Thoughts on improving my health

August 30th, 2015

One of my goals is to improve my health.  What does this mean?

The biggest part to me is losing weight.  It’s hard to know how much.  I keep thinking 100 lbs, but that’s probably because it’s a nice round number (ha! fat pun, round number, get it?).  Seriously though, I’m 6’4″ and I weigh 300  lbs.  Losing 100 lbs is probably possible, but I doubt it would be healthy.  The last time I weighed 200 lbs was 23 years ago, and I wasn’t as tall, and had a lot less muscle.  I got down to 215 ten years or so ago.  It felt great, I looked good, but even since then I’ve put on muscle.  The engineer in me wants to put a number on it…what can I say, I’m a numbers guy?  I think the initial target will be 70 lbs – I’ll just have to play it be ear after that.

Even though losing weight is my biggest health issue, there’s so much more.  I don’t want to just be thinner, I want to be healthier.  That’s going to involve so many life changes it’s hard to contemplate at times.  Better diet and exercise are the places to start, and they’ll contribute to the weight loss as well.

What else?  I smoke.  On and off since I was 12.  I’ve been “vaping” (I hate that term) for about eight months now.  That’s going to have to go too.  I just know that I can’t successfully give up all my emotional crutches at once.  Food is a HUGE emotional crutch for me.  I know that part has to change, and it has to change first.  I’ll eventually give up the nicotine as well.

I worry about my emotional health as well as my physical.  Sometimes I wonder how much my physical state contributes to my emotional and mental state.  It certainly does contribute – let’s face it, if you’re not happy with how you look, and you’re not happy with how you feel, that’s gotta be playing a role when you’re not happy with who your are.  I also wonder how  much the quality of my sleep impacts me.  I sleep with a CPAP (yay sleep apnea! not.).  It helps tremendously.  But at the same time, I feel like the quality of my sleep isn’t that great.  I don’t get to bed as early as I should.  I’m so used to staying up until a particular time, and getting up at a particular time, that it’s a hard habit to break.  But I know I need more sleep because when I get good quality sleep it makes a huge difference in the way I feel and behave and react to the world.

When I reflect on it, getting healthy as a goal is treating my symptoms.  What I really want is to feel good.  I don’t think I know how to feel good, so I’m treating the things that make me feel bad.  There are less tangible things I need to improve.  I don’t have a great plan for those yet.  Spiritually/philosophically, I have another set of issues.  I don’t know how to address those yet, but I’m thinking about it.  I imagine it will be the subject of more musings.

Personal improvement

August 24th, 2015

I’m not a great person.  Sometimes, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t even try to be a great person.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not evil incarnate.  I even have moments when I really shine.  It’s just that on the whole, I’m not happy with myself.  This tends to magnify my negatives in my minds eye.  It’s something I aim to change.

I’ve been slouching around in not-great land for quite a while now – several years.  If you were to look back through my posts, you’d see all the fun I had with epilepsy.  The medication was a real bitch.  By the grace of God, the seizures stopped a couple of years ago and I haven’t been on the medication for some time now.  So I can’t really use the “medication is making me feel rotten” excuse any more.  So what does that leave?  I’ve been slouching around out of inertia and habit.

This has left me in a place I don’t enjoy being in.  A place where I’m depressed a lot.  A place where I’m overweight (a lot).  A place where I lack motivation.  It’s a pit, and it’s a hard one to climb out of.  But it’s a pit I’ve been in before, and I know how to climb out of it, and I’m ready to start.

I’ve been reading a lot about leadership lately, and you know what?  It turns out that the path to leadership is a lot like the path to personal improvement.  Because if you honestly work at being a good leader (at work or at home or in any facet of your life), you end up realizing there’s a lot about yourself that needs improving.

One of the books I read recommended mission statements as a way of focusing how you want to be – this helps you to keep the important things in perspective.  I wrote a personal mission statement (linked under Pages).  I think it’s OK.  It’s a start, and I expect I’ll change it over time as new things become important to me.  Much to my own surprise, writing more is one of the items on my mission statement.  It’s cathartic I guess.  I enjoy writing my thoughts, so I’ll be posting here more.  I don’t think anyone reads this page – maybe my wife (hi Allena!) but that’s OK.  It’s a journal of sorts, and it meets the criteria of “writing more”.

Another item on my mission statement is losing weight and getting fit.  I don’t think this is even all that high in my priorities.  It probably should be, because I KNOW that losing weight and getting fit is a big part of getting out of the pit I mentioned above.  Consequently, it’s something I aim to change sooner rather than later because it’s an enabling step forward.  Tonight I walked several laps around the driveway (don’t laugh, it’s a big circular driveway – probably a good tenth of a mile loop).  I didn’t really count the laps – the goal was just to start.  Sometimes the kids held my hands.  My wife (hi Allena!) joined me for a few laps.  It was a nice little walk.  Nothing fancy, just a start.

Food and diet has been on my mind a lot lately too.  I’m an emotional eater.  When I feel bad, I eat.  Usually this makes me feel bad too, so it’s kind of a cyclical problem.  I read an interesting tidbit today about food – not what you eat but how.  The recommendation was to chew really slowly – not to inhale your food.  I definitely inhale my food most of the time.  So that’s where I’m going to start.  Not a forced reduction in calories, or going low/no carb, or anything like that.  I’m just going to work really hard at eating slowly.

Well, there we have it – my starts.  My start on change, my start on fitness, my start on my personal missions.  Step one out of the pit.

Wow. It’s been a while.

August 7th, 2015

Almost four years since my last post.  Ironically, I’m not working at Expedia anymore, and now I’m back at Duck Creek (which is actually owned by Accenture at this point).

I’ve decided to start writing again…I don’t suppose it matters if anybody reads it or not.  This is my online journal, where I can ramble and ponder and write whatever I want.  If you happen to stumble upon it, I hope you enjoy. :)

A new chapter in my career

August 11th, 2011

After a little over six years at Duck Creek Technologies, I’ve decided to move on.  On August 29, I start working for Expedia.com!

This was a tough decision to make – I’ve really enjoyed working for Duck Creek, but now that the decision is made, I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter.

Chain reaction

April 28th, 2011

Stress causes depression. Depression causes anxiety. Anxiety causes emotional outbursts (anger/frustration for me generally). These lead me back to stress.

Have you ever wanted to just walk away from it all? I don’t mean that in a “leave my family, quit my job” kind of way. I just mean, I would like to walk away from stress and depression, and anger, and anxiety, and for a little while just be happy-go-lucky and care free. To just forget about all the problems.

I think these are called “vacations”. I probably need one.