A Few Good Goals

I always think I’m not much of a goal setter, but then I keep various little mental benchmarks in my head. Sometimes I talk about ’em, but mostly not. Might as well mention the current goal(s)…

A while ago I was able to convince some friends to plan a climb on Mt. St. Helens with me. We’re scheduled to climb on October 3. We’ve even got the permits purchased. Problem is, I’m totally out of shape and would probably keel over halfway up if I had to march up it right now. Relatedly, I’ve got high blood pressure and I’ve been at least 20lbs overweight for the last several years.

I’ve done a lot of rock climbing in my day, but the only real mountains I’ve climbed are St. Helens and Hood. That’s because when I was younger I really hated walking uphill. It’s still not the funnest thing, but somehow it has become much more tolerable as I’ve grown older. Anyway, I never summited Mt. Hood. I just got tired out and sat on the Hogsback, about 100 yards from the summit, until my friends tagged the summit and came back down. Good enough for me. And when I went up St. Helens, I was apparently in such a hurry to pack that when I got to the top I realized that I’d only brought a bottle of grape jelly. No crackers, no water. Just grape jelly. That sucked. Fortunately friends took pity on me and shared their meager rations.

So I’m kind of on a path toward redemption on St. Helens. But I still need to get in shape. I’m still overweight, and I still have high blood pressure. All this stuff was roiling around in my head when I went to see Dr. Tim, a naturopath, about my blood pressure. He said (duh), “lose weight.” But he also gave me a 3-week “cleanse” program to try out. Basically, I could eat anything I wanted as long as it didn’t contain caffeine, refined sugar, wheat, dairy, red meat, or chicken. Plus I was supposed to drink a couple of special smoothies each day, with a bunch of supplements, etc. Easy, eh? Well I stuck it out for three weeks. The coffee headache from the first couple of days was the worst.

I dropped 17 pounds and my blood pressure went through the floor. A few pounds have come back, but the BP has stayed low. BP is divided in to systolic and diastolic measurements. My systolic dropped from around 140 to around 110. My diastolic dropped from around 90 to around 73. I’m pretty stoked about that. I’ve stopped taking high blood pressure medicine for now, just to see what the readings would do. So far, they’ve stayed down.

So I’ve dropped some weight and dropped the BP. I’m satisfied with the BP, but not happy with the weight. I was at 240 on Monday, May 4, 2009 and on Friday, May 22, 2009 I was at 223. I’m hovering around 227-229 right now and I want to get to 220. Dr. Tim says I should be at 215, but we’ll see about that.

The one thing I didn’t do, that Dr. Tim said I should’ve done during the “cleanse”, was exercise. I kept meaning to, but I just never did it (aside from waking or biking to work–a flat 5 blocks). Always had a good excuse in my head. What I absolutely know is that I’ve got a big hill to climb on October 3, and if I don’t start climbing some smaller hills now, I’m gonna really be hurting.

So I mapped out a quick 2.5 mile running route that has two decent hills in each direction. The second hill is an absolute killer. It gains about 100 feet in elevation in about 100 yards. It’s steep. I can’t even run up half of it yet, but when I can run up the whole thing, I’ll turn around and start working on a second lap. I’ve also got to start planning some intermediate hikes to help get my legs conditioned to longer uphill walks. One a month between now and October ought to do it.

So there you go. Everything is out in the open now! I’ve got to start running and hiking some hills. Get the weight down to 220. In fact, this evening I told Amy that when I hit 220 I’m going surfing. I haven’t been surfing since my regular surf buddy died several months ago. I miss it, but if I can hit the water at 220, I know I’ll be feeling really good. 🙂

3 thoughts on “A Few Good Goals

  1. Congratulations! You’re off to a good start, at least as far as the weight and blood pressure are concerned. When I first read “caffeine, refined sugar, wheat, dairy, red meat, or chicken” I cynically wondered what else was left to choose from, but with results like that, it may be worth giving up those things (though I think for most of us it would be easier to give up one food vice at a time).

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