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Is This How It Ends? - August 6, 2016

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

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Warning: This blog is not going to be sentimental. It's actually painful to write. But it's something that I feel impelled to do.

The other day I read a blog of AutieJ's (wish I could find the exact part...EDIT: Now found, thanks to AutieJ: It's her blog titled "I Don't Want To Be Like My Daddy")

that stopped me in my tracks. As I am coming to know my new SP buddy, I have learned that she fills her blogs with a lot of sobering facts, laced with comic relief. I mean how much "gloom and doom" can one take in one sitting?

So, why did I pause? She included a link to the so-called "Death Clock":


I went to the site and plugged in some numbers, erring on the high-end side. And after some moments to crunch my input, it came up with my death: Friday, September 2, 2022. Holy smokes! That's just six years from now!

The site is geared around your BMI (what a surprise!) and how your current lifestyle is going to kill you sooner rather than later. For me, this is a bare six years from now. Those of you who know me, know that my business partner and I are embarking (hopefully!) on a new venture. It is humbling to see that all our plans and general living, can come to a grinding halt a mere six years from now.

If you are on a health journey that involves sticking with the plan for many, many months (years even) as I am, because of a lot of excessive weight, it is exceedingly hard to find motivation daily. We need to find new ways to keep us going to see that elusive finish line: Good health reborn. Each day I have to reinvent myself to keep myself going. Lately, as I previously posted, I have returned to the carefree days of kindergarten, awarding myself a gold star, for each day that I keep in calorie range. Even that has required me to dust myself off and start anew after just a mere seven days, but I am sticking with it, and modifying the plan to award the stars after the fact and not before, even if I track the day's calories in advance - stuff happens. This ensures my compliance. How old am I? Sixty-five (still cannot wrap my brain around that). And, yes, whatever tools I can come up with, I will surely try, to get to the goal of general good health.

The hardest part of this "journey" is the internal one. So many have eloquently written blogs about this one. This, in my view, is the whole enchilada: If we can figure out what led us to this point, I truly believe the weight loss will become permanent. I do not believe, as one SP buddy suggested to me once, it is merely that we have been exposed to excessive eating in childhood that "just" continues into adulthood. Weight is complex. And it has to be confronted head on, shining light into a lot of dark corners that we don't really want to get into. But in order for this to be truly successful for the last time (!), a lot of self-introspection, I believe, is mandatory. I, for one, do not want to be back here ever again. And I know it will require a lot of diligence and understanding of me.

So Death: Don't wait up for me. I will not meet you on that date you assigned me because of my obesity. Come hell or high water, I will conquer my demons, and I will succeed.
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  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
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    1164 days ago
    Keep conquering those demons!
    1246 days ago
    I fear that the "death clock" is largely speculative nonsense, but I agree with your thoughts!
    1254 days ago
  • QUAIL75
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    1298 days ago
    My dad died too young, only 72, but my MOTHER is still going strong at 95... my dad was the skinny one....

    you have a great attitude, but I know that I'm taking the death clock with a (really really) big grain of salt...

    Not to be fatalistic, but when it's time for me to go, I will go... in Biblical terms, I will be "absent from the body, and present with the Lord".... works for me! emoticon
    1316 days ago
    great attitude you can do it
    1322 days ago
  • JERICHO1991
    Great attitude. Let's not be defeated.
    1323 days ago
    Although I don't like all those possible-death tests that you can find on the internet - I don't even want to have the slightest idea! - I believe that longevity is one of the main reasons people decide to change their lifestyles and become healthier. But as you so wisely mentioned, the internal battle is daunting and it's always the hardest part. There is rarely just one reason that has led to obesity and the self-introspection takes lots of time, evokes a lot of different emotions and, in short, it changes us. And that's a gift, in my opinion. The welcoming side effect of weight loss.
    Keep on doing your best. It's always good enough.
    And thank you for such an inspiring blog!
    1323 days ago
    very interesting !
    1324 days ago
    Well THAT was interesting. I plugged in my current stats--160 lbs. and 5'5" and learned that I will live until I'm 87 (I'm currently 65). So I decided to see what my life expectancy would be with my BMI before I lost 178 lbs. The BMI calculator did not go high enough to give me my real weight, and the death calculator did not give a high enough BMI (at least 50), so I'm not sure I got an accurate calculation, but at 300+ lbs., I would only live to 77. I bet if I had been able to put my true BMI into the calculator, the expectancy would be much lower. I know when I saw my doctor after my weight loss, he stammered, "You have added years to your life." My health was the whole reason I lost weight, and I have never regretted that decision I made almost 7 years ago.
    1325 days ago
    Very interesting!.... I see this Evoked a lot of thought and congratulations on your popular blog!... emoticon
    1326 days ago
    1326 days ago
    Interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing.
    1327 days ago
    good blog... well said.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1327 days ago
    Very well worded blog!
    1327 days ago
    1327 days ago
    Wow. Another 5 years.

    However, I must say that the concept of BMI is murky

    Please see

    So I'm keeping open the option that I'll make 83 (my smoking father) or beyond (per my86 year old drinking mother).
    1328 days ago
  • BOSS61
    Checking in here. Um, wow.

    Deathclock gives me until 2035. We shall see.
    1328 days ago
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    1329 days ago
    Very well written blog. Thank you!
    1329 days ago
    "Cheat Death." That's as good a motivation as any! Maybe we can't really cheat Death, in the end, but we can certainly give him the run-around, stick our fingers in our ears and waggle our tongues and refuse to go quietly when our number is called.

    Death clock says I'll live to 71. Screw that. Both my grandmothers made it to their mid-90s, so there's no reason I can't manage it.

    It is still a good motivation to get the BMI in line, though. Set a goal - you won't get out of this life alive, no matter what, but you could realistically say, "Cheat Death out of 10 years" (or 20, or 30 - but probably not much beyond whatever puts you at 100). Don't confuse motivation with commitment, though - the motivation's good, but it's the commitment that's hard when the energy and optimism are flagging.
    1329 days ago
  • 957910
    It's like running from zombies.
    Whatever makes you put out your best effort!
    My crossfit coach used to tell us to run like zombies were chasing us! Funny but it made me run faster lol!
    1329 days ago
  • NMUTT71

    Love your positive outlook.
    1329 days ago
    Friday, 12th August 2050

    Hmmm..... I'd live to be about my Grams age.................
    "Friday, 12th August 2050 - You will live to be 84 years, 3 months and 2 days old"
    Based on BMI, perhaps losing more and getting fitter, it'll be a longer life in the future! emoticon
    1329 days ago
  • no profile photo APPLEGREENGIRL
    Sobering post, but thank you for sharing with us. You can do this.
    1329 days ago
    1329 days ago
  • CGMLH01
    Wow! That makes a person think. emoticon emoticon
    1329 days ago
    Sometimes our own mortality is the strongest motivator.
    1329 days ago
    I can relate...
    1329 days ago
  • 1965KAREN
    As long as life is lived to the fullest and we leave good memories for those behind, God will take care of the rest. I would like to leave the I CAN DO ANYTHING attitude to those who follow after me.That motivates me to want to do better! Thanks for the eye opening blog.
    1330 days ago
    1330 days ago
  • JAYME280
    1330 days ago
    1330 days ago
    1330 days ago
    I am not upset by the death clock. It is a reminder to eat better and exercise.

    Thanks for the info and the reminder!

    emoticon emoticon
    1330 days ago
    Wow!! Look at all the fantastic comments on this blog! I'm another 65-year-old, life-long struggler with my weight. In another completely unrelated conversation, a wise friend said to me, "The how doesn't matter--it's the end result that counts." This can be applied to our motivation on our health journey.

    You use gold stars (I can so relate to that. I remember walking home very carefully from Kindergarten, being careful all afternoon so my Dad could see the gold star on my forehead that meant I'd had a good day at school.) I use a paper clip chain to track the main goal I want to become a streak: nighttime snacking. It's 12 paper clips long, and it has reminded me several nights to stick to that resolve. It doesn't matter how we train our brains, how we motivate ourselves, how we maintain that "push."

    Find what works for you and take it one day, one hour, sometimes one minute at a time. We can do this, and we can encourage one another.
    1330 days ago
    Bravo, be positive, stay positive. Enjoyed reading your blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon for sharing.
    1330 days ago
    Wow, very informative
    1330 days ago
    "You can change the way you feel. You can live the life you want. Begin now!"
    ~ Unknown ~
    1330 days ago
    Now that I know when I gonna die, I can get started on my bucket list.
    #1 Swim with sharks
    #2 Skydiving . . . for sport
    #3 Vote for Trump. . I won't be here to see the outcome of his presidency lol
    #4 Have dinner with my XW and DW together - at the same time.
    #5 if I do number 4, I won't be alive for number 5
    On the serious side- -Every decision we make affect our future. Some are minor or trivial while others are critical. Being mindful of the decisions we make can mitigate problems in the future, especially those that effect our health and wellness Nevertheless, we cannot escape death because it is as much a part of life as our birth.

    1330 days ago
    excellent blog. Good motivation to stay on a healthy track.
    1330 days ago
    Great blog!! I loved it! Very inspiring!
    1330 days ago
    Thanks for a truly excellent Blog! These are thoughts that have wandered through my mind now and again also. Did check out the Death Clock and it says I get to live to be 81, dying in 2031. Am working hard, maybe not to extend that end date, but to make sure I live a good quality life until then.

    You ask about the how of how we got here, and can say its a long journey with many side roads.

    We have our parents habits: my mom was overweight, some of it do to hypothyroidism from a young age, probably not even diagnosed until her adulthood, and a tendency to not take care of herself. I remember her trying metrical shakes, but she was always an eat desert first type person. She was short and heavy and just got more so over the years until she spent her end ones in a wheel chair, finally succumbing to COPD.

    Dad on the other hand was tall and thin, and could eat like crazy and stayed that way. He was 6'5" and at one point found himself all the way up to 225 lbs (at 70 years of age!) and decided that was too much! He unfortunately did become a diabetic for reasons no one could discern, except possible damage to his pancreas from something he might have picked up on a visit to mexico. He quite literally dropped dead at 77 from diabetes issues.

    So that gave me a background of heavy duty eating, and it wasn't always nutritious eating. Mom's idea of two vegetables was potatoes cooked two different ways. All meats were pan fried. Friday night was Pizza night and the three of us would easily put away two large pizzas and one small one. My drink was orange soda. Sunday breakfast was donuts - a dozen split between the three of us. Starting to get the picture of how my eating habits developed? And sadly, know this wasn't uncommon eating style!

    I was always big on butter and fat, something that carried over to adulthood. Big eating, that carried over into adulthood. But the physical activity levels did not. Used to walk everywhere, a mile plus to visit my friend JoAnne, a mile+ back home (uphill). If I took the long way to her house, it would be closer to 2 miles. Those days, I could easily walk a mile in 15minutes without breaking a sweat, cut that closer to 10 if I was running late. Now, its 20 minutes at a hustle.

    So now, its learn not just different eating habits, but different taste appreciation. No more sweets for breakfast, no more pats of butter as others might eat cheese (not that there's much of a calorie difference!), no more heaping mounds of spaghetti!

    And oh yes, I inherited Mom's Hypothyroidism - have Hashimoto's Disease (autoimmune thyroiditis), which she probably had too.

    Add to that, we work from home, so the kitchen is just a step away from my desk and I cook three meals a day!

    And we forget how old we are. When we sit down to eat our brains are still thinking we're 30 somethings and orders food accordingly.

    Its always a combination of many things, and its a combination of many things that gets us past this.

    Look forward to seeing you at my non-funeral in 2031!
    1330 days ago
    I think it's a "cute" idea and if it gets you up and moving who cares how accurate it is. Just get up and move!
    1330 days ago
  • DS9KIE
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    1330 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    Welcome back to SparkPeople. We are all here for the same reason, no matter what our personal story is. We are here to help each other to get to that healthy point we want to be in our lives. It is not going to be easy, but it is attainable. Make small goals and they will lead to big successes. You have to make you #1 and tell yourself that you are worth it. If you don't take care of yourself you can't take care of anyone else. You can do it! We are here to help! Welcome back and get active on this site. emoticon
    1330 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    With obesity for those of us who are older (I'm 66), Type 2 Diabetes or in my case Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome is what does the real damage when we are obese. I've been listening to the lectures of Jason Fung M.D. on YouTube and I've also read the book "The Diabetes Solution" by Richard Bernstein M.D. who has lectures on YouTube. My doctor was of no help to me as he said "You can't expect to lose any weight at YOUR AGE since you have Metabolic Syndrome." Well, I've been reading a lot and I'm working on getting out of that Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome cycle. My fasting blood sugar last year when I had it checked was 119 and diabetes starts at 126, so I wasn't happy about that. Richard Bernstein M.D. says we should keep it about 80. But, until I have my fat off and am at a normal BMI i know i won't get it down there. But I'm working on it.
    1330 days ago
    The BMI is a good indicator of your health as well as whether you smoke or drink. Yes, it is not the only indicator, but it does indicate your health. Good for you making people look at reality and think about staying healthy.
    1330 days ago
    1330 days ago
  • REBCCAH311
    Thank you for this blog. I to needed a reminder of what all the carefree years of eating have gotten me. I have consistently mistreated my body then expected it to support me. As of right now we as in my knees and me are in a standoff. I want what time I have left to be good years and for that I must treat myself with respect everyday. That means eating to nourish my body and soul, exercising to build my strength, and positive thoughts to see me through. emoticon Here's hoping all of us get our happy ever after.
    1330 days ago
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