Matt Gets Healthy

Here I talk about the Build a Better Matt project I'm working on. If you are just interested in the stats I promised elsewhere you can click here. First, however, I wanted to touch on some of the reasons why I'm working on it and how I got here.

This summer I had a chance to go to the GALA Choruses Convention in Denver with the PGMC. There were over 6,500 LGBT singers in one place for five days of concert after concert after concert. It was amazing... The sense of family and community was out of this world. I could go on... and if you ask me I will... but the reason I mention that in the context of my "Get Healthy" state of the union update is because of one of the performances I saw.

The piece called "Two Boys Kissing" and it was stunningly performed by the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus. Tears were shed by many. Feelings were felt. Etc. The line that got under my skin was towards the end. The stanza is quoted in the booklet of the CD and goes like this.

There will be joy, there will be tears,
There will be smiles through all your years.
There will be hate, there will be fear,
There is your truth and it never disappears.
Make more than dust, just like we discussed.
You are amazing and worthy and endlessly loved.
     - From Make More than Dust, the final movement of Two Boys Kissing

The line "Make more than dust" got stuck in my head. I realized that I needed to do that for myself and since then I've been trying to Make More than Dust of my life. Honestly though I don't know if I could have done it without the support of friends and family. So thank you all... I wouldn't be here without you.

The way I see it there are three major "Matt Projects" going on right now.

The first project is a focus on Mental Health. Which for the purposes of this article is simply don't go crazy doing the rest of it. It also deals with forming habits, realizing help from others is a good thing, etc.

The second project is Social Health. Here I cannot thank enough the members of PGMC. I'm not good at putting myself out there and my brothers in song have been there for me trying to get me out of my shell. I ask for your patience and continued effort. This is the project I wish I was doing better at.

The last one and the major focus of tonight's post is Physical Health. Yeah... I know 6 paragraphs in... In this project are things like increased medication compliance, fitness, "fixing broken parts" and the like. I started the process with some Physical Therapy on my bum knee to make sure I was healthy enough to go to the gym. Now I'm going to the gym three times a week (so far only two exceptions). I've also changed my diet. I'm currently using a meal delivery service which gives me a 1200 calorie diet with 30 Net Carbs a day. I do this 5 days a week and supplement with a few additional calories and carbs. You'll note in the charts below the dip in treadmill on 2/27 that was when my back decided it did not want to work out towards the end of the night. I've been waiting for it to go out in some respects because I know I have issues there. I'm currently scheduled to go back to PT to get that officially checked out. I've also been trying to fix my sleep habits (with some success).

Some other things that I touched on elsewhere but I'll repeat here are that I've dropped from a 44 or 46 pants size down to a 38. I generally feel better on a regular basis and while the tummy is still a work in progress I can see muscles in my limbs (calves, thighs, biceps, etc). On to the hard numbers. The window below shows part of the fitness tracker I wrote for myself. As such it is live... If you come back later you should see, hopefully, more progress. I want to add a chart for weight but that's being tracked in another system. As hinted at above weight loss isn't my primary goal per se but it is an easy stat to track as long as I understand it is a "complicated" one. Oh I should also caveat that the weight lifted is "fudged" by a random single digit integer so that the lines are always different. Otherwise some of the "pairs" (like triceps and biceps) end up being the same, displaying on top of each other, and you can't see them.

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