Saturday, March 14, 2015

What's Going Right

I've started this blog largely to start writing regularly again, with an audience in mind.  Somehow, even though a blog is journal-like, writing one is not quite like writing a journal.  Heretofore, I had not been aware that anyone had found or had been reading this blog, but now I know Kent is out there.  "Hello Kent!"  It's nice to have a long term, online bicycling community.

Here's some things that are going great:

That's me on Picacho Peak.  We had a friend in from out of town last week, and we were able to convince both kids to go hike up the mountain with us.  It's a small mountain at the edge of town but a beautiful hike nonetheless.

Here's my kids up there too.  Note the dead tree.  We've had a terrible time with the bark beetles and the pinon pines.  There are some climate scientists who think the Southwest will one day be treeless.  Where is the Lorax when you need him?

As far as changing my diet goes.  I may have gone through a few days of intense cravings, but there have been a few good things to come out of it.

1.  I have a lot more energy during the day.  Normally, I get so sleepy in the afternoons, that I almost feel narcoleptic.  I'll be working on something at my desk, and suddenly, my mind will start to wander, my head will drop, and my eyes will start to close.  I have to get up and walk around for a minute.  That hasn't been happening.

2.  My weight has dropped about ten pounds and stalled, but it hasn't gone back up.  My clothes are fitting the way they were supposed to again.

3.  My blood pressure, as measured by one of those little do-it-yourself booths at the grocery store, has been coming down.  It's always been higher than you would think it would be for someone who bicycles quite a bit and generally eats healthy food, (overlooking the Nutella and the occasional pop tart).

One of the reasons I'm experimenting with a paleo diet is my father had a heart attack in his mid-fifties.  I'll be fifty in a little less than a year and a half.  I'd like to avoid any problems with my heart if possible, and I certainly don't want to be having open heart surgery in five or six years.

My sister reassures me that given I move a lot, and my father hardly moved at all, I should be safe.  I ran across some medical papers when I was going through things after my mother's death that had noted my father's blood pressure was 200 something over 100 something.  I didn't even think that was possible.  My sister told me that my father would start walking two days before a doctor's appointment so that he could tell the doctor he had been walking.  He did play a lot of golf, but he reportedly used a golf cart for much of that.  I remember walking with him around the golf course, but my sister remembers the golf cart being his default way to get around.

An acquaintance of mine, who I see frequently, recently went to the doctor because his arms were hurting during his workouts.  After a long series of tests, they found one of his arteries was 95% blocked.  They cleared it out, but now he's on blood thinners and statins.  His blood pressure has always been low, his numbers all looked good.  He thinks it's just genetic.  I hope my father's difficulties with his heart were more diet and activity related than genetic.  I think that medical emergency happening in my peer group also may have helped contribute to my dark mood of late.

I plan to go in for my yearly physical around my birthday and see if my blood work looks better this year than in 2013, (when I last saw my doctor).  If it is, I'll consider sticking with a paleo-style of eating.  Though, if I can also get my weight down, I may occasionally have a bowl of steel cut oats.

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