Sunday, November 6, 2011

About Me

My Story of Weight-loss and Health
It seemed to me that most everybody else in the world had their weight under control. You see, as a child I was told by my parents that I was fat--which was only partially true. Yes I was bigger than other kids my age, but my impending weight problem could have been easily resolved with my parents help. Unfortunately, they did nothing to help. 
At one point my mother said to me “You’re getting bigger than the side of the barn! You’re going with me to Weight Watchers!”  So that’s what we did. We started eating by the prescibed program weighing & measuring everything. Yes I lost weight but I did not really learn much about nutrition. And as you might guess, the weight came right back when I stopped following their program.
After that I would occasionally try other diets such as the Atkins Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, etc. Every time I would have a measure of success and loose weight. Every time the weight would slowly creep back on. 
At my heaviest, I would have to estimate that I weighed between 250 - 270 lbs. I wore a size 22 or 24 depending on the cut of the garment.  My weight began to affect me physically. I experience so much pain in my feet, ankles & knees that I could barely walk. I developed high blood pressure, sleep apnea and little did I know coronary heart disease. 
Well it took me getting so uncomfortable and barely able to walk to once again start dieting. At the same time, I got up and went for walks up some pretty steep hills in the little town where I lived. This was very painful, but I was determined that I was going to lose this weight, be able to walk without pain and get my life back. 
Not too long after that I joined a gym and began working out. The weight started to come off and I was getting more active and determined to continue to lose weight. Then it happened...I had a heart attack.
It wasn’t the “typical” heart attack by any means. It was so subtle and easily dismissed. You see I began having pain my right arm for at least a week prior to the event. I thought it was because I had worked out too hard at the gym lifting weights. But the pain  never really went away. And one morning after a long painful night it “woke” me up out of a dead sleep. Why was my arm hurting so much? I got up early into my car and headed for work telling myself that I would get some Tylenol when I got to work.
About half way to work I realized that something was not right. Intuitively I said out loud “I need nitro - I need aspirin.” I guess I knew my problem was my heart. Fortunately, I made it to work and my boss took me over to the hospital emergency room. 
Yes they took me in and within 30 minutes I was admitted to the hospital because I was having a heart attack. The next day I went through angioplasty and they determined that I had two arteries “occluded” (or blocked). One was 90% blocked, the other was 70% blocked.  They inserted a stent in the worst of the two. You can probably say that I was in shock or denial and went back to work 5 days later. I actually have the video of this angiogram and would like to post it so you can view too. However, I haven’t figured out how and as soon as I can I will post it. 

My cardiologist continued to monitor me that next year and I faithfully followed the Mediterranean diet as he suggested. I ramped up my exercise regime and continued to lose weight. At the end of the year I was put through a treadmill test and promptly failed it. The other artery had not gotten better and they would need to do a second surgery. Another stent! I was very upset. I had worked so hard at losing weight, eating right, exercising and nothing was working.  Being scared about my future I began researching heart disease and nutrition. 
Somewhere in my research I came across Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Barnard.  I was very intrigued by their claims of being able to reverse heart disease. This is what I wanted! If I had only known about this research earlier maybe I would not have needed the second surgery. 
Regardless, here I am...on a new path which I label as NOODM. I have been following the way of NOODM for about 9 months and have seen many improvements in my lipids, weight, and health in general. 
I will talk more about the changes in other posts. 
This strange nutritional plan has given me freedom. Freedom from obesity, freedom from disease, and freedom from worry. Now I know that not everyone else in the world has their weight under control. Now I know that I am in control of my future and well being. Now I know and understand what to eat!

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