Lowering Blood Cholesterol and Reducing Sodium for a Healthy Heart

Whitney Health Guide
  • Weight loss this week? A pound. Yep, one seems to be my lucky number since I haven't been able to lose more than one pound each week for a while now. But after getting lots of encouragement from friends and family (and a great commenter on this blog), I'm happy with what I've accomplished so far. For new readers, my first post spoke about what I like to call my "long and glorious failed diet track record." In the past, I've never been able to last over a month, so even if I can't see the weight coming off, I feel healthier, have more energy and I really think I'm in a good place.

    Which is what I tried to focus on this week as I continued to make diet changes. I had to remind myself that my primary goal wasn't to lose weight for an upcoming trip out of town (more on that later), but it was to make my heart healthier and lower my blood cholesterol by reducing sodium. I've definitely wavered a little on those goals (especially the sodium bit) in my fascination with weight loss, so I was glad to see a tweet from Fitness magazine today that read, "Shake your salt habit: Cutting salt intake by abt 10% could prevent abt 480,000 heart attacks and abt 530,000 strokes." Wow! What motivation. And I feel pretty good since I focused on fresh food substitutes to some of my salty favorites, like black bean soup. Oh, black bean soup, how I love thee. But even though the beans are insanely healthy, Panera Bread's version of the soup (which is my favorite) is nearly a days worth of sodium. I tried my hand at making it from scratch, using fresh beans that I got from a food co-op in Takoma Park, a D.C. suburb. It didn't taste nearly as good as Panera, but it was a start!

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    And, believe it or not, I've been using an exercise machine! My mid-day workout is now the highlight of my day and I'm always sooo excited to take a break and do a little treadmill walking. I can completely zone out and focus on the task, all the while congratulating myself for small successes. I want to start venturing to some of the other equipment in my apartment building's fitness center, but, you know, baby steps. I'm a little nervous about next week, since I'll be in New Orleans for a week for work. I know that I'll have a blast, but will I make time to work-out? And let's not even start on all the greasy, fried-yet-delicious food temptations I'll be battling.

    Oh, in case you're wondering, my BMI is down nearly two whole points: 44.8. Woo-hoo!

    How about you? Are you sticking to your New Year's goals? If you're on Twitter, who do you like to follow for diet and exercise encouragement? Follow me (though I don't tweet all that much about weight loss) @BadGirl1016.

Published On: March 05, 2010