Health.

As a middle-aged American private pilot I am required by the FAA to have a physical every two years. This physical has to be completed by an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner. Luckily, there are several in the area so finding an AME in these parts isn’t a difficult thing to do. The physical is a thorough assessment of eye sight, color perception, reflexes, blood pressure and the like, overall physical well being and a review of medications and medical history. There are many disqualifying medications, luckily I’m not taking any of them. Yesterday I was deemed fit enough to fly for another two years. To celebrate I went on a solo flight last night and practiced some night landings to maintain my night currency. I have to have three full-stop landings within 90 days to take passengers up with me at night.

One of the things that we talked about during my flight physical was my weight gain since my physical two years ago. My weight has always been akin to a yo-yo. I’m not the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life but I’m currently in the upper 2/3rds of my average weight swings and I’d like to shed a few pounds, primarily to lower my blood pressure naturally and to feel physically better about myself.

That’s where smart choices come in.

Unfortunately, out in the wild there’s a lot of false information out there when it comes to making healthy choices. For example, the convenience store on the corner sells fountain drinks in small, medium and large sizes: 24, 32 and 44 ounce cups. To combat any guilt of one consuming that much sugar, they offer two types of ice: Low Carb and Diet Ice.

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Honestly, I don’t know what the difference between Low Carb and Diet Ice is, because ice should be frozen water, which shouldn’t have any calories nor carbs. I mean, water is water. I asked the clerk and she said it was plain water, there was nothing special about it other than it was Low Carb and good for diets.

Every once in a while I treat myself to a diet pop, which I know isn’t good for me. I’ve cut back on diet pop consumption considerably, having such a drink only once or twice a week. I’ve lost a couple of pounds since making this adjustment, and every little bit helps. I’m also focusing on salads; Earl and I just enjoyed a wonderful salad for lunch this afternoon. Another thing that we are doing is eating at home more and saving eating out for when we travel.

The most important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is moving, and this is something that I am trying to do on a daily basis. When you make your living sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day, it’s important to get up and move at least once an hour. I also go for two 20-minute walks during my workday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Now that spring is here I plan on riding the bike before work, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been braving the traffic in the neighborhood and walking on the shoulder of our busy road. Every step counts.

I have a goal of losing a privately-determined amount of weight by my birthday in July. It’ll take a lot of small steps to get there, but every step counts.

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