It is disconcerting to hear stories of people having serious age related medical incidents and then realizing that they are the same age as you are or younger. It is at times like these that one realizes how blessed they are to be in as good a health as they are.
My employer conducts an annual fitness program where they give any employee that averages over 13,000 steps a day for six weeks a hundred dollar gift card from Amazon. This is remarkably motivating for me. It is not that $100 is that much money. I could set aside $100 for something without much hardship. The important thing from my perspective is that it is $100 that I can spend on something frivolous for myself without feeling like I’m being irresponsible.
I have managed to earn the card for two years running and I am on the last day of the first week of this year’s program. So far, I have walked 86,072 steps in the first six days for an average of 14,345 steps/day. I am trying to build up a reserve of steps walked so that if I have a day where I don’t manage to make the 13,000 step quota, I will have some extra steps “in the bank” so to speak.
One thing I notice this year, I am falling into the pattern more quickly. I sleep better and require less sleep to feel completely rested. I am losing weight again after being stuck on a plateau for most of the year. Actually, I have been gaining about a pound a month over the last year. I have managed to lose back to where I was at the end of last year’s event already.
I made the mistake of deciding to take a couple of weeks off at the end of the last event. It didn’t work out well. I had been walking every day and I fell back to walking two or three times a week. I went from an average of over 14000 steps/day to an average of ~6500 steps/day. It showed up both in my gradual weight gain and an overall reduction in my general health. For instance, my A1C, an indicator of long term blood sugar, went up from below 6.0 to 6.7. That is not phenomenally bad, especially for a diabetic, but it is an indication that the walking was helping.
This year I intend to keep walking after the event is over. I may set my expectations down to just making my 13,000 steps instead of trying to save up extra steps but maybe not. I will definitely keep the daily walk as a part of the regime.
This brings me back to where I started. I am so very thankful for my health. I have a lot of things that I still want to do and I need to take care of my health so that I will be around to do them. I didn’t mention my mostly vegetarian diet but I’ll save the details of that for another post.