Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prehypertension, plus my menstruation surprise

The writing is on the wall: I'm a 34.5-year-old who has prehypertension. So did like everybody in my family and their mother (literally), beginning in their 30's; eventually leading to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and an unfortunate, and not to mention hard-to-clothe tendency to accumulate fat in the middle and upper body while having narrow hips and scrawny legs for life. Shitty gene pool, what can I say. Oh, and I have high triglycerides, too, probably because I drink too much soda.

Anyway, I need to force myself to start running (all over again, like I did in my youth) so that I can shed a few pounds in order to bring these numbers down and hopefully live awhile longer. We'll see about quitting the soda - it's been a lifelong struggle to quit entirely. My plan is to set my alarm for 5:30am and get four 3-mile runs in per week for the next month, then see if my blood pressure has dropped. Ugh.

I really hate exercise. I hate even having to worry about my weight and my health statistics. That sounds childish, and it is.

In other personal health news, I started taking a generic form of 0rth0-try-cyclin' minus the placebo pill weeks, in the hopes that I could be period-free for months at a time. Let's just say it hasn't exactly gone according to plan. Two days ago, my uterus decided it wanted to shed a crapload of lining in the middle of my damn cycle. This shit hurts, and it brought me back to my junior high days of staining white pants unexpectedly. Fuckity fuck fuck.


eep said...

Ha. I still won't wear white pants even though I have about 20 years' experience dealing with menstruation and I have an IUS that makes periods almost a non-issue. The trauma of middle school!

Jac. said...

Let's have a runner's support group. I've just bought my new runners and plan to start the Couch - 5km program. Was struggling when to find the time and then realised that DD has handed me a gift - she sleeps all the way through the night (bless her!) until sometime between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. which is when she wants to start her day. I just (today!) decided to stop fighting it and to use that as my opportunity to go for a run.

You are braver than I - I have never dared wear white pants, not even when pregnant.

mom2boy said...

I hate exercise, too. I'll do yoga but just can't make myself run anymore than I have to to keep up with Tate. I tip my hat to you runners; even when you hate every step, it is more than I can manage.

:( about the mid-cycle bleed. That sucks. I hope you get it figured out and no more periods for a while. That was a bonus of being pregnant.

the milliner said...

Hey! Count me in to the running support group! Just stared Couch to 5k on Tuesday. I do yoga (at home) but I had to find something that would let me lose some weight and wouldn't add time to my day. I have to walk the dog, so, kill 2 birds with one stone.

So far, so good for the running. Seems manageable. Though I couldn't believe how heavy and slow I felt. And the fact that I had to prod the dog to actually run with me during the running parts. This, the dog who runs at lightening speed to chase squirrels and birds.

Also, I had a chiropractic appointment today and my chiro (who's into a lot of different sports) mentioned that he's found running to be the most effective and quickest way to shed weight. Something about the fact that once your body gets that you're trying to propel it in air, aka running, it starts doing what it can do to optimize that propulsion (ie. it sheds weight to make it easier). Sounds good to me! Anything to get me down to my ideal weight as quickly as possible (without some insane diet which is out of the question)...

Also, totally empathize with the cola thing. I don't drink huge amounts, but I do have a cola daily. I was able to cut it out while I was pregnant. But then total sleep deprivation thanks to DS totally killed my abstinence. I'll get to cutting it out eventually, but it's hard to make myself do it when I'm exhausted.

NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

my vice is coffee, lots of it. while i was pregnant i limited myself to 1 medium a day. otherwise i had insane withdrawal. soda has never been my thing, but when i hear anybody saying they are on a diet and cutting out coffee, i think they are insane. so lets just say i sympathize with your soda addiction, I'm addicted to the same drug but in a different form :)

running... i know actually of some ppl that say that running is not the optimal way to keep weight off. its weight training. in my experience, weight training worked much better and was a lot less stress on my knees/joints.

having said that, i'm actually trying to start running again, because it is the most convenient of exercises (if you can manage the getting-out-of-bed part). Please let me into your runners support group :)

Melba said...

1. I hate running. I might do it if it meant saving my life. But seriously, I hate it. Good on you.

2. Sux about the hypertension.

3. I had a Mirena IUD inserted a week ago and am still spotting... but here's hoping to the eventual absence of periods altogether.

4. I rock white pants on a regular basis.

Claudia said...

Ack, health issues, and then hereditary ones, suck. Sympathy.

I sort of run, though I'm off the wagon the last two weeks. I'll join the support group! I will probably never run more than 3-4 km, however, because I have some dumb foot construction that causes my middle toes to feel like blood is shooting out of them. Of course there isn't, but even all the insole weird thingies the physical therapist has given me aren't totally alleviating it.

Anyway, I'll run today if you do!

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

I LOVE to run, but life is conspiring to make it virtually impossible at the moment. Sure, I could go for an after dinner run now that it's light late (and I live in a city, so I could actually run after dark), but my motivation goes to sleep with the kids. Otherwise, mornings are too nuts, and I have no one to look after both kids during the day, so I get out once a week on the weekends and wait to go back to work in September when I'll be able to run at lunch.

My exercise fix at the moment is an exercise DVD. I found that sort of thing hopelessly cheesy before I got pregnant and found Erin O'Brien's pregnancy fitness DVD a reasonable way to keep moving. She's encouraging without being condescending or irritatingly enthusiastic, and it's filmed in her living room, not on some cardboard set with pink karma lighting that matches the sneakers.

Now I have one of her standard DVDs, which I can easily turn on during the week while Mademoiselle naps. I've been upping the weight on the hand weights and breaking a sweat... and the abs part almost kills me. In a good way. So when you all go for a run, I'll fire up the DVD player.

With two pregnancies and extended breastfeeding, I've completely lost touch with my period. It's like an old college roommate who calls up every couple years to say, "Remember how we used to hang out once a month and I'd you bad acne and all?"

paola said...

Count me in too!! I have been running for 2 years now and can't live without it. I usually average between 30 and 40K a week, but it all depends how much I work and what time I have to be out of the house. Fortunately I only have to get up one day a week at an un-godly hour (5.20) and then the other 2/3 times a week on the weekend and my day off, at around 7.00, but with the start of the hot weather ( now) even then it is too hot for me. I much prefer running in winter, even on snow, and this winter I did my best time. Actually, Hubby and I will be running our first marathon this September so I will have to lift my game a bit. 30-40 K is ok for maintenace, but not enough for training for long distances. And with my baby-sitter recovering from her op and our move to the UK, I ahve a feeling I will be walking quite a bit of it.

Anyway, IME, running is an excellent way to lose weight but as long as you are running fast. Ignore all that 'fat-buring' zone BS. If you run slowly, sure you burn more fat (as opposed to glycogen)but you burn fewer calories. You want to burn lots of calories. Your body will take from both glyc and fat supplies and trim you down. Interestingly, you will burn more fat post-luteal but if you are on chemical birth control, which I understand you are, it will clearly have no effect. Still 5ks, 3-4 times a week will help you drop a kg or 2.

Cloud said...

I'm sorry about the health issues. Good on you for taking it seriously, though.

I hate to run, and I've been trying to do it once a week as my exercise, because it fits in my schedule. I have mild asthma, and often I can't get a good cardio workout because my lungs give out.

So I'm thinking I may try rollerblading instead. I like that.

My all time fave way to stay in shape is martial arts, but I don't have time for the classes right now. But hitting and kicking things? Is the best stress relief ever.

On the soda- I gave it up when I realized that what I craved was the fizz not the sweet. So now I drink a splash of (unsweetened) cranberry juice in a glass of fizzy water and that suits me fine.

Another thing that might help you wean off is a mix of 50-50 lemonade and soda water.

I don't wear white pants, particularly since I got a Mirena in. Sorry, @Melba- but I'm still spotting over a year later. Actual period like bleeding is rare, but I can't predict when I'll spot, so it makes wearing light colored pants an adventure.

blue said...

No white pants here. I have an IUD, too and would recommend it over the pills if you don't get the breakthru bleeding figured out. It makes periods non-existent for some and super light for the rest of us. Panty liner only for a few days a month. Awesome!

With regard to running, I did the couch to 5K last summer and, while I still struggle with weight loss, I feel in such better shape now that I run. I don't go as often as I should, but the fact that I can (very slowly) trudge my way through a 2 or 3 mile run is huge for me. I never thought I'd be able to do that and I feel great mentally too. Of course, after having 2 babies I have to wear diapers when I run, but that's another story. OK, gotta go do some kegels now.
Good luck!

hush said...

@eep - Welcome! An IUS that makes periods a non-issue? Sounds wonderful. If only I could get over my fears of the supposed pain of having the device/system inserted. If I keep bleeding like this, I may just have to face the potential pain - or then again, it might not be painful at all.

@Jac - Per your request, I'll be starting a runners support group here! I can commit to doing a weekly check-in post every Friday this summer, and anyone out there who is interested can share their data points, successes, challenges, hateration towards exercise (sound good @the milliner, @NK, @Paola, plus any lurkety lurkers out there who want an excuse to de-lurk? Bueller?)

mom2boy - Exercise haters unite! I'm totally feeling ya.

@the millliner - My fellow dog and cola lover, WTF about dogs running on their own terms, right?! I chuckled at your story. My dogs totally rule over me and my home, and I unfortunately have no remaining Alpha status with them whatsoever.

@NK - Caffeine is a hell of a drug! I also could not/chose not to quit during either pregnancy. Hey, at least it wasn't crack. ;)

@Melba - "I hate running. I might do it if it meant saving my life." HA!!! White pants are meant to be rocked. Go you!

@Claudia - "I have some dumb foot construction that causes my middle toes to feel like blood is shooting out of them." Holy effing shit - wow! I'm impressed that you manage to run, let alone walk, skip or hop at all.

@Parisienne Mais Presque - "She's encouraging without being condescending or irritatingly enthusiastic, and it's filmed in her living room, not on some cardboard set with pink karma lighting that matches the sneakers." LOL, spot-on!

@Paola - I appreciate the perspective of an experienced runner! That is really interesting about chemical birth control eliminating the post-luteal phase's added fat burning effect.

@Cloud - Martial arts are on my 'someday, maybe' list as well. I would love to become a force to be reckoned with in that proverbial dark alley.

@blue - I will definitely re-think my method if I keep randomly bleeding like this. Would love to hear your story about leaking urine post-pregnancies - it seems like leaking is very common to one degree or another. I have a friend who used to leak very badly, doing Kegels like a madwoman, but nothing was working, and she was having to wear adult diapers to work everyday. She decided to see a urologist and got a bladder sling procedure, and it seriously changed her life.

Claudia said...

Oh, sorry to mislead! My toes only feel like that after I've been exercising a while, i.e. 2 km. running, 1/2 hour of Zumba, many miles of bike riding. Not daily all the time. Holy crap, I'd get feet transplants if that were the case.

Claudia said...

Ok, finally ran today. Thanks, Paola, for nearly killing me. I tried to run fast, which I never do. I'm so tired now, I could fall asleep in my dinner.
Anyone else?

hush said...

@Claudia - Glad to hear no feet transplants will be necessary. ;) So cool that you ran today.

I'm running tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning, and will do a running post on Friday to check in with all of you.

caramama said...

Sorry to hear about the prehypertension! I'm so impressed that you are really making the change you need in your life to deal with the health issue!