The ‘Get Betsy Healthy’ Initiative: One Year Later

So last year, I was facing this not-so-lovely jackpot:

slot machine

Sugar + BP + Cholesterol = Not Winning

One year later? I think I can declare my efforts a victory based on this photo alone, no?

Snippet from yesterday's print-out post-physical

Ok, ok, a few more out-takes, courtesy of my doctor:

You could be the poster child for how to tackle your health issues. Could I set you up in my waiting room?


Whatever you’re doing, bottle it and sell it.

And then after finally divulging the whole Paleo/Primal bit (had not ever mentioned it before) – including the regular consumption of saturated fats like bacon, heavy cream or coconut oil – she came back with this:

With stellar lipid results like these? I don’t care how you’re getting them – just keep it up already.

How’d I do it? More below the fold..

There’s no real secret, at the end of the day. The reason I was able to reverse my own health issues is simply this: I took responsibility for my own health.

  • I didn’t put it in the hands of any experts, gurus, or professionals – not even Paleo gurus (which meant that even though my doctor suggested I eat steel-cut oatmeal to address my high cholesterol, I ignored that once I did more reading/research myself. Ditto the Paleo people who say I can’t have rice – my body says I can do so in set amounts without a problem, thank you very much…!)
  • I didn’t put it in any diet, pill, potion, or remedy – while Paleo may be billed primarily as a diet, it’s so much more than that. I’ll continue to eat this way for the rest of my life – but because it makes sense now, and works for my body.
  • I listened to my own body, did my own research, and adjusted what I was doing accordingly. When walking lots caused me pain, we discovered I’d been fighting against a leg-length discrepancy I’d probably had for years. While I know that grains cause me problems, I’m now able to introduce some dairy without incident.

Did I accomplish all of my goals? Nope. I’d hoped to have lost 50 lbs by now, for example, and had been working my ass off the last two months in particular to make it happen. (My doctor says I should be more than happy with 45 lbs in a year, frankly – especially given all of the other huge health improvements.)

And I’m still not happy with my blood sugar levels, especially since my food intake is fairly sugar-free (no grains/sugars/juices, minimal fruits, for example). My doctor? Again – not worried at all, in a ‘you’re kinda picking nits’ way.

But I’ve managed to accomplish so very much in the last year – thanks in huge part to the support of friends, readers here/on Twitter, or despite the pushback from my own kids, heh. (A huge THANK YOU to you all!)

I’m down several clothes sizes. Have a ton more energy/stamina. Haven’t been sick at all (even my yearly chronic sinus infection hasn’t reared its ugly head, woo!) And a host of other physically-verifiable results (my HDL/LDL ratio – 0.48 – is apparently a ‘thing of beauty’, according to my doctor).

But the best results of all occurred in my own head. I took on a really daunting set of goals. I outlined an approach that made sense to me. And I made it happen – no excuses, no side-stepping, no blame games, no magic pills/potions/wands.

Might be an attitude to hang on to, no?

[This is part of a series documenting the pleasant physical changes over the last year or so. See the preamble, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10Part 11, Part 13]


  1. Linda

    Good for you, that’s a huge accomplishment! You have inspired me to eat better and get moving. My issue is blood pressure, and I’m determined to fight it with diet and exercise as long as I can. You are proof that it can be done. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. stephanie v

    Well done! You did in the past year what I should have done, and I have no excuse except for my own inertia. My hat is off to you!

Surely you're not going to let me have the last word - are you?