Health Means Adding, Not Subtracting


My eating disorder hates that I’m telling you this, but I have high cholesterol.

(It tells me that I’m lazy and disgusting because of this.)

When in reality, I run once a week (good for a new mom), eat numerous small meals for the most part, maintain a healthy weight, and am constantly on the go.  Sure, ED, I’m lazy.

So when I found out recently that my cholesterol was high again (read: should have had a heart attack yesterday cholesterol), I initially freaked and reviewed all the foods I couldn’t have.  Pizza.  No more chicken.  Only vegetarian options.  No occasional omelettes.  Ice cream…no more ice cream??

And then I caught myself in the middle of my insanity.  Cutting out anything would mean disaster for me.  It’s quite a conundrum for people who struggle with eating disorders to lose weight, lower their blood pressure or cholesterol.  “Will I start restricting again if I cut out saturated fats?”  “Will I start binging if I stop eating salty foods?”

Then, a simple idea dawned on me.  Add something healthy, you silly girl.

My cholesterol had been  high once before in my life – and I had started eating oatmeal every day.  Oatmeal is wonderful for high cholesterol – it scrubs it away. It also keeps you energized until lunch.  And not just simple oatmeal – I added peanut butter and a bit of brown sugar to make it tasty.  I resolved to eat it every morning, not change the rest of my diet and treat it as a scientific experiment.

Two months later, I had dropped my cholesterol by 30 points.

The moral of this story, my friends?  If you want to change an unhealthy weight/food pattern, don’t think “cut food out”.  Think “add healthy food in”.  Think blueberries, jalapeno almonds, raspberries, oatmeal and avocado.  Because cutting things out never worked long term for anyone.

(Thanks to for the pic.)

4 thoughts on “Health Means Adding, Not Subtracting

  1. This post was very encouraging. I was recently told I have high blood sugar, and I’ve had a really hard time trying to pursue health in this area without triggering my eating disorder. Thanks for the advice!

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