This story was shared on a Facebook group I’m a member of called “PlantPure“. Craig gave me permission to share his story.
December 19, 2017: A celebration
11 months ago, I was very disappointed about my blood test results after eating a whole foods, plant-based diet for over six months. My cholesterol hadn’t budged an inch.
Today, I’m in tears of joy over my blood test results. When I began my journey to lose weight and regain my health in June of 2016, I chose to adopt a whole food, plant-based lifestyle to achieve a healthy cholesterol level.
First, some history to give my celebration some context:
In June 2016, I had just been diagnosed with early-stage heart disease with a 25% blockage in one of the arteries supplying my heart. My cardiologist told me I wasn’t in imminent danger of having a heart attack but that I’d better do something to halt the progress. He strongly advocated taking a statin to reduce my cholesterol, but my research left me doubtful that this was the right approach. I did a lot of research and I was strongly persuaded and inspired by what I discovered about the potential ability of a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle to reverse heart disease without drugs.
My doctor, because things were not precariously threatening, conceded that I could try eating my way to health. We agreed that after six months, I would go in for blood tests to see if things had improved. So, after eating a whole foods, plant-based diet for about six months, I went back to see him. The results were almost devastating. My total cholesterol had actually increased a little and my LDL was up too. I was suddenly filled with doubt about what I had learned. I’d been led to believe that most people see a significant decrease in cholesterol in a matter of weeks rather than months, and yet, I had gone nowhere. My cardiologist told me to keep doing what I was doing because even though my test results weren’t promising, I had lost 45 pounds by then and felt great. Even still, he gave me a prescription for a statin and strongly recommended I take it.
I guess I’m stubborn because I chose not to fill the prescription. I got in communication with my whole foods, plant-based community on a Facebook group called “PlantPure” and a few people shared that results can take longer for some people. So, I kept going with my dietary approach but I was still resistant and fearful about going in for another round of tests.
I put it off until today, 11 months since the last test. I’ve been fearful of being confronted with the same discouraging results. Just two weeks ago, I’d completed the Bright Line Eating boot camp. I chose to do this because I was frustrated by my inability to lose the final 10 pounds to get to a healthy BMI. I thought my target was 160 lbs. Well, I went ahead and lost 20 pounds in this boot camp. Today, I am 151.2 pounds with a BMI of 22.9. (The recommended range is 18.5 to 24.9)
But now for the big celebration. I had my blood work done today and these were my results:
Total cholesterol is down by 69%
221 mg/dl (5.72 mmol/L) is down to 153.5 mg/dl (3.97 mmol/L)
LDL cholesterol is down 58%, from 144 mg/dl to 84 mg/dl
HDL (the good stuff) is up 9%, from 54 mg/dl to 59 mg/dl
Triglycerides are down 45%, from 117 mg/dl to 53 mg/dl
I’d like to see that LDL down around 70 and the total down to 150 or lower, but I am so much closer now.