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It All Started with a Choice

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 anyone becomes and addict; it just happens.

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 8 months to get back to work full time. It stressed out my family, and I was emotionality depressed. When you don't have your health, the rest of life doesn't mean a whole lot. I came home from ICU with a pile of heart medications.

I was just one of thousands getting treatment.

I didn't really get to think while I was in th hospital. I fell apart when I came home. It took all my energy to get up, make a small breakfast. I needed a 3 hour nap. It was the same for lunch.

I worked up to taking an hour long afternoon walk.

Eventually, I was up to 3 miles which took so long I started running a little just get it done. I tried to talk about my recovery, but I didn't find anyone very positive. 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 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 loose 66 pounds.

I have faced a number of challenges since I first logged onto MFP and asked what an NSV meant. Here is what I can tell you. Because I run and lost weight, I have survived cancer 4 times. 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. I have only had 2 colds. That's going on 6 years.

It all started with a choice.

How I Quit Running

In 10th grade (1974) there was a very good looking girl in my Algebra class named Susan. She invited me to her track practice after school. I sat on the bleachers in my flannel shirt, blues jeans and work boots - smoking a Marlboro cigarette.

You probably noticed I am a bit a show off - so I challenged her to a race.
100 yards - a little short of 100 meters for those who don't speak American. Her in a ponytail, skimpy track shorts, singlet, and running spikes, and me in my ponytail, flanel shirt, blue jeans and work boots.
It was going to be a fair match up. I tossed my cigarette under the bleachers and got in place on a starting block, all the while talking trash. A friend of hers gave the countdown.
On your mark, get set, go!

We took off down the track. She beat me out of the blocks, but I caught her at about 50 yards and beat her by a few strides. I stood at the finish line bent over wheezing and coughing.
The track coach came over and asked me to join the team. Ummm, the boys team. He assured me that we would ride the bus with the girls to all our meets!
I showed up for practice the next day. I had a pair of PF Flyers.

I ran three meets fr my high school. Then my grades tanked and it was over. It was because she was mad about losing to a cigarette smoking dork, so she wouldn't let me copy off her test papers anymore. My best time for the 100 was 10.6. I was second in the state. That girl, she was 1st in the state for 440, 880 and javelin.
And no, I never got lucky.

In 1975, I ran a barefoot on a cinder track and after completing a 6:15 mile to keep my place on the hockey team; I threw up at the end.
That was it for running except a few times to escape substantial bodily injury.

This is just some shenanigans from my next book.

Time to Live Life

Here it is, 2017. Each year I look forward to the new year and usually wish the old one a swift farewell. I divide my life up into compartments and try to see where I can improve – ummm, what will make me happier than I am already.

Weight loss, work, relationships, health and spiritual nurturing.

Why isn’t weight loss under health? Because that is reserved for things like cancer and heart disease. Weight loss is just that, what I do to maintain weight loss. My health includes all the things that my insurance will pay for.

Weight loss does affect my overall health, but skinny does not equal healthy.

For weight loss, I had to change things up again after 5 years. I had to cut food consumption even more. I added more protein and that seems to be working. Of course, I need to focus on fiber too.

And trust me, eating beans and legumes is not the way to become popular at work.

As far as my health goes, I have recovered significantly from the heart failure of 2011. I do have some thickening of the left ventricle wall, but nothing of great concern. The results of my most recent PSA test were not as low as the doc would like, but they show that the trend up has stopped. I have another surgical biopsy in March or April. That is the one where they can see what is going on.

Cancer sucks, you can be sure of that.

The rest of my life is going pretty darned well. I will be speaking in Startford, Ontario on February 9th.  It’s going to be fun. I am back to work after six months of unemployment. I have also met someone that I can talk to about anything. It has been a year. We have a lot to look forward to.

Life is good.

I am getting back to running longer distances and I plan on the Berlin Marathon in September. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am optimistic.

My body has been a trash collector for life threatening illnesses.

My spiritual life and teachings have taught me to make use of every second I have. My calendar is filled with things I am looking forward to.

It doesn’t matter how it all turns out, you can’t take what I have on the inside.

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