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I Decided to Live

How did I ever let myself get to almost 300 pounds? I ate too many calories. The change occurred slowly over a period of millions of bites of food. It's pretty much the same way I became a daily drinker, a smoker and drug user. I never set out to be an addict, it just happened.

I was always going to change tomorrow.

What got my attention? Well, it wasn't the US Post Office considering giving me my own ZIP code or the fact that I thought I could be seen from outer space; nope, none of those. It was a week in ICU without a shower or underwear or sleep.

It was hard to decide to live.

My heart failure cost me just about everything. It took a while before I was able to work - eight months. it stressed out my family, it stressed the finances, and I was emotionality depressed. When you don't have your health, the rest of life doesn't mean a whole lot.

Then I started running.

Oh yeah, running is bad for your knees, you'll get A-Fib if you over train, you'll need knee replacements, running is a treat, you don't need to run to lose weight; I heard it all. And most of it from doctors! I also heard, you weren't that fat, a little meat on the bones is healthy, I like your curves (not really that one), you look cute (yeah from the top of my head up.) and I didn't realize you were so sick. WTF?

It took a year to do C25K and lose the first 60 pounds.

I have faced a number of challenges since I first logged onto MFP and asked what an NSV was. Here is what I can tell you. Because I run and lost weight, I have survived cancer 4 times. I am onto my 5th round as I write this. I have dumped 7 medications for my heart except for a low dose of blood pressure medication which I have needed all my life. My resting pulse is down from 72 to 48 and I haven't had to take an antidepressant or even had a cold. That's going on 5 years.

After all the medical stuff, sometimes it is still hard to decide to live.

Some days I don't want to run. I get up at 4:45 to leave for work and I get home 12 hours later. I make sure my running gear in on the love seat where it's ready when I walk in the door. I cannot let myself sit down, or it's game over. I will be in my PJs faster than a speeding bullet, snacking before dinner if I even have the energy to cook it.

I have started logging my food on not so normal days, drinking lots of water, and running more.

I still have some medical stuff which is giving me a run for my money. I have not heard anything on those tests yet. Maybe today -
It doesn't really matter unless they can provide a cure of sorts.

I am walking four or five miles a day (6,000 steps or so) on my walking desk and standing about six hours a day total.

I think all that is contributing to my feeling a little better.

I am down a few more pounds which makes me happy. I still have about 12 or so to go, but this time I am going to make it. My runs are up to 9 miles and this weekend it will be 10. I am not feeling awesome about it, but I am going to do it anyway.

Thanks for the votes and comments. I always appreciate them.

164 votes + -


Spartan_Gingi wrote 61 months ago:
God. I hope you know that there are so many of us who are thinking about you. Even if often times we don't comment, we're there. You have an amazing resilience, and a way of writing that puts things in perspective. We're here, and we're reading. Congrats on all your success, and good luck on your ongoing journey XOXO
kdavid1987 wrote 61 months ago:
Something I have found very helpful on MFP is reading about folks who lost a significant amount of weight and have MAINTAINED that loss for 1 year or more. What's been helpful for me about their writing is burning it into my brain that IT NEVER GETS EASIER. Health and fitness are a lifetime commitment and if we could all be thin, toned, and healthy while sitting on the couch eating potato chips and oreos that is what everyone would do -- sadly, that doesn't work. I too have at least one mini struggle every day to get into my work out clothes and onto the treadmill/elliptical/stationary bike.... but knowing other folks have that struggle too - other folks who are thinner, fitter, and healthier than me - makes me feel a little more accepting of myself and motivated to get going and do what I need to do. Thank you for your blog and giving me a glimpse into fitness struggles during hard times. Everyone will have hard times and still have to commit to fitness through them. I appreciate your writing and always look forward to a post. Cheers sir!
swat1948 wrote 61 months ago:
I can testify to the fact that it never gets easier, but we just can't throw in the towel. It's not something you do for others, it's for your own health and well being. Not many of us are as resilient and as persistent as you but myself, I keep logging in and trying. Some days are a fail, but I'm still here. You're a real inspiration when I need to remember why.
zimfour wrote 61 months ago:
AWESOME dude!!!! Prayers for continued success!!
cyndblackburn wrote 61 months ago:
Praying for you! You've come so far--you can do this! All it takes is one step backward...or one step forward. Keep going forward.

God bless you!
JudyK2012 wrote 61 months ago:
Hi dsjohndrow you are doing great, yes we all read posts without commenting but it pushes us to do more for ourselves, keep posting please.
karmarro wrote 61 months ago:
NearlyDead, congrats on your progress and thanks for the encouragement.

I disagree with other commentters. It does gets easier. The hardest step is the first step, the first mile, making it a habit. Once it's a daily occurrence, it is easier (I even start feeling -- different -- if I haven't done SOME exercise in a day). I've found I just can NEVER. STOP. RUNNING. Not for one day. I did. About 6 or 7 years ago. And it's been hard getting back. Not stopping is easier to maintain than starting from the beginning, again. But there's also strength in goals reached and this helps me to keep running. I'm battling cancer now too (my first). This time, I'm older, much more out of shape and now battling chemo fatigue. BUT I GOT TO 5 MILES on my last chemo day -- 5 MILES!! (before treatment). Chemo-schemo, I made it to 5 MILES!!! It was a good day! My spirits were up for the whole day! That feeling is addictive too!

And I'm encouraged to do it again tomorrow!
suttercm wrote 61 months ago:
You got this! You are one strong dude!
fungirl32 wrote 61 months ago:
This is an amazing testimony!! God has truly kept you. Thank you for sharing your journey. It has surely helped me. May God continue to bless, strengthen and keep you daily.
jkelly1033 wrote 61 months ago:
you have an amazing story and I feel like God is keeping you here for a reason. You may not know what it is yet, but you will figure it out. Stay strong and continue to post. Your story is very motivating to me and I appreciate that! Thank you for sharing!!
donna9847 wrote 61 months ago:
I am an alcoholic and food addict. I have battled the alcoholism, but the food issues are definitely still there. I totally get it. Its not easy but I don't have a choice. If I use alcohol, drugs or food to change the way I feel, I will die. My food choices may not be perfect by any means, but most days are pretty good. Most days I exercise and eat fairly well. Its progress not perfection. Good luck to you!!!!!! Just don't give up!!!!!!
nyaddryad wrote 61 months ago:
I am very glad I read this. Inspirational and uplifting. Thank you for being so candid.
1musicgrl wrote 61 months ago:
Incredible. Thank you so much for writing!
Trans4mationInProgress wrote 61 months ago:
This was a very real and very brave post. Thank you for sharing it. You are quite amazing and during the worst times of your life found the fighter in you. Cancer has struck around here, as well. I hope you run it off for good this time. I will defiitely be praying for you. Much love and good wishes sent to you and yours from my heart.
kellyjoeds wrote 61 months ago:
Thanks for your post, it is inspiring to those of us who struggle!
ggeise14 wrote 61 months ago:
Thanks for sharing and helping some of us with perspective. One day - one step/run at a time!
CATCLK wrote 61 months ago:
Thank you for the update and will keep you on my prayer list too! God bless you and hoping you get a miracle for being such an inspiration. YOU CAN DO IT!
All I know, is God def. answers prayers and he sure answered mine more than a few times!!!;D
Grantmewillpower wrote 60 months ago:
You are one incredibly BRAVE SOUL, I am so impressed by your efforts and goals that you have set out to achieve. You are a inspiration to us all. Keep running and nothing will ever catch up to you....
kathydays wrote 59 months ago:
Your story is awesome, you go!!

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