Monthly Archives: August 2012

Being sick and giving up.

Last Monday I developed a cough. This cough became worse and worse over the week until I finally broke down and went against the plan… just to take some medicine to get some much needed sleep. It was unfortunate, but needed to be done and did actually work.

On Tuesday, I learned that nearly all cough syrup has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in it. So, I made it my point not to take them. Of course, had I known it was going to develop into what it became, I might have tried combating it with something more potent. I stuck mainly with pills. Aleve-D did a good job for the most part, but my cough was still pretty bad. It kept me (and my wife) up at night for a solid week. I tried everything. I bought a bunch of different things to try which worked in various ways but last night it came to a head. I developed a nasty canker on the roof of my mouth and my cough was turning into something I couldn’t contain. So I broke down and grabbed the Tussin and downed a dose. A few minutes later, my coughing fits died down and I slept.

I called in sick on Monday so I can get to see my doctor and make sure it’s not turning into bronchitis (which I tend to get) or a smoldering sinus infection (which I’ve also had recently). While I was lucky not to have bronchitis, my sinus infection has returned again. On the bright side, my blood pressure at the doc’s office was 116/74 so I’m now officially off my HBP pill. On another bright side is my weight loss is ahead of the game. While I’m not supposed to weigh myself on the Whole30, my doctor needed to do it for his records and I’m happy to say that I’m down another 11lbs to 254lbs.

Luckily, Whole30 doesn’t rate cough syrup as a ‘reset’ point, so that’s good. I’m on another round of antibiotics and I purchased some sugar free tussin. Back to work today.

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An addendum to my Blood Pressure post

My post on reddit showed a little flaw in my ‘test taking’. There’s a lot of single days data (IE 4-5 readings in a day) and not a lot of consistency with the times for readings.

My previous BP cuff held a LOT of data… previous because it broke. My BP at it’s worst was averaging 160-170/90-100… I had constant headaches. Going up stairs would cause sharp pains in my head and shocked vision.

A few people wondered if it was due to the weight loss vs the diet. I can say that my HBP started when I was thinner. When I was first diagnosed with it, I weighed 230lbs and I exercised and played sports regularly. That said, my diet back then was shit. High carbs (lots of bagels…), lots of fried food, lots of garbage. When I was first diagnosed it was then that I saw my blood pressure in the 170/100 range. So I’m going to say that my weight is a contributing factor, but my DIET was obviously my biggest factor.

Feel free to ask any additional questions

The Rollercoaster of High Blood Pressure seems at an end already

Blood Pressure has always been at odds with me, at least since 1996. 16 years of living with high blood pressure has suddenly come to an abrupt halt, much to the chagrin of my entire circulatory system. It doesn’t seem to understand how to compensate for the new normal… which is just that: NORMAL.

I’ve been taking my blood pressure with my new cuff since May 10th, just a few weeks before we started this paleo journey. My average BP with medication while on my old diet was 129/86. In the beginning of my paleo journey that number went down to about 123/76. In the past month I’d been experiencing dizziness, so I removed myself from my meds. After a solid week without meds I’ve been seeing an average of 116/74. This is apparently the normal BP for the average person. My resting heart rate has come down from the 80-90 range to a solid mid to high 60s as well.

Now, blood pressure is a bit of a fickle thing and sometimes I get bad readings from either taking it too soon after doing something that gets my heart pumping, eating, drinking or imbibing in some caffeine. Case in point: yesterday I took my blood pressure 6 times. Twice, the reading was “High normal” and the other 4 times it was normal. This morning it was normal, but with a high pulse as I had just run across the street before taking it. It’s definitely one of those things that is both scary to see when monitoring, but normal in every day life. I called my doctor for advice and he said I did the right thing taking myself off the meds and suggested that I take my BP 2-3 times a day instead of 6-8 (which I was only doing because I didn’t believe that my BP would naturally fall off so quickly).

So, below is my chart. There’s a lot of May dates, not a lot of June dates and a bunch from the past weekend. I’m pretty happy with it. Now to eat my eggs and have a cup of coffee and take my BP to see just how much it affects my BP.

Click to make really big

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Itty bitty titty committee

So, I guess I can buy this shirt now.

I don’t know much about bras… but if I had to guess at one point I was a solid full C. Nice if I were a woman. Running was always an issue so I understand a bit about what women deal with. I can understand why a bra is nice, keeps your bits together instead of flopping around like a set of water sacks tossed over your shoulders… or a bag of sand, whatever they’re supposed to feel like. I’unno. I wear my backpack pretty tight and directly over my chest and when I first started this, my boobmeat would squish out the sides and sort of under my arms. Sitting at my desk, my nipples would touch my stomach. Ok, stay with me people, things get better.

Last night I was noticing that when I laid down, my chest was flat. I can’t remember the last time that happened. That’s not to say that they’re gone entirely, but they do flatten out. When I put my backpack on, I have to cinch it up quite a bit now and there’s no meat sticking out the sides. When I run upright, there’s not a pendulum of mass throwing me off balance.

If I had to guess, I’m a full A right now and I can already hear all the cool girls at lunch giggling about me not hitting puberty yet. My boobs have a case of the Benjamin Buttons, and that’s a good thing. I just hope I don’t need a lift once this is all done.

I’m gonna have fun tagging this one.

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Energy sapping

I think I need to up my activity levels. Lately I’ve been WRECKED. I don’t want to blame the Whole30, but it did coincide. What I am potentially blaming is my blood pressure. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I suffer from hypertension and I take some meds to keep it in check. What I’ve been dealing with lately is more of a ‘low blood pressure’ issue. I stand up and go dim. Every time it happens, it sucks the life out of me. I’m on the smallest dosage of the lightest blood pressure medication they make, so for the week I’ve decided to go off my meds and see if it helps with my energy. This is something I’ve dealt with in the past and it doomed me to a life of lethargy and overeating. My other meds dropped my BP and caused me to be real tired all the time. Once I got off them, I’d get some energy back but I’d normally be up 10-30lbs…

Mine’s probably the one on the right…

So, now I’m going to go back to monitoring my blood pressure and see how my energy is affected by not having my meds. While I don’t think my BP is ‘LOW’ I think it’s ‘normal’ and my body is used to 15 years of hypertension. I’m really hoping I’m reversing the damage I’ve done to my heart over the years.

In other news, I made that Chili. Holy god, that’s some good chili. I made a 2lbs of meat batch and it was simply not enough. Between the amount I brought to work, the amount I ate for dinner last night and the amount my wife ate, it is GONE. I highly recommend it. Cooking is not my forte though and I didn’t screw it up too badly. I do get a bit frantic and I need to remember to measure everything out and have it ready to go. I’m half tempted to have my wife video me making a meal… it’s probably reasonably funny to watch my dumb ass skittering around our tiny kitchen freaking out about what to do next.

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I’ve never been in such a need for leftovers… or potentially pots of food that I can use at my disposal. So right now I’m looking for recipes of things that meet the following requirements:

  1. I can make a LOT of it at once on a Sunday
  2. Will not go rancid before Friday
  3. Can be packaged into nice little containers that can be brought to work to keep in the fridge
  4. is delicious…

I’m thinking chili for a first start. This post here led me to some good ideas. Specifically THIS CHILI. I do love chili… and all meat, no hat sounds great to me. I’m also stockpiling ‘good food’ at work where I can so that I can have leftovers provided by work that are on plan. I did have a sit down with HR about dietary requirements and the end result is that without a doctor’s note, I just have to make due. Totally understandable and acceptable. Luckily, we have a lot of things like cans of tuna and chicken and chopped vegetables and fruit that I can use.

On a another note, I would really like to know how much I weigh… but Whole 30 says NO. I have to say, I feel that the majority of my posts here are about progress and progress for me is determined by how much I weigh and how I look. I think this Whole30 has been doing pretty well. I feel slimmer through the sides and back recently. It’d be nice to get through these 30 days at the bottom of my 260s and it would be wonderful to be in the 250s.

My appetite has receded quite a bit recently. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are holding me through a day without issue or snack. Identifying hunger vs craving helps a LOT. I spoke about this with a friend (Hunger vs craving) and he had no idea that there was a difference (physical vs mental). Either way, understanding the difference is really important for me.

No funny pictures today… actually not much funny at all here.

oh wait, I got one:

Here’s Barth…

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The greatest mistake I’ve made OR Whole 30: Take 2.

My wife and I.

A challenge was laid early into my Whole30: I was the best man at my best friend’s wedding. This isn’t just any best friend, this is a lifelong friend of the most accurate description. We met mere weeks after I was born in July of 1981. He truly is like a brother (my actual brother not withstanding) as he has always been around to stick up for me, travel with my family on vacations and practically live at my house when he wasn’t sleeping at his own. The challenge was twofold: stick to the plan on both the rehearsal dinner (Day 2) and the wedding (Day 4).

The rehearsal dinner went great. We stuck to the plan, bothered our waitress with our dietary restrictions and generally felt like “those people”… I made a rather epic speech and all was well. The wedding, on the other hand…

Earlier in the day my wife and I agreed that this is the last wedding we need to go to in our group of friends and this being my best friend, we would enjoy ourselves and drink. However, we agreed that we would stick to the plan when it came to food. We also agreed that we would restart Whole30 on Sunday at Day 1. It was the greatest ‘mistake’ we could have made. We had a wonderful time. Shenanigans were had, dances were danced, cigars were smoked and libations were downed. The final tally for myself was somewhere around 6 beers, 2 vodka cocktails (watered down), a small glass of champagne and a small glass of wine.

In the end, my wife and I accepted our choices and enjoyed them to the fullest. We have no regrets and despite any potential hit to our waistline or health, we felt wonderful. Throughout the night people were commenting on how much weight we’ve lost and how great we looked and we knew that this was simply a one time thing.

This is a pretty good indication of where we were at…

We’re lucky that this wedding was only on Day 4 and not Day 10 or 20… Restarting on Sunday was no problem at all. I felt a lot better that we didn’t EAT anything bad for us…

At least as far as I can remember.

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The ‘Whole 30’ BEFORE and an update of the DURING

An update to my Introduction

Weight – 265lbs (7/31/12) Down 32lbs since Introduction
Stomach – 48″ – Down 6″ since introduction
Pant size – 44″ – Down from 44-46 (some 44s fit at that time, some didn’t). Brand new 44s are actually loose and bunching already
Chest – 49″ – Down 4″ since introduction
Total circumference at widest point (around arms at widest part of chest) – 56″ – Down from 60″

Clothed pictures up, underwear pictures below cut. (click photos to embiggen)

Original ‘The Fat Semi-Naked Truth’ post here

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