Saturday, March 29, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 147

Well, it's beginning to look like this as as good as it's going to get, folks, at least in terms of weight loss. For the third week in a row, I'm still at 173 lbs. No change. Of course, this means no change on my BMI (Body Mass Index), either, which remains at 23.5 (solidly "normal" weight).

Unless I'm able to effect any further positive change by either gaining some muscle mass (which would burn more fat, yet add weight of it's own) or burn off more calories, via exercise, it looks as if this may be where my weight will remain. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. In terms of body composition (as far as I can tell by looking at myself in the mirror), I'm no worse off than I was ten years ago, in my mid-forties, and I weigh about twenty pounds less than I did then, which probably indicates I had built more muscle mass at the time, and I believe that's the case. I also have to consider that, as one ages, it becomes increasingly difficult to build new muscle mass. Therefore, this may be as good as it gets. I'd like to think that's not the case, though, so I'm not giving up just yet.

As for my blood sugar, I know that can (and will) improve, probably by the end of the day. It's been fairly consistently normal all week, though this morning it's at 125 - 12 mg/dcl above normal, owing to more late Friday night snacking, as usual. By Monday, it will have fallen back into the eighties and nineties again, as it's been doing every week since early March. So, I'm not worried, there.

The most confounding thing is my blood pressure, which has bounced up and down like a yo-yo from the beginning. Keep in mind, this is with medication the entire time, so, I'm beginning to wonder if the medication itself is complicating matters. From what I've been reading about this, it seems increasingly likely.

To recap, I first began taking my own blood pressure readings at home on December 18th, when my blood pressure was 135/99. This morning, it's at 120/84, which, if you're looking at just these two figures, looks like an astounding improvement. However, you also have to look at what's been happening in between to get an accurate picture.

My lowest reading, so far, was on January 13th, at 110/76 and the next lowest was on March 1st, at 110/79. But, on March 8th, it rose, inexplicably, to 131/87, the highest it had been since I began taking my own measures. So, while there has undoubtedly been improvement between where I began and where I am today, it's also true that my blood pressure has also been both markedly lower and higher than it is now.

Anyway, the relationship between systolic and diastolic pressure is what's so confusing to me. One week it will be the reverse of what it is the next. For example, last Saturday (March 22nd), my diastolic was normal at 78, while my systolic was a little high, at 124. Today, the reverse is true: my systolic is at the high end of "normal," while it's my diastolic that has risen 14 points above normal. So, again, I have to wonder if the medication I'm taking (Lisinopril) is exacerbating the control of my blood pressure. I've been tempted to temporarily discontinue taking it, just to see what happens, but, if I do, I'll have to definitely increase my monitoring, perhaps to three times daily, just to make sure I'm in no danger.

Also, remember that ten years ago, when I thought I was at the peak of my physical fitness because I was slim and muscular, my blood pressure was high and so were my triglycerides, owing to a high-carb diet and much more strength training than I was doing now. I was not on any medication then and a doctor told me that the strength training was probably the source of my high blood pressure, though I'd have to also point the blame at the high-carb diet, both for the high blood pressure and the high triglycerides.

So, I'm not entirely convinced that discontinuing my medication would allow my blood pressure to correct itself naturally, though I do have to wonder what effect the Lisinopril is having on my progress. It seems to be a complicating factor, based upon the wide fluctuation of readings between December and today, as all else has been more or less consistent, as well as improving, overall.