I give you Tom.
Someone who is always supporting, cheering, & making us laugh along the way.
I was so glad when he emailed & asked about doing a guest post here as I’d grown pretty curious about the man behind the HFB.
Taking Stock in Myself
In the north east part of the United States this past week, we got a snippet of spring when the temperature cracked 60 degrees one day. Somewhat unusually for February since we were still peaking over snow banks before backing our cars from the driveway. It’s been a cold winter again, not brutal but cold just the same, and there’s something about getting older that makes the temperature seem worse than when you were a kid.
Around here when winter rolls around you usually go into a suspended time. It starts with “the holidays” and ends when the windows open up for the warm afternoons of April. Much of the season is just unmemorable where frozen dark mornings turn into dark evening drives, with an occasional glimpse of grey throughout the day.
On that particular day though, I remembered it was very sunny and felt sweater only warm. The sky was that deep blue that actually makes you look up and taken notice. Something also happens when you have days like this. Your mind gets a little sharper and everyday thoughts get replaced by daydreams of days gone by. I don’t know why, but that day also made me pause and think about the past year more than I ever did before.
My reason for this review was to look back over this past year and think about where I was 12 short months ago. You see, I was slowly becoming a stereotype for all men over the age of fifty. I didn’t exercise and continued to eat like a teenager. I had high blood pressure that I attributed to my work and not to my lifestyle, and I didn’t have to worry about it since there were pills that took care of it. I usually felt tired all day and would nod off while sitting behind my desk. Not like a full sleep, but more like a one minute cat nap. My doctor suggested a sleep study when I told him about it. When I look back, I think he asked me if I was tired all the time and maybe that’s why I told him. I guess the extra weight I was pulling around along with an increased neck size confirmed my doctor’s feeling and I found out that I have sleep apnea. Again I figured that it didn’t matter since I used a CPAP machine at night that would keep my airway open and again that problem was solved. Pills to keep my body under control and a machine to make sure I woke up the next morning what could be wrong with that?
Each time during these medical visits, my doctor would tell me that a decrease in weight would be beneficial to the conditions I acquired. I heard him and would be motivated for maybe a week or two until the next social gathering or take-out food interfered.
For months I didn’t really change anything with the way I approached life and then things really got crazy. In the early winter of 2007 I felt dizzy at work and a little unsteady on my feet. There was also a sensation like there was a ton of pressure trying to release from my head. I thought I had must some head cold and after a few nights of taking Nyquil with no improvement I guess I needed something stronger. Off to the doctor for some more talk and review and maybe a pill could help me with this too. But this time the doctor ordered some lab work. A blood test later and I’m being told that I have Type II diabetes. Wow, that was a shock to me and right away I felt a certain stigma that is associated with this. The reality that I was just one in the crowd really sank in.
I couldn’t get over the embarrassed and foolish feeling that I did this to myself. There had been many warnings, but very little action on my part to change things. One thought was that this was a death sentence, since I knew a woman in our area that had diabetes and in the end resulted in death. I felt like a jackass for not trying to do even the simple things to keep me healthy. I could kick myself for wasting those years and feel even worse that I had a choice to make a difference and didn’t take it.
My doctor said that he wasn’t going to start any medication but just wanted to treat this with diet and exercise. Since that moment I have changed, and what it did was put my focus on fixing things that I broke. I started doing what I know and that was turning to the internet to find answers. Sure I visited WebMD and a few other sites that gave some medical advice, but I really turned to the blogs since this was a group that not only offered some advice and understanding, but put a personality to it as well. Reading daily posts and responding on occasion helped me build a better outlook and showed that you could teach an old dog new tricks.
My diet started to get better as I read how to get my metabolism working in balance again. Exercise was now part of a regular exercise routine. I get a dose of inspiration now instead of blue pills. I’m dropping weight and feel much better. For many of you that may read this, I’m grateful. Most of you know who you are since I’ve left a comment or two on your site.
I started the blog homefitnessbody.com just a little less than a year ago as a method to help me get my life straight. I also felt that I had something to offer as an old guy looking back. If there was just one person that got some advice, help, inspiration or even a chuckle from visiting then I was right. This particular guest post is a little different than the way I usually write since I try to put some humor in my day and what I told doesn’t have a lot of laughs. You’ll see many attempts of humor from my comments on Miz’s blog as well as the others that have helped me. Thanks for allowing me to let my shields down for a drive by peak.