It's always during the fall season that I begin to reflect on the past year. It's a special time of year for me. The journey of my lifetime began during the fall of 2006 and to say I am grateful is powerfully understated. I'm forever blessed because I was desperate for change and not afraid of to try when the opportunity presented itself.
I was fat. Obese. Morbidly obese. Whatever term you want to use, it doesn't change the fact that, at close to 450 pounds, I was a big man and I was sick.
In 2006, I was presented with an opporutnity and I grabbed it like a starving frog grabs a bug. I was sick and tired of being sick. I was tired of watching life instead of participating in life. I hated being on the sidelines, I wanted to live they way we are suppose to live, active and happy. I was neither. It hurt deeply to watch my grandkids playing and not be able to them.
In November of that year. I began a wellness journey, even though I didn't know it at the time. I was close to 450 pounds, diabetic with high blood pressure, severe arthritis in my knees and ankles, sleep apnea, hives, rosacea and ocular rosacea. I didn't plan it; it just came about while trying to help my wife overcome her debilitating fibromyalgia.
At the time, I couldn't walk more than 200 feet without severe pain. Additionally, walking more than 10 minutes caused shortness of breath. My ability to exercise was severely restricted. Most people in this condition don't see a way to exercise because of the physical limitations of their obesity or affliction. It's certainly understandable. I didn't believe it was possible, but I wanted my life back more than you can imagine.
Of all times to decide to try a new diet, you wouldn't think it'd be during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. But this wasn't a diet, it was a life change.
I started adding nutritional supplements to my daily routine. Within a week, my mood was better, my energy picked up and my blood sugar readings were improving. By week two, my appetite was decreasing and my tastes began to change. I am not sure how to explain this, but my desire for unhealthy foods started going away. My wife brought it to my attention; I wasn't having my normal honey buns, ice cream or candy bars as snacks or after dinner. Something in my body was changing!
By week three, my energy level increased so much, I decided to go for a walk. I was hopeful that my legs would bear the load and support me on my journey! My first walk was 200 feet. My knees hurt and felt very unstable, but my gut told me I had to do it if I wanted any chance of improving my health. I committed to walking everyday and making each walk a little longer. I was amazed that my body responded to the challenge by getting healthier. The improvement was evident because my blood sugar levels continued to improve, I started to lose weight, I was able to walk longer each time and my energy continued to increase. After 2 weeks, I was walking a mile without stopping!
By the end of the first month, my blood sugar levels were normal and I was walking multiple times per day. My blood pressure started coming down and the weight was really starting to come off. My tastes were shifting even more. Without really thinking about it, our meals were changing. We started cutting out fried foods and turned to baked or grilled foods. We started adding a lot of vegetables with a few fruits and beans to our diet and cut out the breads and unhealthy desserts.
By the end of six months, I was walking up to 8 miles a day and every aspect of my health was improving. It took me two and a half years to lose 220 pounds and it's a journey I still walk everyday. In fact, as of this moment, I face none of the health issues that once plagued me.
My Health Now
For the past two years, my exercise of choice is cycling. I absolutely love it! Cycling is fun and it's a great way to get exercise. Regardless of what type of bicycling you choose, such as cruising around the park or town, cycling on a trail or a riding a road bike, it's definitely fun exercise.
I want to show you what I have been able to accomplish physically over the past year. Please do not think I am bragging; far from it! I want to show you how far you can take your health if you are truly dedicated.
- 4,126 miles bicycling during the last year
- 132,126 calories burned
- 1 century ride (a ride more than 100 miles)
- 8 metric centuries (rides greater than 62.5 miles)
- 17 rides of 50+ miles
- 26 rides of 40+ miles
- 42 rides of 30+ miles
- 96 rides of 20+ miles
I must give a shout out to the Greenville Cycling Center and Coach/Trainer Jason Leslie. Their training center played a big part in my cycling improvements.
You will never change your life if you don't change something you're doing. Please get off the couch and out of the fast food restaurants and build the kind of body you want! It all starts with your next bite and next step. Keep that NutriBullet fired up and packed with a variety of nutrient-rich foods! I stlil Blast everyday!
Regardless of your age or condition, your health can always be worse or it can be better. You have control over what you eat and how much you move. Even if you are limited in your mobility, there are ways to exercise.
I hope this motivates you to become healthier this coming year. Anything is possible, but it takes making changes in your life. You have to want it and I hope you do!
Please join me on the health and wellness journey!