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Tri Challenge: Checking things off my list
Dr. Scott Zahn after the 100k Titletown Bike Tour, with riders Dan Cibulka (left) and Tim Hoyman (right)
July 30th, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Tri Challenge: Checking things off my list

Since January, six iReporters have been training in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. We’re following along as they prepare to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the August 7 Nautica NYC Triathlon.

Lose weight and get fit – check

Set a better example for my patients and their parents – check

Lead a healthier and more active lifestyle – check

Get off my medications – check!

That’s right I am off my medications! My application for the CNN Fit Nation Tri-Challenge was triggered by a visit to my primary care provider for the first time in many years. I left that appointment with three medications, two for blood pressure and one for lipids. Within a couple months I was off of one of the blood pressure medications after losing some weight and having some lightheadedness. I am happy to report that my doctor has now taken me off all of my medications.

Obviously I knew that leading a healthy lifestyle and eating better would help with my medical problems, but to be able to come completely off medications in a little over six months is something that I never expected. My physician will continue to monitor my blood pressure and labs, but he feels that at this time there is no benefit to continuing with medications.

Six months! In just that short time I have made incredible changes physically and have extended my life expectancy by many years. This was one of my goals when I started this process but to actually accomplish this goal feels great. The new goal is to stay off the medications. I still have a strong family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease so I will never be in the clear. It has been hard work; I won’t deny that, but look at the results.

Now there is just one thing that is left on my list:

Kick butt at the NYC Triathlon – check?


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.