June 17, 2011 Written by Ruth Novales
My older daughter inspired me to start this blog. The inspiration came last night as I was reflecting on her current journey to lose weight. In my reflection, I realized that I, too, was on a journey to a definite goal but had never made it concrete as she has done. Pondering on this, I further realized that I have an encompassing goal which covered several small goals or objectives.
I had initially decided to blog about my current efforts to lower my blood pressure. My latest efforts have, so far, been futile. My blood pressure consistently remains at 150/100 or thereabouts. This, to me, is frightening, as I know that hypertension can lead to a host of other serious conditions, most notably stroke and heart failure.
I had been diagnosed with hypertension two years ago (2009) and have been on medication since. Sadly, as I have been so busy, there were times that I was not consistent with my medication as well as the lifestyle modifications I committed to make.
During the times I was firm in my commitment to a healthy lifestyle, my blood pressure would go down to around 120/80 which was really good. This made me complacent, however, and made me think that whenever I needed my blood pressure to go down, I just needed to go about these lifestyle changes.
Other times, I would just go my own merry way. This time around, however, all my lifestyle modifications wouldn’t work and my blood pressure is still up. I’ve gone on a low-fat, low-salt diet, tried to put in more exercise (nothing too strenuous as I have a bad knee) in the form of yoga and brisk walking, and have gone back to meditating regularly which, in the past, had greatly helped me.
Every morning and evening, when I took my blood pressure reading, the numbers remained the same. This frustrated me and caused me so much anxiety that I decided I might as well stop taking those regular readings and just went about my own merry way yet again. I felt it was just causing me additional stress. But I knew I had to do something about my blood pressure. I have two daughters and I want to take care of my health for their sake. So when my daughter started her blog, it got me into thinking last night that maybe, if I blogged about my quest to bring my blood pressure down, it would be more effective.
Thinking about it further, I realized that the lifestyle changes I needed to make and be consistent with are in line with helping to achieve balance–healthy eating, regular exercise, stress reduction and management, adequate sleep, meditation/relaxation/centering, cultivating nurturing relationships… you get the picture. It was then that I knew that this quest can be the impetus that would finally launch me on my journey to achieve balance and centeredness in my life. As Confucius said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So….here’s to the first step of my journey! And you are most welcome to join me!
(This post originally appeared in Leila Ruth's blog, On The Balance Beam.)