These posts written by Todd (Amy’s husband) are designed to model a system of purposeful living. At least once a month, he spends time setting meaningful goals around one of seventeen core priorities.
If you missed it, consider reading the foundation post – Purposeful Living #1.
Priority #7 – Physical Health
Physical Health 2013 – Age 43
This is my annual physical health report for 2013. This report included both reflection and a rating on how I think I’m doing in each core area of physical health. Physical health includes the components listed below.
Weight – 9 ½ out of 10
I am 5’ 7” (yes, I’m short) and for the past three years I have maintained an almost ideal weight of 150 pounds. This is the area of physical health where I am currently strongest. It is also an area where I am somewhat proud because I had to lose a bit of weight to get here.
Three years ago following several Christmas celebrations full of good food I stepped on the scale and was in for a shock.
For several years I told myself that as long as I stayed below 170 pound I was okay with that. The scale was now reading 173. I had crossed a threshold of what I considered acceptable and had entered a place where I knew I was considerably overweight.
I read the book You On A Diet by Dr. Oz which was recommended to me by my wife. The primary take away for me from that book was that fiber is my friend. Foods high in fiber are best at curbing hunger.
Over the next two months I went on a crash diet and lost 25 pounds. Slim Fast shakes were my best friend during this time.
The second take away for me from that book was to find healthy foods I liked and eat them every day – make my meals automatic.
After ending my crash diet I revamped the foods I eat every day. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries with a bit of yogurt became my staple food up through dinner. Then for dinner Amy always makes something healthy.
Eating foods high in fiber has enabled me to eat far less food. This has allowed me to maintain my weight loss.
Sleep – 9 out of 10
I get about seven hours of sleep at night. I think that is pretty good and seems right for my body. If I sleep longer than eight hours it throws me off and I end up not being able to sleep at all the following night.
Nutrition – 6 ½ out of 10
I eat fairly healthy – most days. On a normal day I eat blueberries, strawberries, black berries, organic multi-grain hot cereal, vegetable soups, and bean soups.
In addition, my wonderful wife cooks healthy vegan meals most evenings for dinner. She is a fantastic cook and I thoroughly enjoy her meals.
Even more important are the foods I avoid on a normal day. I avoid meat and sweets.
The problem is not every day is a normal day.
I have a very strange nutrition plan. I eat healthy 4-5 days a week. I eat unhealthy 2-3 days a week.
On normal days when I try to eat healthy I could still do much better. I need to add more fruits, vegetables, and beans to my diet.
And more important I need to eat healthy 6-7 days a week rather than 4-5. This will be quite a challenge. I really like my junk food as you will read about below.
As I described above, there are 2-3 days each week when I eat unhealthy.
And when I say unhealthy I mean unhealthy. I really love junk food – chips, candy, ice cream, cookies. I really, really love junk food. And on a day where I have given myself the freedom to not eat healthy, I eat whatever I want.
I also drink about five 2-liters of diet soda a week.
It has worked for me. My primary goal when it comes to food has been to maintain an ideal weight. This eating plan has enabled me to do that.
A secondary goal has been to improve my nutrition. And I have done that as well – at least to an extent. Most days I eat relatively healthy foods. I just don’t do it every day.
This drives Amy nuts.
Aerobic Conditioning – 6 ½ out of 10
I walk at least 20 minutes nearly every day. It is something I look forward to. I own a treadmill and walk while watching my favorite television shows or movies. I even purchased a nice pair of wireless headphones in order to get great sound while not bothering the rest of the family by turning up the television full blast.
To improve my cardio at least somewhat while walking I crank the incline on the treadmill as high as it will go.
I also walk a lot outside.
Studies show walking provides many of the same benefits to the heart as running. And I burn around 100 calories a day just through purposeful walking which helps me maintain my weight.
The reason I give myself an “Okay” instead of “Good” in aerobic conditioning is because I am currently finding it hard to do more strenuous exercise that gets my heart rate up.
I had knee surgery about a year ago and have not been able to fully straighten my left leg ever since. Trying to run when a leg won’t fully straighten is potentially dangerous. I could easily further damage my knee.
But I really need to figure out how to do strenuous aerobic conditioning for 20 minutes at least three days a week to push this area into the “Good” category.
Strength Training – 0 out of 10
I have not lifted weights or done any strength training since college nearly twenty years ago. There is significant room for improvement in this area.
Build Your To-Do List Around Correct Priorities – Purposeful Living #1
Purposeful Living Outline