The New Out-of-Shape

The New Out-of-Shape August 28, 2012

Thanks to some unfortunate DNA, my love of french fries and my serious post-40 lack of exercise, the past few years has seen me enter that stage of “You better get your blood-pressure under control or else.” Well, this morning I had a spike in my blood pressure and and my doc sent me to the ER.


I am fine, but thought I would share the best part of the experience:

Upon entering the ER, I was greeted by one of the docs who said to me, “Hey, you are that blogger from the SF Gate.”  He then turned to the nurse and said, “This guy is famous!” As it turns out, we had met one through our school years back, but, still, it was flattering and I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point.

*ego inflates*

Into the exam room I went where I was hooked up to machines, my vitals were monitored and eventually deemed okay. As I was being discharged, the doc who took care of me came in for a chat about all of the things that every overweight, non-exercising, bad-eating person knows: eat better, exercise more and lose weight.

Me, “Yeah, I know, I am really out of shape.”

Doctor pauses, “Well . . . let’s not call it ‘out of shape,’ let’s call it ‘de-conditioned'”

Oh, okay.

Of course, I translate that, “Hey husky boy, get off your butt and lose some weight.” So, not only am I too heavy, but apparently I am now they guy who  needs positively spun euphemisms in order to listen. Great.

*ego deflates*

Turns out things are not “all good” but thankfully, there is no crisis. My meds have been adjusted and I will again rally to battle the beast that is my hypertension.  One book that I am going to pick up at the suggestion of the doc is, Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live: The Amazing Nutrient Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. If anyone has read it, let me know what you think.


D. Conditioned

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  • Katherine W

    Maybe one of your athletically inclined daughters could help. My daughter is motivated to say in shape and wants to go the Y almost everyday. This has forced me to go too, since I am the chauffeur. Having a partner usually helps.

    Also, on the french fries, I went to seminar once where I asked as the ice breaker what people gave up for lent. One woman said she gave up buying french fries (implication was that she accepted them occasionally when given to her).

  • Yeah, as i have gotten into the book, I suspect that the first six-weeks will be more about shifts habits and perspective. I need both.

  • Woohoo, thanks for the encouragement and tips. And thanks alos for raising such a great person!

  • Yep.

  • Thanks, others have also mentioned this. I’ll have to check it out.

  • Thanks. Re-conditioners Unite!

  • Thanks. Good idea and glad to hear you too have found some good ways to shift habits. Tough stuff.

  • Thanks. Yeah, not sure it gets any better then “de-conditioned.”

  • Yeah, I figure it’s a good first read and the six-week is a good way to shift habits and mindset. We shall see how I can adjust and adapt afterwards.

  • Solidarity!

  • Hey Houston! Love the “dog or a cane” questions. Pretty powerful.

  • LOL.

  • Thanks. Lord hear our prayer . . .

  • So far I am liking it and the six-week plan is pretty easy to follow.

  • Thanks for the encouragement and the book suggestion. I’ll check it out.

  • You might also try the book “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley. My husband (at 61) lost 20 lbs and lowered his cholesterol and blood pressure. I fight my weight and blood pressure continualy so I know how difficult it can be, even though you know what you should be doing, it is not always easy. Good Luck and stay well so the rest of us can enjoy your good counsel – but especially so your family continues to have you.

  • PattiD

    Love Dr. Fuhrman’s books, go for it, it will only do you good! You’re worth it!

  • Deborah Arca

    Oh Bruce! So sorry to hear you hit the ER today. Healing prayers coming your way, my friend, as well as prayers for learning to love french fries less (a prayer i pray often for myself).

  • Boardermom

    On the tweet, “God helps those who help themselves,” just remember, it does not mean that if you ask for the mashed potatoes, God will move the gravy a little closer to your reach.

  • I found I respond best to stark terror. God gave me Type 2 Diabetes 12 years back, and it’s saved my life: “Do you want a dog or a cane?” was one question. Got to me. Now 40 pounds less, and not on insulin yet.

  • Jill R

    Feeling your pain, Bruce. Had to go to the ER for the same reason a little less than a year ago. Was put on meds, kicking and screaming, but was convinced because I want to be around to be a mom for my kids. Stinks getting older…and “deconditioned.”

  • pammarino

    I have read that book, Bruce. It’s OK. I think he’s a little too overzealous in some aspects. I don’t think that all dairy, wheat, etc. is bad. However, I will say that if you follow his diet, you will lose weight, your blood pressure will come down, and you will feel better. In fact, I’m planning on doing the diet for six weeks starting next week. I can do six weeks of no dairy and bread, and I’m already a pescetarian, so I won’t miss meat. I did a similar diet from Dr. Ian Smith—super high fiber—with good success. My advice would be to buy two books, Eat to Live, and Dr. Andrew Weil’s Eight Weeks to Optimum Health (or maybe even his book Healthy Aging, which I’m about to read). I highly respect Dr. Weil and think he’s a little more balanced than Dr. Fuhrman in his approach. Read both and then make your own judgements about what will work best for you. Hang in there! Very glad for the wake up call and this opportunity to restore your health! And know you’re not alone!

  • Glad you’re okay Bruce. I was going to write something satirical — but “The New Out-Of Shape” beat me to it. 🙂 Be well!

  • Robin

    For my body, my blood pressure isn’t as big a problem as my blood sugar. When I find eating healthy, tracking my food intake or exercise, or whatever, to be too time consuming, I ask myself, would I have time for this if I developed diabetes? And the answer is yes. So I can make time for it now before I develop diabetes.

    My second tip is encourage one of your daughters to take up some sport you don’t hate. Then practice with her regularly. Three birds with one stone.

  • Dear D.-I’ll be thinking of you as my re-conditioning begins on Sept. 1. My 21-yr.-old son, (youngest) have both had the wake-up call, but not as scary as a trip to ER. Be well!

  • From one pastor to another… let me also recommend the app called “My Fitness Pal”
    This is the only thing that has helped me loose weight and keep pounds off.
    Oh, and its free!

  • “Younger next year, Bruce!” Glad you dodged this one. John

  • George

    Take your iPad or Kindle to the elliptical machine. You can read pretty easily – so you feel productive – and get a good sweat on. Take care.

  • afmorgan53

    Blessings on the folks who knew how to care for you and that you are OK!! Deep breath; relax:) Hub and I (We’re Emily Morgan’s parents–she blogged for you a while back?) had similar experiences several years ago. I now use to keep track/honest daily (I actually find this fun!) and he’s a perennial South Beacher. Other helpful thing for me is to use the web for fitness–since I’m on anyway. I tune into “walking exercise” on youtube; it’s cool and easy. I started with the 3 minutes every hour–getting up and using Leslie Sansone’s desk break, but now do the 15 minute mile 2x day. (I skip her sound and use my own music.) Try it!

  • Lindsey

    I’ve read Eat To Live and it has done amazing things for people (I haven’t been strong enough to stick with it totally, though I still use many of his recipes). A lot of people don’t want to keep up the way of eating because it is heavy, heavy, heavy on plant food. Dr. Furhrman suggests that a salad be the main course of your meal. But this is a big honking salad with lots of stuff in it. It’s just hard for a lot of people to make the transition from sandwiches and chips to salads for lunch. He also has a book set called Eat for Health that I’d recommend first. In it he talks about how the Eat for Health plan is a slower track for people who can’t do the full Eat to Live plan right away. His message boards are also good places to find recipes. Honestly, the food is pretty good and if you’re eating the amount of food he suggests you won’t really be hungry. It’s just hard to transition from burgers and fries to green smoothies but I think most people will say it’s worth it. Good luck!

  • Yep. Not giving up for sure!

  • sue_blank

    We can all use the warning. I know two people who had strokes the last week or so. Thanks.