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Old 08-07-2008, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default What if I've already caused unrepairable damage to my body?

I'm 23, will be 24 in October. I've always had weight fluctuations growing up but since I was 16, my weight has been steadily rising. I've been thinking about something and it really kept me up last night.

About three years ago, my cholesterol was 204 or something close to it. Bad, but I'm sure it's even worse now since my eating habits only got worse. My dad had a stroke last year (he's fine now) and it got me thinking. What if I've already caused irreversible damage to my arteries? My weight gain is solely because of my love to eat fast food... and just constantly eat even if I'm not hungry. I want to change that and develop a healthier relationship with food but what if it's too late for me? Is it really possible to build up a lot of plaque in the arteries at this age?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:30 AM   #2
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It's never too late.

Let me ask you this - if you've already damaged your body ... what will that mean to you? That "oh well .. I might as well give up now"? That you will just continue to be more and more unhealthy?

Seriously ... if you continue on with the path you're going, you're almost guaranteed to go down the path of stroke and heart issues. If you change things, you stand a good chance of reversing damage caused and preventing further damage.

I'm 40 ... and I changed my eating habits 18 months ago. I know I damaged my body, but it's not stopping me from working hard to try to reverse that damage as much as I can.

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Old 08-07-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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Default Irrepairable Damage

Have you talked to your doctor about this? It seems that I've read most weight-related health issues disperse as the weight is lost.

I've been heavy most of my life, too. Luckily, even at my heaviest I've been relatively healthy. But my biggest concern is that my skin won't shrink to fit my new bod!
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:45 AM   #4
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I feel that way too -- not in terms of health (I'm healthy as a horse, which was just confirmed at the dr yesterday lol) but in terms of appearence. I worry that I'm physiologically incapable of ever being svelt; I have a loose skin issue and I have a whole lifetime of being heavy to fight against and a lifetime of having a "fat body" to counteract to ever look thin and as fit as I am.

But, in terms of arteries and such... I have a feeling that, especially for someone as young as us, these things are reversible. I would talk to my dr about these issues, but if you commit to making a life change you can counteract the damage you've done.

Last edited by KLK; 08-07-2008 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #5
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Ditto what PhotoChick said - It's never too late!

I'm in my 50s and struggled with weight all my life. In January my cholesterol was 244 , BP was way high and a whole bunch of other stuff was starting to go on the fritz. In just 7 months of paying attention to what type of food I'm putting into myself I've gotten everything back into normal range ( cholestrol in June was 170). And that's with no meds - just good nutrition. Do I wish I'd learned (or I should say, paid attention to) what good eating was when I was in my 20s? Of course I'd rather not have wasted some perfectly good years being miserable but I feel so great these days I'm having lots of fun making up for lost time

Our bodies are pretty amazing things and, lots of times, can *fix* a lot of stuff on it's own if we give it the right nutrients.

Dieting is hard. Maintenance is hard. Being fat is hard. Pick your hard.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:00 AM   #6
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You definitely can reverse any damage, because you're young! The best thing for heart and artery health is exercise, but at your current size, you'll need to start slow and easy. Just walking can make a big difference, though! Also, as you lose weight and eat less junk food, your blood glucose level and cholesterol levels will shift.

The body is a dynamic thing! It will take what we give it and try to cope the best it can, but it can also change if what you give it changes.

Don't think that you have any excuse not to try... You can avoid having those health risks by losing weight and getting physically fit starting NOW!

Good luck!

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Old 08-07-2008, 12:36 PM   #7
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Definitely not too late! I'm 27. For years, I've had high cholesterol -- at first just a little over 200, slowly inching up each year reaching 238 this year. My boyfriend freaked out (he makes all our meals) because he had never seen my numbers, although I had insisted all last year that our over-consumption of red meats was unhealthy for me due to my high cholesterol. Starting in December, we went heart healthy -- oatmeal for every breakfast (or a whole grain cereal if time was limited), red meat only once or twice a week instead of daily, salmon at least once a week, smaller portions, almonds for snacks. I actually gained a few pounds probably due to increased pasta consumption (which we're trying to remedy now by going on a low carb diet), but despite still enjoying unhealthy foods like fried chicken once every week or two, my cholesterol had dropped to under 200 by July!
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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Thank you all so much for your replies. It did put me at ease a lot and I'm willing to make the commitment to eat better and live better. Again, thank you very much for the replies
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:57 PM   #9
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Amber, I'm right there with you! I'm 23. I've had 3 children already. I have problems with my liver (from weight and pregnancy). Even if we've caused "irreparable damage" (which my internist said was near to impossible at our age!) we can undo most of it!

You can do it!

In parting, if you're worried about your arteries, start going after the whole grain fiber. It will help lower your cholesterol and has a "scrubbing" effect on your heart (as well as all the other organs).
Next Goal - 167.0 pounds (BMI 27) 88.5 pounds lost
Lovin' the Paleo diet. Meat, veggies and more energy than ever.
Success! A bit more to lose, but I met my big goal.
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