Sunday, June 05, 2016

Priorities for the rest of 2016

Now that my trip to Oregon is behind me, it's time to focus on the next few months of my improved health journey.

It started almost a year ago and has, for the most part, been successful. Having been, at one point, "pre-diabetic" with A1c values of 6.4, 6.2 and 6.1 %, I now have better control of my weight and diet, and those values are coming down all the time. Whereas I once physically struggled to walk to the end of my driveway and back, or walk half a city block, I can now comfortably walk 10 or 12 miles at a time, including up a steep mountain ( I've lost 110 pounds of weight in the past 12 months.

Thinking about just the weight loss aspect, if my plan is to go from 405 lbs to 178 lbs, that's a loss of 227 pounds. I've lost almost half of that in 12 months, so I know I have at least 12 more months to go. I also know that I may always be carrying an extra 25 lbs of extra loose skin with me, unless I have it surgically removed - which I wouldn't do until I've proven to myself that I can keep the extra weight off for at least an extra year. Still, even if I "only" get to 200 lbs, that's still a heck of a lot better than 400 lbs, right? That's still 200 lbs less body mass to have to move all the time, 200 lbs less that my heart has to pump blood around, 200 lbs less for my skeletal joints to support.

To help me achieve my ultimate weight loss goal, which I have broken up into a series of monthly goals (, I will be continuing the hiking and backpacking and walking. I had toyed with the idea of buying a car to get around before the next winter comes, but discarded that thought. The exercise is good for me, and I really need to learn to love the cold and snow. I moved to Montana 20 years ago in September, and have never really embraced the weather here (

I've spoken to a number of people recently who have said something along these lines: "I need to get moving too, because of my arthritis (or they want to lose weight, or to control their blood sugar, or whatever), but I can't find the enthusiasm". If you are one of those people - call me! We'll go for walks. Even if it's only a measured mile (or two) around Centennial Park, I'll walk with you! I don't walk especially fast (3.0 mph is usually my max, about 2.7 mph is 'normal' for me) but I'll encourage you and we can hold one another accountable and motivate each other.

So, thinking about new activities to keep things fresh and push myself in new directions, here are some things I'm looking at:
Some of you may be familiar with the biblical expression, "Man does not live by bread alone" (or, in my case, lettuce alone!). Physical nourishment is not sufficient for a healthy life. A man (or woman) has other needs. For me, those include:
  • Winning the psychological battle with food that is going on in my head, 
  • Getting into better shape financially and becoming debt-free again, and 
  • Spending more time doing the things I love, with the people who are important to me. 
As an employee of the State of Montana, we have some excellent resources available to help with the first point (the psychological battle with food). After five years of loyal service, I'm doing okay financially where I'm at. My income is higher this year than it was last year or in previous years, and my expenses are lower. Starting tomorrow, I am ditching my home Internet connection (and those of you who know me know how much I [used to] LOVE the Internet). Instead, I'm going to use the time to get outdoors more, to do more reading and writing, or watercolor painting or photography, or whatever other things are important. 

Another priority will be to move towards a more vegetarian diet. I can't imagine myself becoming a total non-meat-eater, but I can foresee eating a lot less beef (think of the environmental consequences), and choosing better quality meat with fewer antibiotics. I can also see myself adding more pulses, beans and nuts back into my diet; both as protein sources and sources of fiber. I'll become an expert at cooking with cauliflower, broccoli, chard, kale and spinach. 

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Whoa! Hold it right there, dude! You can't ditch your internet connection before telling us about the long-anticipated account of your Oregon backpacking trip! Great job on getting below 300!!!!!