Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Getting older

I have finally come to terms that I can't do things I used to be able too. It all started when I went to the doctor a few months ago and was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. It wasn't off the scale but it was still high enough to cause the doctor to be concerned. The reading was 147/90 and the doctor felt that was way to high for my age. I knew I had gained some weight and hadn't been eating the greatest meals but I still felt I was in decent shape. The next blow to my ego came when he said I could stand to lose 15-20lbs... I have never thought of myself as overweight. I knew I was starting to get fat when I'd joke about being fat and starting to get over weight and I didn't hear the comments like, what are you talking about you're skinny..... I realized I was one of those people you hear about, who looks totally healthy then one day dies mowing their lawn. Something had to change. The doc said I need to either change my ways or go on blood pressure medication. I've never been one to like pills of any kind. I also love challenges so I took this as a kick in the pants to get back in shape and start a new lifestyle. The doctor suggested trying the southbeach diet.

I found a website that had a southbeach diet plan and for the first 2 weeks you are limited to only a number of foods. After the first 2 weeks your food options increase and gradually you work different foods into your diet until you can maintain your weight and kinda eat what foods you like within the diet specifications. Within the first week I was cheating already and straying from the diet. I figured I can work this diet out to something I like. I was losing weight but not dramatically. The reason I think I was losing weight is the things I was eating had no density. You eat a lot of eggs, cheese and salad. I felt better but I was starving for bread and things like cheeseburgers and pizza. I new I wasn't going to hang long with that diet. I started to just try to eat better and watch my sodium intake. I also started to exercise. I ran at first then looked for other activities, I found a group that played sand volleyball that I joined up with. I kept with watching what I ate and exercising and checked my blood pressure about 3 times a week, it slowly started to drop.

After about a month it hit a plateau. It stayed in the mid 130's and the bottom number rose, to the 80's. I figured at least the top number wasn't going higher and didn't worry about the bottom number, I was still losing weight from the volleyball and now I was looking into playing tennis. I figured it was just a matter of time before my blood pressure was normal. I went to the doctor a few weeks later, good news my blood work came back fine. The bad news... my blood pressure was still high. I had done everything the doctor asked, ate better, lost weight, he couldn't ask me to do more. He suggested going on medication and keeping on track. I got the prescription but never filled it, I just put it by my computer and now obsessed myself with exercise and getting my BP down. I played volleyball at least twice a week for 2hrs and started to incorporate tennis off and on with this I would go to the rock climbing gym for about an hour and a half. I started to really see a change in my body and now the readings were around 135/85, still not the greatest but not growing. My diet went a little backwards but I wasn't eating junk. I would go to walmart or CVS from time to time to check my BP, it was still higher than I'd anticipate. Then I'd go home and be on the computer look down and stare at the prescription note. I was really debating what I should do, I guess I kinda felt that having to get the medicine was a failure in me somehow. I didn't want to accept that I might just be genetically disposed to high blood pressure.

This week I was feeling fitter than ever, I was kind of happy about life, my wife is healthy and pregnant, I'm feeling great and I felt it was time to get the BP checked again. I went to the gym by work and had it taken. I was really expecting it to be close to normal. I talked to the guy and explained where the readings have been. He took the reading and I could tell by the look on his face I wasn't going to be happy. Still it was 130/90. That bottom number is not moving, it really pissed me off, and I left a little depressed. I just told myself, I'm gonna go get the medicine after work. I went to walmart and checked my blood pressure one more time before filling the subscription, it came by 137/85.... My heart sank and I just gave the pharmacist my note. I started to think about things in a different way, I wanted to be healthy at least for my new baby. It wasn't worth being pride full and dying 10yrs from now with a heart attack or some freak stroke.

So now I'm wondering how I'm going to feel after taking this, tired, sick, normal? Will I faint if I workout to hard, will I get any side effects? Will I have to take this for the rest of my life? No one knows except god I guess. At least I'm doing something about the problem and not letting it linger. I started to think about things and just accepted that the cause isn't not trying hard enough it's just getting older, I've been playing volleyball for about 6weeks now, I still can't spike. I used to be able to no problem when I was in high school. Now it's a chore just to jump. The sand swallows me up. Tennis I'm still ok at, but I'm no where near able to do the things I used to do. I used to sprint to a ball hit it over the net and be ready for anything that comes next. Now I sprint, hit the ball back, pant, look for my water and want to take a nap. I literally took a nap after hiking this weekend. It was a decent hike 5.5 miles but still I couldn't believe how tired I was afterwards. The last thing is rock climbing, I've been going to the rock climbing gym and it's pretty fun but I'm not improving. Granted I don't go enough to really be hard on myself but I can't make up for lack of technique with athleticism like I used to do. I climb about three EASY routes and I'm pretty much done for the night. My arms are pumped and I just flail on harder routes. Ok, I'm done whining, time to move on.

1 comment:

  1. Six weeks is not alot of time to undo the damage of years of abuse. Don't give up, it'll get better. Keep working out doing things you LIKE. The only time I run is if someone is chasing me. I do hike and fish like a madman.

    Trying to avoid some of the issues your running into, so Cat and I have changed our diet noticeably. My meat intake is much lower, particularly the cow, which I miss very much. We eat a lot more veggies and healty type stuff. I've even been known to eat nothing but veggies for dinner a couple of times a week, something rare if non-existant last year.

    Drink lots of water, you'll begin to crave it after a while. A person should drink 1/2 their body weight in water ounces each day. Don't forget that stress can play a part in BP. You have a hormonal, pregnant wife, you're life is about to change, I'd image you have some stress going on. Keep it up, if nothing else, you'll be a fishin machine after a few more months!