It's been four months since my 34th birthday and the final day of my personal weight loss challenge. The goal had been to lose eleven pounds in ten weeks with the intention of lowering my high blood pressure. My final weigh in was two pounds shy of my goal but there was still a noticeable difference in my blood pressure. Since then I've continued to lose weight but at a slower pace. I've gone from a pound a week to a pound a month. This morning I weighed in 131.6lbs. My blood pressure is looking so good that I'm going to make an appointment with my doctor to discuss going off the blood pressure medicine. I'm not sure what she'll say but I promise to pass on the info.
*Fancy Beer Friday is still on the way! We're having some trouble procuring the beer we want. Check back tomorrow!
In early November I went to a general practitioner for my first physical exam in ten years. I was relieved to discover my cholesterol levels are fine (LDL:106, Good: 51, Bad: 98, Total: 177) but I was surprised to discover my blood pressure is stubbornly high (130/90). The doctor immediately put me on Lisinoril, a blood pressure medicine, with the hopes of lowering my diastolic reading.
A month later I returned for a check up. We were both disappointed to discover that the medicine had not yet made a difference. At that point my doctor changed my birth control pill to a lower estrogen option (it was the first time I'd altered it in 15 years). Since then my diastolic reading has lowered between 5 and 8 points (depending on the reading). Honestly, I've been thrilled. I thought I had something to be excited about. But that ended this morning when I went in for my yearly gyno exam. This doctor was not pleased with my diastolic reading of 83. And to my disappointment she didn't even seem to acknowledge the progress I felt I'd made. Rather she reminded me that if I planned to conceive sometime this year that I needed to lower my blood pressure unless I wanted a high risk pregnancy.
I go to the gym and work out HARD, three times a week. I've given up all processed and fake foods. I consciously eat a high fiber diet... and here I was being scolded by a doctor at 7:45 in the morning.
So, what to do now?
Sigh, weight loss. It's taken me almost two decades to appreciate and accept my body the way it is. I accept that I'm 10 to 15 pounds overweight and I don't let it get me down. I'm naturally curvy. My Mom would call me voluptuous, "an hourglass", but in reality I'm a pear. I've accepted that I will never have the lean, sinewy body of a runner and I'm okay with being the heaviest girl in the design studio [at work]. I've been okay with it because I know I am healthy, I truly enjoy good food and drink and I have more to offer then my looks. I'm a talented professional and contributing member of society - I don't need to be an overt sexpot to have value.
But now... Now I have a reason to finally lose the last 10 or 15 pounds. I want to live until 2075 when I'll be 97 years old. It's too soon to be worrying about a stroke or high-risk pregnancy. So here goes: my goal is to weigh 134lbs by my 34th birthday. That's 11lbs in 10 weeks. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated along the way... And thanks in advance for your support.
To learn more about blood pressure please visit the American Heart Association's website. They have an easy to understand page explaining everything. If you haven't had yours checked recently then I recommend taking a few minutes to do so the next time you're at a pharmacy (it's that fun cuff that expands up on your arm). Even though high blood pressure usually has no symptoms - it can have deadly consequences.