Friday, October 21, 2011

By the Numbers

So I posted before that I was moved to start moving. That was really just the start of a journey that has been kinda crazy, but mostly good.

God started this whole thing back in May. By the end of June I was running about 3 miles 2-3 times per week. I was pretty happy with that. By July I all of a sudden remembered that back in the late 90's early 2000's I had thought about doing a triathlon for about a second and then realized there was running. Now that I could run though maybe a triathlon could be a reality. Note: Most people think IronMan when I say way! Sprint distance is more like 1/4-1/2 mile swim, 12-15 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. Totally doable.

I didn't have a bike so I started swimming again. By mid-August I was able to swim 1/2 mile and run 2.5 miles and feel good. That's when my sweet brother gave me his old road bike! Then things took off! I was working out 4 times a week; swimming (up to a mile) and running (up to 3 miles) one day and biking (11-13 miles) the next take a day off and do it again. It got kinda crazy and my body shut down at the end of September. My lower back decided to complain and I realized how crazy I was getting. So it took a week for that to heal up and I committed to doing only one of the three disciplines Monday (swim), Wednesday (bike) and Friday (run) to give my body the recovery day in between and Saturday and Sunday off. So far that has been great!

That's the exercise update. Now to the numbers. Remember I am not doing this to get to a certain weight or size, those are just the icing on the cake (so to speak)! I really just want to be healthier, which was why working out so often was crazy. Here are the numbers, for those of you that don't know I'm 5'9"-5'10".

In May: 210 lbs and waist (intersecting the navel) was 40"
End of July: 200 lbs and waist: 39", blood pressure 160/100 (that's REALLY bad)
End of August: 190 lbs and waist: 37", blood pressure 140/90 avg
Today: 185 lbs and waist: 36", blood pressure 122/83

The interesting thing, to me anyways, was that for 2.5 months the only affect exercise had was 10 pounds and 1 inch and my blood pressure was higher than it had ever been.

Based on a doctors advice I took out the three main inflammatory foods: gluten, dairy and soy. That brought my weight down another 10 pounds and my waist another 2 inches, but my blood pressure was still on the high side at 140/90. I felt like something was missing and then I read this article and realized sugar, actually insulin resistance, may be the culprit. That was last week. So I limited myself to 25 grams of sugar a day (very difficult) and no grains (even more difficult). I dropped another 5 lbs and 1 inch off the belly. More importantly the blood pressure looks like it's leveling off closer to the good range of 120/80.

Obviously in my case, food is just as big of a factor as the exercise to get my weight down and my blood pressure in check. The doctor I am going to is a naturapath and I haven't taken any prescription drugs. He's given me high quality supplements to take and that's it! I've had to make some pretty major lifestyle changes, but it's all worth it. I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in for a long long time.

I brought grains back in and haven't been sticking to 25 grams of sugar a day, probably much closer to less than 70 grams, and the blood pressure is staying pretty stable. I'll keep experimenting to keep it all in check.

I said at the beginning of this blog that God started this whole thing. He sure did! I asked him to change my heart about food and exercise a while back. In his great timing and/or my willingness to allow him to change me I am changed. This is no fad diet (tried those) or me pulling myself up by my bootstraps and making myself exercise. I just want to eat this way and exercise. So weird but cool!

I'm looking forward to my Friday run today...that's still SO weird to type/feel!