22 Mar Week of Inspiration, Day 5: Randy’s Story
Today we bring you Randy’s story. Please leave some encouraging comments below!
I begin this journey in January 2012; when I was an absolute miserable, ticking time bomb at 410 lbs. 54 years old and tired of being tired, my daughters (who eat a plant based diet) had harped on me relentlessly about trying to change my eating habits. I had every reason imaginable to get healthy. My dad passed away from a heart attack after a triple and double bypass while out on the golf course when he was just 62. And my mother had a severe case of Alzheimer’s. Up until this point, I knew it had been merely luck that something hasn’t happened to me. Sometimes I even thought to myself “when” I have a stroke or heart attack; I hope it’s mild enough that I will be able to lead a somewhat normal life or that it would be so bad that it would just take me. I couldn’t have been more selfish. And although I had tried by giving every diet imaginable a try (Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, sugar-free, fat-free, etc) and although each one of them had worked, each one of them would cause me to gain even more weight back when I went off.
In February, my ticking time bomb went off (literally) in the form of a blood clot that almost gave me a stroke or heart attack. I was having difficulty breathing and what my physician believed to be an upper respiratory infection turned out to be a small time bomb floating its way through my legs and lungs. It wasn’t 10 minutes after going to the doctor to have them looks at my swelling leg before they called an ambulance. I was in such grave condition that they wouldn’t even allow me to drive to the hospital. I had what they called a “floater” from my knee to my ankle. Luckily, I had brought a friend with me, who had encouraged me to go the doctor, who saved my life by being there to take me straight to the emergency room.
What I discovered when I arrived had me convinced that I had mere hours before something catastrophic was going to happen. I had blood clots in my lungs and a complete clot between my leg and knee. They immediately put in a filter to prevent it from going to my heart or brain, causing a stroke or heart attack. When I asked the doctor how much time I had to think about it, he responded “two seconds”. Needless to say, they put it in and I was wheeled off. There I remained in the hospital for two weeks from something I had thought was a respiratory infection.
As I walked myself around the hospital for those two weeks, I came across others who weren’t nearly as lucky as me. Although I had worried my family to tears, these families were destroyed because of various problems similar to mine. I was incredibly lucky. And that was the extra push I needed to help keep my family from experiencing the same. I thought that if someone would have broke into my home wouldn’t I fight for my family’s safety and myself? Who wouldn’t? So I fought back. I started reading and learning all I could about health and nutrition. Not about diets, but about how to eat because dieting just didn’t work for me. After going to a plant based diet I saw changes within a few days. Pounds fell off me. I thought everyone woke up tired and sluggish. But shortly after my change, I was waking up rested and alert. My coworkers even noticed a huge change in my attitude and why I was so happy all the time. Because I felt amazing! Losing weight will make you feel good….taking control of your life and future will make you feel GREAT!!
It’s been almost a year now and I have lost 140lbs. For the first time in 20 years, I can buy clothes off the rack. My blood sugar went from 110 to 74, blood pressure from 168/136 to 135/82. My cholesterol was over 21, it is now 143. All in one year! I am still on my medications and am still being monitored closely by my doctor. However, when my doctor saw my improvements he said “whatever you’re doing, keep doing!” He also anticipates that I will probably be able to get off my meds in a few months. I have been on blood pressure medication since I was 25!
This is not a diet, it’s not temporary, and it’s not a quick fix. It’s a complete lifestyle overhaul. Of course I like to look good, but eating this way is so much more. It gave me my life back and it gave my children their father back. My daughters say to me “that is the Dad I remember” and that is exactly the motivation I need. I want to be here to see my children and grandchildren grow. But I also want to be here to do things with them, things that if things keep going the way there were I would have not been able to. Today is your tomorrow. Fight back, fight for your life and for your family’s life