Let's Get Physical -- 03/18/02

I had planned to title this entry "Physical" because I went to see my doctor on Friday for a physcial exam... but now that I think I'm about to write about that, that song keeps going through my head -- Lets get physical, physical, I wanna hear your body talk -- or something like that. Can't tell you who sang it nor when it was a hit (must be back in disco days?) but the music just keeps going 'round and 'round in my head.

I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in. No, really, I seem to be reasonably healthy... doctor agrees with my desire to lose weight, except he'd encourage me to drop five pounds and I'd really prefer taking twenty off... ah, yes, but that is what I seem to say on an annual basis... and I do seem to get rid of ten or twelve pounds, and then it sneaks back... oh, not all of it... I am six or eight pounds lighter than my highest weight a couple of years ago...

But my doctor is quite serious about knocking off five pounds... It's because of my blood pressure, which has always been pretty good (except when they measure it at the blood bank, but that's because anticipating somebody jabbing a needle in my vein and draining out a pint or so of my blood makes me a bit uneasy) but a few weeks ago it was a bit on the high side but that was just before periodontal surgery, so I didn't think much about it. On Friday, though, I was around 150 over 90... yeah, okay, so I'm probably not in danger of having a stroke tomorrow, but nevertheless that is higher than desired. My doctor pointed out some possible contributing factors such as lack of sleep (who me? Yes, I'm usually in a state of sleep deprivation) and too much caffeine (uh, guilty) and overweight. He noted that my blood pressure was okay at a physical about three years ago when my weight was just three pounds or so less than now and told me that the relationship between weight and blood pressure is not linear, that perhaps dropping five pounds might be enough to get my blood pressure back down to 140 over 80. (Personally, I'd prefer it to be lower than that.) So I am supposed to knock off five pounds, cut back a bit on coffee, and try to get more sleep.

I need to follow Bev's example and get back to daily workouts. (Of course I might as well forget about today -- It's nine-thirty p.m. and I am exhausted.) I also have to get some blood tests done... that fast before the test kind of thing, so I think I'll pick Wednesday morning.

One of the problems with physical activity -- uh, maybe I should say two of the problems with physical activity are my feet. My bunion problem, especially with the large toe on my left foot... well, it hurts... and my right heel has been painful since I apparently bruised it in that race two weeks ago... I didn't run on Friday, despite my doctor's urging me to drop some pounds, because my feet hurt. I considered running on Saturday, but Nancy sort of talked me out of it, telling me I should let my heel heal...

Sunday I was determined to go for a run... but my feet hurt enough during the first few hundred yards that I turned around and came back home... decided I would jog on the treadmill instead, might be less shock to my heel... but three or four minutes was about all I could take of that... So I lifted weights for a few minutes, then decided to go for a bike ride. It's been months since I was on my bike... brush off the cobwebs... pump air into a flat front tire.... hunt for my helmet... And off I went... about an eight mile journey, along the bike path to the Kingston AmTrak station and back (bike path follows the route of the old roadbed of the Narragansett Pier Railroad)... It was a good workout, especially since I tend to fail to take advantage of having a 21-speed bike -- Hey, when I was a kid everyone rode one speed bikes... oh, there was something everone called "English Racers" (with three speeds!) but nobody in my neighborhood rode such a sissy machine. *grin* So I tend to ride in whatever gear it's in... well, not completely, but I doubt that I shifted more than ten or twelve times during the entire trip... and the bike path is interrupted several times in that eight mile round trip by having to cross roads. I do need to look into getting a different seat for my bike if I'm going to ride it much this year -- the current seat is a pain in the butt.

I also picked up my custom-made orthotics from my podiatrist on Friday, but I'm supposed to adjust to wearing them gradually -- one hour the first day, two hours the second day, etc.-- They feel really strange, but I'm hoping they work. (Cost three hundred dollars, not covered by medical insurance.... but it's not just the price that makes me really want them to work, it's that these are the alternative to foot surgery.)

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