A Year Out

It's been a year since I "escaped" from the hospital. I can't believe it -- in some ways the time has flown and it seems like yesterday, and in other ways it seems like many years ago.

Just one year ago I was lying in a hospital bed wondering what my future would bring. A year later and I'm 75 pounds lighter, much stronger and healthier, and my diabetes and cholesterol are under control. But that's just the beginning. I've used my health issues to make improvements throughout my life.

One small example is that since I work from home, I used to have an unpredictable and erratic schedule. I'd stay up until 3-4 in the morning some nights and sleep until noon. I'd work when I felt like it. Often I wouldn't even shower and "get dressed" since I wasn't going anywhere. I liked the freedom, but it obviously created problems with things other than just my health.

But diabetes is a disease that need consistency and routine. Your body's metabolism is out of whack and you need to regulate it manually, meaning you need to be on a schedule. So now I get up every day, exercise, shower, and get dressed. I work more consistently. I'm getting more organized. I feel much better. I've got more energy and I'm more comfortable going out and doing things.

The moral of the story is don't be afraid of your health problems: use them to help you and motivate you. That's what I did and now I think diabetes was the best thing that happened to me!

Soft Numbers

I'm a precision guy: I like hard numbers. But I've learned with dieting that everything is an approximation anyway and soft numbers are healthier.

For instance, when giving yourself a weight goal, give yourself a range. My weight goal is to stay under 150 pounds. Sometimes I'm several pounds under that, sometimes I creep up right to that. But I don't sweat it: your weight will vary a little no matter what you do and it's not healthy to stress over such details. By giving yourself a range you can still be "on target" and yet there's flexibility.

I do the same with my calorie targets. Lunch, for instance, is around 500 calories. Sometimes it's only 475 if I'm not too hungry or happen to have a high-volume meal that's low-calorie, while other times I might be closer to 600. I find this a lot less stressful than trying to hit a specific number with each meal.