This is a check in along the way to tackling my high blood pressure issue that developed just this past year. High blood pressure is not something to be taken lightly and out can be deadly. I am committed to fixing the problem as I need to stick around longterm and be healthy for myself and my family. Follow along as I try to change this growing health concern.
At the start of 2014, I was busy, getting ready for a major move to our new house, managing multiple accounts and a growing business and parenting some wonderful, but challenging kids. Somehow I still found time to work out on average three times a week. I look back at that and I am amazed and proud but frankly when the move was over and life started to settled down that’s when my exercise habits began to change and I placed work plus kid’s doctor’s and therapy appointments all at the top of the list.
Where did that leave me? Well, at the end of 2014 I am less healthy than I was at the start and I have developed high blood pressure which is upsetting. At the end of 2014 I am struggling to get to the gym ever. I am certain I have gained weight from poor eating and sitting at a computer all day every day. I am not happy with that.
My goal this year was growth and I have managed to grow and I have met the challenges along the way. But last September the doctor advised me I had high blood pressure. I figured it was a one off. So we just promised to monitor that. We trudged along and I travelled increasingly more often and kept up with demand at my business Thrifty Mom Media social media consulting.
October passed and after a major trip with World Vision Canada I still had high blood pressure. Then two weeks ago when we got our flu shots the high blood pressure reading was indeed still there. It was higher than ever. So three months and no change. That meant it was now on me to change it. But how?
The last 10 days I have tried to change my habits. I mentioned that back here in a post about what I needed to do to fix this high blood pressure issue.
So this is my first check in. I need you to hold me accountable for what I say I will do to fix this. If I strive for a healthy lifestyle here, it’s because I have a family that needs. In fact, my Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, will remind me fast if I am losing control of diet and exercise. My stomach tells me what I am doing wrong by giving me extreme abdominal pain at times. Trust me, I do what I can to avoid that.
Check in every ten days:
First check in –
I started chronicling my diet intake daily.
Food journals are challenging for me, but I found a great app on the phone (My Fitness Pal) that keeps me motivated to eat better.
I have stopped using salt. Because honestly there’s enough salt in food to begin with. I have dramatically cut processed foods out. That said I permit myself deli meats occasionally. And I allowed a family celebration at a restaurant this weekend because I need to have some breaks and incentives to do well the rest of the week. I am monitoring bread because it seems to be high in sodium. Note that I am reading labels a lot more and I am shocked at what salt is added to and what it’s not added to. Dairy seems to be pretty good. Fruits and vegetables are great of course (but because of the Crohn’s I have always been limited in what I can eat for vegetables so I need some help in that department.)
The goal here has to be to add smoothies regularly. I ate a banana raw the first day I revamped my diet and I was not well. The gut pain from a raw banana was excruciating for me. My Fitness Pal app is working well for me. I don’t hate logging my food and exercise in there. Buying all of my food raw and making meals with my Hamilton Beach crockpot is working, I think.
EXERCISE: I exercised a couple of times and I walked daily, but it’s not even close to enough and I know it. My goal was three times a week and I am only making it into the gym once a week. That has to change.
I am going to cut myself some slack here and also remind me that I am doing well with walking. Even when it is freezing out I always walk 1.5 ams every single day. The tool I love that helps me with this is my Misfit Shine. It is an exercise and sleep tracker that I wear on my arm every single day and it tells me when I hit my exercise goals so I kind of love that it motivates me. I have had this since the summer and I know I walk more because of it. Also it’s waterproof so it stays on all the time and I can swim with it on to. Awesome little gadget.
Last night I went to bed at 11 p.m. and the night before that I went at 10 p.m. so I am getting a bit better. One of the kids is almost done her group therapy work so that will create a morning free again and less stress for me and more opportunity to workout. Thank goodness. Her therapy and doctor’s appointments are really hard to manage.
I cut my caffeine dramatically in the last ten days also. Now, I am drinking only two cups of coffee every morning. That is it. I am super proud of that because I am a coffee-a-holic. Instead, I opt for water and herbal tea. Yeah me!
Here is what I pledged to tackle when I started this journey December 1.
1. Low sodium diet.
2. Watch weight and maybe drop 5 to 10 pounds.
3. Increase physical activity. Exercise more.
4. Monitor and fix stress in my life.
5. Get better at taking breaks. Stop working 15 hour days.
6. Less caffeine. (It’s hard to say cut back on caffeine because I think you all know I love my coffee.)
7. Food journal. I started one today after I tweeted that I have high blood pressure.
8. More yummy home cooked items.
9. Oh yeah and that estrogen I take because I was prescribed it when I had a hysterectomy has now been reevaluated. Cut in half and the goal will be to taper off I think. But I will do that with doctor’s help.
So to recap I am doing well on 1, 6,7, 8 and 9. I need to do better on 2,3, 4 and 5. I am pleased with the work I have done on my diet and I will work hard on some of the other points this next ten days ( but as we head right into Christmas that will be challenging.)
This post is not sponsored but it contains one affiliate link.
Have you ever had high blood pressure? What did you change and how did it work? Do you have any tools that help you stay healthy?