Jody’s Story

One of my college friends contacted me recently with an unexpected note of thanks. He has been following my journey, and he found my progress motivational. I asked him if he would be willing to share his story with you, and he agreed.

On Feb 9th, I went to my doctor because I had some minor, but persistent, back pain. In my mini exam, my blood pressure was found to be high. I knew it was on the rise, but had been in denial about it for over a year. I had been brushing it off as “I just had a salty lunch” or “It was a stressful day at work” or some other excuse.

During that year, by the way, I was working a HEALTH EDUCATOR for UAMS about STROKE prevention and response. The irony of the situation is NOT lost on me. Interesting fact: Arkansas is NUMBER ONE in the nation in stroke-related deaths. One of the leading factors? Undiagnosed/untreated hypertension.

My physician was kind enough to give me 90 days to get my B/P under control on my own. A week later, a coworker nurse checked my pressure after a particularly (no, really, it was – not an excuse this time!) stressful afternoon. It was so high, if I had been a patient in the back of my own ambulance (I’ve been a paramedic for 13 years), I would have initiated treatment on myself.

After a month of trying to “fix” it through small dietary changes alone, I accepted the fact that I needed to start exercising. No weight was coming off and my pressure wasn’t dropping. There is a new Health and Wellness Center associated with a local hospital, and I joined. I have been making myself submit to 1-hour cardio workouts, five times per week. I’ve also started tracking intake and exercise on myfitnesspal.com.

At the end of my 2nd week, I discovered that I had lost 9 pounds, and that my blood pressure has dropped THIRTY points!

I don’t know what will become of this progress in the long term, but for now, I have a small victory to celebrate. A fitness assessment today told me that I need to lose another 40 pounds. After the recent milestone I have enjoyed, and the accountability and encouragement from NeedlessPounds.com, I know that is a VERY reachable goal!

PS: The back pain was a simple muscle spasm, cured in 3 days with a heating pad and Aleve.

4 thoughts on “Jody’s Story

  1. Foodtritionist says:

    Congratulations, Jody! Bravo for taking the necessary steps to be healthy. And thank you Daniel for sharing another inspirational story…

  2. Thanks for the notes, Foodtritionist! Danny’s story is a great one, and I’m touched he wanted to share my story on his blog.

    Now, Danny, can we share any of those great stories from our college days???

  3. Stacie says:

    Jody is a good guy! Miss seeing he and his wife around at church! Thanks for sharing!

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