Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Blood Pressure Story

I'm 6'2" (188cm), and I've always been a "big guy". During K-12 school, I was almost always the tallest guy in my class. In addition to being taller than average, I was also fatter than average. Dealing with weight has been a constant battle, sometimes successful, mostly not.

12 or 13 years ago, near my first of two "peak tonnage maxima", I weighed in at about 275 pounds (125kg). I worked crazy hours at Microsoft, lived mostly off vending machine crap and fast food, and was over-stressed at work & at home. It was a recipe for disaster.

One day I saw my general physician due to an ear infection. During the course of the check-in procedure, her assistant took my blood pressure: 150/100.


My doctor freaked out. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

Doctor: "OMG, YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE WILL KILL YOU! WE NEED TO GET YOU ON BP MEDICINE RIGHT NOW." (She actually spoke in all uppercase.)
Me: "I really don't want to take BP medication."
Doctor: "IF YOU DON'T TAKE BP MEDICINE YOU WILL DIE!" (More uppercase tone of voice.)
Me: "Let me make some changes first -- exercise, better diet, etc."
Doctor: "THAT NEVER WORKS, YOU NEED BP MEDICINE!"

I'll never forget her "that never works" line.

This conversation inspired me to make some changes. The first change: I got a new doctor, one who doesn't treat primarily with a prescription pad.

I was reminded of this conversation just today while donating a pint of blood. During the pre-donation screening process, the technician checked my vitals -- pulse, BP, temperature, hemoglobin, etc. Today's BP reading: 108/72

It took a few years for me to really get into exercise and really start eating cleanly (no grains, no refined sugars, tons of leafy & colorful veggies, grass-fed meats, etc) but the results have been more than worthwhile.

BTW -- I'm still 6'2", but I'm down to 214 pounds (97kg).

2 comments:

arebalancedlife said...

Awesome!
I haven't been to a doc in a while (IT contractor, no insurance) but I can relate with everything else. I started eating the same way (80/20: 80% bulk from veggies, 20% protein and fat, 80% cal protein/fat, 20% veg), no refined sugar, etc...and at 6' even I'm down from 280 to just a tick over 200!

Keep it up!

Oh, and great work on the Coffeeneuring!

Jesse

Sergei Antonov said...

Keith, happy to see you progress! I am currently dealing with the same problem (BP). Unfortunately I cannot change domain to exmsft.com.

--Sergei