Updated January 5, 2017
Reality had finally sunk in. I was not going to be around for another year. My wife and kids would very likely not have a husband or father within the year. My blood pressure was 255/115, I was on three medications to bring it down. My cholesterol and triglycerides were off the charts (literally). My cholesterol and triglycerides were off the charts (literally). I was on a ton of heavy medications. I was also self-medicating and struggled with addictions of all kinds. My weight became so out of control that the doctor could no longer weigh me in his office. I was having trouble breathing and had severe sleep apnea. I was born with a genetic disorder called Elhers Danlos Syndrome, and my joints are very loose and hypermobile. The excess weight was too much for my already destroyed joints to handle. I was constantly on crutches, canes, and immobilizers. I was cast and fitted for very expensive leg braces that would hold my legs from buckling. My wife was actually putting my socks and shoes on me in the mornings. Nothing was working and my life was spiraling out of control. I was going to die and I don’t know if I really cared. I would try diets and I would lose some weight and then gain it all back. It was a vicious cycle. The more I hurt the more I medicated, the more I medicated, the more I hurt and as a result I had lost my passion for life. I was just surviving, hoping I would wake up the next morning. I was committing a sort of slow suicide.
Every day I added just one small change. Sometimes it was to just to walk up 4 extra stairs but it was always a little more than I did the day before. I started to log my food but I really had no idea what real food was. In time my food choices started changing. I started to eat things that made me feel better instead of putting me into a food coma. Little changes, many hours of research, and documentaries (Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and The Gerson Miracle, to name a few) gave me an entirely new perspective on food. The more successes and better food choices that I made, the more I wanted to stay focused. Since I started to focus on change my life has completely flipped upside down. Every single aspect of my life has changed. I hate going to sleep because I’m afraid I’m going to miss something. I’ve had so many opportunities that sometimes I think it’s all a dream. I’ve climbed mountains, hiked on the Appalachian Trail, cycled 100 mile centuries, ran 5ks, 10ks, and a few half marathons.
My doctor now refers patients to me for advice, how cool is that? The best part of this whole thing is this: My wife has been there by my side every step of the way. She has done nothing but support me, and she has been my rock. She too has had some major changes in her life. As a result of my lifestyle changes hers have changed by default. We love life together and are making memory after memory. I thank the Lord for my health and happiness every day. I am truly grateful for the second chance He’s given me and I am on a mission to not only appreciate it but to pass it on to anyone that will listen. It’s not magic, but it is quite simply. Just do a little more than you did yesterday.
Learn more about Tim Kaufman at: http://fatmanrants.com