What’s A Guy To Do?

I have been having this pain under the left side of my rib cage for quite some time now. I finally bit the bullet and went to my family doctor to have it checked out.

I had always assumed that I was in good health. I’m 29 years old, very fair complected, and have never been in the hospital for any kind of sickness. I’m 6’1″ tall and weigh in at 235 lbs. I consider my perfect weight to be right around the 200 lb. mark, so I could definitely lose a few pounds. According to various BMI calculators, I would still be considered overweight at 200 lbs., but when I weighed less than that, I thought that I looked unhealthily skinny, so I don’t put to much faith in those BMI doodads.

My family doctor did the normal blood work / x-ray stuff. He found nothing out of the ordinary other than the pain over in the left side of my chest. He called it a-typical angina, and referred me to a local cardiologist. I reluctantly accepted his decision and went to see the cardiologist a few days later. My blood pressure at this particular visit was an un-reassuring 160/100, which made the cardiologist even more interested in my case, and scared me just a wee bit. This was the first time that I thought that maybe it was my heart. This was a cardiologist, after all, and he is supposed to know everything about the human heart. Right? Right!?

The cardiologist scheduled a stress test, an echocardiogram, and a CT scan of my chest. All in the same day. What fun!

I show up for my tests, not really knowing what is about to take place. I am taken into a small room and given a shot of some bright green (almost glowing) nuclear shit. My arm suddenly feels very cold. I get to lie down and watch a machine roll around me taking some of images of my chest / heart area.

After this I am hustled to another room where the echocardiogram is to be done. I take off my shirt, get some ice cold KY Jelly squirted on my chest, and the ultrasound begins. It’s over about as quickly as it started.

After that is finished, I am hustled back to another small room. There is a treadmill and about 1,582 wires coming off of it. A nurse shaves the hair off various portions of my body and commences to stick those wires all over me. The doctor walks in, explains what is going to happen and tells me that when I get tired to let him know and he will stop the machine. I told him that I won’t tire out. I can walk as long as he wants me to. He snickers and doesn’t believe me.

The machine starts and I walk along a flat surface for three minutes. At the three minute mark, the machine speeds up and inclines. I go three more minutes and again, the machine speeds up and inclines. I estimate the incline to be around 25° or 30°. I am jogging now.

At the next three minutes the doctor turns off the machine and says “You’ve obviously passed this part of your exam. There is nothing wrong with your stamina, when it comes to your heart. Your current EKG looks good.” I agreed, and bit my tongue when I wanted to say “I told you so.”

Bet Live

Remember the green radioactive shit from earlier? The nurse that gave me that shot, sneaks back into the room and shoots another syringe full of that ice cold liquid kryptonite into my arm. I have to go back to her room and have another round of images done. Great.

Last but not least was the CT scan. Nothing really interesting about it other than me having to sign off on allowing them to inject me with about a quart of iodine during this test. The sign off was covering their ass because if I was allergic to it (and I had no way of knowing if I was) I could go into Anaphylactic Shock and Doctor House was nowhere around to save me. I signed the paper and can happily report that I felt nothing other than a very unique warm sensation suddenly pulsating throughout my entire body. I pretended it was a huge dose of heroin, and closed my eyes for the duration of the test.

Two weeks later I get to know the results. The cardiologist tell me that everything is fine with my heart. There are no blockages, no prolapsed valves, and nothing wrong with it’s electricity. My heart is in perfect health, but my blood pressure is still high. He wants to put me on medication for it, I argue that I am too young and will get it down myself with exercise and diet. He snickers again…

I told myself that I have to get closer to the 200 lb. mark. I HAVE to do it. So I bought a bicycle, and in the same night I happened to find a WiiFit, which the wife and I have been looking for, for over 3 months now. Those two things combined with a good diet should allow me to shed the pounds. The last time I dieted and exercised, I went all the way down to 180 (that was before they banned ephedra… sons o’ bitches.)

It has been a week and a half since I started my routine. I ride my bike for a couple of miles every other evening in a very hilly area. The evenings I am not riding, I am using the WiiFit to get my exercise on. I am on a steady diet which consists of the following:

Breakfast

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Yogurt

Lunch

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Yogurt

Dinner

  • A moderate portion of whatever the wife has kindly cooked for us.

That’s it! And I am quite proud of myself for sticking to it.

Last night was the big weigh in. The Wife was up first…..  she’s lost three pounds. High Five!

My turn on the scale… I’ve gained 1.5 pounds. What the fuck!?! That is impossible. There is something wrong with this god damn machine! I’m gonna throw this little fucker out the window…that son of bitch. He lies! LIES I TELL YOU! How is it fucking possible to gain 1.5 pounds after exercising every night and eating hardly anything during the day?

Does anyone know where I can find someone to import some Ephedra for me? Maybe I can find some if I take a couple of Vegas vacations?

PS – I just realized that this is my 2,000th post.

23 thoughts on “What’s A Guy To Do?”

  1. about five years ago i went into the doctor for something or the other and he took my blood pressure. it was 185/114. i was fit, exercising, healthy by all other standards. he would not let me leave the office until i took a pill. he told me if i were over 40 he’d check me into the hospital because that’s the kind of shite that strokes you out.

    i am reading a book called Eat To Live by a doc with the last name Fuhrman. i am very into interventional nutrition, or, in other words, food that works like medicine to heal the body. i have a variety of issues i won’t go into here, but they’re not to be taken lightly, and i have taken to treating myself holistically with food while my Western MDs treat me with whatever meds that i need. on my own accord i’ve steered my health back toward self correction.

    i’m still on high blood pressure meds. i hate this. my cholesterol is good, i exercise, i eat well, but my blood pressure? if i don’t take my pills two days in a row i feel like my heart’s going to beat out of my chest. i mention this because i’ve learned that some doctors (including Fuhrman) feel that in order to ameliorate high blood pressure one not must only lose weight, they must become thin. that is, about ten pounds under whatever a proper “goal weight” might be. in this scenario, blood pressure medication might be unnecessary. and so when you say 180 is a place where you feel sickly, i think hm, 180 might be where you need to be.

    but don’t play around with blood pressure. trust.

    having said that, your 1.5 weight gain is muscle. and also, you’re not taking in enough calories. you’re exercising, what? 2x a day (oh for that kind of energy and stamina!), and eating very little during the day? your body is in shock. it WILL push through this point, however, and you’ll begin to lose, but you’ll be losing muscle and not fat. i know we’ve all heard this before but it’s true.

    you’ve got to eat at intervals, hon. every 3 hours. you’re a big guy, you need protein for breakfast (i realize yogurt has this, but i’m thinking more like lean chicken, or eggs). please consider eating a lot of raw foods. now, i’m not some crazy raw foodist, but i have seen the IMMENSE TRANSFORMATIONS in my health from just going about 80% raw. this means lots of fresh fruits, lots of veggies (dark green leafies, think spinach), lots of raw seeds and nuts (which means they’re not roasted or salted) and lots of beans. and like, HARDLY ANY SALT. sorry dude, but that’s how it’s got to be with BP issues. but you’ve got to eat these foods throughout the day to spike your metabolism, and maybe cut back to exercising once a day, for 45 minutes. i know you want to fix this and fix this now, and you ought to fix it for sure, but slow and steady wins the race.

    i realize i lectured you. you should allow it though, because i am awesome. 😉

  2. Thanks for the advice Crys, I will take it to heart. Interestingly enough, I did buy a bunch more raw foods yesterday. Carrots, cucumbers, celery, you know. I had always assumed that the fat content in nuts was too high to eat many of them, although I do lurv me some cashews every now and again.

    One thing that I forgot to mention was that I take my blood pressure every morning. I have a very expensive and accurate BP monitor that my father gave me (he worked in the health industry when he got it.)

    Upon recommendation from the cardiologist, I take my BP around 5am every morning before work. It was staying high, but now that I have been exercising, I have noticed a drop. The past 4 mornings I have seen my lowest at around 115/72 or within a few digits each time.

  3. Ok, I’m going to have to pop in here and disagree. That 1.5 lbs gain is NOT muscle. You can’t gain it that quickly. What it most likely is, is a fluctuation in your water levels and nothing more. I direct ALL my personal training clients to this to read: http://primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/library/weight/scale.htm It’s called Why the Scale Lies. I think you’ll like it.

    Now, that being said what I will agree with is eating about 5-6 times a day, 2-3 hours between. The reason is that it takes calories to digest food. So, if you eat all your daily calories in three meals, you’ll be losing the burn from dividing it up – which would add up to a double caloric burn by comparison. It also helps support your metabolism. Additionally, you are eating a LOT of carbs. Carbs are NOT the enemy, as a matter of fact they are what fuels your brain. BUT, you need protein too. You want it to help support your exercise and any muscle you DO eventually build. You want it to support recovery from exercise. You want it to SLOW the release of energy into your blood stream, so you don’t get hungry/crash etc. The best way to do this is to just add it in with the carbs. You don’t want straight one or the other, but a combination.

    For example; your breakfast of an apple, a banana, and a yogurt (count yogurt as carb, not a protein. Just as peanut butter is a FAT not a protein. People get oddly confused about that.) Instead have one of those three, like the apple and an egg omelet (3 egg whites, 1 egg). Then in a couple hours have a yogurt and a couple slices of meat or a serving of cottage cheese. This actually will increase your metabolism overall.

    As far as the exercise, make sure you are doing the strength training on the Wii Fit. I played with all the programs, and I like them. They’re a good place to start, and I think you’ll find a lot of benefit from it… but eventually you’ll probably want to hit the iron too. Cardio may cause a higher burn in calories, but it only ups your metabolism for an hour or two afterward. Strength training can increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours afterward, causing a competitive match in the caloric burn department and your health. In short, you need BOTH.

    The BMI is simply a measure of MASS, not health. It’s a guideline people don’t really understand. If you feel great at 200, then go for 200. The BMI chart puts you in your weight range at about 189 lbs. So if you felt like shooting for that you could, but honestly? Take it one day at a time. Shoot for the first 5 lbs, and then move forward. Get to where you feel good and your BP isn’t an issue. It’s about health, not the numbers – so ignore the scale. Use it to track (which the wii will do for you, by the way – for weighing in, make sure it’s the first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, after using the facilities for the best baseline on progress) but also pay attention to how your clothing fits, take some photos. Sometimes a lot changes, but the scale can’t SEE it. But you could, if you were tracking it.

    And lastly, if you need any help – give me a shout. 🙂 I’ll be playing with my Wii Fit too, when it shows up…. (mom finally snagged one for us in AZ, we loved hers when she brought it out.)

  4. Kyra – So how do you feel about the cycling? It is benefiting me correct? I actually feel better on the days I do ride…especially when I go on a morning ride. Unfortunately, I can only ride in the mornings on the weekend due to my work schedule. (I leave the house at 5am every morning for work.)

  5. hey buddy – 2,000 posts! That’s crazy! Congrats. I too have high blood pressure and a Wii Fir. (insert Twillight Zone theme here.) Anyway, I just wanted to say good luck. The whole Canucklehead family LOVES the Wii Fit, which my wife wanted. However, the one who uses it most it the one who needs it the least – my 3-and-a-half-year-old son – he loves the ‘FREE RUN’. Crazy, oh and I emailed those people so hopefully this will be my last comment you’ll have to approve. Cheers!

  6. Kyra, that makes perfect sense (not muscle weight). Thanks.

    Bucky, that new BP reading is just about ideal, right? That’s awesome. Was your cholesterol OK when they checked your shite?

    I must also look into this Wii phenomenon. i have been so avoiding it. so what you’re saying is that people can actually WORK OUT to something on Nintendo?

    i kind of prefer the outdoors. i LOVE cycling. i cycle at least 3 – 4 x a week in the arboretum, lots of hills. my heart rate stays in the proper zone (or higher, jayzus) for at least 40 minutes and i feel good about that. other days i run on the treadmill, but honestly that’s pretty joyless.

    the only thing i don’t agree with wrt Kyra is mixing fruit with any other foods. i think they should be eaten alone, usually in the morning, about 1/2 hr before you eat anything else. fruit digests VERY quickly and if you eat it with or after stuff like protein or carbs, it sort of sits there waiting to be digested (because the body uses different processes to digest different food), and ultimately ferments. but i’m a pretty firm believer in the benefits of food combining, generally. admittedly, this is not a widely accepted notion in the medical community, though it is in the holistic community. just something to maybe check out.

    look at us! all tag teaming you on your health!

  7. oh, and fwiw, i have a food blog as well, and although i have posted a lot of tasty and fab recipes over the months, i am kind of transitioning toward what i am presently doing to rectify my health, i.e., my supplementation, my exercise, my food choices. if you’re interested, check it out.

    ALSO. you are right about nuts. they DO have lots of fat. i think the general rule is like a handful of nuts, and the best among them all are walnuts and pecans — but ALL nuts are good (except peanuts are subpar). seeds and stuff? i don’t care about that. i sprinkle them raw all over my salads; pepitos, sunflower seeds, etc. what you can eat a good amount of (and it’s filling) is beans. beans you obviously cook, so they’re not raw, but they’re SO good for you, plus tasty!

    kbye

  8. Canuck– When it comes to what you and I have in common, it is uncanny. I’m still not quite sure how to react to the fact that we both were having kids at the same time, and had the same name picked out for them. I seriously think you are like…my long lost brother or something. Hell, we even look a little similar.

    Crys – Yes, you can work out with Nintendo. Good luck finding a Wii though…and the chances of scoring a Wii Fit without having to buy one from the gougers on Ebay is even harder.

    I had the full monty done on my bloodwork tests. Everything was in the normal range. Nothing to worry about there. I have a copy of them myself.

    I recovered your original post, and deleted the re-post.

    I am really enjoying cycling as well. The whole treadmill in the house is just blah. I never have cared for it. The Wii Fit, however, is interactive, and keeps my attention for a while. The fact that the wife and I can compete against each other makes it even more enjoyable.

  9. now cycling i can totally agree with you about. me, i don’t like “exercising”. i like “participating” in something fun. like tennis (ok, i don’t actually play that), or sprinting around tracks with my kid, or walking the dog a few miles, etc. that FEELS like more than exercise, and i think if we like what we are doing, we will keep doing it. i totally need to strength train though, jayzus. i do NONE of that. i can’t even do ONE push up, it is awful. i need to hire Kyra.

  10. Seeing as I have tried virtually every exercise routine and health food kick known to mankind–vegan, raw food, no sugar, etc.–I consider myself a bit of an untrained expert on the subject.

    Here are a few tid bits of knowledge that I have gleamed over the years.

    1) Anything sweetened with artificial sweetners is horrible for you. That stuff causes a chemical reaction in your blood that tricks your glands into thinking you have just mainlined 5,000 grams of cane sugar. Your pancreas in turn floods your system with insulin which ends up slowing your metabolism.

    2) If you eat meat or drink milk that is not organic, you might as well just be injecting yourself with steriods and growth hormone.

    3) High fructose corn syrup is the root cause of all the problems in America.

    4) Long cardio sessions accomplish only one thing–wearing out joints. I think, and this seems to be the experts position at the current time, short intervals of maximum or near maximum exertion followed by periods of less strenenous exercise burns the most fat. Of course these interval sessions must be combined with weight training to truly be effective.

  11. Garrick – Regarding #2, that is why I kill, butcher, and freeze around 3 or 4 deer every year. 🙂 There is nothing that I have found that can compare to the taste of properly prepared venison.

  12. I have to agree with you about venison. However, I have been reading some articles about lead in venison. Apparently the new magnum rifles are pushing bullets so fast that the bullet liquifies when it hits the soft tissue and the lead goes everywhere.

    However, it seems that the biggest problem arises when you take your animal to a processor because they butcher twenty or thirty at a time and then they mix it all up while packing.

    I think when I get back I will probably start using lead free bullets. I don’t use a magnum rifle, but I guess I would rather be safe.

  13. Hehe…I was just gonna say “eat more protein”, but I think Crys and Kyra totally blew me away on that. But, I appreciated the info from them….hey, you’re a blogging PSA.

  14. Slick – It’s possible. She may have been standing behind me with her foot on the scale.

    Laura – Crys, Kyra, and Garrick were spot on, and very willing to help a blogger out! 🙂

    Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions! I will update in a week or so and let you know how it’s going.

  15. thanks for the compliment, but i kind of dig Garrick. he sounds like he’s experimented with food-as-medicine for about as long as i have. *goes to check out blog*

  16. Crys – Garrick and I went to High School together. He’s an awesome individual that would do anything for a friend. He knows a little bit of lot about everything. Seriously, everything. There is no point in playing a game of trivial pursuit with him, or any other trivia game, for that matter. He will whip your ass, without a doubt.

    No, he doesn’t have a blog. I’ve tried to convince him to start one, or even just blog here every now and again. He will have none of it though.

    Maybe we should chant in unison…

    *Gar-rick, start-a-blog*
    *Gar-rick, start-a-blog*
    *Gar-rick, start-a-blog*

  17. I just cannot imagine that anything I have to say is interesting enough that someone would want to spend their time reading it.

    To me it seems that I live a rather monotonous life. Basically my life consist of reading books and sitting around trying to figure out how we as a species got into the pickle we are currently in. Not to mention the fact that I have a rather dim view of the human experience in general. Thus, it is probable that reading anything I write on a regular basis could be hazardous to one’s health and/or mental stability.

    I mean my ultimate goal in life is to accumulate enough wealth that I can move to my farm and spend the rest of my days talking to cows and chickens.

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