Marty lost 70 pounds and is no longer diabetic or suffering from high blood pressure. He realizes that ignorance is not bliss but rather knowledge is power!
I am not sharing my story with you to get sympathy or praise, but to try to inspire you to take a minute for yourself. I want you to ask yourself how much do you know about your health? How many times have you been to the doctor in the last year? How many more years would you like to be around for family and friends? I have lived a pretty simple life. I have had my ups and downs like everyone else. And I have used those ups and downs as excuses over the years. I have lived a pretty “healthy life.” I lived, like many of us, an “ignorance is bliss” life. If you don’t know about it then nothing is wrong, right?
I work for an amazing company, Whole Foods Market. I love my job and the people I work with. I believe in the philosophy and mission of our company, but there was one element that I believed in, but didn’t know much about or practice in my personal life. That was our Health Starts Here program. So I decided to be a better leader for my company and learn more about living a healthy life. I wanted to be able to lead by example, which is very important to me. First, let me tell you that not only does my company want me to be healthier, but they encourage all of us to use the resources we have available to us. One of these resources is an Immersion Program where you see one of the doctors that our company partners with to learn more about health, and the best part is they will pay for it! So now who do I see? Where do I go? I had four choices. I read about each program, and tried to figure out which one would work best for me and my lifestyle. I also wanted to find one that, if I decided to follow it, I would be able to do so. Mind you that my purpose wasn’t to go to change my life. or even change my health. but to learn more about the thing I knew little about.
So I signed up and was accepted to Dr. Joel Fuhrman Immersion in New Jersey. Long plane ride and many hours later, I arrive at the Immersion. I check in and get my time for my first day of tests. I thought the tests would be how many sit ups I could do, or how long on a treadmill. Nope, sit down and get blood work, blood pressure and weigh in. The first test I do is blood work. When I was done I am asked if I have an appointment with one of the doctors. No why? Well, we will do one more test just to make sure. Yes, that is reassuring Second test, and I hear “did you know you have diabetes?" No, I have diabetes? I guess ignorance isn’t bliss! So now my journey goes from let’s see what this health thing is, to a very personal journey. Next, more good news my blood pressure. Can I first say that the last thing you want to get tested for right after hearing that you have a life threatening disease is a blood pressure test? Yup, what I thought, it was156/ 96. This was shocking as well, and not something I had been expecting because I actually test often and was never that high. It was high, but not that high. Now I am freaking out, but am putting on a happy face like I always did, and I walked over to get my measurements and weight. I hadn’t been on a scale in years, partially because I didn’t want to know, but mostly because I probably didn’t care. 280 pounds it says as I step up on the scale. And this wasn’t any normal scale, this is one like at the fair or boardwalk that can tell your age. But ha, I fooled it. The scale said I was 72 years old and I am only 41. Finally, something that was wrong and couldn’t be right, I mean I did know how old I was? I found out later that the scale was right. It was my age, but not by years. It was my age by my body. Pretty scary thought that you are 41 and your body is 72. Does this mean that my years are numbered? Does this mean that I only have 20 more years to win the lotto? I was already prepared to learn, but not prepared to go through seven days of emotions and meals without the things I loved most.
Now I am vested in making a change for me, a time I get to take charge. The one thing I know to be true is that you are the only one that can control you. You are the only one that you are responsible for. I can’t control others, or even control what they think about, but I can control what I think and what I do. So this is my chance to do just that. Knowledge is power, and I now know that something is wrong and I have the control to take care of it.
I want to thank the many people who helped me that week. I want to thank Randi and her team from the Motivational Outreach Program for the support and care they gave me. I want to thank Dr. Fuhrman for his wisdom and dedication to help others understand that they can be healthy, one choice and one bit at a time. Eating a Nutitairian lifestyle will not only help you become healthier, but save your life.
Let me first say what I ate before the Immersion. I had meat probably seven days a week and two times a day. I ate sweets like they were no longer going to be on the planet and drank a six pack of soda a day. I entered competitive BBQ competitions and made my own BBQ sauce. Yes, that was me at 280 pounds. My road to health hasn’t been easy one, and to be totally honest, I hated the food I was eating for about two months until my taste buds changed. But I knew too much, and knew I had to make a change no matter what. It was going to take hard work and dedication to get to where I want to be, and that wasn’t going to come easy. Dr. Fuhrman has amazing recipes, but I didn’t know that at first because when I read his ingredients they were things I didn’t like or haven’t tried before. At the Immersion everyone told me that my taste buds would change and in a month and a half . I still thought they were crazy and trying to sell me a bill of goods. But after that two month mark, it finally set in and the food was starting to taste amazing to me. No salt, no oil, non processed foods can and will taste good to you, all you have to do is give it a chance.
Fast forward to today with a before and after picture. Before I was 280 pounds. XXXL shirt, 44 size pants, diabetes and high blood pressure. Now 205 pounds, large shirt and 34 size pants, daily blood sugar levels between 70 and 80 and my blood pressure is 105/70. I am not finished with my journey, but I am motivated to complete it.
I hope you take a minute for yourself like I did! I hope you understand that knowledge is power! I hope you know that you, and only you, can make a change. I am the same happy man I was before, just a much healthier one who is in control of his own life for once.