Working on My Health

So I have to admit some of what’s been going on lately has been me working on a VERY personal battle to repair my health. For the past 20 years, basically since starting into I.T., I have been working hard to build up my knowledge, build up a reputation, and be in a position to provide reasonably well for the future. Of course, you know, 10 years ago, I proposed to my wife and a year later we were married.

And a combination of bad luck, a few mistakes on my part, and just a lot of challenges to surpass came up and made it a bigger challenge to make sure things stayed running. My wife and I worked our behinds off to get through all that, but in the process, 20 years of stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem lead me to turn to my one and only serious vice – soft drinks.

See, I don’t drink. It’s nothing against alcohol, I just never got into it. I don’t smoke. I did very briefly and quit; it was stupid, it was expensive (which was even more stupid) and it didn’t really appeal to me beyond the social instances. I don’t do drugs – I’m messed up in the head enough already (I’m in I.T. – I must be messed up in the head).

It’s true that in college I ate more than I should have; at first, anyway. That leveled out after two years and the fact that I had to walk all over meant that I lost a fair amount of weight, and balanced out. That is, until after college. The combination of driving to work, being stressed at work, working two or more jobs… all of it lead me to turn to the one and only thing that kept me going. Generally it was some variety of Pepsi or Dr. Pepper.

And that’s lead to where I have landed myself in need of serious changes to my lifestyle, while there’s still time to do something to fix it. So the past three weeks has lead to a few lifestyle changes. Key among them? I had one soft drink two weeks ago. I hadn’t had one for 5 days before that. As of this point, that’s almost 3 weeks of no soft drinks. The only thing I have had in all this time is water. Water, with an occasional splash of life juice (from one of those cooking squeeze bottles) or perhaps an actual lime (when I had the time to cut one up for my drink).

For what little I ate, I cut out candies, ice cream or any other sort of sugar desserts. Now I snack on fresh fruit, the occasional cheese cubes or peanuts, and that’s it.

I was told to cut down on fried foods. This was kind of funny, because ever since we got an air-fryer last year, I haven’t really been able to stomach fried foods. Have more salads? I love salads, especially the type with grilled chicken on them.

Cut down on fatty and starchy foods in general – so I eat less pasta now (in fact, I haven’t had any in a few weeks), I don’t really eat anything with potatoes. The only thing that is a challenge here sometimes is bread. But I’ve been moderating that and looking for lunches (the problem meal) that I can make that don’t require having a sandwich with bread.

Any so here I am. I’ve lost about 30 lbs so far since the start of the year, with 5+ lbs in the past week. My stomach is starting to flatten out. And I have been mentally feeling somewhat better. My wife was pretty sure for years that the heavy sugars was contributing to lousy moods and making me unbearable, at times.

She was definitely right about that. In the past 3 weeks I’ve found my mood progressively getting better, and the family feels like I’m easier to deal with things. I should have listened to her about this years ago, but I’m a moron sometimes. Thanks, honey, for putting up with that and not putting a pillow over my face during the nights.

Finally, I am exercising. Nothing heavy yet. I am doing a lot of walking, time on the treadmill, at the indoor track at work, and now with the dogs more.

My goal? Get my health back in reasonable shape, get down to at least 260 lbs (that’s my initial goal) and get myself to the point where I can maybe in the future enjoy something like the occasional sonic float or shake (like once every few months) without letting it impact my health. That last part may not happen, but if not, at least I can get my weight back down and maybe be around for some time to come.