The story that follows is about the relationship we have with ourselves, as opposed an intimate partner, as it really all starts with oneself!
I am going to confess right off of the bat here. For a short period in my life I was quite a hypochondriac. During high school I loved studying psychology and took any opportunity to learn more, and elected AP courses. The more I studied, and learned about psychology, the more I felt the need to study myself-as I was the perfect subject for observation. When I understood the correlation between psychological disorders and physical symptoms, I believe I began looking for issues within myself to dissect. There was a brief time when I first started college, and had overcome my hypochondria; and I decided to get tested for everything instead of diagnosing myself. The good news was, in the back of my mind I did always know that I was just being a bit nutty. I didn’t wholeheartedly believe I had serious physical issues. Although, something inside was urging me to investigate why I wasn’t in great health. I did have an understanding of what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle and eat consciously. Yet, I was in high school and for a few years, I was eating horribly. Soda, hot pockets, and somehow I’d accumulated this massive collection of mint skittle containers in my room. My hypochondriac mindset, paired with a Standard American Diet (aka S.A.D.) wasn’t really keeping me in good health.
When I decided to go and get tested and have blood work done, I certainly did not have any life threatening issues that I may have conjured up in my high school years. However, we did find there was some potential cause for concern. The results from the blood test revealed a few alarming numbers for a 20 year old girl. My cholesterol was close to 400. The doctor made it very clear that a healthy level is under 200. My doctor proceeded to tell me, I was in the position to have a heart attack by the time I was 25. Her solution was to put me on statin drugs to lower my cholesterol. This news, as you can imagine was not quite what I wanted to hear, despite my rather dramatic hallucinations.
By this time in my life, I had been vegan for a few years and was making very conscious choices to live a healthy lifestyle. Not to mention, I was the girl who didn’t take pharmaceuticals for anything! The belief that every solution exists in nature was strongly ingrained by this moment in time.
It was a cold, rainy Wisconsin day and I left feeling the gloom inside. I sat in the parking lot in my little Honda and felt the fear beginning to take a hold of me. I knew I had options, but the many conversations I’d heard my mother and grandmother have about their high cholesterol started invading my thoughts. I called my mother, who very clearly and confidently gave me a short concise list of herbs to take-she urged me get to a health food store and pick up red yeast rice. She assured me that it wasn’t a big surprise. She had crazy high cholesterol as well, and my grandmother’s was off the charts. My grandmother had not only experienced multiple heart attacks, but was the first woman in Wisconsin to have open heart surgery. This also wasn’t the news I was looking to hear. When we disconnected from the call, I scrambled to get a better grasp on the situation. I fought with the thoughts in my head about being doomed to my genetic roots. I called my uncle Jeff who I feel is certainly a walking encyclopedia of health solutions, in terms of supplements. Jeff is a very good listener and when he is ready to talk, he speaks with unwavering certainty. I knew he’d have the answer. What was the solution he gave? He told me to eat an avocado every day. The fear of high cholesterol and a heart attack were swelling up in my chest. I disconnected with Jeff, and had visions of avocado mashed all over my face and hands-totally binging… A little voice in my head started screaming, “SCREW THAT DOCTOR! I WILL NOT have a heart attack! AND I sure as hell don’t need any drugs to stay alive” as I sped to the nearest natural foods store to buy out their entire stock of avocados.
For a whole year, I ate avocados religiously. I took every herb and supplement I could find to reduce cholesterol. After the year, I didn’t go back for another test to validate my success. I actually waited 8 years! I finally decided to get a test done after 8 years because I told one of the health professionals in my life, whom I truly respect, this same story. She said, go get it checked, you don’t want to be clueless if you truly are at risk. However, she also believes in the power of thought. Her message to me every time we meet is that we create our world with our thoughts. We create our reality and we decide what happens inside of our temple. If I truly do not believe-with no doubt in my mind what so ever that I have high cholesterol and that I am at risk for a heart attack, than it is so.
When I started believing that I was truly healthy and truly conscious with the health choices I made, I started making ever better choices. I confirmed my beliefs with the way I chose to live my life. I believed that there was absolutely no other option. I had to reduce that number on my own, naturally. The option to take pharmaceutical drugs did NOT exist for me.
When I met my husband, his theory was-why go to the doctor for a checkup or blood test if nothing is wrong? Why LOOK for something? I have to be honest with you when I say this; our health professional-our medical system is not cranking out amazing results.
‘One in four Americans aged 45 and older take statin drugs to lower cholesterol and supposedly “prevent heart disease.” (Doctor Mercola, 2012)
Can you believe this number is from two years ago? One in four? Is that really a positive ratio? It doesn’t sound too good to me.
Are you on the edge of your seat? My LDL (L is for lowsey as they say in nursing school) is down from almost 400 to 242. This is a commendable decrease in my opinion, and also considering my lack of regard. I eat extremely healthy and live a very health conscious lifestyle, yet I have not taken any herbs or supplements specifically for reducing cholesterol for over 6 years. My beliefs have more correlation to my physical well-being than anything. Several studies do suggest that psychological stress can trigger an increase in blood cholesterol levels. I strongly believe that my grandmother suffered from more psychological stress than anyone I’ve known personally in my entire life. This leads me to question whether her high cholesterol was mainly due to the beliefs she had and the stressful life she endured.
Here’s the really important conclusion. I didn’t know when I was 20 years old that everything I learned with regard to cholesterol was not well founded. As more research is done, more and more is revealed about how the current standards are not completely accurate. This statement is from Dr. Mercola:
“Health officials in the United States urge everyone over the age of 20 to have their cholesterol tested once every five years. Part of this test is your total cholesterol, or the sum of your blood’s cholesterol content, including HDL, LDLs, and VLDLs.
The American Heart Association recommends that your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL, but what they do not tell you is that total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is above 300.
In addition, the AHA updated their guidelines in 2004, lowering the recommended level of LDL cholesterol from 130 to LDL to less than 100, or even less than 70 for patients at very high risk.
In order to achieve these outrageous and dangerously low targets, you typically need to take multiple cholesterol-lowering drugs. So the guidelines instantly increased the market for these dangerous drugs. Now, with testing children’s cholesterol levels, they’re increasing their market even more.
I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who actually were at low heart disease risk due to their HDL levels.”
Check out the entire article here. It completely shifted my perspective. I have made a very clear decision not to worry about this number anymore and instead focus on living the most health conscious life possible.
If for some reason, you feel that you have not made the best choices for your health, for an extended period of time, and you’re experiencing negative symptoms-by all means-please take care of yourself and get tested if you believe you may have an issue. I am not advocating a naïve approach to your health. However, I do believe that a healthy lifestyle will help set you free of any fear that you’re not physically well. A healthy lifestyle includes mindset. I lived in fear that I had physical problems for years and it wasn’t a surprise when I found them. When I changed what I believed and stuck to it, the changes started to show up on the outside. I am certainly getting metaphysical here, but I am also telling you that a healthy lifestyle and conscious eating does matter! Furthermore, don’t let yourself fall into fear or believe thought viruses, like the one that doctor gave me at 20 years old. I was NOT headed for a heart attack at 25 and there was no reason to believe that. There was a need to make a great shift in my lifestyle-toward health, and that was all I needed to know.
The Health formula to eradicate fear:
- 70% raw organic produce daily
- 60+ ounces of filtered, clean water daily
- Flood your mind with positive thoughts for 60 seconds minimum upon waking (before you get out of bed)!
- Remind yourself daily that you’re in great health and have gratitude for your amazing temple
- Limit alcohol (and all drugs including sugar) as much as possible: Maximum of four cocktails a week, using sake or vodka if you MUST
- Hold negative thoughts for less than 17 seconds (do whatever you need to do to break them as fast as they enter your mind-jump in a pool of ice, burp, roll down a hill-whatever works)!
- Subscribe to LanaShay.com for the many ways to make health fun, sexy and easy!
Have you ever had a health scare? What did you do? What was the solution? What do you think about high cholesterol? Do you agree with this article? Share your thoughts, I’d LOVE to know what you got from this! Are you committed to a healthy lifestyle? If so, what is your Health formula?