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Today is the Day

DavidIf you have ever run a foot race, piloted a boat out of a harbor or shopped at Walmart on Black Friday, you have experienced the feeling of being confined. I have run races with thousands of runners; so many in fact that the first mile was almost walking until the crowd thinned out. Even a small boat needs to obey the rules, staying within the channel so that it doesn't run up on a reef. And every one knows that you are taking your life into your hands shopping at big-box stores on Black Friday.

Many of us are ex-fat people in the making, breaking the chains of confinement. A few of my readers are at thier goal.

This week the scale hit 199.6. That is 12.4 pounds from my goal weight. The dial on the scale hasn't seen this weight for more than a millisecond since 2004. Back then, I lost 32 pounds in 6 months following the Dr. Phil diet. I went to the gym and did 20 minutes of cardio as well as running the weight circuit 3 times a week. I remember being on the treadmill and huffing and puffing after running 6 miles per hour for one entire minute. To make the most of my time, I cranked the incline up to the maximum. This is how I got plantar fasciitis. It was a combination of obesity, lack of proper stretching, improperly fitting running shoes, and the high incline.

Because of the injury, I quit exercising - my progress card lay dormant in the weight room of the YMCA.

I thought I got fat again because I couldn't exercise, but what really happened is that I slowly started eating larger portions and making increasingly bad food choices. Where did I go wrong? After all, I had increased my fruit and vegetable consumption, kicked the daily soda habit and spent more time cooking at home and less time eating out.

You can't out exercise a bad diet.

What happened is that I did not make a lifestyle change. I didn't really care about being fit. I substituted diet junk for the real junk, and I believed a lot of food labeling including phrases like "all natural," "low fat," "0 calories," and a host of other marketing slogans aimed at making me think that my diet was healthy. I embraced an occasional splurge meal, and never read a label. I tried to follow the guidelines in the book, but it was about comparing numbers and never understanding what trans-fats were, the impact of sodium on my health and the difference between whole wheat and whole grain.

I was; however, so serious about my weight loss that I went out and bought an entire new wardrobe of skinny clothes. Unfortunately, as they wore out, the sizes kept pace with my weight gain. I was confused, maybe I lost weight too fast? I didn't really have an answer. Each time I went to the doctor there was a new caution about cholesterol, sugar, blood pressure and that was always followed by "and lose some weight."

What is different this time? In the beginning, nothing. I went back to some of the things I learned before. I dumped the rice, potatoes, and white flour products. I ate less fast food, and I started back to the gym in spite of having a number of issues which made it downright miserable. But I did it.

I came to a crossroad as I lay in ICU.

I could give up, or I could change my life, my eating habits and learn about the foods that would help me recover. I started walking as soon as I could. First a few hundred yards, and then portions of a mile. I got an appointment with a nutritionist and we started working on my food choices. I replaced bad food with healthier options, got a food scale and learned to read a label. In fact, most of the food I bought didn't even have a label!

The details are in my in my new book, ICU to Marathon

I recently posted "Gaining weight back has next to nothing to do with how fast you lose weight. It has to do with unsustainable dieting and not sticking with a life change." Many of my friends agreed.  There was one that mentioned a hormone called ghrelin that makes us feel hungry after we've lost weight. (MORE HERE and a host of others, as well as suggestions for beating the primal screams.) A couple of other long-time friends mentioned emotional eating. As a recovering addict, I know a lot of about emotional binges with just about everything from booze to running. I am not saying I am not tempted to splurge, or have an extra helping of something I like to help me escape the stress. I am not in judgement of those that fall pray either. This is a tough journey!

Many of you know about my miraculous recovery from congestive heart failure, and that fact that I run a lot even though I have had knee surgery. I don't know how you do it, but for me it is through faith, education and living a day at a time. 

Yesterday was a tough day. I went to the doctor and had a blood test. Although it is not a definitive test, it reveled the possibility of cancer. I am scheduled for a biopsy.

I have choices. I can trust God like I have in the past or not. I can go for a run, or I can sit home feeling sorry for myself and eat. Most of us can't say we have the perfect life. Something is always going awry: the car, an important relationship, addictions, work, lack of work, our health, finances, kids, no kids, and a long list of other thorns in the butt like flat tires, running out of gas, losing our car keys and donuts in the break room... To quote country singer Darryl Worley, "sounds like life to me; plain 'ol destiny - yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty."

In the end, we always have choices to make when it comes to food. Today I am going for a run. Then I am going to come home and thank God I still can do that. Then I will look for a job, and because I need it for me and my family, hopefully find a way to keep my health insurance which ended yesterday. Then I am going to be with my family because they are the most important part of my life. And for today, I am going to stick with my long-time food habits.

Thanks for the therapy session, see you at the track in about an hour.

78 votes + -

18 comments:

Angie80281 wrote 65 months ago:
I'll be praying hard for your situation, especially your test results. You have a great outlook on life, and that plays a big role in beating the odds if the suspicions turn out to be correct. Stay wrong, you've got a whole mess of people rooting for you.
missdaisy79 wrote 65 months ago:
You're an inspiring man.
skinnyme47 wrote 65 months ago:
You are truly an inspiration. Will pray for you. Be Strong.
Mustangsally1000 wrote 65 months ago:
Ah David....I know what you are talking about. My husband was diagnoised in 2001. Back then, they wouldn't do a PSA test until you were 50. If they had, they would have discovered it sooner, and we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today. Yet, here were are, 12 years later. Every so often his numbers are up and we need more hormone therapy, but, so far, so good. Yes, it does have side effects, some are downright frustrating. But if they are finding it with you, they are finding it EARLY!!!!! You will be in a much better situation than we were. It wasn't all contained in the prostate when they did my hubby's surgery...so, we have been playing with it since. Just rembember, early is good! So glad you have your faith, and your family. God Bless!!!!
Bella3119 wrote 65 months ago:
Your optimistic POV, family and faith in God is going to get you through this. Always know your MFP family is here for you too. Love and Hugs!
JustLindaLou wrote 65 months ago:
Your story is one of my biggest inspirations, and I know whatever the tests show, you will get through it with grace and humor and turn it into something that helps many others. Praying for God's favor, David, and giving thanks for you!
cessnaholly wrote 65 months ago:
You are such an inspiration. Keep it up - and keep telling us!
jhwellness wrote 65 months ago:
Wow very powerful message about how to live your life focused and not affraid. The outcome of anyone's life is in the hands of God and no one else. Our days are numbers but we don't know that number. I appreciate you sharing so openly it touched me and others for sure. May the Lord Bless you and your family
sherry0614 wrote 65 months ago:
Loved your blog, and you know everyone will be praying for you. Keep your priorities as you have outlined, and it'll be fine :-) Enjoy your run!!! oh, and if you ever need help navigating the Exchange plans (if you go that route) or Individual and Family insurance, definitely email me. Be glad to help!!!
Jillian130 wrote 65 months ago:
If I could vote more times I would! You nailed it! Its all about our attitude and our choices in life. None of us was handed down a manual on how to handle life when it throws you a curve ball. You gotta accept it, and overcome it. You gotta be strong, gotta have faith, and keep on believing in yourself. You keep on pushing forward, making good healthy choices, and doing everything that you can still possibly do. I have followed your journey from the sidelines and have silently cheered you on. Your journey has helped me progress with my own, and I just kep thinking "what would dsjohndrow do in this situation". You persevered and you will continue to do so. Keep going, keep pushing, and keep moving forward. You're doing amazing!
PoisonDartFrog wrote 65 months ago:
(((Hug)))...Good luck on the biopsy.
jvarhaug wrote 65 months ago:
Good luck man! You are a great inspiration to many here, I wish you all the best!
MrsSpitser wrote 65 months ago:
You're an inspiration to someone who needs it, ME. I've been lost in a pity party for one for months now. Thank you for allowing me to see that others make it through so much more, with God and a loving family. Good luck and God bless on your journey. I look forward to reading many more posts!
judiiiiindisguise wrote 65 months ago:
you are an inspiration to many, thank you!
msbarbiq wrote 65 months ago:
Thnak you for a great post once again. I am praying for you and your family. You have come so far and are such a great inspiration to so many, you will over come this too! You are so right about this journey being about choices. As I can relate, in early June I was diagnosed with cervical cancer.(I had surgery September and am clearn now) At the time I was so scared, full of so much anxiety, I have no insurance and feared for my family, how this would impact their lives also. But, going to the gym and working out really helped me. I decided I was going to continue to eat right and exercise and be the healthiest I could ever be because I wanted to be here for my family. Go... run, eat right, love your family,and pray to God because that is what's most important! God chose you to do great things, you can and will over come this too!

joleenl wrote 65 months ago:
Good luck on the biopsy! Thanks for sharing your story it's truly inspiring. You have a great attitude!
MrsSausage58 wrote 64 months ago:
Good luck. x
Via_14 wrote 64 months ago:
Wow looking amazing. Good luck and fantastic attitude!

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