We all obsess with making our databases and our clients’ databases healthy and fabulous, but often we forget about looking after ourselves.

Over the last few years I’ve steadily ballooned 50lbs over the weight I was when I married Kimberly, let myself get stressed, black bags under my eyes, and an unhealthy liking for Tater-Tots, pizza, Tim’s Cascade chips (they are so good!), and coffee. I used to go hiking, now I’m too busy. I used to do tons of hobby stuff, now I’m too busy. I used to cook lots, now I’m too busy.

Of course, I blame my team for all of this… just kidding! I blame myself.

Working in I.T. means sitting at a computer for large amounts of time – a sedentary practice for which our bodies did not evolve. Not only does it mess up body posture, but it’s really easy to pile on the pounds when you get sucked in to working, working, working.

Well, not for me any more. I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns this year and do some performance tuning on myself. Some of my SQLskills colleagues are disgustingly fit, and I want to be too.

I’m currently on the last day of a 5-day fast-and-cleanse to flush all the toxins out of my body and give me a kick-start into being healthy. I’ve also lost 15lbs in the last six days. It hasn’t been as bad as people make out – no crazy cravings, no horrible cramps and nausea. My black bags have gone and I’m sleeping much better. If you’re interested, the cleanse I did is this one.

I also plan to change my eating habits – reducing portions and cutting out junk food. And starting to exercise again – not in a manic way, but walking, jogging, and hiking. And I’m not going to be online all the time. I think the 50lbs will come off this year.

As far as stress goes, I’m taking reading breaks during work days, and I’ve started learning meditation. Nothing secular, mystical, or any of that – just to allow my mind to clear. Check out 8 Minute Meditation.

My benchmark sucks and I want to go back to the baseline I had 5 years ago.

Why am I blogging about this? Two reasons:

  1. I don’t want to be able go back to my evil ways – now it’s public, I *have to do it :-)
  2. To encourage you to think about your health. A lot of us are overweight, no matter how much we kid ourselves, which is bad news in the long run.

I’m really looking forward to hiking again in the Cascades, and having more efficient breathing when diving later this year.

I hope some of you get inspired to take similar control of your health – no-one else is going to do it for you.

[Edit 1/25/13: final results are 16.6lbs lost, total 20.6lbs down from the start of the year.]