Lumberjack Year: Mission Accomplished


US Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Juan E. Diaz

US Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Juan E. Diaz

In September last year, I went for a medical checkup as a pre-employment requirement for the network I work for now. I suffered the usual indignities of having to drink a lot of water so I could pee in a cup (and then having to pee forever after) and having a stranger cup my balls. But the real shock, aside from the rectal exam, was being told that I was obese.

At 5’7″ and 158 lbs, I knew I wasn’t the perfect specimen of health, but I thought I was at least in the area of pleasantly plump and roly-poly. But these, apparently, are not real words in the strange world of medicine. I was, I was told, Class I Obese, and needed to lose at least 10 pounds.

In case you missed it, I went through a terrible time in 2013 and that medical checkup was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Consider this: I had just turned 32, was single, scraping by on freelance work, and had let myself go to the point where it could cause health problems down the road (and if they do, I would die penniless and unmourned, etc. It was a terrible time, like I said).

Now, a few months short of another September, I have lost 27. I’m not due for another checkup until next year, so I am not sure I will be able to show the doctor how not obese I am (not that the doctor would care anyway, being employed at an HMO that probably does medical checkups by the dozen), but I am pretty pleased with myself.

If anything, I actually need to gain weight to reach my ideal of 140 lbs (as per my bucket list).

I was introduced recently to the concept of campaigns, short stretches of intense effort towards a goal. They aren’t sustainable in the long run and aren’t meant to be. We all need balance in our lives and have to have things to think about other than avoiding carbs and doing pushups.

This campaign is pretty much wrapped up, but the lumberjack year is far from over, and we have much bigger long-term goals to shoot for. Life goals, even.


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