Part Five: BLUF
There is no intent to surprise our readers or keep you in suspense until the final chapter. This is our BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT.
Kevin was true to his word. He gave it a year – 368 days, to be exact. Three hundred sixty-eight days of performing, measuring, tracking, analyzing, and adjusting. Today (date of our first draft), he is still performing, measuring, tracking, analyzing, and adjusting. The two methodologies, however, are quite different.
October 6, 2019, use to be Day 2,373 of tracking everything. Used to be, that is, until it became Day 1.
On October 6, 2019, Kevin logged his first weight entry.
On October 7, 2019, Kevin started tracking and recording every food entry.
On October 8, 2019, Kevin started tracking and recording every workout.
“October 7 was my seventh Rituxan infusion, so my normal routine was delayed until the eighth. When everything was in place, I set my stop date. October 6, 2019 - October 7, 2020 was my trial period.”
After observing Kevin for a full 12 months, the second week of October was the first time we sat down and discussed the data. We were overwhelmed by the enormity of our task: making sense of the collected information. After five days, we abandoned our initial plan (NOTE: everything was scrapped again on October 26). Detailing the journey and conducting a step-by-step analysis of data would flood these pages with redundant, inconclusive, and often discarded information.
Kevin explains, “I want to present my conclusions, then explain why I arrived at those points. For example, to describe 360-some-odd days of my journey chasing body weight metrics, only to realize my targets were pointless, would be a frustrating exercise to everyone involved.”
“On that note, here are my conclusions:
- I failed to achieve any goal I set in October 2019.
- Every target was either ill-defined, tied to an unrealistic end-state, or immeasurable.
- My physical, mental, and emotional being thrived in this alien architecture through which I stumbled.
- Many of my priorities changed throughout the year. I struggled to understand how, or if, they correlated with my original goals.
- On September 12, 2020, I discovered online some variations of the ‘Dimensions of Wellness’ concept. Using the idea, I began revisiting everything I set out to define.
“On October 26, 2020, I discovered the dilemma.
- I thrived in the past year because of my attention to 8 mutually interdependent dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental.
- Attention must be given to all the dimensions, as neglect of any one over time will adversely affect the others, and ultimately one’s health, well-being, and quality of life. They do not, however, have to be equally balanced. We should aim, instead, to strive for a “personal harmony” that feels most authentic to us. We naturally have our own priorities, approaches, and aspirations, including our own views of what it means to live life fully. (Stoewen, 2017)
“I struggled because I was trying to manage, track, and evaluate everything within mathematical ‘terms of physical health - nutrition, exercise, weight, etc.’”
We spent some time discussing what these revelations meant. I asked Kevin how all the data applied explicitly to his life – what he will do with everything collected and what it will do for him. Kevin sat in his chair, quietly forming this response.
“None of these efforts will cure my multiple sclerosis. I’m comfortable with that fact. Everything I do will be within the confines of managing the effects of my debilitating disease and, more importantly, thriving in my environments (of which MS is just one factor). I’ll continue my journey, with neither target nor end date.”
Hopefully, Kevin’s explanation will be more clear now that you know his conclusion.
Stoewen, D. L. (2017, August). Dimensions of wellness: Change your habits, change your life. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5508938/
The developing draft of my story will be shared on this secure drive location: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1E4cNpkFBU4qf3zYDIqZ5Nw72DzhGe88r?usp=sharing
These are the thoughts going through my mind as I try to piece it all together…
This is not about what my life will be like when the fight is over.
I will never stop
I will never quit
This is my story
100% of the royalties earned from my books go to the National MS Society, to support our fight: http://neverstopneverquit.com/books
Never Stop… Never Quit…®
Never Stop… Never Quit… Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.