Archive for Physical Health

18 Runs, 2 Swims And My Physical Health Support Group

It’s been way too long since I’ve done an update here about my physical health journey and so I took some time to catch you up. Here goes:

Raulks (Run/Walks)

“Rualks” is my new word for run/walks that I do. I always say, “I went for a run” and people mistake it for me running a solid X miles or X minutes. But it really means I walk and then run, then walk, then run, and on and on. Intervals of walking and running as I’m still mostly doing my 5K Runner app for my running exercise routines.

Here are some summary stats for my raulks, which have been a blast and a bit addicting:

  • Raulked 18 times in 46 days
  • Roughly averaging a rualk around every 2.5 days, which was inspiring and confirming to me
  • Most are around 30 minutes, going for around 2 miles in total
  • Raulked with a variety of people, which was something I hadn’t planned on but sincerely love
  • Raulked in a variety of places:
    • Around two State Capitols (Oklahoma and California)
    • Multiple states again (Minnesota, California) and even out of the country (Mexico)
  • Did a true trail run for the first time, which was a BLAST, and I want to do that more
  • Raulked in 47 degree weather, which is likely the most I can tolerate I think. (I’ve been spoiled by such great weather as I’ve started to run)

Here are the runs I’ve done since my last full post on Sept. 6, roughly.

Running Clinic

I attended OKC’s Red Coyote’s Running Clinic on Sept. 23 and learned SO much about how to run, how to stretch and some routines to do. It really changed the way I run in such a good way. I think it’ll help me prevent injuries.

Highly recommend taking a running clinic near you!

Better Documenting

Doing this blog post today, I had to go back and actually look at what I’ve done for the past 45+ days and I gotta say, it was inspiring. It feels like work to document everything but it’s got an incredible inspiring effect on me.

I typically try to take a private selfish during my exercises and post them to my private journal. And I also post updates on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But it’s not the same as I get here when I do these digest posts.

And if I had to start over, I would have tracked ALL my actual runs in one app/journal from beginning. And right now that app would be: MapMyRun. I lost seeing the actual route I took on my rualks. And it’s been a quasi-journal for me, although I end up taking screenshots of the routes and posting to my journal.

But writing this post, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted anything here earlier. If anything it gave me a baseline of all I’ve done and revealed some interesting things about why this has actually been a WHOLE LOT OF FUN.

I need to do better documenting … and more scheduled digests like these. They are inspiring to me, if anything.

My Newest Adventure: Swimming

Since it is starting to get colder and I’m not especially excited about running in the frigid Oklahoma winter, I decided to explore swimming. It has numerous health benefits, so I pinged my brother Travis, who is a phenomenal swimmer and in another life would have trained to be a Navy SEAL.

After much research and exploration of what I thought would work for me, I found a gym near our office with a swimming pool and got a tour and a 7-day free pass to explore. Here is what I’ve done so far:

  • Bought some awesome Michael Phelps goggles. And start organizing my Tom Bihn gym bag. Might have another post on how I’m trying to become uber-efficient at getting in and out of the pool and back to the office later.
  • Oct. 20 — My brother Travis drove down from Tulsa to OKC to do his signature “Swimming Bootcamp” with me. What this really meant is that my brother got to haze his older brother for 30 minutes in the pool. My goal was to learn some techniques and routines to do for 30 minutes. He kicked my butt, throughly, and, yes, like all rascal brothers pushed me in the pool a couple of times. He never let me stop moving either. It was a great learning experience: 1. I know what to do in the pool. and 2. Never ask Trav to coach with me again. Just kidding! Thank you so much brother!
  • Oct. 24 — went for my second swim. It felt great. Although the pool was crowded, I got in a 30-minute swim, with 5 minutes on each end for warm up and cooldown and tried to never stop moving in the pool. When I got to the deep end, I treaded water as much as I could until I got my breath back. In the shallow end I walked against the water and started swimming when I could. Incredible workout. 30 minutes after I was out of the pool I was still sweating. I can’t wait to go back and will be buying a monthly membership.

Bicycling

Haven’t bicycled yet … but Lindsey and I got fitted for a bicycle this month and are seriously contemplating buying bikes in the spring.

My Private, Online Physical Health Support Group

Another huge milestone for me on my journey to physical health.

At the beginning of September, I put out a simple tweet and blog post asking if anyone else wanted to join me for an online support and accountability group focused only on physical health. After sharing my journey for the past couples of months, it was surprising how many people said, “I need to get started now too.”

And after talking for the last couple of years about how my entrepreneurial groups have impacted my life so much, I realized I desperately needed a group for support and accountability in this area.

To my excitement, 7 other people asked to join me in this group, with our first meeting on Sept. 11, 2017, with a simple 8-week commitment.

So, with some basic rules (absolute confidentiality, show up, share highs and lows), we started with Zoom meetings on Monday nights and it quickly grew to a Slack group, that has channels for Activity, Food, Tools, Updates, where we share our successes and struggles and tips that are working for us.

We’re now on our sixth week and although some (including myself) have had to miss a couple of Zoom meetings, we are doing daily and weekly checkins via Slack. (We’ll see what the interest in our group is to continue on in two weeks and I’ll report back here on that.)

It’s been incredibly helpful for me.

I know I’m not alone. There are others on the same journey, with the same or similar obstacles, but we’re here to cheer each other on.

We’ve lost weight together. We’ve start moving more together. We’ve had setbacks together. We have wins togethers. And I feel incredibly inspired to keep going on my own journey, with our little group.

But I asked our private group via Slack for a couple of quick blurbs about how their experience in the support group has helped them and this is what they said (anonymously):

“Joining this group has given me the courage to take the necessary steps to ensure I’m around for my wife, my kids and myself. It’s taken away the fear of talking about my bad habits and fostered a commitment to pursuing better ones and a community that provides encouragement, feedback, and accountability. And I’ve lost 15 pounds so far.”

“Being part of this group has helped keep me accountable, not just to my wife, but also to a group of friends. When I wanted to start something new, if I stopped without explaining why, I was called out on it. Very helpful that we’re all in this journey together.”

“Working at home, for myself with an infant at home makes it pretty hard to want to stay healthy. Luckily, this group has helped me. I still have some trouble with snacking, but I’m so much more active, I drink more water, and I pause often to think, ‘Is this something I’d be happy to tell the group I did?’”

“I don’t think without the group that I would be taking my meal planning as seriously. It also helped while at a conference recently to know that I had some like-minded people around me to hold me accountable and to cheer me on.”

“Success for me is oftentimes based on my ability to focus. Joining this fitness group gives me the nudge I need to make my fitness goals a part of my every day concerns, Knowing that I will be checking in regularly with the group keeps me motivated. I also love that I share my progress throughout the week with others. I know I always have a cheering section. I’ve lost 15lbs and have established some really good habits because of the group.”

***

OK, that’s my report for now. I’ll try to do this more often and not just on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Running Is Really Wrestling

Running isn't really running. It's wrestling demons.

A post shared by Cory Miller (@corymiller303) on

Running isn’t running. It’s wrestling demons.

I’ve done around 15 interval runs now for about 30 minutes each time and when I’m out on a run … there’s always a battle ragging inside me. It’s always a test, a challenge to conquer things inside me.

And most of all, to learn and grow through tough teachers called pain and suffering.

Viktor Frankel said that there is meaning in suffering and I’ve been more and more present with this belief and sought not to shy away from it but to lean into it.

I say demons because running forces me to face things inside me that I would otherwise hide from or ignore.

I say pain and suffering, but it’s not torture. It’s something I’m willingly experiencing.

There are two key lessons, the demons I wrestle with that I’m learning … patience and perseverance.

Patience — for the goal I have, I can’t take shortcuts. I have to learn patience and pace in this journey. And it often feels like a long slow slog. But I have to continually focus myself on the long view over the short view. One step at a time. Just do this step. And move to the next. Learning patience is brutal. It’s a true battle. I want to be there instantly, now.

Perseverance — particularly through pain and suffering. Enduring the adversity I face each time I run. The times I want to quit, stop, give up and go home. Mostly, it’s not physical suffering, it’s emotional and internal. It’s finding resilience and mental toughness inside me. Battling the voice that says, “There are easier things to be doing.”

At first, the two seem at odds to each other.

I need to be patient as I persevere? I need to persevere but be patient about it?

I’ve started to think of them more as learning patient perseverance.

This week I had a breakthrough.

I had the most incredible run. It was my favorite experience, of many I’ve cherished.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. The sunlight hitting the trees and grass was enchanting.

I attacked the hills as a conquerer.

A couple of times I raised my hands like a victor. I couldn’t help myself. I felt good. I just started smiling ear to ear.

I think it was the first time I really got what I am supposed to be learning and embracing through this: The meaning in suffering.

But the best part was on my cool down time and feeling the soft cool Oklahoma breeze on my face. I didn’t want to move out of that moment. I wanted to wallow in the feeling, physical and emotional.

So I lingered … closing my eyes, stopping some, sitting some but mostly walking … and letting that breeze whisper in my soul.

I was changed by it.

This week felt like a big win, a catalytic moment, a change in my life. At just the right time.

Running in New Cities, Plus Kayaking

Every time I write or post about my physical health journey, I always get amazing stories of encouragement and inspiration. It keeps me writing these posts.

So here are a couple of new updates:

8th run and a swim in Phoenix

I mentioned in my last update that I was coming up on a big season of travel. Preparing ahead of time and bringing my running clothes and shoes was a HUGE help.

Someone mentioned that running in a new city is a great way to see the city. I FULLY agree. I’m totally hooked.

It actually got me excited about my upcoming travel to be able to run in those cities (Sacramento, Minnesota for example are coming up for me.)

On Friday morning, my flight didn’t leave until around 11 a.m. I got up, put on my clothes and started running around Old Town Scottsdale. I had the streets to myself and want to go back to Old Town now. It’s just fantastic. Seeing new places kept my mind off trying to do my workout. I wanted more.

I had also packed my swimming trunks, so I went up, changed and went back down to the hotel pool for an awesome swim. Mostly just relaxed, but did a couple of laps and tried to work more upper body swimming.

I wish I could do that whole routine every day.

9th run in Chicago

I flew straight to Chicago from Phoenix on Friday to meet up with my buddy Chris as we were going to watch the AVP Tour. We’re both huge volleyball fans and it did not disappoint. Incredible matches. And to see these elite athletes up close was inspiring. I gotta think they have 1% body fat. It renewed my interest in getting back into a volleyball league soon.

On Sunday, I got up around 6:30 and went for my 9th run in downtown Chicago. Again, almost had the streets to myself but there were several runners.

Living in a city has one huge advantage …

You have to walk everywhere! We walked several blocks from our hotel to the beach where the AVP Tour was played. And then to dinner and various places around the city. It was so nice to see my step count dramatically rise just being in a city where everyone walks or bikes.

I hit my step count easily.

Airports also dramatically increase my step count

Having traveled so extensively for the last 10 years for our business (and more personal adventures in the last couple of years), I have started to really NOT enjoy being in airports.

But they have one advantage and benefit too … I can hit my step count fairly easily and find fairly decent food in restaurants.

Kayaking was a blast

My friend and teammate Glenn got a kayak boat to go fishing on a couple months ago, so I’ve been hearing all kinds of awesome stories of how he’s used it everywhere from him that have inspired me to do it myself (but not the fishing part).

In Oklahoma City, we have one of the best rivers to do rowing and in fact, the Olympic Rowing team is headquartered here because of it. They do kayak rentals on the river too.

So over the long weekend, Lindsey and I went down to try it out. We rented a couple for an hour ($19 an hour) and did about a 1.5 mile in the kayak. It was so much fun we have put Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser (two metro lakes with kayak rentals) on our list to do next.

It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns though … when I got in the kayak and started the first leg down the river, my hip muscles were hurting so bad I thought I’d have to turn back. But after repositioning myself higher on the seat it was smooth sailing after that. Made all the difference. And we got more wet than we thought we would. So next time: It’s swimsuits, towels and a change of clothes after.

The thing about kayaking wasn’t that I got a lot of intense exercise … it was more the adventure of movement in a new way. Very fun.

Eating while traveling ain’t fun

Most restaurants offer salad options, which was great. I was selective and tried to be mindful about portion control when I ate. But simply put … traveling sucks for eating. Just reaffirmed that.

Got a jump rope

I got a jump rope from Amazon yesterday and I’m excited to use it. It was highly rated and after tweeting about it, several people mentioned they have the same exact one.

Two tips I got were:

  1. “Don’t cut the cord until you’re used to the length.”
  2. “Don’t jump rope in shorts until you improve. The wire is painful!”

I’m looking forward to trying it on my non-running days. Everything I’ve read suggests it’s one of the easiest ways to get some cardio in. So if I really like it and get into a good routine, I can easily put another jump rope in my backpack when I travel. WOOT!

Contemplating starting a support group

I’m still not settled on how or what to do just yet.

What I know is that I want to have a group for accountability, support and encouragement for myself … and to help and offer it to others in the process. 

And at some point I’d like to find experts like fitness trainers, doctors, nutritionists and even cooks to share their expertise and do Q&A. I have tons of questions for all of them and more.

By just blogging about it and getting so many good tips as well as hearing stories of how it’s inspired others has really fostered the drive to do something like this more and more.

I’ve thought about everything … like a rolling out a special blog just for weekly group checkins (see below), doing a Facebook group, Slack channel, webinars and the like.

I would love to find a way to have a weekly support/accountability checkin where the group gives their updates like this:

  • Grade in key areas (from 1-10) — particularly nutrition and exercise, but also sleep, etc.
  • Successes & struggles — share what went well and what didn’t in the past week
  • Lessons learned & takeaways— encouraging us to remember and crystallize the learning and growth we’re making by sharing it with the group, and so others can benefit as well
  • Needs and leads — a need is like when I asked for recommendations on the best fitness tracker … and a lead would be like I mentioned the 5K Runner app, something that has went well
  • Next week’s plans — helping focus us on good planning and preparation for the upcoming week, like sharing when you’ll go grocery shopping and do meal prep, if you’ve got travel coming up and your plan for nutrition and exercise

With these weekly group updates, I’m thinking of it like a group journal, where we share with each other … but can also look back and review.

We’re documenting our progress for ourselves and together.

The goal of this group would be to help each other start on a path to living healthy, sustainable lifestyle (my goal).

A couple of key “Why’s” for this group(s) would be:

  • To build a community of people on the same or similar path working toward a common goal — I’ve written about how life changing my entrepreneurial groups have been. So I want to apply that format to this journey, for inspiration, support, encouragement, accountability for myself and others that also fosters belonging.
  • To learn and grow together — to have a space/group to get focused tips, best practices etc. All the comments I’ve gotten have been very impactful and helpful to me. I want more of it.
  • Share my own stories/experience, struggles and successes and hear others — I’ve written in the past about how life changing sharing experiences versus advice has been to me. I want more of that too. No judgment. No advice. Just tell your personal stories in parallel to what someone else might be going through … and let them take the truth from it.

OK, that’s a wrap.

What I’ve Learned About Running So Far

Here is my latest learning on the journey to complete health. You can read past posts here.

Exercise: Running

  • Finished my 7th run on Monday morning for my Couch to 5K app routine. And looking forward to my 8th. I’m REALLY loving it and look forward to them throughout the week. When Peter said he reevaluated his mindset on running, it was right on for me as well. (Thanks again mate!)
  • The first two interval runs really suck but it gets better. I’ve tried to mentally prepare myself that it’ll suck at first but get easier. I’m learning perseverance, but dang, it’s a mental hurdle to get over.
  • Switching apps was frustrating. I started with 5K Runner app, and got frustrated when after 5 routines it wanted me to upgrade to premium. (I mistakenly thought I had paid for it and then they wanted me to upgrade again.) So I switched to Active’s Couch to 5K app, which frustrated me WAY more because the dials for forwarding the intervals was right by where my fingers at on the phone when I run. I ended up accidentally advancing the intervals several times mid-run which was a real pain. But I much prefer the original and bought the premium and am sticking with it! Go with what you know and works, Cory! (For clarity, this is the one I use and like most — it’s called 5K Runner.)
  • Repeating routines is OK. I read an article that criticized the 5K routines because they don’t emphasize that sometimes you might push yourself too hard and simply need to repeat earlier ones before going on. On the latest one I ran, I was sucking air bad at the end of the running intervals and had to stop short a couple of times (15 seconds). So I’m looking at doing that again. I want to push myself, but not so hard I end up quitting or hurting myself.
  • Running is expensive. Lindsey has said that a lot … and it’s accurate. Here are some of the things in this category:
    • Shoes: Lindsey insisted that I get running shoes after my first run, so we went to a local running store, Red Coyote. They have a slow motion video gait analysis and salespeople who really know their stuff and are passionate about running. I got some Asics and love them. Very good call. But they happened to be the most expensive shoes I’ve bought in my life. Highly Recommend: Don’t just go to a shoe store and buy things. Go to a running store.
    • Socks: The other big thing was good running socks. But WOW, are they expensive! $15 a pair. I bought three and have not regretted it.
    • Ear buds for running: I think I have smaller ear canals and my Apple wired ear buds tend to fall out or my hands hit the cord. After asking for requests on Twitter, I got numerous great recommendations. But most of them are over $100. Ouch! But I ended up buying these ear buds for $30 on Amazon at the recommendation of a friend. I’m using them to listen to music while I write this post and so far so good. I wasn’t really interesting in superior music quality, just something that I could listen to music and know when I needed to start my next interval.
    • Water bottle with hand grip. I got this one and I really like it because it’s in my hands and I like having water on my runs. There is also storage for my keys and wallet so I don’t have something in my pockets.
  • How can this fail? Been thinking about this more and more about running because I really enjoy the routine.
    • Injury: I’ve been hearing more and more stories about injuries that led to people stopping their routines. I’m considering, at the advice of a friend, getting a running coach (also Red Coyote). I’ve never really done formal athletics in my life, so I think this might be wise soon. I definitely don’t want to get injured and disrupt my routine and also want to know if I’m running properly.
    • Lack of alternate running places: I’m thinking of when the weather gets cold or rainey. Right now, I just have my local running track about 1 mile from my house, which is fantastic. But I need to find a couple of other solid options. Maybe the treadmill or a gym. Either don’t seem like super happy options to me right now.
    • Life disruption: Whether it’s travel or getting sick, some stories I’ve heard in passing make me think I need to be prepared more for them. Lindsey’s mentioned a couple of times that if you get out of the routine, it’s hard to get back, but you get back up to speed fairly quickly. Gotta fix that firmly in my mindset for when life happens.
  • Considering running an actual 5K. It’s been inspiring how many people have asked if I’m doing a 5K race, which wasn’t at all a goal when I started this. I simply used the 5K routine, recommended by a lot of people, as a routine to use as a way to start regular exercise. But after several people have offered that they would run a race with me, I’ve been looking for one to put on the calendar. Even if I have to walk most of it. That’s the community element I’m trying not to miss. I’m not Forrest Gump yet though! Additionally on this subject, Lindsey has a great friend who runs with her nearly every time and long-term I can see wanting a running buddy or buddies.
  • Get a boost for the rest of the day. Whenever I run in the morning, I feel a difference in mood and energy for the rest of the day. Now I’ve started craving it. This is huge for me. Really cherishing it. I can feel and see the difference.
  • Running is stress relief. I get to think about something else (like actually finishing the routine) and my body thanks me for it. Whenever I get stressed now, I end up going, “How can I go for a run?” I even bought my clothes and shoes to work one day (which ended up raining). When I run, I feel like I’m breaking up the negativity and stress in my body to be a better person.
  • The Treadmill. My cousin Summer gifted me a treadmill. But I’ve only used it once. Mainly because I highly prefer my running trail. Many people laughed at it calling it a great clothes rack. Yikes! But at least I have some kind of a backup option for walking/running when the weather is bad.
  • Sleeping in my running clothes. So many books and articles I’ve read over the years say reduce any friction to getting to new habits. One of them related to exercise is to wear your gym clothes and put your shoes by the bed. I’ve done both. Thankfully a couple years ago I switched to wearing athletic shorts as PJ’s anyway. Then all I have to do in the morning is grab my gear (which I’ve put near my bed stand). Having a place for my essential gear is key and it’s become my night stand.
  • Connecting my Character Strengths to running is so motivating. My top strength is Appreciate of Beauty and on almost every run, I’ve taken photos of the beautiful sunrises I’m seeing. It’s really been nice and reflective to pair that with running and added a great amount of positiveness to my running experience. I’ve so far resisted the notion of running in a gym because I love my outdoor early morning runs for this reason I think. The trails are hilly and diverse and the scenery is gorgeous. I’ve seen deer on the trails as well. I’m starting to mark each run with a picture of the sunrise or trail and doing a selfie for my private journal.
  • Exercise, or running, is not adding something into my busy life, it’s just establishing something essential to it. This is a mindset change for me. I’m learning more and more how essential this is to my life and happiness and baffled at knowing that in my head for years but not practicing it in my life. It’s becoming a non-negotiable for me. That makes me happy as it represents progress in my mindset and lifestyle for the sustainable future. I feel like I’m on the right path to establishing a regular routine and new way to live life.
  • Running as my new (ok, perhaps only) hobby. For years I’ve said I have little to no hobbies that don’t connect with my work/business life. But I hope running can become my obsession and addiction. That’s another huge mindset change and I’m inspired by this perspective.
  • Still need to get an in-between exercise. On the off days I don’t run, I would like to get something for those days, particularly cardio and strength, but so far have not established that new layer. Thinking about getting a jump rope as the simplest, easiest, cheapest way to do so. And maybe the kids will do it with me. They have enough energy to burn off anyway!
  • Waking up at 6:10 a.m. regularly. I’m starting to layer in waking up every day (even non-running days) at a much earlier time than I usually do. This will help me do exercises when I’m not running and allow more time to adjust to our family’s new routines (school just started for my son.) With my FitBit’s silent alarm set daily now, it’s already helped me start to form that new habit, but it’s been a bumpy ride. Going to bed earlier will definitely help as well as some form of cardio as motivation.
  • Prepping for travel. I’m getting ready to hit a long patch of business/personal travel. I’m already thinking about how to prep for that and maintain my running routines. I plan to pack my running gear tonight before I head out on a multi-city, multi-day trip.

Devices & Tools: FitBit Charge 2

  • I made a really really good choice. I love my FitBit Charge 2. Thanks all for that recommendation!
  • Charging. buying multiple chargers for my FitBit Charge 2 has really helped. But I’ve been charging it at my desk at work most often when I’m working for a stretch.
  • Battery life. The Charge 2 has been really good for battery life. I went the whole weekend without a charge.
  • Sleep Tracking. I’m really enjoying seeing my sleep patterns, in particular how often I’m awake at night. I think this is attributable to how many times I roll over at night (which is a lot).
  • Food Tracking. I am not doing hardly any food tracking unfortunately. I knew this would be a problem. One thing I’ve done on a couple of occasions is take a photo of my food to put in a journal or review later. But I like having the option in ONE app.
  • Bar code Scanning. Not using Weight Watchers at all now (except to show people how I used it). But having the bar code scanning feature in my FitBit gives me almost everything I’m doing in one convenient place.
  • The new FitBit Ionic looks awesome. I love gadgets. I’m a geek. Maybe if I keep up with it, I ask Santa for it?

Nutrition

  • Been eating consistently very well. I think this is a huge success so far. I’ve been sticking with the healthier foods I learned with Lindsey a few weeks ago. For some things I used to indulge in, I’ve kind of turned my mind off to those potential temptations. They just don’t resonate with me right now, which I’m thankful for. I look at carbs as bloating me. I look as most sugars as simply excess, unneccessary weight, plus … my glucose, which I’ll explain later. (Full disclosure: I’ve never been a huge dessert guy.)
  • The biggest key has been simple mindful eating. Just simply being aware of how much or how fast I’m eating … and WHAT I’m putting into my body. I want to do the Raisin Mindfulness Exercise very soon as I’ve read about it recently as a huge emphasis on mindful eating as a way of life.
  • Traveling sucks for good eating. Last weekend, I traveled with my dad and brother to New Mexico for a guy’s weekend. What a blast, btw! The times we were able to eat at a restaurant I could order a chef salad with chicken or had more options to choose from. But on the road, it was terrible. I cruised the aisles of several convenience stores and came up empty. At one store they had a Subway, which I got a 6-inch sandwich on wheat to avoid eating crappy snacks. Super, super tough. My dad’s job requires him to drive hours and hours on end every day. We lamented how tough it is to eat well on the road. For my upcoming trips, I’ll need to focus on learning WHERE and HOW to eat on the road. TOUGH!

Health

  • My initial good news turned a bit bad. Several days after my physical, I got my bloodwork results back. High glucose and high bad cholesterol. This would have been worse if I hadn’t already been several weeks into my new healthy journey. Doctor wants me back in 3 months to see how all of this has helped those things. Now I have new enemies. I end up on my runs saying, “Screw you, Glucose. And take this, Bad Cholesterol.” (That is the G-rated version compared to what I actually say when the running gets tough.)
  • Sleep Study done. I did my two-day home sleep study and now waiting on the doctor’s interpretation of it.

Journaling

  • I write posts like this to remember and to share my life and learning. I realized that the other day. But it’s also to learn and explore my thoughts and feelings that pop up. My private journaling app now shows highlights from years past for that particular day. It’s been really nice to read some of those and see where I was and how I was feeling, or what I was thinking. So far I’m at 397 entries. I’m eager to get years down the road with this journey and see these things pop up for me again. Hopefully providing thankfulness and motivation for what I hope is a lifelong journey. And hope it’ll be something my kids can read later in life if they are interested in what their dad was doing or thinking.
  • Highly recommend DayOne app for journaling …. and getting premium.
  • Another form of journaling I did recently was based on the Your Life in Weeks post here. It was neat to plot out events in my life … and on in particularly, the date I started my journey to complete health. A friend shared how you can do that exercise online easily at Entire.Life for free.

5 More Milestones in My Physical Health Journey

It’s been a good week on the physical health journey already and it’s only Tuesday, so I thought I’d share a couple of updates.

1. Went for my physical this morning and got some initial great news.

Blood pressure is lower but probably have a tad more to go. I’ve lost some weight (but let’s be honest the doctor’s scale was likely not calibrated right). And even got a handshake from my awesome doctor for all the stuff I’ve been working on, layering into my life.

The best part? I didn’t faint when they took my blood.

Hope to get results back later this week.

And I scheduled another physical in 6 months with my doctor to be able to mark and measure my progress then too.

2. Got the first night of my two-night home sleep study done last night. The next one is tonight.

Being able to stay in my own bed, and sleep normally, was super great. The head strap and nose vents were rather comfortable. I didn’t even notice the nose vents at all during the night, even as I turned over and back again.

The last couple of nights, I’ve been viewing my Fitbit’s sleep stats and hope to compare with this study. It’s been really interesting to see my current sleep patterns. I need to do a bit more research about the sleep stages, including REM, which I’ve heard so much about. First observations from about four nights of sleep seem that I’m getting into REM way later in my night and for not long enough.

I should know something by Friday on my sleep study.

(If you’re curious to see how the home sleep study rig looks like, as I was, here ya go. And you can read more about home sleep studies here.)

3. Got a Couch to 5K app and did my first exercise on Monday.

Several people recommended this as a great way to start running and I already like it.

My first workout was a 25-minute total routine. One minute runs, with 1.5 minute walks 6 times. The first couple of runs I didn’t know if I was going to make it. By the third or fourth I was feeling really good.

Right now, I don’t have any aspirations to run in an official 5K, but love how simple this is. And I know I have to take baby steps with this, so it’s right up my alley.

We have an amazing paved trail system at our local health department office, which is maybe a mile from our house. I’ll be using that a lot. It has hills, some equipment spread throughout and is beautiful.

No need for a gym membership right now, or huge drive or time away from the family or work. Lindsey and I are talking through our morning schedules as she’s been running early in the morning for the last several years, but I don’t want to disrupt hers until I actually start doing it more frequently.

On the way back home and for the rest of the day, I could tell a bump from just workout and I’m actually eager to go again.

Looking forward to my next run Wednesday or Thursday.

4. Switching to learning calories. 

Now that I’ve got a couple weeks of Weight Watchers (aka food for dummies like me) under my belt, I’m switching to learning calories better.

Weight Watchers was really, really good way to start off and learn. Now I want to go to the next step, which I think is calories. I’m fully switched over to using Fitbit now for almost everything (calories with barcode scanning, food logging, weight, sleep, steps). It’s been awesome to have everything in one place.

5. We got a home treadmill.

My cousin needed to free up some space in her house and gave us her treadmill. So Lindsey and I cleared out space in our bedroom for it. Now to get it setup and use it as well as the one at our office.

6. Support and encouragement has been unexpected and phenomenal.

I’ve gotten great comments here, on Twitter, on Facebook, and in texts and in person from people encouraging me and offering tips and ideas that worked for them.

When I originally started sharing this I want to simply share what I was doing and learning … but it’s pretty incredible and I’m so grateful for people in my life who care … even if they live thousands of miles from me.

Life is better lived in community. And you’ve been incredible. Thank you!

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OK, that’s the update for now.