Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Healthier Gamer Series: A Year in Review
Honestly, life swallowed them up and didn't even spit them back out. As you could probably tell from my lack of articles in December, I didn't get much writing done at all unfortunately. Typically my time management isn't really that bad, but apparently during the holiday months I blink and suddenly it's the second week of January!
Enough excuses though, on to the review!
Just to get it out in the open and be honest about it, quite frankly I mailed in November and December. I didn't break my new habits or throw everything away, but I also didn't make any improvements. Back in November I went to go see my doctor as I had been experiencing some fairly severe hand pain for a few months. After a bevy of blood work and tests, it turns out I have Gout!
...this gives a whole new meaning to the Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler for me, by the way...
As a part of the initial treatment to get my pain and swelling under control, I was on a month-long regiment of Prednisone. The unfortunate side effects of this lovely steroid is weight gain and water retention. Yay! When I started it, I was down to 243, and then three weeks later I was up to 254! When I had a conversation with my doctor about it, she said that was perfectly normal for the dose and time frame I was on it for. Not about to undo all the work I had put into my health and weight, I stopped the meds a week early, and worked my tail off. I joined the cardio kickboxing classes my Tae Kwon Do Dojang also hosts and have been going to those once or twice a week in addition to everything else. I'm happy to say that I'm now starting the new year on proper medication for my Gout, and I'm back down to 247.4 pounds.
Prepping for this review, I decided to go back and read through all the Healthier Gamer articles. It was actually kind of nice to be able to go through when I started this journey and see where I was coming from. Sure it's not like it was 10 years ago or something, but at the same time I have a different outlook and attitude today than I did a little over a year ago. Its been interesting to try and find a correlation between getting healthier and gaming every month. Interesting and challenging a bit at times, but ultimately very satisfying, and at times humbling, to share this journey with you all. Every single one of you who have publicly commented in my articles, as well as those of you who've approached me personally through email or in person, have been so very supportive and encouraging. This journey and complete change of lifestyle would have been so very much harder without each and every one of you.
I think the most humbling part of sharing my monthly thoughts and updates with everyone is that people who don't even read this blog for gaming reasons read the Healthier Gamer series to keep up on my progress and see how I'm doing. I was approached by someone from my church the other week to ask how I have been doing with my weight loss and health track because she hadn't seen an update from me in a while. I knew people cared, but to have someone actually come up to me and ask me how I was doing because I HADN'T updated meant so very much to me.
So what's in store for the second year of this journey?
Well, first off I need to tell you all thank you. Thank you for following me through this life-changing time that I've grown during. Thank you for your encouragement, your support and your accountability. You may not know it, but forcing myself to give hard numbers of weight and exercise to such a public venue...well, it kinda sucks sometimes. Especially once the weight stopped falling off. However, the times when I was tempted to not update, on purpose, were the times when I remembered how much support the community has shown me and I felt ashamed for even thinking of not sharing the hard times as well as the good times.
Secondly, I think I may ease back on the monthly, clockwork updates on weight and activity levels. Oh they will still be there, but I want to mix in some other articles, more philosophical ones as well as reports on methods, encouragement and statistics of our culture and it's health. Both physical and otherwise!
Finally, over a year into it, I can honestly say that this Road to being a Healthier Gamer is one without an end. There's no exit ramp, and there isn't a dead end. This road is a never ending one full of temptations to give up or give in, as well as ones of triumph and success. You wanna know what the best thing about this road though?
I get to walk it with my friends, my family, my wife and my son, for far longer that I would have if I had never starting walking it in the first place.