Healthy Life, Happy FI

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted our last blog. I didn’t know if it was writer block, burnout or just sheer laziness. But I didn’t feel like writing or doing much of anything for that matter.

It’s interesting because just when things are going well and excitement for our future plans should be building, I seemed to have hit a funk. Business has been great, the markets have been great and we have a couple of small weekend trips booked. We also started mapping out our college road trip and even have a preliminary itinerary for getting to the university on time. Planning these trips is one of my favorite things to do, but I’m finding it hard to enjoy it this time. What the heck is going on?

Well, to be honest I know what it is. And as much as life has changed both personally and professionally there is one thing that has remained and even become worse. It’s time to tackle that problem.

I’m overweight, in terrible shape and I feel miserable. There, I said it!

Years ago I stepped on the scale and was disgusted at what I saw. I was the heaviest I had ever been and I had more xx’s on my clothing size than I care to admit. I put in a lot of time eating right and exercising and eventually lost over 50 pounds. I finally let up when Ms. RVF became concerned I was losing too much weight and was starting to look unhealthy. And she was right.

Over the next few years I did a decent job of maintaining a healthy weight or at least one I was comfortable with. While we had our splurges on weekends the weekdays were reserved for healthier eating and more sensible meals. It was a good balance of enjoying life and maintaining health. Somewhere along the line that all went away, at least for me, and now here I am once again at a weight that is not healthy and is making me downright miserable.

I need to do something about this. After all I want to be around to enjoy the fruits of our labor in early retirement. And more importantly, what good is being financially independent and free of life’s burdens if I am putting the shackles of obesity around my ankles while at the same time setting my family up for the inevitable trauma that comes with the loss of a loved one? It sounds very selfish to not work on getting healthy quite honestly.

I don’t really have a plan nor do I want one. The weight loss methods I employed in the past are probably not the best for me today. I need to do something that I can incorporate as a lifestyle change as opposed to a diet that will inevitably just fail and do more long term harm than good.

So to start I have made the decision to cut back, and in some cases cut out, a lot of foods and try to stick mostly to a plant based diet. That’s a big change for a voracious meat eater like myself. To be clear, I’m not cutting meat out completely, but it’s no longer going to be the centerpiece of every single meal. It will now be more of an occasional one off at best.

Then we get to the exercise part. I hate exercising! But I like riding my bike and my wife likes to run so we are teaming up. She runs, I ride. It’s not a stringent heart pounding, blood pumping exercise, but it gets me moving and outside. Unfortunately where we reside there isn’t a lot of places to walk. One of the things we look forward to when we go full time in our RV is that the options for places to walk and hike will get much better. For now we settle on city biking in the polluted air.

This is my starting point. I don’t have a number and I’m not striving for a weight loss goal. The reason for this is twofold. First, as my wife says it’s not about a number it’s about how you feel inside everyday. Second, my wife threw the scale in the garbage and I don’t know how much I actually weigh now or will weigh when I feel better. That’s how well she knows me. I tend to get obsessed with the numbers and start doing unhealthy things to get that number. Also, in the past I have been known to weigh myself several times a day which drives her crazy and is not really helping anything. The lack of a scale will make me focus on feeling better not just hitting a number.

This is an important task to take on. The men in my family have a long history of dying young. In fact, my dad is the first one I know of to make it out of his 70’s. Both of his brothers died in their early 70’s and my grandfather was in his 50’s. All three had heart problems so this is not something to take lightly considering our family history.

I owe it to myself and my family to make healthier decisions. This journey is not only about achieving financial health but also personal health. You can’t have happy FI without living a healthy life.

Until next time……………………..


9 thoughts on “Healthy Life, Happy FI

  1. justinmaner – Greater Seattle – Hi, I am Justin Maner. I left Amazon in August of 2019 to pursue my lifelong dream of being an entrepreneur. I am excited to share what I learn along the way from my successes and my failures.
    justinmaner says:

    Wow, amazing article! I really appreciate reading about how you are thinking about this. I love the focus on feeling good, the fact that you understand why you are doing this that ties to something important, and that you are making a long term lifestyle change. I also love that you have an exercise plan doing something that you love. Your mix of determination, healthy self-reflection, and wisdom (i.e. you listen to your wife who seems to be dang smart) give me confidence that you are going to figure this out. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey of self discovery.

  2. It’s all about moderation and setting up something simple that you will be able to consistently follow through with. I wish you the best of luck in reaching your goals.

  3. Dr. Yewande – I'm a Nigerian woman living in Canada who is learning, growing and taking steps towards becoming the best version of myself. I'm here to share what has helped me, hoping I can help others too.
    Yéyé Fadoju says:

    All the best Joe! You already have what it takes to get healthy. Channel the same discipline you’re using towards FI and pat yourself on the back for the little wins. You’ve got this!

  4. Amber – Hebron, IN – Hello, and welcome! My name is Amber, my husband's name is Kalen, and we're living in Indiana, pursuing financial independence together. We have two cats, a dog, and a love of travel. Join me as I document our meals (I love to cook!), our life together, and our journey to FI.
    Amber says:

    One of my 2020 goals (I’ll do a post at some point) is to be healthier. I’m not trying to hit a certain weight, size, or measurement, but I want to be in better shape. When we were shopping for a home we made sure that we found one in a good neighborhood for walking, riding, and running. The husband and I enjoy bike rides, and we take our dogs for walks. We’re near enough to various parks and trails too, so that has helped. My Dad was 41 when he died of a heart attack, and I’ll be 35 this year and I have a myriad of health issues, so I feel like I’m running out of time to set things right for me.

    Best of luck on the journey! We’re going to succeed at this!

  5. Hi Joe,

    Honestly you’re heading the right direction, even addressing it is a HUGE step, i am also just a bit like you and a little too focused on the numbers ( So much that when I get back on a fitness grind my partner is always telling me how skinny i get and how unhealthy it is to be so obsessed with a number) so I understand where you’re coming from.

    To be frank I don’t have enough experience on this yet to even give you any advice or any type of guideline but I’m very confident you’re heading the right direction solely due to the fact that you are aware of it and not shying away from the core issue itself. Health is always a priority and I’m very glad you’re addressing it and prioritizing it.

    This was a great read and a very personal one that takes courage to even consider writing about! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I’m a few years older than you but also have a high school student. I think it’s important to hold on to your “why” for making health changes, and tap into that each day.

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