Health / Health & Fitness

If Not Now, When: A Path To Improving Health

If Not Now, When: A Path To Improving Health

Improving Health

Photo Compliments of Sue Davis

I started 2015 like so many, frantically looking for that path to improving health: I hunted through the house until I found the scale, sorted through the fridge and cupboards to dump all of the junk food and treats, I even resorted my closet so my exercise cloths are all hanging neatly on the left side for easy access. I set my hiking boots in the front hallway so you have to trip over them to get out the door. For good measure and to show commitment I weighed myself and sadly noted the number…

Taking my blood sugar reading, and blood pressure is what brings me once again to the “oh shit moment” that seems to face us all.  It’s the moment when you come face to face with the fact that you genuinely like your life, but hate what it does to you.  I am over-weight by a bunch, my blood sugar is too high (this is code for my life style has made me Type 2 Diabetic), and my cholesterol puts me at risk for most, if not all, known diseases that cause adults to bite the big one well before their prescribed time.

Improving Health

Photo Compliments of Nagarajan Kanna

All of the easy fixes to improving health have been tried, or have permanent status as part of my life style. I wear loose baggy clothes, I choose activities that take less and less exertion, and I pray to god that a strong memory of what I looked like in my youth overrides what I might now look like naked.  I judiciously use the light switch to preserve my dignity and any hope of a sex life

No matter how you cut it, I have come to the time in my life when now is now; I need to get into shape for me, for quality of life, not to create an image, or to attract someone sexually. So the Twinkies and the potato chips are gone, not for just a few days or a few months; this time they are gone forever, it is so much like getting rid of the friends who got you through your youth. The white potatoes’ have been replaced by sweet potatoes’. The red meat has essentially disappeared, and the fridge has fruits and vegetables that I can’t pronounce, they are the result of a discussions in the produce department at PCC and Whole Foods.

The Real Irony

 Photo Compliments of Robert Ashworth

Photo Compliments of Robert Ashworth

The irony is that even in a few days I can now actually taste the food I eat and I get full pretty quickly. The biggest discovery in this journey is that in Seattle I have easy access to 12 national parks, 193 state parks (I can reach 54 of these on foot or on a bike-I have two within 5 miles of my home), my county (King) maintains 164 parks (a majority are reachable on foot or by bike), and 14 King County trails (200 miles of paved pathway that will go to 300 in the next 2 years). The pass for the state park system cost 30 dollars (I had a $25 dollar gift card so the cost was actually $5). The city and county parks are free, and I have a life time pass to the national park system to they are all free…Good health doesn’t really cost that much.

My Plan Is To Get in Shape and Discover the New World


My plan is pretty simple, it is to walk at least 5 miles or ride 10 miles each day. I have a set of second hand weights that I lift every other day to improve muscle tone.


I hiked Bridle Trails State Park on January 1st and St Edwards State Park on January 4th. I visited 2 city parks and I have hiked 5 miles each day so far.


I will keep you posted on my weekly progress. My plan is to use my weight, blood sugar level, and blood pressure as my metric for success. My plan is to drop 70 pounds this year and no longer require medication for diabetes. I am told dropping 20 pounds can have a dramatic affect in this regard.

Now is now…

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  1. Yes, tomorrow is the day for me. It’s always delayed a little after New Year because of a birthday and today was a day out (with lunch!). But there are no such excuses tomorrow..
    Good luck Charlie.
    rusty duck recently posted..The Post That Took A YearMy Profile

  2. Wishing you the very best on this journey, Charlie.
    I will enjoy following you here.

    Wishing you a bright and beautiful New Year.

  3. By all means, keep us posted. Here is to the new, leaner Charlie in 2015!!!

  4. Good luck!
    And how is going after 7 months?
    Traveling Rockhopper recently posted..Netherlands – Cheese marketMy Profile

  5. Great post, I realize this was in the beginning of 2015, still great. How is it going? It’s awesome that you have such easy access to so many amazing parks. I’m almost a little jealous, but good for you! I hiked at Tiger Mountain last summer (near you, right?) Best of luck with your journey.

  6. Good luck on your weight loss program. You have a great place to go to exercise! I used to walk around Green Lake. Now I just walk in our neighborhood in CA, or wherever I am. We also have a fitness trainer, and that helps a lot. It’s a lifelong goal. Now I’m working on getting rid of 20 pounds that have come about by means of potatoes, ice cream, etc. After my visit to DE, I’m sure I’m back up. 🙁
    Marsha Ingrao recently posted..A+ Book Review: Entertaining an ElephantMy Profile

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