As truck drivers we are all TOO familiar with detours. Sometimes they can be good things, other times they are a royal pain in the tuba. Over the last several months I have been on a giant personal detour.
When several friends encouraged me to start this blog to share some of my stories, and experiences living and getting fitter on the road. I though this would be a simple hobby. I had a few goals nothing elaborate planned. Then that fiend Murphy struck For once it was not a bad thing. It was increased opportunities to get involved in being a advocate for the trucking industry in driver health, and additional ways to get my story out.
At least I thought it was a good thing. Like many people I have a bit of an issue saying know and over committing myself. Lets just say with in a few months. I was a part of more groups and projects than Carter has liver pills. I became so involved it began to affect my health. This last year was one of the first winters I got sick in about 3 years. It was nothing major but a touch of one of the winter bugs that went around last year. However it threw me off my game. Around this same time I was becoming more involved with Randall Reilly, working with them as well as the Trucking Solutions Group, to help plan an improved driver experience at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, TX August 27, 28 and 29, 2015. Randall-Reilly had committed to making this show more driver focused, improve the overall experience both in the show and parking lot, as well as bring back the health pavilion to benefit drivers.
Before I knew it my stress levels were going up. I was spending hours each week in calls, meetings, and research to help plan and figure out various options for the show. My main focus became to help coordinate speakers for the health stage. This is a small stage in the health pavilion where people can gather to watch, cooking, and exercise demos. Hear speakers on a variety of health topics, and participate in community forums on issues relating to health and eating on the road.
As my stress went up it became easier and easier to ignore taking care of myself. One of the first things to slip was exercise. After all I had meetings to attend, stuff to do on the computer, and exercise just cut into that time. Next as I got busier in planning for GATS, and adding in getting ready for MATS, and the DAS Travel Center Show, plus some cookbook projects. My personal cooking began to slip through the cracks. It seemed far simpler to go inside and order a meal then it was to fix one. In reality and hindsight I have realized I was wrong. Yes getting inside to eat got me away from the stress of the show. However it was easier to make poor eating choices, fall into old habits, and watch the pounds pile back on. In the space of about 3 months I had gained back around 20 lbs of weight.
Slowly as I began to get things under control. I realized what my mistakes were. Like many things in life I had many people suggesting things to try. Telling me my old plan did not work, and I needed something new. In reality it reaffirmed to me the value of simplicity. As drivers we don’t have the patience or the time for anything that is complex, or very involved. I have a growing appreciation for things that are simple, and easy. My cooking style has begun to switch to recipes that can be prepared at the start of my day. Then when ready all I have to do is turn on my crock pot, or Road Pro Stove on the Go. A couple of hours before I am ready to eat. Exercises instead of trying to do longer workouts. I have been breaking up into shorter segments of a few minutes at a time. This makes it easier to find short periods through out my day where i can get in some exercise to take care of myself.
As I have said before, loosing weight, and improving your health is journey. One where you will always discover, and learn new things. One of the biggest things I have learned is that I HAVE to start taking better care of myself, and make me a priority. Am I happy about my weight regain. Of course not. That said it has served as a valuable reminder of the importance of paying attention to your body, and how you feel. As well as to do your best to be proactive and put yourself first. So as pesky as this detour has been. it has resulted in helping me to find and remember the importance of taking care of yourself.