Looking back, there are several variables that could have contributed to such a high blood pressure reading in January. I am convinced that the changes I've been making in diet and exercise have in fact been beneficial in a short time. Leaving aside blood pressure, I've lost nearly 10 pounds in a month, so that's saying something.
But, the blood pressure was the motivating factor here, and on Friday I went in to see a doctor for the first time in a long time. He took my blood pressure--twice--and it turned out normal. How normal, you ask? 125/76. Better than it's been in a long time. Interestingly enough, there was a nearly ten point differential between the first and second reading, which my doctor attributed to the stress of anticipation during the first reading. Who knew stress was such a factor?
While the changes I've made are good and I plan to keep them around, it is stress that I will focus on mitigating in this next phase of DASH. We'll see how that goes...
My doctor told me to relax and to feel free to practice moderation instead of abstinence when it comes to the stricter parts of my regimen. In his words, "Celebrate your health with a beer sometime". Doctor's orders.