Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

31 Oct 2015

Blood pressure and weight

Since discovering I have elevated blood pressure and average but unhealthy levels of blood lipids at the start of this year I've made some small changes to my lifestyle. My diet was fundamentally sound but I have tweaked it a little and reduced the amount of it.

To date I've lost just over 21 kg at an average of 83 g per day, or in medieval units: 3 stones and 5 pounds at a rate of 3 ounces per day. It's important that the rate is slow so you don't stress your body and the weight loss should be sustainable as a result.

The last blood tests showed that my blood lipids had shifted drastically and are now very healthy, so my diet is worth sticking with. Yesterday I spoke to my GP, and after analysising a 5-day set of home blood pressure readings he's decided to stop the blood pressure medication.

I probably do have inherited high blood pressure, but my excess weight brought it on early and as long as I monitor it weekly we should be able to start medication again if it starts to rise up again.

My hybrid diet seems to have worked very well. To be honest I've only really tweaked what I was already eating, but the tweaks were worth the effort and I'll be sticking to the diet for ever now. I will be allowed a few extra calories per day - I do want to stop losing weight eventually!

The only real inconvenience has been having to replace most of my clothes, and as I've now shrunk down so much, even finding local shops that sell men's clothing that is even small enough to not look funny on me!


23 Oct 2015

Lipids

Early this year I went to see my GP. I had a strange pain on my left side that I had been aware of for a few months and had become concerned about as it hadn't gone away. My GP asked the obvious questions and could make no sense, so he ordered a battery of tests. Two things came out of the tests, the first being elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in my blood, not high enough for medication but best reduced and high blood pressure which did need urgent medication...

I spent most of the summer having more tests: being prodded, irradiated, magnetised, and having more blood drawn (I think doctors still like their leaches...). I also had some pretty horrible alpha/beta blockers to lower my blood pressure.

No one mentioned it but I decided that I should lose some weight - I knew I was overweight, so removed extras from my diet, getting rid of excess salt, fat and sugar. I didn't actually have a bad diet, but I clearly did have too much of it.

Lowering my weight and improving the quality of my diet has reduced my systolic blood pressure by over 1 mmHg per kilo, or about 22 mmHg in total, and my diastolic blood pressure by slightly less, about 18 mmHg. That's pretty good and has drastically fewer side-effects than any medication.

Yesterday I had the result of my lipid tests. My total lipoprotein levels have fallen from over 5 mmol/l to just over 3 mmol/l. They weren't dangerously high, but they were not good, now they are very healthy. At the same time the level of my high-density lipoprotein (HDL) have risen from around 1 mmol/l to 1.8 mmol/l, changing my total cholesterol to HDL ratio from just over 5 (not so good) to less than 2 (very good).

As I've previously said my diet wasn't too bad when I started this change, and I already had plenty of exercise. What I did was trim the extras and snacks, curbed the salt and caffeine, added nuts and more soluble fibre, substituted some of the milk with soya milk and substituted some of my yoghurt with stanols containing yoghurt. Finally I just watched my portion sizes. Nothing radical overall.

The pain? It went away on it's own, still no explanation...! I'm still on calcium channel blockers for my blood pressure, but my GP thinks if I can stick to my diet/activity levels I may be able to come of them too!


08 Oct 2015

Why you are heavier than you think...

Today I went into my local M&S to try on trousers. In the casual section the smallest available size is marked as 32" (81 cm in real units). They are way too large for me and would fall down without a belt or braces. They apparently make some ranges in 28" and 30", but only stock them at the larger stores. As I've mentioned before they are all about 2" larger than they, say, so I was actually trying on a pair of 34" trousers - which I already know are too large.

The point is if you think you haven't put on any weight because you are wearing the same size of trousers that you did a decade or more ago, then you are sadly mistaken as in the interval your trousers have got bigger like you have but the sizes have lied to accommodate the change.

I use to wear 34" trousers at university and went to 36" shortly after. My most recent trousers were 36" and so I assumed (in error) that I had not put on weight over the years. As it happens I had and the vanity sizing had mislead me. In fact if it were not for vanity sizing I would have noticed this earlier and I may have done something about it earlier...

Vanity sizing doesn't seem to apply to French clothing from Decathlon yet, but seems to be wide spread in the UK market.


03 Oct 2015

Green gage chutney

Yesterday we made two batches of chutney: one was green gage and apple plus lots of spice and the second was just green gage based and less spicy. We now have used up all our green gages from this year - at long last...