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April is a nice square looking month this year — starts on a Sunday and all that. April Fools Day makes as great a New Year as anything for resolutions.

So here’s mine: starting today for the next 30 days, I have banished all flour and added-sugar from my diet. It’s not quite Paleo, but it’s a big enough step in that direction for me at this time.

I’ve had a bout of very painful gout a couple of years ago and am currently taking cholesterol medication. I have signs of fatty infiltration in my liver and diabetes is peppered throughout my family. I’m 300 pounds. Shit got a little more real when I had to have a sizeable lipoma removed from my neck this winter.

While I’ve had a lot of (temporary) success with Weight Watchers over the years, last year’s go-around was hit-and-miss. It’s all me of course — I can’t blame the program (although the changes to the plan are problematic). I did drop 25 pounds and have kept it off. Still, when the renewal came up at the start of March, I begged off.

I spent March reflecting about my plateau, both the physical one and the psycho-emotional one. My conclusion is that I should do something different and take true ownership of my health. I did some research and a lot of thinking. I surmised that a large component of my physical struggle could easily be about glycemic load. I think my liver is speaking to me. It’s time I listened.

However, my biggest takeaway is that I need to spend more time working on establishing good habits and minimizing bad ones. Chasing weight-loss goals and leaning on The Program seems too much like an act of misplaced faith. The excuses are baked in — I should know.

That brings me to my April 30 Day Challenge. This is an approach based on sound facts and one that I can own. It’s about habit-forming, plain and simple. What speaks to me about it is that it’s Agile — focused, iterative and with a progressive continual pattern of successes baked in. I like this.

I’m measuring not by the scale, but by three stories that will be true at the end of this 30 day sprint:

  • When I'm hungry I eat real food and am satisfied. I'm off the insulin roller-coaster.
  • I am no longer exhausted by my day --- I am energised and productive.
  • I sleep soundly and wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever the day brings.

To measure progress, I’m recording my food intake and activities as well as how I’m feeling on a daily basis.

Aside from being public about my goals, I’ve also partnered with several like-minded colleagues at work who have their own 30 Day Challenges. The shared accountability and support will be a source of strength. My wife and family are also very supportive of my approach.

This will be a good month.

Inspiration: Nerd Fitness, Stepcase Lifehack, Getting Results