Monday, September 19, 2011

The Aftermath

I am now over three days past my heart procedure and it is time to plan for the future. That includes making some doctor appointments and signing up for a cardiac rehab program. Additionally, it is time for some change in dietary habits.

I grew up a skinny kid in a family that had all thin children. I was always quite active in the early years, and, going to a small high school, was able to participate in sports such as cross country, track, basketball, and baseball. I always ate like a horse but that was never a problem due to all my activities.

Things changed in college, however. I had the same appetite but my level of activity decreased. As a result, for the first time in my life I was no longer the thin guy, putting on excess pounds that I had never seen before. Things changed again in my senior year. I was halfway through my senior year and had just broken up with my long-time girlfriend. I looked at myself in a mirror and did not like what I saw: a bloated guy with longish hair and a mangy beard who was destined never to have a date again. I was determined to turn things around. So ... I immediately changed my eating habits, substituting in massive amounts of vegetables for all the other stuff I was eating. Although I lived in a fraternity house where drinking went on 24/7, I switched my drink of choice to diet grapefruit juice. I exercised in my room every day.

It seemed to take awhile, but one day the pounds just seemed to start melting away. I looked good and was able to keep the pounds off through the poor, grad student years.

At the start of my professional career I was heavily involved in sports -- basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, broomball, softball. For a part-time job I served as the intramural sports director at my school. Hell, I even taught P.E. classes.

The past twenty years or so (coinciding with the birth of children) saw me slide down a slippery slope. More responsibility at home and on the job. Less activity. More bad eating habits. About every five years I would see my "standard weight" jump up a little. What happened to me last weekend should not be such a surprise. I guess the surprise is that we always think that those type of things happen to other people, not us.

So ... what to do? Although my cardiologist is not an extremist but an advocate for living a healthy lifesytle with reasonable choices, I believe that what works best for me is more like what I did my senior year in college -- extreme turnaround. This will be a test of willpower as I give up the familiar things that are bad for me and get back to some healthier choices.

It is less than twelve weeks until the WPBT -- the big gathering for poker bloggers that is held each December in Las Vegas. My hope is that everyone will see a new, improved (yeah -- I guess it is possible) version of lightning36. That is my goal -- realistic and doable. I have already begun. Time to get serious.


Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Nice pep talk junior. Good luck!

2:19 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

On a more serious note I am interested in hearing what steps you take specifically... and how they work for you and why you do them. I may join in if it sounds good!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Keep us posted how it goes.

6:49 PM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

This may actually get me off the couch! Hope everything is well...

7:42 PM  
Blogger BamBam said...

Do what you need to to get to The Gathering, good Scotch and good friends will take care of the rest. ;)

Don't get too excited either. I can't wait enough for the two of us!

10:45 PM  
Blogger BWoP said...

Can't wait to see you and give you a big hug!

1:42 PM  
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7:46 PM  

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