This is your life. And it’s ending one minute at a time. – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Get busy living, or get busy dying. – Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

Stupid is as stupid does. – Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump

Success is my only ****** ******* option, failure’s not. – Eminem, Lose Yourself

If Weaver worked out, he would be dangerous. – a college friend, circa 1991

This is day 14, 215. I have been alive for that many days. If some major things do not change in my life, there is little likelihood that I will see day 28,430. There is a great possibility that I have lived over half the time that I will breathe air on this earth. Should a 38 year old man be having a mid-life crisis?

He should when he sees this number: 123.

That number could mean a lot of things. It could be the age of the oldest person known. It could be the number of steps I could climb before passing out. It could be the number of children that the Duggars are trying for.

In my case, it is the number of milligrams per dL of glucose in my blood after an 8 hour fast.

123. At 126, you’re diagnosed a diabetic.

I’m standing at the edge of the cliff, where I’ve been doing jumps and spins, daring myself to fall off for years. I just gained my stability, and I have one more chance to back away from this cliff before I fall over it. This is another seatbelt moment. I was terrible about wearing my seatbelt, until the night I was driving home, hit ice on the road and slid slowly into a truck sitting on the road. My head hit the windshield, but I didn’t even need stitches. I did however, begin to wear my seatbelt every single time. This number says I have come dangerously close to disaster. But I am not there yet.

Could anyone be shocked at this number? It is an act of extreme hubris for me to even feign surprise. I’m shocked I still have all my toes. Over my entire adult life, I have ignored every single piece of knowledge I have obtained about health and longevity. And have I ever amassed a lot of knowledge. It’s what I do. I like to be a guy who knows things. But knowing and doing are not even close.

Should it really come as a surprise to a man who has been capable of putting away a 12 pack of coke (red label, the hard stuff – just like Marlboro reds) in 2 days? Should it come as a surprise to a guy, who as a teenager, worked in an ice cream parlor and never seemed to miss a shift without making the largest milkshake possible? Should it really come as a surprise to someone who was absolutely convinced that Ben and Jerry released Chubby Hubby in direct tribute to him?

So yeah, among shocking medical results, this is nowhere near “you have an inoperable tumor” or “you have typhoid.” This is “how exactly is it not higher?”

There is good news. Lots of it, in fact. It starts with my other numbers. All my cholesterol numbers are low. My blood pressure is fantastic. For years I have said “except for this obesity thing, I’m in great health.” And as long as I was basing that on BP machines in grocery stores alone, I could tell myself that. But that small caveat is not so small. It is everything.

The other piece of good news, is that in the category I am, which is now called “prediabetic,” all evidence shows that with weight loss and exercise, this can not only lower the chances of progression to full-blown diabetes, it will usually absolutely reverse it.

So the long path I began on December 1 of this year is precisely where I need to be. This test was done December 30, and I just now got the results this week. But is it going to change anything about my new course? No it’s not. I don’t need a seminar on what to eat. I don’t need pamphlets and stern lectures. I’m staying the course, because now I have to. It’s not for vanity. It’s for life.

This time it has come too close to fail. Every other time I’ve started changing habits, I have been derailed by any number of things, all of which have the similar theme of a personality which doesn’t deal well with middle anything. I was all or nothing. I lived like a bodybuilder and dropped 50 pounds in no time at all. Great. Then I stopped. Not because I didn’t want to continue, but because I wasn’t serious. I always had the future.

Well, the future is now. There are no more tomorrows. I can’t get by on youth alone. I’m not so young anymore. This time, there’s no option to put it off for a while. I refuse to be one of those people on a scooter at the grocery store, or getting limbs amputated from a completely preventable condition. The last couple of years I’ve been better than before, summoning the energy to play with my kids, and go all commando at Disney for a week. But it’s been just getting by. I don’t want to just get by anymore. I have a strong heart, about 175-180 pounds of lean body mass (dexa scan results of a couple years ago) – I could indeed be dangerous.

This blog will be dedicated not just to progress of my health, but to a lot of the issues that converge to discourage people from being healthy in Western society. It’s not a woe-is-me blame game, I am all about the words personal responsibility. But by naming the demons we have to overcome, we are better equipped to summon the will to take that responsibility.

So this is the blog. Join in the conversation, make comments, follow my progress, or tell me I’m full of it on anything. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a proper argument.

Training log for the day: I ran from preschool to my council president’s house and back, on snow covered roads. I couldn’t even get my car all the way there without slipping. But I ran the whole way, save for about 20 yards. I ran up his driveway, which is akin the to the Manyunk wall in Philly. Total run: 1.6 miles. I delivered a terrible towl and superbowl party invitation to him, since he’s an Eagles fan.

Food tip for the day: a cup of cinnamon cheerios and ¾ cup whole raw milk is 250 calories. It kills the craving for a cinnabon. A cinnabon is 730. The one with pecans is over 1100.For those who can’t be offended, check out Louis CK’s routine on Chewed Up, “Cinnabon”


4 thoughts on “Forget this day one nonsense. This is day 14, 215

  1. Andy,
    Thanks for sharing your journey so publicly. You strike many chords with me and there is certainly a BIG difference between “knowing” and “doing” things. I fall down in the execution of the knowledge that I have and need to move beyond that behaviors and poor choices that I intellectually know aren’t serving me well. Keep us posted on your progress. Ready to make this journey with you. Take care and keep up the good work!

  2. Good for you Andy. I’ve had the same struggle most of my life, with yo-yoing. I’ve been doing fairly well the last year, but fall short of being in total control. I guess what I’ve found is that each individual finds what works, and it’s not the same for all. I’ll look to you for inspiration.

  3. I lost both of my parents to cancer years ago. After I lost them I was determined to get as healthy as I could and stay that way. After a while, I fell back into the same old routine and lost sight of what I had learned from watching them fight their heartbreaking battles. You have reminded me how important it is to take care now not just for my sake, but for my family’s sake. Thank you Andy. Thank you for the reminder and the inspiration. Keep running and keep writing. You are helping not only yourself, but the rest of us as well. So much more than you realize.

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