Saturday, May 17, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 196

This week's results seem to be wholly consistent with last week's, so my blood pressure reading for last week was not a fluke at all, but a positive trend, as I had hoped for.

First off, my weight today is 165 lbs, down 2 lbs from last week, but in the same range it's been fluctuating within for the last month or more. This may represent a loss of body fat, or it could even be a fluctuation in water weight. The only way to tell for sure would be to measure my body fat percentage, right? Well, after taking my faulty body fat scale back to Walmart last Saturday to exchange it, I now have their most expensive body fat scale and it seems to be functioning, unlike its predecessor. However, merely being functional isn't quite good enough, I'm afraid. When it comes to measuring such things as body fat percentage, accuracy and consistency of the results are more important than mere functionality.

Well, it seems that, for all its functionality, this new scale is dubious, at best. My first test of it, last Saturday, after buying it, gave me a reading of 19.8% body fat at a weight of 167 lbs. Okay, that's good for a start. 19.8% is in the high end of the "healthy" range, and the high end of the range athletes are in tops out at around 16%, according to three different sources.

The trouble is, only an hour or two after my first test, I tested again and found that, while the scale was still telling me my weight was 167 lbs, my body fat percentage had somehow increased to 22.8%! This lead me to question the accuracy of the scale's ability to measure body fat percentage. Well, this morning's result was no more confidence-inspiring - in fact, less so. My weight was 165 lbs and my body fat percentage is supposedly a whopping 33.1%! Now, even though that's based on me being 2 lbs lighter than last time, and would, thus, mean that the amount of body fat relative to my weight hadn't gone down along with my weight, the reading I got would seem to indicate I have actually gained body fat in addition. I find this ludicrous, in light of my observations of my muscular development and the amount of fat I'm seeing when I look at myself in the mirror. My biceps, triceps and chest are all clearly larger today than they were a week ago, owing to my workouts since then. If anything, then, I would expect a decrease in body fat as a result of this gain in muscle tissue. That's the way the body works. Yet, here, the scale told me this morning that my body fat had increased by some 13.3% from my first reading a week ago, when I weighed 2 lbs more than I do now. In light of all else, this makes no sense. So, as a test, I tried measuring again, just minutes later, and got a reading of 30.7%! Aha! My theory is proven: i.e., these so-called "body fat" scales are useless crap and are not to be trusted!

So, it seems I will have to invest in a good old fashioned body fat caliper and do it the old, reliable and accurate way recommended by body builders: the skin fold caliper method of measuring body fat percentage, in which your body fat is determined by your weight, height and skin fold caliper measures taken at several key points on the body. A little more time-consuming and laborious, yes, but it has been proven to be the most accurate method of assessing one's body fat percentage.

Moving right along, my blood sugar, after a midnight meal of ground beef, carrots and grapes, is at 104, which is well within normal parameters.

Finally, as I alluded to in my opening paragraph, the blood pressure reading I got this morning (113/74) clearly suggests that last week's all-time low of 102/75 was not a freakish anomaly or a bad reading, after all. Clearly, my blood pressure has now significantly come down, especially on the systolic side, and this is a good indication that I am definitely on track toward finally discarding my blood pressure medication and living a fully normal and healthy life from now on. Theoretically, at this point, if I were to cease taking my medicine, I could probably expect, at worst, that my blood pressure might return to the range of around 120/80 to, say, 130/85 or so without medication. That wouldn't be all that bad, considering where I've come from in recent months and weeks. Then, from there, with further use of the natural remedies I'm using (including liberal amounts of oregano in my diet), plus the further benefits, over time, of the paleo diet, itself, I might expect to see that drop back to where it is now, naturally and without medication of any kind. Still, I'd like to keep on the medication for now, and continue monitoring my progress over at least a month or so, to make sure this is indeed a positive trend. If it turns out to be, or if my blood pressure goes lower, still, then it will be time to discontinue my use of the Lisinopril.

At 165 lbs, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is back to 22.4, which is in the middle of "Normal weight" range.