The Universe Gave Me A Wake-up Call This Week

A lot happened this week.

On the bright side, I lost two pounds!  I’m happy about the loss because it wasn’t the result of restriction or deprivation.  It was fun, tasty, and easy! What a blessing! The kind that’s wrapped in joy.

There were several things that paved the way for the loss:

I got 8 hours of good sleep each night, which saves me (and those around me) from a whole lot of crankiness the next day.  It also sets me up for good food choices.

I enjoyed meals and snacks made from whole plant-based foods, steering clear of anything overly processed. I even whipped out the calorie density tricks from my latest blog post.


Most importantly, I was able to manage my stress pretty well.  Stress is the one thing that can quickly derail me and cause me to gain weight. I have a system that I use to tackle the chaos of the day that inevitably arise from a busy career and home life.  (More to come on this in a future post).

So, on to the less-than-joyous part of the week.

Last week I received the results of my most recent round of bloodwork and scans.  My HDLs are slightly low, and my LDLs are still in an optimal zone, and scans showed no plaque buildup or aneurisms!   That’s awesome considering I gained weight and had been eating vegan junk food.


This really concerned me, because in my family, cardiovascular diseases are pretty prevalent.  Heart attacks, strokes, and aneurisms are the main killers.  High blood pressure and high cholesterol are a common thing among my relatives. 

A little history here:

My dad had a heart attack at 60. His mother died at 67 after a heart attack. One of his sisters also died from a heart attack, and his other sister had a heart transplant and lived for over 20 years afterwards. His father died at 57 after suffering several heart attacks. My maternal grandfather died when his aortic aneurism hemorrhaged. And one of my great aunts died from a stroke. And there’s much more. You get the picture. It’s everywhere!

Back in 2016, before I went vegan, I wasn’t feeling well. I was short of breath, wasn’t sleeping well, was having heart palpitations, and in general I felt like crap. I also had diverticulitis. I had a physical and the results of my bloodwork were less than desirable.   My blood pressure was super high and my cholesterol numbers were looking pretty bad.  High LDL’s and low HDL’S had me very concerned.  I felt like it was only a matter of time before something bad happened. It felt like my body was trying to warn me to change my ways.

I saw my physician and referred me to a cardiologist. I got a thorough assessment and I was surprised that the results weren’t so bad.   Yes, I needed to clean up my nutrition and lose some weight, but I had no signs of plaque buildup and no signs or aneurysms.  There was a warning though. If I didn’t make some changes, I would inevitably suffer some kind of cardiovascular-related ailment. I left his office extremely motivated to make changes. And boy did I ever!

After two years of being vegan and (at that time) losing 150 pounds, all of my numbers were in optimal zones!  I was so excited. Every couple of years I get checked, and for a number of years, the results were consistently optimal. Even though I was sidetracked for a while with vegan junk food, I never totally abandoned the whole food plant based way of eating that had allowed me to make all of my initial incredible results .  I never ate anything animal based.

Back to the present:

For the record, I’m not a fan of medications. I don’t often get sick. Rarely do I get a cold or anything worse. A couple of years ago I had COVID but it was very mild. I’ve had the flu maybe twice. And usually I just suffer through. I don’t like to take aspirin, cough medicine, Tylenol, etc. I feel like a lot of that stuff is toxic and unless I am really suffering, I won’t take it. I make every attempt to be as natural as possible and I personally feel that when we give our bodies the chance (through lifestyle choices, stress management, and connection to a higher power of one’s choice), they can self-healing. However there are some things that should not be messed with.  When things go sideways (like my blood pressure) allopathic medicine provides much-needed support and the space to work on the other changes that one needs to make to turn the situation around. In times like this, the potentially life-saving benefits of medicine should not be overlooked or underestimated. Let’s face it, high blood pressure is a (frequently silent) killer. 

I am reminded of one of my idols, Tina Turner. Before her death, she made a powerful statement about the importance of taking care of one’s well-being when she joined an international campaign to support kidney health.

She admitted that she had neglected her own well-being by ignoring her kidney disease and the hypertension that caused it.

Her honesty about the dangers of neglecting her health highlights the importance of seeking treatment and following medical advice. She offered a powerful message to remind us to listen to our bodies, take care of ourselves, and not be afraid to ask for help when needed.

Tina Turner’s decision to speak out about her health struggles is a testament to her resilience and serves as an inspiration for me as I face my own challenges.

So I’m on a low dose high blood pressure medication for a while.  And my pressure has quickly returned to normal.   It only took a few days!  I check it daily.  Once I shed some more pounds and am exercising more regularly, I will look forward to improved results. But until then, I will be monitoring my blood pressure daily, and maintaining regular visits with my doctor to make sure that I get the care that I need.

Returning to the joyous stuff now….. I had an Echocardiogram performed this past week with great results. Nothing of concern was noted. YAY!!!

I look at this latest development as a blessing as well. It’s a strong statement from the Universe that I was on the right track and that with some self-care and lifestyle changes, I can effectively manage something that could otherwise prove to be damaging, if not fatal.

Let’s see what the coming week brings!!!! Onward 🙂

Published by Tony Buffkin