A month after my emergency room visit and I feel great.

IMG_0489I have to be honest.  I have been living very well lately.  Very clean.  It’s almost scary what can happen when you decide to stop destructive behavior and focus on positivity and health.  It doesn’t take that long and it’s pretty simple.  Here’s what that looks like for me.  (No, I’m not the guy in the picture, but I feel how he looks)

If you haven’t been following my blog, I had an awakening with regards to my health.  You can read about it here.

I’m almost a month removed from that hospital visit and I am happy to report that I have lost 15lbs. and am dedicated to changing my lifestyle habits.

I have been sleeping better, eating right and exercising.  I have been trying to focus on my relationship with God, through daily prayer, and scripture reading.  I have made very conscious efforts to humble myself and promote others around me.  And one of the biggest things I have been doing is purposely guiding my heart away from stress.

Here’s a breakdown;

Sleeping better – After learning of my sleep apnea and consulting with a doctor, I have undertaken a sleep study.  They are basically trying to find the correct c-pap machine for me.  In the meanwhile, I have been trying to make sure I lay my head down and shut it down.  I know I need at least 6 hours of sleep.  I have been making sure that happens.  I am not sure I will end up using the machine.  I only have mild sleep apnea and my doctor said weight loss will help that situation.  More to come later on that.

Eating right – I downloaded an app called “Lose It”.  Basically, you use a calorie counter to track caloric intake and expenditure.  They set calorie limits for you based on your desired goals.  My goal is to lose 2 lbs. a week until I reach 190 – 195.  I don’t even know if that’s possible, due to my physiology, but I’m going for it.  Anyway, this app really does a good job of convicting you before you reach for that unhealthy snack.  I have also removed fast food, fried foods (except wing stop, which my wife says is fried chicken), and the majority of processed foods and carbohydrates. I drink mainly water now as well.

Exercising – I can’t run anymore.  My knee can’t take the impact.  I have to come to grips with the fact that I’m 41and not able to take the same physical abuse I once did.    I invested in a road bike and am riding now.  I ride the bike at the gym during the week because where I live it’s too hot outside (108 avg. last week).  I get up early on Saturday and Sundays and do 9-10 miles.  It is great for my joints.  I also have re-dedicated myself to strength training.  I was always pretty athletic, having played many sports growing up including Football (American), Wrestling, Baseball and Track and Field (110 Hurdles & Javelin).  I have a muscular build, beneath all of my fat.  I lifted weights all through high school and for many years after.  Weight training comes easy for me, but time is another story.  For the past month I have made it a point to make time.

Relationship with God – Not to be overlooked is my desire to have an intense relationship with God.  I have simply been reading devotions and studying scripture in the morning.  I use the Bible app and set us various reading plans.  It has reminders and also allows you to build a community base to encourage and hold each other accountable.  It’s a pretty great tool.  It’s also pretty simple.

Staying stress free. – This is a really cool one.  I have been staying stress free by making my request known to God and purposely stopping myself from stressing out.  My heart can’t take it.  I always thought I didn’t have stress, but when I sat back and looked at my lifestyle, I had tons of stress.  Besides sleep interruptions every night, I am an anal, Type – A, obsessive compulsive personality who has high expectations for those around me.  Especially my family.  These traits make me very effective at my job, but not an especially joyful husband and father.  When my expectations for my family aren’t met, I go into “commando sergeant mode” and try to get them all on-board.  While there is merit to being clean, on time and consistent, I have to seperate what’s important from what’s necessary.  There are also different ways to get key messages across.  Mainly, I have decided to stop sweating the small stuff.  My wife has noticed.  She said she likes the new chilled out version of myself, but has commented that she needs me to be “commando sergeant” sometimes.  We have 4 children 10 & under and she can’t do all the discipline.  Basically, I am searching for balance here.  I have learned to feel stress coming on.  When I feel it, I stop and think about my emergency room visit.  Then, I usually walk away from whatever situation it is that I was going to freak out about.  It’s not that important.

The best part of that is, I am letting God control it all.

My work situation – When I try to control and manipulate everything, it causes my heart to go into a-fib.  The same goes for situations at work.  There are people and situations at work that used to worry me to no end.  I would think about possibility scenarios and try to head them off by manipulating the outcome.  It mainly involves organizational changes that could lead to promotions for a few while others are seemingly left out.  It has caused a rift in the organization and some people’s true colors are coming out.  It’s a bit stressful.  Two weeks ago I decided to not “play the game” and let God do His work.  I have been able to focus on my job and also decided to focus on promoting one of my employees who is ready to move to the next level.  It’s amazing how much stress you can relieve by taking the focus off of yourself.

That’s it for today.  I will return to this topic in the near future.  I am learning that in order to be a true “boss in the middle”, I need to let go.  It’s changing my thought process.  It makes me feel pretty great.  I feel like with God, I can do anything.