This week is the fifth anniversary of my heart attack and triple bypass cardiac surgery. Over the past 5 years I have revisited these dates with a heart health scorecard that I update based on how well I maintain a heart healthy lifestyle. Although I like the accountability of evaluating my diet, exercise, stress level and overall quality of life, I think it’s time to move on to something more relevant to where I am today in relation to where I want to be in the future.
I have started to work on a wellness vision for myself. I got this idea from Mick, a WLS chat buddy. Mick is about a year out from me with his Lapband surgery and has been an important person on my weight loss journey. Earlier this summer he spoke about creating a wellness vision. I began researching it and determined that it is exactly what I needed.
So what is a wellness vision? It’s a big-picture view of where you want to be healthwise in the coming year and future years. You imagine an outcome in the vision that you then make come to life through the goals you set. What is important about this plan is that it ties measurable goals to the vision. Without these goals, you would most likely fail or minimally achieve your vision.
This wellness vision has lingered on my to-do list for the past month or so. It is a pretty difficult thing to create. I have been brainstorming a variety of visions; only to put them aside as being inadequate. I also realize that creating goals that are measurable, challenging and obtainable will be just as difficult. I updated my to-do task to be complete by November 1. Let’s see how well I will do on carrying through with creating the vision and goals. I’ll publish them here when I am finished.
Final comments on the heart health scorecards… In 2005 I was a solid “F” improving to an “A” in 2009. I have come a long way in 5 years. I am 80 pounds lighter and much more physically active. My cardiologist, primary care physician and bariatric surgeon tell me that I am in excellent health. Add to this, I am much happier with my life and where my life is going.
2010 was an amazing year for me in terms of physical exercise. Bicycling took me beyond the daily treadmill routine to a level I never could have even imagined in 2005. I cycle 2-3 times a week averaging about 60-80 miles. I completed 3 organized rides. The 2-day 150 mile Bike MS Pedal to the Point was my proudest achievement; not bad for a somewhat chubby guy in his mid 50s! My dream was to complete a 100 mile century ride. I completed a metric century (63 miles) at the Hancock Horizontal Hundred in Findlay. I am sure a century will be a goal supporting my wellness vision.
Over the past five years I learned a lot about health, diet and exercise. I can’t stress it enough that you have to make these three things a priority in your life. I ignored them far too long. My quality of life improved dramatically when I elevated them to the level of importance they needed to be. So, I encourage you today to improve your health, diet and exercise and not wait as long as I did. Live your life to its fullest and enjoy the journey that you are on! You never know where it will take you.