Greg’s story is too good to keep to myself. I started coaching him in early February of 2020 and he crushing his goals of decreasing body fat and reducing his blood pressure, while off medication. I asked him to highlight how he is doing it for my readers and here we are!
Who is Greg?
I am a 54-year-old proud father of 2 (Adam – 29 and Kacee 28), and husband to my beautiful wife Sherry of over 30 years.
I’m a network engineer by day and health addict at night but only for the last 6-7 years. You see, I was your typical father busy coaching my son in several sports, attending my daughter’s cheer and dance competitions, yet, as I got older my poor diet choices began to catch up with me.
By the time I was 40 years old I was on Blood pressure (BP) medications and my weight was skyrocketing even though I grew up a very skinny kid. When my size 40 pants began getting tight, I knew I had to do something, so I did what most do, joined a gym. This helped a little but wasn’t until I made diet modifications did, I see results in my weight loss. I did low carb, counted calories but I had my biggest success “counting macros”. I lost nearly 65 lbs, actually getting down to 206 lbs with a size 34 pants. I was very happy with my results but there was one issue – the blood pressure. I still needed medication to control blood pressure. What the heck!
My doctor told me if I lose 50 lbs I could probably get off my meds and I’d lost 65 lbs! I was going to the gym and doing a high-intensity interval workout 4 times a week. Why do I still need the medications? People told me it’s genetics. Yet, I didn’t/don’t believe that. Just because your parents have a certain condition does not mean you have to. There are so many other factors.
I read books on controlling high blood pressure naturally, but the techniques mentioned were only marginally helpful as I had already lost weight eating a “healthy” diet, and eating low sodium. All this changed when I started working with Kelly and began implementing her strategies. In just 3-4 weeks I saw positive results and my blood pressure began to come down. After 10 weeks of working with Kelly, I saw my BP come from 142/80 to 129/73 regularly!
After 10 weeks of implementing the changes Kelly recommended, I had an appointment with my Nephrology (Kidney/BP doctor) and he officially removed me from all medications. My BP while at his office that day was 128/75. Praise God and thank you, Kelly, for your wholistic, real-world and natural solutions to lower my blood pressure.
What lead you to work with Kelly?
After 2 years of healthy eating and working out like a crazy man I was frustrated that my BP was not coming down. My Orangetheory fitness hired Kelly Schmidt to speak to the members regarding nutrition and she was a game-changer. You see I had worked with other registered dietitians who offered great advice but the hands-on approach Kelly uses gave me the tools to be successful. Her strategies were the key to my success including her lab work (I did her MRT LEAP Protocol blood test).
What was your health status when you first started working together?
My blood pressure was not getting any better, in fact, the doctor was advising me to add a 3rd blood pressure medication to help better control my BP. I did not want to add more medications, a band-aid to an underlying problem, so I began working with Kelly. After 10 weeks of working together, I saw my BP come from 142/80 to 129/73. I measure my BP multiple times a day. It’s hard to manage what I don’t monitor.
What were your biggest challenges when you started working together? And what are your challenges today, if they have changed?
When we first started, I did not have any real challenges because I was so excited especially after seeing results. There were some difficulties in adjusting my diet to her strategies, but I wanted to change. The challenge now is not slipping back into those old habits and staying true to eating healthy ad we have updated our plan to provide this needed guidance.
How do you view wellness now, compared to before you worked together?
In “counting macros” it’s all about carbs, fats, and protein. It’s not fully about the quality of food you put in your body. I lost a tremendous amount of weight like this so I thought it was the best thing but it didn’t help my blood pressure. I fully understand now that the type and quality of food we put in our bodies really do matter. It matters for our general health and specifically my blood pressure.
What are your top 3 things that you have learned from Kelly, that will continue with you on your wellness journey?
1) Avoiding refined carbs, sugar, and foods I’m sensitive to.
2) Fat in foods is not the enemy.
3) Food quality matters, including the type of fats and protein sources.
3a) Eating 3 times a day with no snacking takes practice, but is better for my health and goals overall.
Is there anything else you want to share?
When I first considered working with Kelly, I was a little skeptical as I wasn’t sure she could help. Remember, I had lost a lot of weight, read blood pressure books but yet my blood pressure was still high. I asked Kelly when we first began discussing becoming a client” do you really think you can help with my health goals” and she was very confident she could help. My 3 goals when I began working with Kelly in this order of importance were:
- Lower my blood pressure to the 120s systolic & get off BP medications – CHECK
- Reduce inflammation. I had back and knee pain. – CHECK
- Lower body fat – CHECK