by J.D. Roth
Ten years ago today I stepped on the bathroom scales and saw the big 200 staring back at me for the first time. I had been having sleep issues. I was short of breath. I was worried about my heart. I suddenly realized I had to do something about my health. I was 28, and I wasn’t getting any younger.
That summer I focused on eating healthfully, and on exercising. I attacked the problem as only I can when I’m intently focused on something. In six months, I lost 42 pounds and obtained the best health of my life: I was running five miles at a time (and loving it), biking for fifty miles, and even swimming. Dave and I were meeting to lift weights. I felt great.
Anniversaries are important to me. Dates have meaning. Because this is the tenth anniversary of the fateful day I started my most successful fitness regimen, I’ve made up my mind to replicate the effort. Starting today, I’m going to focus on the fitness section of my goals. As a refresher, I want to:
Health and Fitness
1. Give up sugar for a week
2. Eat only home-prepared food for one month
3. Eat vegetarian for one month
4. Get cholesterol to healthy levels
5. Have a colonoscopy
6. Complete a marathon
7. Complete a 100-mile bike ride
8. Play a team sport
9. Do 100 push-ups
10. Bench-press my body weight
11. Complete a one-mile swim
12. Maintain a weight of 170 or below for six months
13. Drink only water for one month
14. Give up alcohol for three months
Starting today, I am giving up alcohol for three months. (For those wondering: this shouldn’t be an issue. If it is an issue, I plan to give it up completely.)
Also starting today, I am drinking only water for one month. My definition of “only water” is perhaps broader than others might allow. After talking with Kris, we’ve decided that non-caffeinated tea qualifies as “only water”, as do my carbonated Talking Rain waters. (The objective here is to avoid calories and chemicals in my beverages — tea and Talking Rain should be fine.)
I’m also going to haul my road bike to Custom Box and begin the process of becoming re-acquainted with it. In 1997, I started exercising by hopping on a bike that was too small for me, and riding it a couple miles every day. (A couple of miles were all I could handle at first.) Gradually I build up to five miles, then ten, then 25. By the end of the summer, I had made two 50-mile rides. I want to do something similar again.
If these initial steps go well, I’ll try to tackle some other health and fitness goals!
Updated: 06 May 2007