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The Ecosystem of YOU Pt. I

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Weight Loss and the Ecosystem of You

Feeling like we are in control of our weight can be a real challenge. I know because I struggled with it most of my adult life. I was always an XL guy, by the time I was twenty years old I was six-feet and about 185 pounds. Thirty years later, I was still six feet tall, but I weighed over 300 pounds! I’m not sure how much I weighed ultimately because I stopped getting on the scale at about 296, a cinnamon frosted POP-tart away from 300 pounds, and kept eating.

Eventually, I was wearing size 44 jeans and XXL shirts. I couldn’t find clothes that fit in most retail environments unless they had a Big & Tall section. I could usually find something to wear as long as I was happy with this season's to take on bowling shirts. I recall the day I went shopping for jeans at the Levi’s store. They only carried up to 38-inch waist in store. I felt like an outsider, I felt sick and my self-esteem plummeted. The emotional disappointment was material.

My journey to a healthier plateau had a few detours along the way. At one point, I‘m in my mid-fifties, living an insanely unsustainable professional lifestyle. I can’t sleep over four hours even if I have the opportunity, I ate…whatever, whenever, and didn’t engage in any actual exercise. I was making a lot of professional progress, at a cost to many other areas of my life. My faith, my family and my health were all taking a back seat. Then in August of 2015, I tipped over.

Eighteen hours later I was being wheeled into the operating room for brain surgery to remove a Stage-3 Glioma from the left occipital region of my brain. What followed is a familiar yarn for cancer patients, daily radiation for six weeks followed by a 16-month course of chemotherapy.

It’s crazy, my life was racing by in chapters, then it all stopped and landed on one word…cancer. When you get cancer your whole family gets sick. I don’t need to share the details, most of us at this point have our own personal story with the big C. That said, my incredible wife, Lisa was a relentless advocate, we pushed through together, fought back, kicked its ugly butt, and ended that chapter of our lives…but it gets better.

Would You Like A Wakeup Call, Mr. McDonald?

Fast forward two years, I have moved on, a few new physical challenges to contend with but overall…cancer-smancer, I’m over it. As for my weight, I lost trauma-weight during my recovery and subsequent treatments, but I quickly found where I had misplaced it. Still six feet tall and still 300 pounds.

One evening my 6-year-old daughter met me at the door when I came in from work. “Daddy,” she said, “Mommy has something to tell you.” She leads me into the kitchen and presents me with a hand gesture and cues my wife “Mommy.” I am terrified. I haven’t even put my attache’ down, I’m just standing there, waiting for…heck, I don’t even know what.

Lisa held a piece of paper in her hand and explains it was the results of my recent physical. You would have to know my wife, she is an amazingly kind person, she doesn’t like conflict, and she has an incredibly serving heart. In other words, it’s not easy for her to tell me what she really wants to tell me. She sympathetically informs me my blood pressure is really high. I suspected that the signs were there and I was ignoring them. If you sweat when you eat or look at a staircase you may want to check into your blood pressure. My cholesterol was over 250 and I was the next guy being served in the type-2 diabetes line. Are you kidding me? I just get done kicking cancer’s butt and now I have “serious health issues” to deal with? Wait. What? Really? That’s a little ironic.

That evening marked the beginning of my journey to wellness. Enough is enough I told myself, I need to get serious about this. As it has at other critical intersections in my life, the Spirit of Reinvention took over. I knew incremental adjustments to my approach to health were not going to realize the results I needed. I needed a total makeover, a new belief system, a new plan.

Modis Operandi

I’m a fire starter. No, not a pyromaniac! I toss matches, hoping something catches fire. My journey offered some material learnings I believe translate across many of the variables involved. It’s a blog…I just want to get you going in the right direction. You have to take it from there.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. We are all unique and perfect in our design. I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or a dietician. I’m just a guy that got really sick and figured out I had to play a serious role in the resolution, not my local MD. We tend to get ourselves into these situations and then expect our family doctor to “prescribe” us to wellness. Sorry, that has proven to be a dead-end. You must participate in your own rescue!

My Goals

Inspire you to invite the Spirit of Reinvention into your life. Decide to redefine yourself with a focus on elevated health.

Convince you to dismantle your current, default belief system about health, nutrition and your weight, and make room for a new perspective

Encourage you to start the journey of discovery today! Become a student, create Your own point of view.

Begin to look at your weight as one facet of your overall health. Start to think about the balance in your personal ecosystem.

Clear the Table

The first step in any reinvention is to bus the table, pick up the dirty dishes, and other refuse of your old belief systems. Toss it and start over. Question everything that has anything to do with your nutritional choices. Forget everything you think you know about food, what’s in it, where it came from, how much is too much, and government-sponsored dietary guidelines. Based on the massive recalls of cancer-causing blood pressure meds and a socially crippling opioid epidemic, I would question anything government agencies say. They seem to be serving as the marketing arm of Big-Pharma. Run from the food pyramid/plate, forget what you have assumed, been told, and sold. Unplug from the status quo, stop abdicating responsibility for your health to others, take responsibility.

Stay Tuned...

Get the insights, tools, and perspectives to redesign the ecosystem of you in Part II. Read it HERE.

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