Tag Archives: high blood pressure

1 Year of Primal: A Retrospective

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

Throughout this retrospective, I’ll be linking to pertinent milestones in my path. First, if you haven’t read it lately, get to know me as I started this.

Read More – About Me

I weighed 325lbs at my worst. Wore a 46-48″ pant and 3XL shirts. I had high blood pressure and no energy. I’d tried lots of diets with little to no success or will to stick to it. Sustainability of a diet was nil.

I started this journey the day after Memorial Day of 2012 (May 29, 2012). The weekend of Memorial Day was my friend’s bachelor party. Prior to leaving for it I weighed in at 300lbs even (May 25, 2012). After a solid weekend of drinking and not a lot of eating, I came home and weighed in at 297lbs on May 29th. We were off to the races with the Primal Blueprint. We chose the Primal Blueprint because we’d heard it was the best way to get into a primal lifestyle.

Read More – Life Changes and Moves Forward

3 days of Primal, 8 lbs down!

3 days of Primal, 8 lbs down!

I had a lot of hope with this diet, but I was concerned about sustainability. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford it or that the food would be crap or that my wife would give up on all the hard work in the kitchen or that sticking to it at work would be difficult. In the above post I outlined my goals.

  1. I want to be able to get out of the shower, look in the mirror and not go “Yecchhh…”
  2. I want to be able to run for a whole mile.
  3. I want to be able to ride a bike without flattening the tires.
  4. I want to be able to buy clothes at the mall and not from the Fatso catalogs.
  5. I want to be able to keep up with my kid as he gets bigger and faster

Here’s my updates as of today

  1. This is getting better. I’ve still got a lot of loose skin, but my gut is smaller, my tits are smaller, I’m not quite so wide and I can see my penis again. So that’s nice.
  2. On May 25th, 2013 I competed in a ‘miler’ run and finished 2nd overall!
  3. I can do this now. I weigh less now than I did when I bought the bike in 1996.
  4. I am now buying clothes at regular stores without digging through the rack for that lone pair of 40-somethings
  5. I can keep up with my 4 year old now, but he’s still got a ways to go and this will be ever evolving.

I decided very early on that I would blog about this adventure and if I was going to do it right, I needed to be honest with myself and my readers. I didn’t expect a lot of readers, but I figured I’d start with the ‘Semi Naked Truth’ Articles where I would put myself out there on display. Read More – The fat, (semi) naked truth [the post]. I knew there would be a lot of challenges on this adventure, mostly food related. It took the constant repeating of “don’t eat that, don’t eat that” to get past it, but it was working. I wrote a lot in June because everything was so new and interesting. My brain was still part fatso so I had that ability to remember how awful I ate and apply it to what I was eating now. The weight was coming off pretty steadily, to my surprise. I wasn’t really exercising all that much and I’ll admit that even now exercising is still a problem. Read More – Exercise ArticlesAfter just 3 weeks, I was already feeling significantly better. I also started asserting my dietary requirements at work. It didn’t always work, but I found one person at the company who helped me by making sure we’d have salads without grains or dairy when possible and would order appropriate food for me when I was working on special project teams on the weekend. Then it happened… in less than a month I lost 20lbs. Despite all the initial challenges I was making it work!


A good cheat day.

I’m very lucky to have a wife that works harder at this than I do… because I can’t cook worth a damn. She is the reason this is working for me. It was working fast, too. My clothes were already fitting looser and my ‘summer of weddings’ was upon me. My first wedding was a ‘fat guy in a GIANT coat’ debacle. But it was working, by mid July of last year, with only 6 weeks or so into it, I was 55lbs down from my worst weight and 30lbs down since starting. My goal weight at the time was a lofty 205, my doctor stepped in and said I should be at 247. Little did he know that I would blow by that in short order, and then… a Whole30 for August. No weight charting, uber strict paleo… no cheating… except that we did cheat and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT… and then we tried it again and it really worked. I noticed that my appearance was getting tighter… particularly with my manboobs. Another thing that was happening quickly was that my high blood pressure was disappearing.

The Whole30 ended in a great success. I was nearing 50lbs lost since starting my adventure and almost 75lbs since my worst. I really started to feel it. That 50lb mark came shortly after. I was feeling fantastic, but I was still up over 40″ around my waist. I had bought some “Challenge pants” to push me. To help push me, my wife and I embarked on a Whole52 starting in October and ending at Thanksgiving. We figured we needed to prep our bodies for the onslaught of holiday feeding. 240lbs came shortly after… I was back to my high school weight… and I still had some clothes from High School to demonstrate. We did end up surviving ThanksgivingBy December, I had started posting less on here and moved primarily to facebook for my more ‘microupdates’. I left the blog for big posts like my FIRST 5K! It felt great to be able to complete this, even though I didn’t run it to it’s entirety.

The Happiest Family on Earth

The Happiest Family on Earth

Then the major goal happened. 100lbs down since my worst. I had blown past my 40″ goal pants right into a set of 36s. My wife and I reached our goal weights and part of a contract I had with her was that when she reached her goal weight, we would go to Disney World. We went, and we tried to stay paleo… for a few hours. Eventually we gave in and went full fat-American-Tourist mode to see what would happen to us. Luckily, we only packed on about 8 or 9 lbs in our extended stay (thanks to the Blizzard at home). However, when we got back and went back to a full strict paleo, I lost the weight in a few days and suffered from a fainting spell which claimed my glasses and gashed my skull. To this day we have no real answer as to why this happened. Low blood sugar is still the explanation despite me never HAVING it the entire time.

In April, I declared our Paleo Adventure over. It had become our lifestyle now and was less an adventure. However, now I’m thinking that I need to reinvigorate myself and get back on the wagon. I feel that I’ve been slipping badly and my scale is showing it. This morning I weighed in at 229lbs. That’s up 13lbs since my best weight on this. That’s a LOT. I’ve been cheating more and more. It’s time to get back on the wagon and do it right again. It’s time to go into Year 2. The Primal Empire Strikes Back!

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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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About me

Summer 2010

I’ve always been a fatso.

I’ve never truly been ‘fit’. Looking back, I was never ever happy with my shape or my abilities. I was a reasonably good hockey player for most of my childhood through high school, but I could never run fast or even jog for any amount of time. I only ever kept my weight down by doing training for hockey or doing boxing and kickboxing, but my diet was a disaster. I ate tons of carbs and drank barrels of soda, beer and alcohol. At my worst, I was 315lbs (22.5st). At about 6’3″, I carried my weight reasonably well. When I told people that I was 300+ they always replied “Wow, really? You don’t look it.” That was the best compliment I could receive.

The truth is I’m pretty fat. I’ve got a huge gut, a FUPA and big man titties… it sucks. Running remains difficult simply due to the pendular motion of my boobs. I’ve got fat upper thighs that rub together a bit when I walk. The only thing I’m lucky to have avoided is a loose turkey neck and flabby underarms. Right now I weigh about 295lbs though, my doctor’s scale says I weigh 285. I don’t have that in my house to check constantly, so I’ll have to go with my home scale which says 295.

My health problems have varied over the years. I’m currently on 2.5mg of Lisinopril for my high blood pressure. I’m lucky that I only need that one medication, but I do suffer from multiple other health issues: joint pain, occasional hemorrhoids, asthma, psoriasis, eczema, and a bunch of other things that I’m forgetting. The high blood pressure is the show stopper though. I’ve had high blood pressure since about 1996. I’ve tried controlling it with many different medications. Propranalol was the beginning of the end for my healthy weight. As a beta blocker, it made me very lethargic and lazy. Once I finished high school, I stopped playing sports and my weight just ballooned from about 225 to 260. At one point, I started seeing a nutritionist and got involved with boxing and cardio kickboxing and my weight dropped to about 230. Though, as fate would have it, my gym closed after the owner died of a sudden heart attack and I was sidelined again. At this point, my weight slowly barreled into the 300s.

I have a pretty sedentary job. I sit behind a desk all day. I leave my house around 7am, walk a mile to the train, commute for an hour, get to work, leave around 615pm, walk back to the train and get home around 730pm every night. I’ve had a sedentary job pretty much always. My current work has free lunch, a stocked pantry and all the crap food your heart could desire. Wanna sit down and eat a gallon bucket of Goldfish? We’ve got about 5 of them. Want to eat 40 granola bars? Go right ahead, there’s plenty for everyone. Now, on the plus side of things they do offer HEALTHY alternatives. Mixed nuts (no peanuts), fresh fruit every morning, greek yogurt, tons of water choices and a salad option at nearly every meal. However, with all the chips and candy around, it can be difficult to keep your hands out of it when you’re feeling run down, depressed or just having a craving.

My family life is in a constant state of health changes and dietary trials. My wife has also been battling with weight for some time, but that’s her story. But she’s one to try nearly anything to lose weight. She was even featured on the Martha Stewart Show while taking one of their cleanses. She’s had some success in weight loss, but continues to deal with plateaus. I try to go with whatever she is doing for weight loss stuff. We even tried one of those apple juice cleanses where all we got to eat was apple juice and some sort of powder for 2 weeks. I honestly can’t even remember all the different things we’ve tried because it’s all just a blur of “eat this, not that”. We’ve tried Weight Watchers, calorie counting, no-fat, all-fat, certain carbs, no carbs, all carbs… you name it, I’m pretty sure we’ve tried it with little to no lasting results. We want to lose weight and be healthy so that our 3 year old isn’t running circles around us. We’re raising a kid the way we wish we were raised. He drinks water, he eats most of his vegetables, he eats some meat and he still breastfeeds occasionally.

I’m of the mind set that as long as you eat somewhat right and exercise, you’ll lose weight. Unfortunately, my exercise could use a boost. I walk between 1 and 5 miles a day depending on the weather and what time I get out of the house or work. I have a hard time finding time to exercise. I prefer doing it in the morning, but so does my wife, so sometimes we were at odds for who goes when. I’ve lately been interested in running and jogging. I’m getting better at it, but my weight still holds me back.

Now we’re going to try the Primal Blueprint. I’m enjoying the idea of eating this way. I’m sure there will be some challenges.

I think that’s where I should leave off with this. I hope to start the 21 day challenge soon and update this ‘about me’ section.


Starting Weight – 297lbs


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