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Lowering Your Cholesterol Without Statins, A Personal Perspective

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Ladies, I’ve been holding out on you. I know – I’m sorry but I’ve had a guilty little secret. I might have mentioned once or twice in the “A Woman’s Heart” articles that I had several risk factors for heart disease – age, post-menopausal, family history, weight, hip-waist ratio, and high cholesterol.

When I say high – I mean, really high. The first time it was tested in my late 20s/early 30s (I really don’t remember my exact age), my “bad” LDL cholesterol was 205. In January 2008, it was 245. I won’t even mention what my total cholesterol levels were because, frankly, no matter how you look at it, my total cholesterol levels were just plain SAD!

My doctor and I had a great routine – he faithfully pointed out how high my cholesterol levels were to me each year and I just as faithfully brushed him off. After all, my father’s mother lived to be a 100 years old and had high cholesterol, so why worry? Then, I started writing this series and I found out exactly why my doctor was so concerned. I knew deaths from cardiovascular disease were high but I didn’t realize how. Until writing for you, dear readers, I didn’t realize that one in two women die from cardiovascular disease. I have to say, that caught my attention in a way that my doctor never did.

The more I wrote - the more I learned about cardiovascular disease - the more convinced I became that I MUST do something to get my cholesterol levels down and beat the odds. My doctor wanted me to look at going on a statin drug but I’ve been resistant to that idea for years. So, I tried something novel – I started taking my own advice and implementing what I’ve learned. The result? (And, I am proud of these results!) My bad LDL cholesterol is down from 245 to 200! (Yeah!) This is an 18% reduction and the best part is that it was accomplished without taking one of the statin drugs.

So, what did I do? How did I manage an 18% reduction in my bad cholesterol? Here are a few of the things that have helped me.

1. Movement. I try to get up and move every day. By move, I don’t mean the dreaded exercise, I mean simply move. I look for ways to move every day.

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Writing for Empowher on heart health has been a personal eye-opener for me. I've not only had a wonderful time writing BUT have learned so much! It really made me realize just how great my personal risk for heart disease actually was and I didn't like what I saw! I'm just getting started at living!

I also have to admit that there was a part of me that was skeptical - would simply making lifestyle changes really make a difference? Like you said, I tend to overthink and do nothing because I'm overwhelmed. This really seemed too easy.
But, it just felt dishonest of me as a writer not to take my own advice so I bit the bullet and gave it a try.

I am so absolutely PLEASED about the results! I think that I've found a lifestyle change that works for me and that I can make a permanent part of my life. The outcome so far has given me the confidence now to believe that I can make even more changes!

This experiment in taking my own advice has turned out to be a real win on many levels for me. I really hope that if other women know that a middle-aged, stay-puff-marshmallow-girl like me who hates diet, exercise and sweat can do it, then anyone can!

November 24, 2009 - 7:38pm


What a wonderful post! I am proud of you for coming clean with your readers, LOL!

Seriously, I loved reading about your history with your cholesterol levels, your progress in this area, and your hints on how to do it for ourselves. I especially loved the facts that your habits and tips are easy to do, easy to remember and full of common sense. So many times these days it seems like we overthink things to the point of paralysis.

I, too, have had cholesterol that has been too high in the past, and hope to not need medicine to control it. Count me among those people parking with you in the back row of the parking lot!!

November 24, 2009 - 9:13am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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