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Category Archives: Health & Fitness
December 11, 2012Posted by on
Health-wise, today is a pretty fantastic day! Had my annual checkup this morning. My blood pressure was an astounding 122 over 80. I say astounding for those who don’t recall last summer, I was in the hospital for what turned out to be severe stage 3 of hypertension.
My good friend Patrick P took me to the hospital where I was quickly admitted after being triaged. What I thought was a major asthma attack turned out to me being diagnosed with the beginning stages of heart disease. A blood pressure level of 198 over 93 proved that. I had been misdiagnosed a few years earlier with asthma.
Last November, I saw a new doctor and a nutritionist. And together, we’ve worked a path towards a healthier life. No fads. No diets. But a change in lifestyle.
I’m not going to tell you that I have been 100 percent committed to this change. Nor will I say that I have not cheated or followed every restriction. But I am eating much healthier. I’ve cut down on my drinking (very hard). And as evident from my runkeeper.com posts, I get my exercise by walking all the time.
With tonight’s walk to and from the RNC headquarters for a holiday party, I hit an amazing milestone. I recorded my first walk on November 25, 2011. That was for 3.31 miles. With tonight’s 4.35 walk, I have officially walked 501 miles in 54 weeks! Cue up that contagious song from Benny and Joon by the Proclaimers. I’m down 43 pounds, my BMI has dropped by over 4 points, and my blood pressure is perfect. I still smoke too many cigars, but that’s not gonna change anytime soon.
But as I conclude the year, I revel in the knowledge that I’m much healthier than when I started.
January 2, 2012Posted by on
It’s a brand new year, and people are quick to make new year’s resolutions. As my friend Duane says, if you want to change something about yourself, why wait to a specific date to start. And he’s absolutely right!
Back in November, I started seeing a nutritionist. Because of a hospital stay last summer, and problems with high blood pressure (which runs in the family), I was concerned about my weight. I’m a big buy. I’ve always been a big guy. That’s not going to change. But I can still try to lose some weight.
So the doc talked to me not about diets, but healthier choices — 2% milk instead of whole, multi-grain bread instead of white, more fruits, etc. Then he talked to me about exercise. He wanted me to walk an average of one hour a day. That’s about 3 miles.
So instead of waiting for the new year to resolve to eat better and lose weight, I started then, November 1, 2011. Doc set a maximum of 3000 calories a day for me to eat, in addition to walking an hour each day. A month later, he reduced my caloric intake to 2500 per day. I saw him again last Wednesday, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. He was very pleased with my progress.
Since I started seeing him two months ago, I have lost over 16 pounds! I was shocked, not that I was able to do it, but that it was done over Thanksgiving and Christmas. So now for the first time in many years, I am under 300 pounds. I’ve set a goal of 270 by Memorial Day. Once I hit that, I will set another goal for my birthday in September.
To help me monitor and track my progress, I have found two great iPhone apps! LoseIt allows me to not only track my caloric intake, but also breaks down the nutritional value of the food I eat. It has a scanner which allows me to scan the bar code of foods I buy from the grocery store. It also has an expansive list of restaurants and their menus with nutritional information.
The other app I am using is RunKeeper. It tracks my walking. It also maintains information about the route I walked, my speed, and elevation. It also allows you to choose a playlist from your iPhone. So as I begin my walk, with the touch of one button, it starts tracking me with GPS and begins my music.
So now I am off to do my first walk of the new year. Fun times!