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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 7, 2010

I did it!


©istockphoto.com/nodmitryI wrote last week about the "moment of truth"  — going in to get my blood drawn for my three-month follow-up cholesterol and glucose screening.

Today, at my follow-up appointment, in the presence of my doctor, I discovered my results.

 I was nervous on my way to the appointment. I'm always nervous when I go to the doctor ... maybe you are, too. I value my health and well-being as a gift from God. When we started this blog, one reader suggested that we were promoting body-worship. I was gratified that other readers chimed in that we are to honor our bodies as temples of God's Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and that being good stewards of God's gifts means being mindful of what we consume.

After three months of being more intentional about my choices, I was ready to discover whether they'd made a difference in my test results. I was nervous — maybe I hadn't made enough of the right choices. Or maybe my genetics would prevent me from being able to attain good results, even with the right choices.

My doctor and I compared the numbers. In the past three months, I've lost 21 pounds. My total cholesterol has gone from 29 points outside of the normal range to just one point outside of the normal range. My HDL cholesterol (what's often referred to as "good" cholesterol) has increased. My LDL cholesterol (often called "bad" cholesterol) decreased. My fasting glucose levels have dropped six points and are again within the normal range.

I was delighted. So was my doctor. She and I talked about willpower, the necessity of a support system and remembering that making healthy choices is a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix. She reminded me that as a result of managing my health better, I'll save hundreds of dollars that I otherwise would have used for medicines to control my cholesterol and glucose levels.

As staff of The Lutheran, we are enrolled in the ELCA's health plan for employees (administered by the ELCA Board of Pensions). Staying healthy keeps us off medications, reduces the need for doctor's visits and, as a result, drives down the cost of providing health care to all ELCA pastors, lay rostered leaders and congregation staff who participate in the plan.

Thank you, blog readers, for being part of my support system. This is an ongoing process, so if you have wisdom for me (or others), please feel free to comment below.

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