Update!!! I finally got to the doc to have my blood pressure checked for comparison and I’m blow away to report that it went from 146/90 to 112/68! WOOT! We checked and rechecked because we could not believe it, but its real. My bp when down that much! I will keep up this good work. I’m committed now.
The short answer is yes! The long answer follows.
On August 3, 2018 I challenged myself to walk 10k steps a day to see if it improved my health. You can read about that here. I decided to do this after I heard from my doctor that my BP was a bit elevated and it might require medication if I didn’t make some changes to bring it down. That was all the encouragement I needed. That day I walked out and decided more physical activity was in order.
Here’s a quick background on me to give you perspective. I am and have been morbidly obese for roughly the last 20 years. Before the morbidly obese label, I was also very heavy but somehow managed to stay below 200 pounds. I was within a normal weight ranger for my height from ages birth to 9-years-old and then again from age 17-18. Other than that, I was either heavy or morbidly obese. By some miracle, I am not diabetic nor have I ever had any health side effects due to my weight. That is starting to change with age.
Leaving the doctor earlier this month and knowing that my health was completely up to me to take care of, I decided to make some changes and the first one was adding more physical activity to my life. This is something that often brought up a lot of perpetual poppycock for me in the past. I can spiral into a rabbit hole of show stopping thoughts if I don’t watch out. This time, I wanted to give it the old college try to see if it would help.
You can read about my progress here, and about the day I didn’t meet my daily goal here. Somehow, I managed to finish out the month and meet my goal of walking 10k steps a day! I am amazed. I’m writing another post I’ll link here soon about how I find time in my day to get in all my steps.
So what did I learn this month? I learned that no matter what is going on during a day, I can get in 10k steps. Sometimes that means walking in circles in my house because I’m the only parent home, or walking in circles at work while I’m on a conference call. No matter what, I can get in my steps. That feels great!
I learned that my endurance grows each day. At first my feet would pound after a day of getting in all my steps and I was often talking myself through the last 1000 steps just to feel my Fitbit signal the completion for the day, but as time went on, it got much easier to do and I now look forward to a brisk walk to keep my blood pumping.
I learned that I can often change my perspective or get a clearer head by taking a walk to think through a problem or conflict. This has improved my mood, patience, and interactions with others. I’m no longer a time bomb waiting to blow up on someone. I’m calm most of the time. I can keep my temper in check. From what I understand, this has to do with the levels of serotonin that is released by exercise. Its been a nice change for me.
I learned that I can make changes and commit to new things by just ignoring all the crazy perpetual poppycock in my head. I take it one moment at a time. One walk at a time. One day at a time. And eventually that translates into success. Its a great feeling.
I also lost 4 pounds. When I checked my weight this morning at work, the scale said 271. That is pretty great considering I did not diet at all. The only change made was to increase the physical activity during my day and it translated to 4 pounds lost. I’ll call that a win! My next challenge is going to be to continue to get in my 10k steps and change my eating just a bit. I’m only going to eat if I’m actually hungry and I’m going to work on only eating until I’m satisfied rather than eating until I’m about to pop. Those small changes will result in fewer calories during the day in a natural way. I’ll explain more in another post but that is whats going to happen in September.
In conclusion, this has been a very positive experience. I am going to keep up the walking and continue to wear my Fitbit. I’ll post my BP later tonight when I get home and can check it. Get out there and get some steps! Small changes are making big payoffs for me.