If there has been one area of pursuing a balanced life that I've struggled with most, it would have to be the Health and Fitness category.
In January of 2008, I started working from home, pursuing podcasting and new media work as my full-time career. I was anything but the picture of physical health at the time. However, I never dreamed I could actually do worse than I had already done up to that point.
Working from home certainly had its advantages at a time where gasoline prices had risen to an all-time high. However, having my office in the lower level of our home had some major disadvantages to pursuing a balanced life. Some I'll touch on here and others I'm sure I'll touch on in future posts.
As I was building my business from the ground up, I felt a lot of pressure to work on my business a great deal. Don't get me wrong, I loved what I was doing! However, during the first two months, I was literally working around the clock, seven days a week, twelve to fourteen hours a day. (No, I'm not exaggerating. I wish I were!)
There were other things going on at this time which I'm certain I'll be writing about in upcoming posts. Working around the clock, for me, meant sitting in front of a computer all day long. There were some weeks where I'd venture to say that I hardly even walked out the front door of our home. What was already a weight problem before was becoming a weight crisis. It was not healthy and I could tell that something had to change.
I had many failed attempts at doing something about my physical fitness routine. However, in May of 2008, I decided to go public with my desire to get my physical health under control. I turned to the gspn.tv community and asked them for their encouragement and for them to hold me accountable to the goals that I had shared with them as it related to physical activity at first.
At the time, I started working out for twenty minutes a day, three days a week. I had not yet changed what, or how much, I was eating. I was just trying to take it one step at a time.
In June of 2008, I had a major breakthrough in my physical fitness routine. My wife had received a pedometer as one of many gifts in a gift back from our friend Alison L . Stephanie let me borrow her pedometer as I went out and did my physical activity. I was reminded about the many stories I had read about the 10,000 steps a day program . After just two days, I knew I had to have my own and I went to Dick's Sporting Goods to get my own.
I made it my goal to get to where I would be walking 10,000 steps a day, at least three to five days a week. The first few weeks I had made it to 3,000 steps per day. A few weeks later, I was up to 5,000 steps per day. It was not until two months later, the end of July 2008, that I had the ability to walk a full 10,000 steps on a consistent basis. It was at that point I began to track the amount of calories I was taking in, using an iPhone application . I was loosing pounds week after week.
With all that being said. I still had my ups and downs. I had days where I was too lazy to get out the door, allowing myself to get tied to the computer screen and where I just didn't make walking a priority. There were days that I simply didn't track my calorie intake because I wanted to eat some comfort food to help medicate some of the stress of figuring out what to do next in my business to get us to the next level, moving closer to where we could pay the bills on the income generated from the business. Somewhere along the way, I completely fell off track! I'm sure I had a lot of great excuses at the time.
This is why the name of my blog and podcast is "Pursuing A Balanced Life" and not "Living A Balanced Life." Okay, well that, and the fact that the other domain was taken. ;)
Things were not helped much by the fact that in January of this year (2009), I had a gall bladder attack. I spent some time in the hospital where they removed both my gall bladder and my appendix. Then there were a few weeks of recovery.
As you might imagine, after having several weeks of being off work, the pressure was on to get things rolling again, and the long hours began again, with me only occasionally going out for a walk.
About two weeks ago, I had noticed some tingling and numbness feeling in my left pinky finger and half of my ring finger. I thought maybe it was carpel tunnel except I understand that would be localized to my thumb, index, middle, and the other half of my ring finger. I decided to try to rest my left arm as much as possible, but the fact that I was dealing with something that could be associated with diabetes really woke me up to the fact that this area of my life was once again, way out of balance.
On Friday, May 1st, 2009, I had read a post in the Health, Fitness, and Accountability section (Only viewable to registered members) of the gspn.tv Community Forum that my friend, Richard, from the UK , sent me. He wrote… "May Day today – time for a new walking resolution Cliff."
It was all the encourage that I needed. Since then, I've been out walking again, averaging about 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. In fact, last Monday, I started tracking my weight and calories again.
I'm very happy to announce that in the past seven days, I've lost SIX POUNDS and one and a half inches around my waist. Not only that, but I'm eating a great deal healthier as well. I'm not only counting the calories I'm taking in, I'm also carefully watching what kind of foods that are providing those calories.
Of course I'll be sharing a great deal more about the details of exactly what changes I've made in the types of food that I'm eating and how I've stayed motivated these past 11 days in the next podcast episode of "Pursuing A Balanced Life Podcast."
The numbness in my fingers is still there and has been the past two weeks. I'm going to call and make a doctor appointment today to get complete physical checkup. Please pray for me. To be checked for sugar diabetes means "needles" and I hate those things!
If you're stuck behind a desk all day and you've felt bad about how little you've taken care of your health and physical fitness, why not join me in Pursuing A Balanced Life with an increase focus on this area of our lives.
Of course you can follow some of my progress in this, and other areas of my life here in the blog. However, I'd ask you to consider thinking about becoming a gspn.tv Plus Member and subscribing to the "Pursuing A Balanced Life Podcast." If nothing else, why not click on over to https://gspn.tv/plus and just listen to the testimonials there.
In summary…. I'm very excited about my success this past week! The secret to my success can be boiled down to what my friend, Frank (another podcast listener) told me all the time. Eat Less! Move More!
If anyone is wondering, I use the Sportline Walking Advantage 340 Step & Distance pedometer . You can get them at Dick's Sporting Goods and various places online. There are a lot of pedometers out there and most of them DO NOT do a great job of counting steps. I've found this one to be extremely reliable.
The only drawback is that I've lost one off my belt clip once or twice in the past. I believe in the motivation that a pedometer provides so much that had purchased several of these as backups.