I shared my journey on the How I Did It blog a few months ago, but wanted to submit my story and update my journey. I have had weight and health issues most of my life and have probably lost over 1100 pounds through the years, yo-yo dieting, I think they call it?
Well, let me take a moment to go back to 2006, a year that changed my life. I was a very successful and powerful businessman married to my job and wrapped up in me. In 2006, that all changed. I was forced out of that job and my life as I knew it was in turmoil.
The first thing that happened was a spiritual journey that goes on to this day. I had never even had time for God and, looking back, He was changing that, and just in time. So that started a long and continuing search for God that has enriched my life in so many ways.
Then in 2011, it happened again: My life was turned upside down, I hit physical bottom, and something had to change. In June I was told I had diabetes, I already had high blood pressure and cholesterol, and I hit 365 pounds, too — I was in trouble!
Later in June, I decided to make a change for the better, checked out a few gyms, and became a work out and health “nut.” I knew what to do and had been encouraged by so many, but until I made the decision to make a change, it never worked.
I joined Lifetime Fitness on July 1, 2011, and my life changed very fast. As I said, I knew what to do but had simply never made the commitment to do it. Well, I did it in July. Slowly at first, but building up to three-hour workouts on my own at 4 or 4:30 in the morning.
I also knew what to eat and changed my unhealthy eating for textbook healthy food and the proper amounts. The weight came off very fast and by December 1, I had lost over 95 pounds, just in time for a needed surgery — one that was suppose to be simple?
Well, the surgery had several complications, and looking back now, I wonder if I would have even made it through had I not lost the weight and changed my life. I know who to thank for that! Well, we are getting close to end of the story just a couple of updates:
In January, while recovering from surgery, I fell and had to go back to the hospital. It was pretty bad, but after I got out I returned to my doctor. We found out the reason for my fall was that I had lost 130 pounds by that time, and the medications? Well, the doctor said I did not need any of them! No more blood pressure medication, no more cholesterol meds, no diabetes meds either! Everything had changed, and I was the new poster child for my doctor. He has told me over and over it is amazing.
My doctor said that he and other doctors always advise people to eat right and exercise, but very few ever do it, and he has never had anyone do as well or as fast. All I could think was I have been very blessed to be able to do this, to have the will and the place I need.
The will part may be easy for me, my wife says I am very very stubborn and she knew when I decided to it I would. The place, well, that is where Life Time Fitness comes in — open 24 hours a day and with everything I needed: cardio, weights, and the pool, not to mention the people!
The staff is great, but the other members were, and continue to be, so encouraging. All I can say is thank you to Life Time, all the people that have encouraged me and, of course, I pray a lot and thank God for the journeys he put me on in 2006 and 2011.
You can change your life but not until you decide to do it! You have to want to do it and with two grandsons, nine and ten, and a wife that I love, I had all the motivation I needed and need today! I feel better than I did 20 years ago and I am not finished changing!
My workouts continue to evolve, my health continues to improve, and I am still on my spiritual journey, too. The other change is that I share my journeys with others, and seeing the huge change in me, people stop and listen, and many have changed their lives, too!
My wife has lost weight, and many of my coworkers and friends have started eating healthier and working out. People that see me stop me and ask, how? After they hear the story, they thank me, and many of them are encouraged and ready to start their own journeys.
Maybe I will see you at Lifetime at 4 a.m.? You can bet I will be there – six days a week – on a bike or elliptical, lifting weights and, oh yes, in the pool, swimming10000–12000 meters a week. The pool is another story for another time and I was never a swimmer, but I am now!