Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life Changes on a Daily Basis

I started running to lose weight, but I started to lose weight because my health was deteriorating. For me it wasn't all about vanity, how do I know this? Because I wore the same size at 150 that I did at 180. I looked the same, but I didn't FEEL the same. If you read my story, and if you haven't you can find it in the 'About Us' section, you know this all started at a doctor's visit. A visit because I felt like crapola all the time. A visit that revealed I had borderline hypertension, my cholesterol was high and I was high risk for diabetes.


This morning, I volunteered at a health fair to promote wellness in downtown KCMO. At the fair we offered health screenings, rapid HIV testing, diabetes screening and kidney function tests. For hours I talked with people struggling with weight problems, congestive heart failure and the like. The fair was about being proactive, being accountable for your health and most importantly being AWARE. It was frightening that after 33 rapid HIV tests, four individuals tested positive. By the end of the event around 100 people had been tested, and screened. After discussion, we determined that high cholesterol and high blood pressure were of the most common conditions in the area and were most typically as a result of obesity as the primary cause. A lot of the volunteers were shocked, but I was ashamed to admit I wasn't. In fact, I could relate. I had been there.



I wish I had my lab results from 2008, but this year I'm happy to report the following:
Total Cholesterol: 151
HDL Cholesterol: 41
TC/HDL Ratio: 3.7
HbA1c: 5.0
Glucose: 92 non-fasting
Blood Pressure: 122/77
BMI: 24
HIV: nonreactive

What does all that mean? Here's a brief rundown, skim and skip as needed

♥What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It performs important functions in a healthy body; however, high cholesterol levels indicate an increased risk for heart disease. Desirable total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, HDL often termed good cholesterol is optimal between 40-50mg/DL and TC/HDL Ratio should be less that 5.0.


♥What is Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)? The HbA1c test measures the amount of blood glucose chemically attached to a specific portion of the hemoglobin molecule carried by red blood cells. As a red blood cell travels in the bloodstream it picks up glucose. The higher your blood glucose, the more your red blood cells will accumulate. The HbA1c result reflects your average blood glucose level for the previous 2-3 months. Normal HbA1c levels for people without diabetes is less than 6%.


♥What is Glucose? Glucose is referred to as blood sugar, and is the main source of energy from living organisms. Glucose levels rise after a meal. Levels may remain abnormally elevated in people with diabetes. The desirable fasting adult blood glucose level is less than 100 mg/DL. Two hours after a meal, the normal blood glucose level range for a non-diabetic adult is between 140-199 mg/DL


♥What is Blood Pressure? Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is contracting. The second number is the diastolic and is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is around 120/77 mmHg

♥Ya'll know what BMI is, but just in case a normal BMI is between 18-24.


Are you in charge of your health?
Why or Why not?
Part VI of 12DoGA: Winter throw-away gloves that benefit breast cancer research.
Comment with ONE THING that you've done this week to be accountable for your health, winner will be drawn tomorrow.

Yesterday's Mileage: 5.0
Time: 45:51.18

10 comments:

Bethany *BeBe* said...

I made an appointment to have blood work done to check my levels, like you have done in this post. I don't know these numbers and now that I know what they mean, I need to know them.

<3

KT Bee said...

You're an inspiration. I had my numbers taken last week on Monday (so it was a week ago...does it still count?). Everything was as it should be, and I compared the numbers with last year...I'm in better health! This week I am sticking with it...one day, one meal, one workout after another. ♥

Mrs. W said...

I so should came to have my blood work!

Kate said...

Went back to my X-biking classes at the Y. I missed a couple last week due to a paper for class, thank goodness that's over and I can sweat again (without feeling guilty).

Also, did a duathlon Sunday. It was good, unfortunately about the same time as last year, but there's always next year, right? :)

Lauren said...

I took my puppy on an hour long walk walk/jog yesterday! It's had to find the time between work and school, but we had fun :)

Becky said...

That is an awesome thing you did yesterday, Julia. I bet it was nice to talk to those people and be like "I was there once and I turned my life around." Just by helping and being a positive influence you probably helped a lot of those people more than you know. :D

The one thing I have done to be accountable for my health this week is I started exercising again. I had stopped for awhile. I hate when I stop. I remember how important it is and this time I will not stop.

Kelsey said...

i definitely stay on top of my health- thank you for dedicating a post on the subject btw!! awe the gloves are really awesome :) i like how its a bunch of little ribbons instead of the classic single placed one <3

M said...

Did you have to report to the state of MO that these ppl tested positive for HIV? Did you FREAK OUT when you saw the results, did THEY freak out when you had to tell them?

Julia said...

M-the HIV rapid testing was funded by the KCMO health department, so yes they did have to fill out paperwork and follow a process. The people that were positive were taken to a room and told, which I did not witness. I'm sure they were devastated.

Anonymous said...

Great post