Life has been a whirlwind since I was diagnosed with high blood pressure back in April and I griped about my feelings here and got some great resources from readers/friends/family.
I am learning to reign in my charming, yet not so good for my health, A Type personality and to be mindful of tension in my body. The good news, I’m making headway, so much so that after 6 weeks of blood pressure medication my doctor halved the prescription as I had lost 14 lbs and my blood pressure was too low at 107/72. This is good news. It means my arteries have not yet hardened, that my blood pressure responds to medication/weight loss and that I can prevent further damage to my circulatory system.
I’ve been seeing my psychologist and doing some grueling trauma work has helped me self-regulate and reduce my overeating without it feeling like an imposition or taking much effort at all. The biggest change for me since my post in April is that I am now confident I can make the changes I need to be healthier and keep my blood pressure where it needs to be for me to have the long life I want.
It’s all on the table, from eating my weeds in dandelion salad (they are called piss-en-lit in French because of their diuretic properties) to turning off the big overhead light at work to using biodots. Have you ever heard of biodots?
I once attended this really great time management seminar about 7 years ago with Harold Taylor and one strategy for time management was to live a long, healthy life and address stress. He offered us this tool, a tiny black sticker:
It works like the mood rings of old, the colour changes based on your skin temperature. When you are tense blood leaves your extremities so the dot goes brown to black. At home the dot is usually a deep blue, I’m so chill in my garden or with my family, at work brown and black rule my day. I’m mindful to relax and take a deep breath and the dot changes colour. Part of the success in the biodots in helping me is that it is a mnemonic for mindfulness. I put it on and it reminds me to check what’s going on with my body and thoughts. I feel more in control when I have good information about what’s going on and I’ve been able to have a scale in the house without going all obsessive about weighing myself.
The one downside is that with all this rapidly changing blood pressure I’ve been too light headed to work out. I have to let go of racing in the Kincardine Triathlon this July with Sam and Tracy. I’m going with a friend and will cheer all of them on though, and that should be good fun. 🙂