Sunday, August 28, 2016

Big changes coming up - trying to sustain the momentum

People who know me will know that my last blog post was carefully worded: "Moving again", and "coal train from eastern Montana"!? More details will be published soon enough, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I'm leaving Helena at the end of September. I've handed in my notice at work and told my landlord that I'll be vacating my apartment. The wheels are in motion! 

I moved here to Helena on the Labor Day weekend back in 1996, and was fortunate enough to get a job within four days. Life has been a rollercoaster ride of ups and down, but mostly ups, ever since (buying a house, the birth of my daughter, a few job changes, divorce, moving house a few times, new relationships, etc.) Especially in the past 14 months, almost all  the changes have been good ones. 

I've managed to lose 122 pounds in 14 months (405 lbs down to 283 lbs). My waist size has gone from a shocking 60" to a not quite so shocking 48". I used to struggle to find decent clothing to wear. Last week I bought my first pairs on non-5XL non-sweatpants. When I'm in a car, I can do the seatbelt up without needing an extension. When I'm in a restaurant, I can fit in the booths now - I don't need a table. Whereas I used to only be able to walk a city block, now I can regularly walk 8 and 10 miles in a day. I've climbed Mount Helena three separate times in the past three months - that's three more times than in the previous 19 3/4 years of living here! My average weekly number of steps has increased from 35,000 to 70,000+. 

Now, a new phase is about to begin. I want to find a new job, preferably one that is not sitting behind a desk all day. I want to be able to share the gifts that I have (knowledge, wisdom, experience, compassion, love, inspiration, etc.) and thereby enrich the lives of other people. At the same time, I have to maintain my own progress. I know I'm only half way there yet... I still need to lose another 105 lbs. I still want to fit into 36" waist pants (I haven't done that in 25 years). I still have lots of other goals and stepping stones along the way. 

My third time at the summit of Mount Helena (August 27th, 2016)
Eastern Montana will certainly be quite different from the more picturesque mountains of western Montana. Thinking about the positives, it'll make cycling a lot easier. I'll be able to develop those leg muscles more steadily. My former plan: to ride a bike from Helena to Portland, might need to be changed or postponed until another year. A quick-and-dirty calculation says that from Sidney, MT, to Glacier Park is about 487 miles, along US-2 (the Hi-Line). That would still be a good challenge!

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