Transcript: Never giving up
My first memory of being overweight, I was in about the second or third grade if I remember correctly. Some kid at the baseball field making a real snide comment about me being overweight, with fatso or that kind of thing, and I remember walking from the baseball field and getting towards my house and I started getting kind of choked up. I then certainly, through puberty, I started kind of letting people know, probably somewhat obnoxiously… that kind of don’t mess with me. And that really wasn’t my nature, but it became that. And I attribute a lot of it to being overweight.
By the time I was a junior in high school, I started this protein shake type diet, and by the time September rolled around I had lost 60 pounds. Then within the next year of my senior year, I gained it back. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 19. They immediately put me on insulin, and then my weight did go up.
And I was diagnosed with a disease called cardiomyopathy. And with that, that changed my life completely. First of all, they told me, “There’s a good chance you probably aren’t going to live. Because… you’re not eligible for a heart transplant, we can put you on a secondary list, but you’d have to lose 100 pounds.” I was 41-years-old. Within a 10-year period, I went from about 100, I’ll say 200 pounds, then went to 245. My health was decreasing, and really failing.
I went to the hospital, they did a surgery. And I didn’t know this, but he went over and told my wife, Alison, “He’s going to die of this, and we just can’t do a whole lot more if he doesn’t lose weight.”
It became very clear to me that it wasn’t only me that was suffering. It was my children, and my wife. I guess maybe on a deeper level, I thought it would be another failure. And I didn’t want to fail again. I didn’t want to disappoint my children and I thought a lot of what I did, and even within my personality, disappointed my children.
The first day outside of the hospital, I checked my blood sugar two or three times and there was just no need to take any insulin. That was pretty incredible to me. I mean that had not happened from the time I was 19. I was 50 at the time.
After the surgery, I got it pounded in my head, you need to walk a lot, you need to do the supplements, or you’re going to be in trouble. And I listened. So, I was getting up between about five or six, never did that in my whole life, and I was walking. And walking, and walking, and walking around the track. And there was a lot of other people, that were doing it, and I didn’t stop for four years. I went every day. No matter what, whether it be raining or really hot, and I did that. And I did my supplements, and the weight was flying off. It was like Christmas going to the scale, it was all good for me.
You know, I think it has inspired some people to have it. I don’t know if I inspired my doctor, my sister, but I think I did. If that meant that there was an impact that I’ve done, that’s my goal. That’s my goal why I even came here today.