In early May, a cholesterol reading of 243 pushed me to get back to McDougalling but it took me a couple of weeks to really commit to doing it right.
On May 23, I completely quit the coffee again, which I had already reduced in the previous couple of weeks. I quit having so many sweet desserts, dropped the last of the fatty foods like almonds and regular salad dressing, and concentrated on eating more potatoes, starches, and lots of vegetables.
I started exercising again in early May after a long absence from regular exercise due to laziness, depression, and going through physical therapy for neck and shoulder issues. I've ramped up to now doing at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days per week, strength-training 3 days per week, and continuing physical therapy exercises and stretches on the other days.
On August 15, I had my cholesterol blood work repeated. The total cholesterol had dropped by 59 points to 184. I'd hoped for a bigger drop but I still have a fair amount of fat on my body to lose. Staying on the path I'm on now should take care of the fat as well as bring the cholesterol number down further.
Other improvements since I decided to get back on track:
I've lost 35 pounds (and don't intend to find them again!)
My blood pressure has come down from 140/85 to under 110/70 consistently.
I've gone down at least one size in pants and tops.
I have more energy and no depression.
My skin looks better; I've been mistaken for being 10+ years younger than I really am.
My cravings for unhealthy foods have reduced significantly; the few that occur are driven by emotions not actual hunger for that food.
My monthly periods have become far easier - no PMS or irritability and so little cramping that no ibuprofen is usually needed.