88)...but my cholesterol figures are at issue.
When my cholesterol numbers ought to be 200 and 100, the lab tests showed 220 and 151, respectively.
And yes, I was floored. I was stunned.
I asked the receptionist who'd called me with the information about my lab tests: "What can I do to bring my cholesterol down?"
She told me that a daily 30-minute walk would do that. So would cutting out red meats, cakes, and...my beloved Little Debbie snacks.
If you've ever had a chance to see the recently-released documentary "The Entertainers," you heard me talking about putting into my lunch box foods that can be eaten quickly...and Little Debbie snack cakes are some of those foods that can be eaten quickly.
Well now, I'm replacing regular beef, corned beef, and pastrami with chicken, fish, and turkey...and, in the meantime, I'm trading those LD Oatmeal Creme Pies and other LD delights for granola bars and cereal bars.
And I'm thankful that McKee Foods markets cereal bars (in addition to all those Little Debbie products)...because I hate the thought of throwing the Collegedale, TN firm under the bus.
At first, I thought I was going to force myself to starve, I felt that devastated at first. (Besides, I'm a big, big fan of burgers!! But being able to emphasize chicken, fish, and turkey will take the sting out of getting off beef.)
Taking the everyday walks will be the hardest part.
Nevertheless, I've gone on two such walks since getting the call from Dr. Steven Weyhrich's office. (One was here in Omaha to make a car-repair payment...and the other was in Peoria last weekend, when one of this year's OTPP contestants, a first-timer named Diana Stein, walked with me to the riverfront.)
You can bet I'm going to fight to bring these numbers down...even if I have to walk around my kitchen for a half hour each day. (The 220-151 figure didn't happen overnight...and it's going to take a while- and determination- to reduce the figure to 200-100.)
Speaking of numbers...when I come back, I'm going to talk about something I've been able to take in for the first time since 2009: The Peoria experience.