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Monday, June 29, 2009
Diet and Exercise Should Be Important to Pilots
I was looking at a profile of someone who follows me on Twitter. I was very impressed with the dedication this individual has to eating and exercising properly. I have had passion towards many things in life, but taking care of myself sadly has not been a priority. As I read the profile of this person I started to think about what my doctor told me a few days ago. I was told that in the near future my depression could possibly be controlled by diet and exercise.
I am not sure why I have not been passionate about taking care of myself before. I have only seriously thought about taking care of myself physically after I lost my medical. Even not being able to renew my medical was not enough to do it at first. I had to have a pre-operation examination nearly two weeks ago. Part of the exam was an EKG. When the doctor told me I had a slight irregularity in my EKG due to my blood pressure being elevated is when I started to truly think about how I do not take are of myself.
Most people would probably think that pilots take pretty good care of themselves physically. We are just like any other group of people. Some pilots enjoy working out and some do not. Just because a person flies for a living and has to take a physical exam every six months does not necessarily mean that same person is wise with his or her own health. But there is one thing that all pilots with depression have in common and that is we do not want the FAA to know of our ailment.
Taking antidepressants is the reason I cannot fly at this time. Looking at myself reaching a weight of 245 and having my blood pressure getting higher is the reason I started thinking about taking better care of myself. Perhaps if I started to care more about myself and less of being a pilot I could be healthier all the way around.
What I am learning from this experience is that I not only need to love what I do for a living, but also I need to love myself. If other pilots who suffer from depression are like me they love to fly, but have a low self-esteem. Most people who know me would say I am a confident person. My wife who knows the depths of my pain will even say I am confident. However, much of the outward appearance that others see are one of the ways that I mask what I truly feel.
I am excited about the possibility of becoming better through diet and exercise. I have recently started martial arts. I seem to work on the theory in life that if you are going to do something make it fun and entertaining.
If anyone has any ideas I can use for posts I hope you will share them with me. I know there is much to talk about when it comes to pilots and depression. But I do not want to restrict the blog to depression. Please share with me aviation topics you would like to read about. If I feel I am qualified to write about that topic I will.
Keep your eye on the sky!