Today is my birthday, that’s why I’m writing this post a day early. I don’t mind sharing a bit about my personal life because there aren’t that many people who read this blog… and those that do probably already know it’s my birthday because some annoying Facebook post or calendar reminder popped up. Seriously, can we shoot the person who decided to integrate birthday notices into social media??!?? The world is not enhanced with 300 posts that say “Happy Birthday!!” and don’t forget the freekin’ smiley… but I digress –
The point is I get to celebrate today and my preferred method of celebrating is to not count calories… not at all. You see, over the last decade and a half I have put on a ton of weight, and as I got older the weight turned into commensurate health issues. I tried working out for several years and tried different diets. Atkins worked for a while, but eventually I got sloppy and used the diet as an excuse to eat unmoderated amounts of high fat, low carb foods. I got bigger, topped out nearly 270 lbs.
there is grease in the air
Then one day I was complaining to my doctor. I had worked out 3-7 days a week for years, I had tried crazy diets, I looked into appetite suppressants, and I was bitching (serious pity party) that I just couldn’t do it. He grabbed my belly and said “Calories in, calories out, you just got to eat less.”
Well, I’m a pretty focused individual when I have direction, so I started counting calories… lots of counting. To this day I still create a calorie sheet every day. You know, now that I think about it I have several smartphones and tablets. I run a fairly prolific blog, I have a home server and 36 ethernet drops in my house. I love trying out and using new services, or at least learning about them, but when it comes down to counting calories, the only way that really works long term is with a little list I keep in my front shirt pocket. It’s really funny how we always stick to the thing we learned on for the most critical needs in our life… but I digress… again…
Ok, back to the story. I dropped 90lbs. And you know what, just like my doctor and everyone promised all my problems, the extreme sleep apnea, the lower back issues, the sinus issues, the headaches and dizzy spells… they didn’t change at all. Some even seemed to get worse. Ok, well I do have very significantly reduced sinus issues… so I did get one major benefit.. which kinda makes up for having to repurchase my wardrobe three times.. Thank God for Goodwill. If diligent you can find some really good suits, but it takes consistent shopping. You need to stick with high quality name brands and have a good tailor who’s not too expensive for it to work out but if it does, you’re good to go. Ok, but I digress, for a third time… but give me a break here, it IS my birthday.
So what did I learn from all this? The takeaway is that all the Herculean efforts at health don’t mean you’re going to be healthy. My experience is a reminder that healthcare is tremendously important and only grows as you get older. This is true no matter how healthy you try to be. It’s a reminder that employer provided health care is a big challenge when we live in an age of up-sizing, downsizing, and rightsizing. An age of automation and outsourcing. I’m not a socialist and I’m not calling for single healthcare provider. It’s just on my mind because I’m writing the part of the long form writing project that talks about the history of healthcare. It really is just a comedy of errors over time that got us into the messed up system we currently have.
But those are big thoughts for another post.. heck it’ll be a series of posts about the different elements of our system. There is a century of employer provided health care development and there is allot to discuss.
But today, today is my birthday. Today I don’t have to count calories. I can eat whatever I want. I like to start my day at Waffle House with a 3-egg ham and cheese omelet. Michele (my wife) is extra kind to me on my birthday because she doesn’t like Waffle House but still goes with me. She says there is “grease in the air” in that place and, considering how slippery I feel when I walk out, she may be right. My consumption quality only goes downhill from there. Generally there are cakes, full fat versions of salad dressings gobbed onto highly piled salads, and lots and lots of cookies. It’s going to be a fun day, but I am glad it only comes once a year, that’s part of what makes it so special. I hope you have as much fun with your day as I plan to have with mine.
Now I gotta go check my Facebook and see how many people wished me a happy birthday. 🙂 🙂