Our Wellness

Written for The PEMCO Employee Newsletter - January 2013

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When I was invited to contribute to this month’s issue of “Our Wellness” I considered the messages I’d most like to share. It occurred to me that the best place to start – just as we do with the development of business strategy – is with my “why.” Why did I start the journey to a healthier life?  Why do I share updates of my progress – and occasional missteps – in my personal blog?

I’ve learned that without clarity around my why, the what and the how won’t matter. It can’t be someone else’s why. Only one why matters enough for me to remain focused and committed. It’s the why that lives within me – a reason that would genuinely matter if I didn’t achieve my goal.

So here’s how my journey began. This is the answer to “why wellness” for me.

On September 8, 2011 – the day that I made the commitment to a healthier life – my world looked like this. I was 58 years old and weighed 325 pounds. My mother died when she was 57 so I was very aware that I’d already had one “bonus year” of life. I had a wife and family, including five wonderful grandchildren that I loved very much. The youngest, Evan, was only one week old and I had yet to hold him for the first time. My fitness was in terrible shape. I found myself short of breath after doing things that are so simple they are embarrassing to admit – little things, like bending over to tie my shoes. Most of the shirts that I could wear were extra-extra large, and I had to admit that even after shopping at four major department stores I still wasn’t able to find a belt that was my size – 52” plus.

Those were the facts. How I dealt with them was up to me. What changed my behavior was my why, and my why was wrapped into my grandchildren.  I never had the chance to know either of my grandfathers. My children were never able to know my parents. I wanted to change things. I wanted my grandchildren to know me. I wanted to have time to be part of their lives.

So I wrote it down and started a new section of my blog called Healthy Edge. At 1:07 AM I made the first post and committed to documenting the journey on a weekly basis. That commitment to public accountability, and the support that came from people who read it, has been the secret to my success. Along the way I’ve made the choice not to be on anyone else’s diet plan. I’ve created my own “live it” plan. I decided not to schedule time to work out, but seek activities that I consider “fun outs.” For me, the effort I make has to be something that I can enjoy and sustain.

So far, after about 15 months and 66 blog posts, I’ve managed to lose 65 pounds. Last week I purchased two new pair of jeans with a 40 inch waist and a 40 inch belt to hold them up. The best part is that my grandchildren and I have had another year together. I went to Evan’s first birthday party in October. Next March I plan to be in Colorado to welcome my sixth grandchild, Evalyn, to the family.

Your comments, suggestions, and stories of your personal edge are always welcome in my guest book.

Our Wellness