I have begun a kind of adventure out of necessity. I’ve been on it before, many times in fact, to varying degrees of success. Sometimes it was motivated for all the wrong reasons, and sometimes it was motivated out of practicality. This time, due to a kind of “perfect storm” of circumstances, it’s motivated out of a sense of taking advantage of the opportunities at hand.
Let me set this up a bit. I’ve been overweight all of my life. In 2002-2003, sometime in that era, I got on the scales and weighed in at 340 pounds. That’s the weight of two healthy slim men. It kind of freaked me out a bit, enough to grab a bag of chips and a two liter of Dr Pepper, and resume the gluttonous couch potato lifestyle. No changes. Or so I thought. To make what could be a very long story more digestible, (no pun intended) my eating habits did change. I wasn’t necessarily eating healthier, but I was eating and drinking less. Working at Wal Mart always kept me on my feet and moving. In 2006, 2008, and 2013, I had a few good season of exercising and working out on a consistent basis. I found my average weight dropping to 265, 255, and then 235.
I must also say that during this time, the onset of diabetes and heart arrhythmia occurred, although I wasn’t officially diagnosed as diabetic until 2012. I made a few more lifestyle changes, but not until fall of 2014 did I really begin to get serous about my diet, cutting out a lot of carbs and 90% of all sugars. I cheat from time to time, but don’t beat myself up over it.
Let me also break in and say that part of this “perfect storm” is not having a car. Hence, I walk to and from work 75% of the time. I moved into a new apartment about 7 weeks ago (another element to the perfect storm) and it is about a 2 1/2 mile trip one way to work. From my old apartment, it was a 5 mile trip, one way. I walked that route several times, and afterwards, I was spent and useless. The new route is much, much more “doable”. While I definitely don’t like the inconvenience of not having the freedom of a vehicle, it does force me to plan my days and weeks a little better. I have a handful of very dependable friends who have my back when it comes to needing a ride, like during inclement weather or longer distances. Having said all of that, the extra walking definitely contributes to the overall progress. Did I mention that I live right next door to Fairview Park, Sherman’s largest park with multiple walking routes, including a 1.83 mile track? Just give me my iPod and headphones, and I’m good to go with my playlists and podcasts and Audible. If I don’t walk to work, or if it’s my days off, I walk at the park.
I say all of that to say this – I weigh in at about 211lbs and still dropping, week by week. It’s kind of a no brainier, actually. Some days, whether I feel like it or not, I’m forced to walk. And I always seem to enjoy it. After a thirty minute rest at work, I’m good to go. Also, during this time, I’ve really watched my eating habits, and honestly, my appetite has waned considerably. There are some evenings, after the walk home, I’m just not hungry. So I don’t eat. I eat a large breakfast the next morning. Some evenings I eat fruit, and drink water and hot tea, and that’s it. Some evenings, I steam veggies and salmon, or broil chicken. Some nights, I order a pizza. I have a cheat day every week, so I won’t go insane. But I usually don’t go crazy with it, either.
All of this activity stems from habit design, and being in the right place at the right time, and saying yes to the opportunity at hand. Otherwise known as a little bit of luck. Nonetheless, also thrown in is a little bit of hard work. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” I definitely don’t claim to be a genius, but I hope my 99% inspires your 1%, and that in turn fuels your 99%. You don’t even have to be inspired to do the 99%. As Nike would say, you just do it. Kinda clichè, but most clichès have a grain of truth within.
“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” Susan Sontag