Thoughts on improving my health

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.

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