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The New Guy “Jim”

Starting a new path in life is really, really hard. This is the story of someone looking to get healthier and live longer. “Jim” is a pseudonym. He doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his journey, through his eyes.


I’ve been married for 25 years. When I met my wife I was in a rock band with long, wispy hair and I had the body of a greek god. I didn’t quite have a six pack, but my belly was in proportion to the rest of my strong, solid body. That was back when life was simple. That was back when I didn’t have to plan time to exercise and my body always performed the way I wanted it to. I never thought about what I was eating. I ate and drank whatever and whenever I wanted.

Now here I am nearly 3 decades later, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, severely overweight. I use a machine to help me sleep at night so I don’t stop breathing. I put my foot up on the coffee table to tie my shoes. I have to lean on the wall in the shower to wash my feet. Sometimes when I am feeling up to it, I challenge myself to wash my feet without holding on. Some days I can do it. I feel successful. Some days I can’t. Those days I beat myself up for the way I have let myself go.

I can’t help it. I love sweets. I need something sweet to finish out each meal and each day. I was raised with delicious pies and baked goods daily. Some were homemade and some were store bought. All of them were loaded with sugar and made me feel loved.

I need to do something different. I need to get a handle on this destruction. I know the foods I eat are not good for me. I know I need to exercise. I have tried. I can do it for a day or two. But then I always fail. I am so tired of failing. But I am scared. There, I said it. I am scared of having a heart attack, a stroke, diabetes (I hear people lose limbs with severe diabetes).

I know my wife is tired of hearing me say, “this time will be different”. Hell, I am tired of hearing myself say it.

I am going to come to the gym everyday and plan on not eating any sweets. I can do it!

Wait, this is what I do. I over commit and then I can’t stick with it.

Last week when I met with Coach Sarah she said to start small. If I’m gonna write it down, I am going to make the changes small enough so I don’t have to come back next week and tell you I failed once again. So this week my goal will be to schedule and show up for three personal training sessions (it’s too expensive to no show!). And on the days I am not going to the gym, I will go for a walk after work. I know I will be tired. I don’t have to walk for an hour, I can walk for 15 minutes and that will be enough to start. I always tell myself dumb things like 15 minutes is not enough or I need to walk for an hour to make it count for the last 10 years of doing nothing. So then I overcommit, do it for a day or two and then tell myself I am too busy or some crap excuse like that.

I am going to try something different this time so maybe this time will actually be different.