Trying to Turn the Tides of Time

Change!

I am not getting younger, have some labile blood pressure problems, and have been out of shape for a long time.  Where I live, there is not a decent health club within a reasonable distance (for me, that is about 3 miles!  I hate driving places!).  I’ve been here 7 years, and have become increasingly more blobbish in my life style.  And I have become fatter and fatter.  Typical of most people my age!  And, perhaps, being American.  Add to this, I injured a knee several years ago when running because my running partner was a ditz, didn’t stay on her half of the path, saw something, and ran right into me to go see it.  That stopped my running altogether.  I tried doing things like running in place, but that really was bad, on both knees.

About a month ago, I decided I was just tired of it all, and with a new running partner, set off.  We were both in awful shape, and huffed and puffed and managed to run a teensy fraction of .6 miles.  Still, we did it.  And we continued to do it every other day, and one day on the weekend, in the morning.  Last Saturday we ran our usual route, through an oak grove on a dirt trail, with an elevation shift of about 100 feet, most of it in one spot, up a steepish hill, and did it twice.  1.2 miles!  We stopped in between, but the fact is, we did it.  And, this morning, in a different area of town, still under the oaks on a dirt trail, we did 1.7 miles nonstop.  Very slow pace – 3.17 mph for me – but it was nonstop.  And, when I took my pulse after about a 5 minute rest, it was 60-64.  That is good!

In addition to getting exercise, I am also really looking at what I eat.  Overall, my diet is healthy, except if I get a cookie in my hand.  Sugar gets me every time.  I eat vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, but I also eat a fair amount of red meat, although I seldom grab anything to eat I have not made myself.  Checking labels is something I do religiously, especially for salt.

The fact is, I eat a lot of carbs, and a lot of fat.  Carbs add to the weight, and fat clogs the arteries.  I am trying to shift my diet to one which is more plant-based, meaning adding beans, such as tofu or, today, cooking up a mess-of-beans in the pot.  Things which do have fat are focused on the healthy fats, such as in fish, nuts, and olive oil.  I am keeping red meat to once a week.  Eggs vary in amount during the week because most mornings I dislike the smell too early in the day.  Snacks are dark chocolate or nuts or seeds or fruit.  I am shifting, I hope, from half-and-half in my coffee to a soy creamer, but that will have to be one that tastes good, and may be hard to find.  At least I am not using the pure cream I used so long!

So, a few recipes have been found that I like.  One is a simple smoothie, which is great for an easy afternoon snack:  one banana, 1 c. of almond milk (the 60 calorie variety) and a splash of vanilla extract.  Today, I am cooking up some dried beans, and after soaking them overnight, I am cooking them with onion, pepper, jalapeno, and multiple herbs and spices.

The final thing, I weigh myself daily, and log my foods.  I use FitDay, which I have used for years, and it continues to offer a lot, is easy to use, and more than anything, I am comfortable with it.  I also am recording my blood pressure, which does not thrill me, but it has to be done because it bounces all over the place, both systolic and diastolic.  In general, though, the diastolic (lower number) doing pretty good, and the same with the systolic, but I have had some extremes in the past few days – 150/80, and 128/96.  One day I had 119/78.

Yes, I want to lose weight, but I also want that blood pressure to become more consistent, and better blood work.  It is taking time, but after just a month, I can see some pretty good changes.  I ain’t no spring chicken, but don’t want my clockwork sprung and not working!

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