A Warning, a Wake-up Call and a Second Chance
My efforts in chasing the thin man started with a warning, a wake-up call, and a second chance. As most of you know I am seventy-one years old and I am proud of it. I’ve made it this far and I am grateful for the wonderful life I lived and I would like to continue on because I have big plans, but you’ve probably heard the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him what your plans are”.
In mid-May, Anne and I planned a long weekend get-away to Carmel, California, a beautiful coastal town south of San Francisco which I visited several times when I was in college. Carmel is filled with art galleries, interesting and unique shops and great restaurants. Knowing we would be doing a lot of walking on our mini vacation, I decided to prepare by getting out and walking around my neighborhood.
My first outing was not what I had expected. My path was only two blocks up, one block over and two blocks back. During my first attempt I had to stop three times to rest and catch my breath. Even more disturbing than my lack of stamina, was the pressure I began to feel in the center of my chest. Was this a sign of heart problems? Again? You see, seventeen years ago I had open heart surgery because of blocked arties. My triple bypass was completely successful and I recovered well. Afterwards, I paid more attention to staying healthy, watching what I ate and I even quit smoking for about eight months. But, in recent years I returned to my old habits, gained a ton of weight, ate whatever I wanted with complete abandon and spent most of my time in front of my computer monitor working from my home office while sitting on my ever expanding behind.
Over the past few years, I have taken a few steps to counter balance my sedentary lifestyle including riding my stationary bicycle for 20 to 40 minutes a day, but this has been inconsistent at best. Then about a year ago, after reading that “sitting is the new smoking”, I ordered a motorized lifting mechanism for my desk and once installed, all I have to do is push a button and it lifts to a programmable comfortable position where I can stand and continue to work. That was great for a little while until I started forgetting to push the up button.
To solve that, I bought an Apple watch, and with the help of a young tech savvy friend, set an alarm to remind me to stand every hour. That’s been more effective at getting me up and on my feet mostly because I have no clue how to turn the damn thing off.
Despite my minimum efforts, or maybe because of them, I saw no noticeable improvements in my health or fitness - and I am still fat. I don’t know about you, but for me, not seeing at least some positive results makes it very difficult to stay inwardly motivated. But, sometimes motivation comes in the form of a wake-up call from an outside source, and my wake-up call came on June 30 when I met my cardiologist to review the results of my recent tests.