Monthly Archive for May, 2007

No Joke

I have high blood pressure.

A few months back, when I joined the fitness center, they did a reading and it was high/normal. Meaning the guy told me it was fine, but when I looked the number up online, it said prehypertension. I shrugged it off.

Last summer, on my way back from the gym, I got it read @ the machine in Target. It also said prehypertension. I shrugged it off thinking I just got through a strenuous work out, that musta been what caused it.

After my reading this morning, I can no longer afford to shrug it off. My pressure reading is 148/74.

The woman who did the reading kept looking @ me w/confused and concerned eyes. I think I went into a bit of denial when she gave the reading b/c I don’t even remember uttering a word, just nodding my head dumbly thinking I have to keep a brave face. Not sure why.

Then I gathered up a few pamphlets and booklets and beat a hasty retreat. After getting some work done, all the while my head is swimming w/the phrase, “I have high blood pressure” and feeling tears wanting to sting my eyes, I have to accept that I did this to me.

It’s mostly food, though in recent years I’ve gotten better at not dousing everything in salt but it’s mainly weight. Tipping the scales @ 200lbs is doing this. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I’m a bit under stress w/planning to move in the next few months and finding a place to live. This has been one of the worst weeks for me in recent months, but w/o all the fluff…it’s the weight.

While things have been hectic, I fought very hard not to let my workouts go completely kaput and have managed to workout @ least 2x a week up to 5 times a week in the last month doing anything from @ least 30 mins to 45 mins.

So it’s weight. I can’t continue to dick around w/this. What seems like forever and ever ago, my blood pressure used to be under 120. That, more than anything else, will be my new focus, to get my blood pressure in the optimal range, 120/80.

This has been my wake up call.

Not Cool

On a whim, I took one of those online test thingys for lapband surgery.

Hold onto to your drawers, I’m in NO WAY considering it. For other purposes, I got an email and wanted to check out the link. I saw where I could plug in height/weight/age and see if I “qualify”.

I did.

@ 5′ 5″, 205lbs (as of Sunday 5/20: 201 on the home scale & 203.5 on the L.A. Fitness scale) so I rounded up a bit, I got the “good news”.

According to them, my BMI is 34 and here’s the graphic kick in the teeth…

…good candidate. As if.

I know what I’m willing to do to lose weight and what I’m not. Since my recent health alert, I’ve been quiet about what I’m currently doing. Mostly b/c I’m gun-shy about the whole blogging about it only to not keep it up lather rinse repeat sorta thing.

Let me get a few more good days under my belt before I get into detail. You can always check out my training journal to see how I’m sweating and I add a few daily thoughts on the good ole pudge pic blog.

As for eats, I have been logging my food in a seperate forum, I’m just too put it in Fitday. When it’s all said and done, I’ll post it here.

One of the great things about the public blog is support when you least expect it. For the next few weeks I’m buddying up offline w/another longtime blogger buddy who is also facing blood pressure issues, to just check in and keep each other accountable.

For now, that’ll do just fine.

Sugar Shock!

For the past month or so, I’ve been keenly aware of how my body reacts when I eat lots of refined carbs vs. whole unprocessed foods. It’s like night and day. A feeling that I hadn’t noticed, or perhaps was numb to, 5 years ago. Immediately after eating fast food, I’d cough and/or feel queasy. No matter if I got the child or regular size. I felt stuffed.

When I eat unprocessed foods, even to the point where I feel I can’t take another bite (which is rarely if ever) I don’t feel that way. I feel satiated, but light. When I eat refined carbs, late at night, the next morning I wake up ravenous, like I haven’t eaten in weeks. When I end my night with a balanced meal, I feel a twinge of hunger, but I can still get my AM workout done on an empty stomach. For all the extra fat burning and all.

So I was happy to get a copy of the book Sugar Shock. Perhaps this book could tie in all the reasons my body felt out of whack. And tie in it did. The cover of the book states, “How sweets and simple carbs can derail your life – and how you can get back on track”

Who amongst us doesn’t want to get back on track?

The book is in 6 parts. Part 1 starts off with sugar addicts confessions. Part 2 gets into more details about processed carbs and explains why whole unprocessed carbs are better for us. At the end of Part 2, there is a sugar challenge: Restrict simple sugars for 3 weeks, the next day, eat some of what you were eating before you started the challenge. See how you feel.

Without officially partaking in this challenge, having done my own form of limiting refined carbs from time to time, I already know the answer to that question. You’ll feel awful.

Skipping ahead to Part 4, you’ll learn about sugar, your emotions and how you can become dependent on sweets. Another personal anecdote, I notice something about my eating habits. When I eat whole foods, I have less cravings for anything else. When I eat more refined carbs, I HAVE to end the meal with something sweet. It’s like I need something to take the edge off.

Over the weekend, coming off a tail end of lotsa refined eating, I bought some peach cobbler. On Monday, I stocked up my fridge and freezer with the foods that make me feel satiated. Three days later and the peach cobbler is STILL sitting in the fridge. I just realized I haven’t eaten it.

Towards the end of the book, you’ll learn that yes Virginia, you can have a life without sugar. Usually when you say sugar free or no sugar, people think yummy things are off limits. That’s not the case. For the record, I personally don’t think sugar to be evil. Actually, I rather have “regular” products with natural sugar vs. “sugar-free” loaded with extra fat or unpronounceable chemicals to mask the taste.

One of my favorite, albeit scary, chapters is the Top 10 Food-Lable Misconceptions About Sweetners. Let’s just say all the things we thought we knew: Honey is better, sucrose is natural, fructose comes only from fruit and that “sugar free” foods contain no sugar, we’ve been so very very wrong.

While this book is a tad more radical than I’d like to live, it’s still a good read. I believe the holistic approach is best — limit the processed refined stuff and increase the whole natural stuff — I also believe if you say no sugar, next week you’ll be found face first in the sugar jar.

When it comes to eating, if sugar addiction has been your downfall and if you are looking for a good way to get off the sugar crack pipe, check out this book. [Please don't sue me Sugar Association, I'm just being cheeky.]