At 50 years of age, I was overweight, out of shape and being stalked by a silent killer – hypertension. Until I was alerted to my high blood pressure readings, I was mostly oblivious to the reality that I was headed to an early grave.
My doctor presented the options. He could prescribe drugs to control my high blood pressure. I could lose weight and exercise more. Or I could do nothing. I wasn’t going to sit and let life pass me by. Taking a pill wasn’t an option either because I was concerned about possible side-effects from the medications.
That left shedding pounds and becoming more active. I told my doctor that I would eat better and exercise more but I knew following through would not be easy.
I started by cutting down on take-out meals, high calorie snacks and sodium-laced foods. No more donuts, French fries, soft drinks and chocolate bars. I brought my own lunch to work. I looked into some diets but I have never been able to stick to them so I decided I needed to eat smarter for rest of my life.
I increased my activity level. I had been going to the gym for several years but had only been working out an average of once a week. I amped up my gym visits and kept a log of how many times I went and what workouts I did. My doctor emphasized the need to do more cardio and I increased that part of my workouts.
Despite the changes there was only a minimal impact on my weight and virtually no change in my blood pressure readings. I didn’t give up and five years later I have lost more than 40 pounds. My blood pressure readings have dropped. My health improved to the point that my health and life insurance premiums were reduced.
I feel great but I know that if I stop eating well and exercising regularly, the weight will come back. I have adopted a healthier lifestyle and have committed to following it for the rest of my life.