This popped up on my timeline today, I wrote it a year ago.
“Just about a year ago, I was in a terrible place in my life. I was unhealthy, out of shape, in a lot of pain emotionally and physcially. I was in a very, very dark place in my life… I then decided to do something about it. Turn my life around. No one was going to do it for me. So I cleaned up my eating, and started running. Within a short amount of time things were changing and improving for me. I was becoming more than I could ever imagine. Within that time I dropped 70 pounds and got into the best shape in my life, I am feeling happy, healthy, and so much light. I am truly, for the first time in my life. Happy. I genuinly am happy to my very core, and I look forward with much optimism to the future and all that it will bring. I don’t wear tank tops, never have. It was not easy sharing a pic of one, even if I do look good. Na na na na na… Batman.”
It’s hard to believe the guy in the left is the same as the guy in the right and that that guy was me at one point in my life. Two years ago I sent out to change my life for the better. I never thought I would get to where I am today. Since I started that journey I have been to the Poconos, twice, to a Washington D.C., to Gettysburg and there is so many more adventures in there. I never could have fathomed being able to do any of that. Yet I am proud to say I have done that and so much more.
I have seen and done so many things, and met so many people over the course of that two years. I am blessed and thankful for it all. I’ve seen first hand what fear can do to us and our lives and I know for us to get through the fear we have to walk through it. We can pray for all the strength in the world by only we can act upon the opportunities presented to us. Only we can act courageous in the face of fear. Many will supposed and encourage us but it’s up to us to act. Not everyone will understand our new journeys because they only knew us as the old us. Yet we become something so much more.
My journey has shown me that if I can do it anyone can do it. Two years ago I set off on an epic journey to change my world and I am so glad to have done so. I look forward to where I will go tomorrow.
That pic was a year ago, I have lost even more weight and finally am at a place where I love the way I look, and don’t hate to have picture taken.
Here is what I look like today.
I’m creating a life I am proud of an can look back upon and smile. It’s not been easy and has challenged me in many ways. I know how eat it can be to just want to give up and run away. How the depression dark thoughts I have fought can still have a tendency to creep up on me and want to consume me. But I keep my head up, and keep the energy going, and keep moving forward to better things. And this time, the depression doesn’t win. It didn’t have power over me anymore. I don’t give it any. I don’t give in to it.
I live life.
The journey I have been on has been an incredible one. It has taken me to places I could have never dreamed of. I have done things I have never thought was possible. I had a successful vacation, twice this year. Before this year the last time I went on actual vacation was 2005, and it was a terrible, terrible, anxious time for me. This year has been incredible. It has not been an easy road to travel to get to this point and there has been so much that I have done in the pursuit of my own happiness.
The biggest thing would have to be the change of diet I put myself on this past year. This has been the cornerstone to the new me that is able to do so much. This change has come from a lot of experimentation over the years. I have tried so many things to help heal myself and get a better life. A lot of my anxiety/panic revolves around my health and my mysterious stomach issues that have no explanation for why they do what they do. I have had more tests than I want to remember, and taken more pills than I can count. And I used to be good at math. Especially long division. I loved long division. All of those pills always made me worse, and at one point I was basically a walking/talking zombie. Devoid of all emotion and feeling. Those were dark times for me. Luckily today I am not on any pills and can be me, and happy, and free. That is not something that will happen for everyone. For some they need those pills. Those pills save their lives and allow them to live their live to the fullest. As I said yesterday, every body is different and each body requires a different thing to make it feel good and function as best as it can. You just need to find out what works for best for you.
This is what works best for me. I can hardly believe how there were so many nights where I drowned it all away in a bowl of ice cream, and two packs of those giant Reece’s peanut butter cups. Today my snacks are a big bowl for fruit. The first thing I did when I knew it was time to take back my life was to change my eating. I said goodbye to junk food. All of it. I quit it cold turkey. After the headache went away from the sugar withdrawal within a few days I started to feel a big difference. I start to cut down on my headaches I was having, and I was not staying up all the time now. As soon as I would get into bed at night, within roughly thirty minutes I would be asleep. Something that used to take an hour or two at least to happen. That alone was well worth it. During this time I was really, really, over weight. I was very tired, weak, I was having breathing difficulties. I was having sleep apnea. You name it, I probably had it. Eww, no, not that. Why was that the first thing you thought of? Gross. I had also been doing a lot of reading of various things that can cause stomach issues, and I was willing to try many of those things to help heal my gut. That was the journey I was on. So the next thing I would give up was dairy and gluten. Things that are said to make the gut not function as best as it can. After giving up the gluten I was quick to notice, within a short amount of a couple days, that I was not as bloated as I always was. I was not carrying that around. Which was another great thing. I also found myself to think more clearer than I was. It was like my brain was all foggy on it. Another thing that has been a huge blessing is that I used to struggle all the time with headaches, really really bad ones, and I found without the gluten I was not getting headaches all the time. And if I did get them they would not be as severe as they were when I was on it. I was not needing to take something to get it to go away. That in itself is worth its weight in gold.
I would also tweak my diet to eat foods that I could digest. I had had allergy testing done and found that I had responded to some allergens that were found in trees and grasses that create a cross contamination allergen to some of the fruits/veggies I was eating. Such as banana’s, apples, peaches and a few others. So I tailored my diet around those foods and added the ones I could eat. Such as grapes. That made a huge difference for me with my stomach and the way it was responding to foods. Instead of having to go the bathroom three-four times in the morning before noon, I was now going once all day. That was mind blowing. That changed my life and helped me cut down my anxiety about traveling and going out. Within the past year of working with this diet I have learned to know which foods are good and which are not for me. And how much I can tolerate. I still can not eat a banana without being in pain or in the bathroom all day. As was evident three days ago. Experimentation plays a huge role in knowing yourself and what you can and can not do. I do not eat nuts that often as most of them are really hard to digest. Such as cashews. Most nuts need to soak in water to ferment for a day to be able to eat them more easily. So I do not eat them. They are torture on my gut. From time to time I eat pistachios as they are the only ones that I can seem to tolerate. The other thing is I eat really foods now. Meats, fruits, veggies. Nothing processed. No lunch meats. No bacon. There seems to be a love for putting cheese and bacon on everything. My dressings if I eat a salad is olive oil. No added junk or fillers. Plain food. The way were were meant to eat. It has changed my life in so many ways. It has changed me and my personality and my way of being. I am someone completely knew to myself. And I am loving that guy.
My healthy lifestyle has helped me to lose 80 pounds, running also helped with that. It has also helped with my sleep apnea, it has helped with my breathing issues, my energy/fatigue issues, my Acid Reflux issues. I can eat a few oranges and not feel like I am dying while laying in bed. That’s just to name a few. Most of all. It has given me my life back.
If you do decide to change your life and your ways and want to change your diet and what you eat, after all we are what we eat, speak to a trained professional that can help you create the best diet for you. To make sure you are getting the proper balance of nutrients and if you may need a multi-vitamin to cover the rest.
It may just be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Period.