After my post last week on aspirations, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about why I do what I do and where I want to be. While it may sound corny it think I can summed up as:
I want to forever at a high quality life.
Firstly what does forever mean? That could be a topic for a completely different argument that could only be enhanced with copious amounts of alcohol but for the context of this opus lets define forever as "as long as possible." I was riding with someone a few weeks ago and he was talking about how he was so overweight he got "the" stomach surgery. After the surgery he lost 115 pounds and his fitness was now to the point where he was riding a 50 mile or so group ride at a moderate pace. His doctor told him the surgery added 10 to 15 years to his life. Debatable on the duration, yes but I realized that an almost 300 pound guy with suspect family cardiac history and high blood pressure is not in the best position to maximize the length of his life. So, if I compare myself today against where I would need to be to maximize my life, what would the differences be?
- My weight cannot be where it is. Doctor says that my BMI needs to be less that 30 to not be clinically obese. That means someone who is my height needs to weigh less than 230lbs.
- I take high blood pressure medicine. With the recent stress in my life, I've had to adjust the medication and not in a good way. The goal would be to not have to take any at all.
- I had to get screened for life insurance recently. One of their key indicators was waist size where a man's waist over 40 inches raised flags. I don't know how fair and valid this "rule of thumb" is because I would assume that it should be different for a man of 6'2" as compared to a man of 5'6" but lets go with it. My waist is currently well over 40". In fact, I think the last time it was less than 40" was during the Carter administration.
- Sugar - My last blood test, while not diabetic, was to the point where it might be something to keep an eye on for a while. I don't want to have to "keep an eye" on anything. Again, family history isn't helping here.
- Sleep apnea - There was a time when I did a sleep study and the doctors determined that I had sleep apnea. They gave me a machine and a mask to sleep in. I never used it but lost weight and stopped snoring (according to my wife because I have had no evidence of snoring myself). With my recent weight gain, she says I'm starting to snore again. Got to fix that too.
This is where I need to be but not how I will get there but after I do what needs to be done to live forever I still need to answer "what is a quality life?"
Stay tuned for the plan and the definition.
While I see a ton of value in solidy defining these aspirations, I definitely feel you on the whole topic.
This is such a different goal from those we're usually setting for ourselves...and of course way more important in the long run. The fact that it's such a LONG (hopefully) long run makes the maintenance tricky, I think, at least for me.
Definitely looking forward to the next installment here.
Looks like you have some good and important goals. Looking forward to the plan then following along as you achieve them.
Defining what you need to do is half the battle, although probably the easier half. I too think of these things often and hold up my grandparents on my mom's side as role models, as much of the rest of my family history is riddled with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. All the best to you in formulating your game plan.
Seen you around the blogs I frequent.
My wife had surgery for it. They had her come in for a sleep study before the operation. Turns out at one point she didn't breath for 4.5 minutes... Scary stuff...that is until I started thinking she missed her calling and should have been a pearl diver.....
I used to take meds for high blood pressure and I had very bad sleep apnea. When I lost the weight everything went away. I had to take 5 different meds to control problems brought on by unhealthy choices. I am so happy that I rediscovered exercise and eating healthier. I have recently slipped on my weight in the last 6 months, making unhealthy choices with food again, so I am on a quest to lose 15 pounds.
Good luck with your goals.
BMI - pfffftt! I'm 6'5" and weigh 220. That gives me a BMI of 26 - which translates into "overweight", because not to be overweight, I'd need to be 25 or below. To achieve that goal, I'd have to get down to 210. That means I'm 10 lbs overweight.
Going on 52 years old; 6'5"; 220 lbs; ran 1300 miles last year; and the worthies who put this BMI thing together are telling me I'm fat and, presumably, out of shape! (Only I am allowed to say that about me. And occasionally Teh 'Bride and the Boy, who, let's face it, are gonna say it whether I want them to or not.)
And in order to be considered underweight? I'd have to starve myself down to 155 feckin pounds, which is the point at which my BMI would be under 18.5. At 6'5" and 156 lbs? I'd be, according to this index, perfectly healthy. Way better off than the fat bastard I am now at 220.
The BMI index is no better, and no less arbitrary, than the stupid-ass formulas it replaced and was supposed to be "superior" to.
My point? It's also stupid for a 40-inch waist to be some sort of magical number that sets off bells. With some people, a 40 inch waist would be a problem.
Others? Maybe not.
Don't get me wrong. I think it's good you're setting goals and good luck to you. It's just these arbitrary measurements that get me sometimes.
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