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—Courtesy of Jefferson Panis

Numbers Can Lie

A letter from the editor of 5280 Health 2015.

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At the beginning of the year, when we look for ways—both big and small—to improve our lives, we often think about our health. We think about that extra 20 pounds we’ve been meaning to lose; we consider seeing the doc to get that 155 LDL number down to a normal level; we realize our vision is creeping further and further away from 20/20 and schedule an eye appointment. In short: We tend to focus on the numeric values attached to health and wellness. It’s a natural thing to do because, in large part, it’s tangible and easy.

But even though the numbers are important, it seems as though we should be concentrating just as intently, or even more intently, on other ways to measure healthiness. For instance, as I write this I’m eating a snack-size package of gummy bears, which is the only sustenance I’ve had all day. It’s 7:45 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and I’ve been sitting in front of a computer nonstop since 8:30 this morning. I haven’t been to yoga or taken my dog on an extended walk in at least 10 weeks. But, hey, my BMI is somewhere around 20 and my LDL is 100, so I’m healthy, right?

Well, yes, in the traditional sense of the word. But am I being healthy? Do I feel good? Not at the moment, no. And recognizing that prompted an epiphany. For me, the end of the work year is always difficult—and I often find myself slipping out of the good habits I know I should maintain for both my physical and emotional well-being.

It could become a vicious cycle, but putting together this magazine each winter reminds me how critical it is to stay abreast of health news and to pay close attention to my personal wellness. This year, with stories such as “The Pursuit Of Happiness,” an exploration into Coloradans’ (perceived and real) levels of contentedness, and “Unfit,” a poignant essay about feeling like an outsider because of issues with weight gain, that message was crystallized even further. These pieces—and others on the following pages—also prompted me to wonder about how my friends and colleagues here at 5280 Publishing are taking care of themselves. So I asked them about it; you can find some of their answers on page six.

Of course, we make this magazine not for ourselves but for our readers. And so I wonder about how you are doing. Are you working too hard, sleeping too little, not eating the right foods? I hope not. But if you are, take a moment to let this issue of 5280 Health encourage you to take better care of yourself in 2015. And when you feel better, don’t thank us—thank yourself.

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