At some point last night, I reminded myself for the umpteenth time that I’m on this path for a reason.  Not always sure what it is, but I’m fairly certain having a low body fat percentage isn’t the reason.  I just need to be patient and quiet.  Things will make sense eventually.  I’ve never been left in dark for long – solutions present themselves when I’m patient, quiet, and ready to receive the message.

This morning I was still confused and discouraged, but I dragged myself out of bed and headed to the gym.  Follow the routine.  Be consistent.  Still mulling over why, when going over the results, the guy started talking about cholesterol.  It seemed very random at the time because it wasn’t something I asked about.  Puzzling – and now I see that this was literally the first piece of a new puzzle for me to solve.

At the gym another piece of the puzzle was provided by Andrea, a nurse/powerlifter/figure competitor.  She said “Well, he’s not your doctor so he has to be careful about how he phrases things.  He’s not supposed to diagnose a possible a condition.  When was the last time you had your blood work done?  Was your cholesterol high?”  I had it checked last November and I remember the doc saying it was fine.

While I was driving to work, I put the two pieces together in my head and realized I better pull out the lab report and check.  And coincidently, I just happen to have that report with me today because last weekend, I put it in a folder with the old DXA reports when I was cleaning my desk at home.  I remember thinking that it was an odd place to put it, but it made sense at the time.

“So why do you have that folder with you today?? Hmmm??”  you might ask.  Interesting question.  I don’t walk around with my lab work and body fat analysis reports handy.   Because I was dissatisfied with the results of the hydrostatic weigh-in yesterday, I’m going to have another DXA scan this afternoon so I have something to compare to the last DXA scan done in March.  Had the results of that test yesterday been even a little lower, we may not have discussed cholesterol, I wouldn’t be getting a new DXA scan today, I wouldn’t have that folder with me, and would have never looked back at that lab report.  But it was exactly what it was and we did have that perplexing conversation and I do have the lab report handy.

I pulled out the lab report when I got to work, and as I remember, the ratio of HDL to LDL is pretty good – 3.6.  It’s supposed to be under 4.  That’s why doc said it was “fine”. But the ratio is good because both HDL and LDL are high.  HDL was 225 and LDL was 152.  I’ve managed to raise my HDL (the ‘good’ one) with my uber-clean diet and massive amounts of exercise, but today it makes sense why the guy was going on and on about needing more info about my LDL.  High LDL…?

Puzzle pieces coming together now…research LDL, the ‘bad’ cholesterol – I need to find out more about what it does…

Apparently, when LDL is high and floating around in the blood stream, the body will be in FAT STORAGE MODE.  Oh, that’s not good.  But it explains some stuff, doesn’t it?  Like why my inner fat chick body chemistry insists on using muscle as a fuel source instead of its precious fat.  Sure, cortisol is out and about chewing up muscle, too, but I’ll bet money all of this is related.  Why is cortisol out and about?  Because the LDL won’t let the fat be used as fuel.  Cortisol’s job is metabolize muscle to save fat for later.  I have a lot of good stuff in place to keep that muscle and maybe even grow some.  But I could have chemistry working at cross-purposes with my nutrition and exercise.  Stalemate.

‘splains some stuff, huh?  Like why after 84 days of diet and cardio, I’ve only lost 5 pounds??  It’s just a theory.

No matter what, I think high LDL is bad.  How do I lower my LDL?  Low carb diet.  Now we have come full circle.  Tamara has been telling me over and over and over that I need to go low carb.  I’ve been doing low carb as compared to the average person’s diet, and very similar to the pyramid below, but maybe not low enough for long enough.  Maybe a person with my particular body chemistry isn’t going to have a lot of harmful effects from low carb long term.  This week, I started the really low/no carb days, but the others were going to be higher.  Don’t think that’s going to happen now.

So a new goal is going to be to lower that LDL number.  Probably should call the doc and see if I can get it tested again.  Remember last fall that I promised her I’d be smart about this contest prep and asked her to monitor things??    Yeah – need to call her and get blood work done again.  The guy from yesterday who started this whole new line of thought said there is a test that gives even better info about the nature of a person’s LDL.  See?  Another random piece falls into place.

So yesterday’s dunk tank experience was certainly NOT a waste of time and money.   Maybe I was exactly where I was supposed to be to get the next couple of pieces in the puzzle that is “How Does Tammy’s Body Work?”.  Cholesterol has not been on my radar screen at all, but cholesterol can be a killer of thin people as well as overweight people.  I may have been taking something for granted that needs to be addressed in a life or death kind of way.  Looking good in a posing suit on a stage is one motivation, but the real goal all along has been something more serious – stay alive longer.  Not just stay alive, but be alive and loving life.  Take care of this gift I was given by God.

So you know what I just did?  I just ate 3 cookies.  I haven’t had sugar since February.  I think this was my little temper-tantrum-defiant-rebellion after being frustrated for the last 24 hours about dieting for 84 days with almost no results.  OK – that’s done.  I feel a little sick.  Hahahahaha!  See what happens when you eat clean?  Once you go clean, you can’t go back…

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