Why you shouldn’t do resolutions

Happy new year, everybody! I’m wishing you a year of peace, health, and happiness. And will be blogging to promote you going to get it yourself!

What is your why? Are you over resolutions yet? Chances are, like resolving to make more money this year, if you don’t work at it, being happier, getting your house organized, getting to a more comfortable weight, etc. aren’t going to happen. What do you want/need to happen? How can you get there?

This year, my why is high cholesterol. No, I didn’t start working on it today, yes, I am renewing my commitment to healthier habits today. This is not my first go-round with high cholesterol. I had a high reading prepuberty, when in junior high we got to get lunch ala carte instead of standing in line for the tray. Once I stopped eating Doritos and milkshakes for lunch, it got a lot better. And since the late aughts, I was on a three year cycle. 1: Test high, diet like crazy 2: test well, diet less 3: test a little higher, stop dieting 1: test high, lather, rinse repeat. Except, after my 2016 test, my dad got diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. As you can imagine, I didn’t diet for shit that year, and 2017 gave me another very high test.

I really like dairy. I like cheese, ice cream, milkshakes, sour cream, Mexican crema, clotted cream, chocolate milk, really, all of it. I am eating yogurt every day, and the rest is a treat, maybe once a week or so. I’m really trying to get realistic identifying a snack versus a treat. I’m a good Texan, love a rare steak, but I am limiting my beef intake. I eat salmon once a week. I’m supplementing with fish oil and vitamin D (which I did test low). I’m a decade older than when this started, and my willpower for dieting isn’t what it used to be. So I knew I needed to exercise.

Which brings me to taking time for yourself. I know, not everyone has the privilege of time. I would guess at least 70% of my patients wouldn’t need to see me if they would slow the eff down. I know, we all have bills to pay. But in the same way financial planners say, “Pay yourself first!” I am saying, take care of yourself first. Put the mask on you before you put one on your kid, lest you fall unconscious, you know? So, four days a week, I am taking a mid day break. I work out, I eat lunch, I shower, if the timing works out and I have an extra hour, I do laundry, and then I come back to work, refreshed for the second half of the day. Tuesday through Thursday, this happens at lunch time. On Monday evenings, I stay late, so I take my break at tea time.

I get retested at the end of April, so stay tuned! What are you working on this year?

Macro to micro, western style

You know how the ancient Chinese came up with yin, yang, 5 element theory, and all that? They took observations from the world and adapted it to the human body. We can do that, too.

There are over 4,000 miles of pipes under Dallas, with diameters from 2″ to 5′. Sometimes people pour grease down the sink or something and are lucky enough that it flushes out of their personal plumbing. Then it sticks to a pipe farther on down the line, which gets clogged and bursts from the pressure backed up in it, and it’s a big mess.

There are over 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. The diameters range from 8 μm to an inch. Sometimes stuff sticks to the sides of the vessels, and blood can’t get through, and it’s a big mess. Without blood, there is no exchange of oxygen and waste products, and without oxygen, tissue dies. Which is pretty darn bad if that tissue is brain or heart. Still not impressed? There’s a lot of blood vessels in your junk. Yeah, I said it; general health has everything to do with sexual function.

For both of these systems, the primary thing is to not dump in stuff that clogs it. That would be saturated fats (though in the case of the city pipes, the liquid stuff has to be processed out of the wastewater, too, not a cheap or easy prospect), which are solid at room temperature. Don’t cook? Read labels.

The human body has some other factors to consider. It is always going to have some fat in its composition. Some conditions, like diabetes, obesity, low activity, and hypertension, are going to make the body more likely to have fat fall out of the blood and onto the arterial walls. This is why you should get regular exercise, not smoke, and eat a balanced diet.

Ever take Organic Chemistry? Ochem labs are all about isolating stuff and weighing your product. One time we had to isolate cholesterol. And we forgot to weigh the empty test tube. We were running out of time, and I was running out of steam; scrubbing with soap and hot water was not getting that tube clean. The TA suggested ethanol. One little splash, and that tube was empty! So, I am a firm believer in having a little drink now and then to benefit your heart. Thing is, though, the human body isn’t made of lab glassware, and there is still going to be liver damage and stuff if it needs to process too much alcohol. The guidelines are 1-2 drinks daily for men, and 1 for women.