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Monday, May 28

The Next Page

I don't really think about it like this today, but this is one of those pivotal page-turning moments of my life.  In five years I'll probably look back and wonder why I didn't do this sooner.  

I'm moving.

I know that's not a big deal for most people, but I've lived in the Birmingham, AL area all my life.  Moving 500 miles away is a big deal to me.  But I'm stuck.  I'm stuck in a routine that isn't advancing me in the ways I need to move forward.

Let me explain.  Back in high school I started to gain weight.  It wasn't a big deal at the time.  I was still young, full of energy, and life was good.  School was easy, I was making what I considered at the time decent money at my job, and the world was mine.

If memory serves me well, my weight first crossed 200 pounds around 1997.  I didn't go much over that, but it was still a big deal.  Then I reacted.  I made changes in my life, and I lost the weight.  It took relentless focus to lose the weight.  I was exercising several hours per day.  By May 1999 I considered myself at a healthy weight:  164 pounds.  I kept most of it off until I returned to college to finish my degree.

What happened?

Over the last 10 years I've let financial success run my life.  On the bright side, by focusing on this singular goal I have done very well.  In just ten years I've accumulated twice the net worth it took my frugal grandfather over 80 years to achieve.  But this has been at the expense of everything else that is important.  Specifically, my health.

What good is it to have a healthy bank account if I wake up every morning with ZERO energy?

I'm glad that I'm not waiting any longer to make these changes.  While I'm seriously overweight, I don't have any medical problems.  My blood pressure is normal, I don't eat red meat except on rare occasions, I'm not addicted to anything (other than food).  But I know fat people don't stay healthy.  It just doesn't happen.

The way I see it, the only way I am going to commit to the major changes that will be required in order to get back in shape is by totally changing my surroundings.  In effect, I have to start over.  I have to move away from the sub-suburbs (exurbs?) I call home now.  I have to leave behind the familiar comfort that keeps me in this holding pattern.  I've got to shake things up.


  1. I guess I'll visit you in Florida instead of Alabama. Hope the move works for you.

    I lost a lot of weight when I lived in Guatemala for three months but it came back quickly once I returned to the U.S.

    1. Depends on when you visit. I'm not moving next week. I wish I could but I have to find a place first and get my house rented. I'd like to be moved before the end of the summer but don't have any reason to rush into it.

      Your Guatemala experience is what I'm hoping for (well, except that I want to keep the weight off, but who doesn't?!?). You were in an unfamiliar place, plus there was probably a lot to do every day since it was a new place for you. It's easier to bring about change when you force yourself away from the habits that you're stuck in.

  2. How's this going to work with fast food shops looming? Are you not going to do them anymore? I have a tough time passing on fast food. When it's free, man that's even tougher. Best of luck, I've been trying to lose some weight for 40 years.

    1. Pat,

      Fortunately I've been doing fewer fast food shops than I used to. It's mostly because I don't like committing myself to being somewhere at a specific time. With gas station audits I can go any time of the day as long as the sun is out; restaurants are often limited to a 90 minute window. I prefer more flexibility in my schedule.