I know, I have said it before and I know I have “fallen off the wagon” before – but its time. Its really time to fix some fundamental things.

Starting with this morning’s breakfast club meeting – an outing which normally sees me consume eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatos – I am going to start eating healthier. I know you have heard that before. I have said that numerous times over the years here and yet, I am saying it once again.

I think the problem is that my body responds too quickly when I attempt to “get healthy.” I drop 20lbs without really working that hard and my cholesterol drops 80+ points when I hit it hard in the “eat right” department. I get all happy with my progress and quit before I make it past that “life changing” plateau. I think that is seems to come so easy that I decide it is okay to backslide a bit. Well – no more.

I won’t go into the thought process that woke me at 3am and got me researching variou health conditions online, but suffice it to say that I decided it is time to make a major change.

To that end, I am going to start by attacking the double-whammy of weight and cholesterol. I found these steps on the National Cholesterol Education website:

Lowering Cholesterol With Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)
TLC is a set of things you can do to help lower your LDL cholesterol. The main parts of TLC are:

The TLC Diet. This is a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol eating plan that calls for less than 7percent of calories from saturated fat and less than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. The TLC diet recommends only enough calories to maintain a desirable weight and avoid weight gain. If your LDL is not lowered enough by reducing your saturated fat and cholesterol intakes, the amount of soluble fiber in your diet can be increased. Certain food products that contain plant stanols or plant sterols (for example, cholesterol-lowering margarines) can also be added to the TLC diet to boost its LDL-lowering power.

Weight Management. Losing weight if you are overweight can help lower LDL and is especially important for those with a cluster of risk factors that includes high triglyceride and/or low HDL levels and being overweight with a large waist measurement (more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women).

Physical Activity. Regular physical activity (30 minutes on most, if not all, days) is recommended for everyone. It can help raise HDL and lower LDL and is especially important for those with high triglyceride and/or low HDL levels who are overweight with a large waist measurement.

Foods low in saturated fat include fat-free or 1percent dairy products, lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, whole grain foods, and fruits and vegetables. Look for soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) that are low in saturated fat and contain little or no trans fat (another type of dietary fat that can raise your cholesterol level). Limit foods high in cholesterol such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy products.

Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, certain fruits (such as oranges and pears) and vegetables (such as brussels sprouts and carrots), and dried peas and beans.

Well, there you have it – it is PHASE I and will continue FOREVER!! Not just until I drop another 50 cholesterol points and 20lbs. BUT, when I do reach healthy levels in both of those, I will implement PHASE II.