On paper, my lifestyle looks pretty healthy. Thanks to my allergies I eat a lot of whole foods and not much in the way of ‘junk’, although I do like my dark chocolate and gluten free ginger biscuits. I don’t smoke and so far this year I have had a grand total of five alcoholic drinks (I know, what a rebel!). I am at the lower end of healthy on the BMI scale, I get my periods and take my vitamins. I go out running three times a week, but I don’t overdo it or run when I’m injured. My blood pressure and pulse are nice and low.
But actually, I don’t feel very healthy at all. It’s that last point that trips me up. I have low blood pressure for genetic reasons – my mum has always had low BP too, even though she’s a little overweight. When she was pregnant with my sister she was nearly hospitalised for it. This morning I went to see my GP about the fact that the palpitations I’ve had for most of my life have been getting a lot worse recently, and my BP was 90/60, which isn’t much higher than when I was very underweight. That would explain why I keep getting dizzy, then! My BP has never been as high as 120/80 but 90/60 at this weight is taking the michael a little even for me. Apparently this is also what’s aggravating my palpitations. My GP thinks they are harmless from my description. Some people get palpitations when their heart rate climbs too high, but in my case, if I check my pulse when they are happening, it’s around 50 bpm. Combined with my blood pressure, that’s not so great.
I don’t think I’m eating any less than I was a few months ago when my heart was behaving – my weight is pretty much the same. I certainly don’t restrict anything which could have a bearing on my blood pressure, like carbs, fat, salt…calories! I think the difference is probably the exercise. Being fit lowers your pulse and BP, but mine didn’t really need lowering! I don’t want to have to stop running again, but what can I do? Eat more salt? Drink more water? Try to gain another half a stone? I don’t want to have to think about the way I eat in detail anymore, I had enough of that last year when I was gaining weight. I want to get on with my life now, grumblegrumble. But it’s hard to get on with your life when your heart backfires every ten minutes, scaring the crap out of you and making you wonder if you’ll actually wake up the next morning or not. If I want to carry on running, I’m going to have to be a bit more careful about my intake. There’s no way I’m going back to counting calories again, but having bigger portions of carbs and fat at meals and being more conscientious about eating snacks would help.
My body and my diet might seem pretty healthy, but I’m not feeling it. Today I am dizzy, my head is foggy and my heart feels…kind of tickly. It’s not very pleasant and I have no intention of putting up with it for the rest of my life. I might eat healthily and my weight might be technically okay, but if I don’t feel good, it’s not doing me any good. I think that more calories, more salt, less exercise and another 5lb gain are probably called for. That would be the opposite of most guidelines for a healthier lifestyle, but who cares? My body has different needs to the majority of the population, and I’m willing to do what it takes to accommodate that.
I am off to Durham tomorrow to stay with J. I have four houses to look around on Wednesday, one landlord with several places to show me on Thursday (and I’ll be meeting Laura for coffee!), and an estate agent to meet on Friday. I think I’ve given myself a really good chance of finding somewhere. On Saturday I shall be dragging J to York so we can visit my favourite restaurant 😀 vegan sticky toffee pudding, here I come! I hope everyone reading this has a lovely week 🙂