About two years ago, sitting in a doctors office, I was given the results of a physical and blood test. The results really weren’t good at all.
My weight at the time was 362 lbs, my cholesterol level 6.67, my blood sugars way off the chart. In short, I was preparing myself for blocked arteries, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. As the doctor delivered my results and prognosis, she also handed me a prescription for a cholesterol reducing drug. I was numb.
Walking out of the clinic, the news still sinking in, bitch you in trouble! I felt that weight you hate to feel, the light headed dizzy feeling. The cold sweat on the brow, but the rest of you is on fire, with a touch of Niagara Falls. A pain in the chest. The mindset I had built about me, my weight (to which i am 6″3′, and was always referred to as big guy) crashed.
So as I have learned, once its all broke, fix it!
That was day one. The hardest, yet easiest day. I’m a smart cookie, I can figure this out. So the first thing I had to do was remove fat from my diet, but I like fat!!! Clarity took 3 weeks. The craving for fat, I craved that rich creamy oh my gawd! That buttery cheesey and salty foodgasm with every bite!!! Which is what i had been doing. A salad wasn’t a salad with ranch dressing and a cup of cheese right!?!!??
There is no way you can eat an extra large pepperoni pizza, with bacon, without a two liter of cola. Of course a large bag of flavored chips always went down best with cream cheese dip! oh and don’t forget a two liter of cola. Oh how i could devour a two liter of pop in only a few hours or less! And ice cream!! Whoa WHOA! Loved my chocolate ice cream!! with caramel sauce of course!! My teeth are vibrating just typing this.
My body was a dumping ground for preservatives, chemicals, sugars, salts and fats. I was feeding my ego, not nourishing my body. That day at the clinic, was my epiphany day. My body was only carrying me around, a vessel for me to be. And I took it for granted. I figured because I walk a lot, never drove a car, I stand for a living, I’m doing alright…?
Truth was, hell no I wasn’t!!! And the doctor had proof of it!! Being told your blood sugars are looking pre-diabetic, and sugar was such a player in my daily game!! My first coffee, the first can of soda at work, plus the coffee and pastry from the local coffee shop. plus the two coffees with two cubes each.
You can see the pattern, the cycle, or dare I say downward spiral.
Hairstylist by trade, I like to think I’m a fun outgoing, charismatic guy with talent and flare! But the truth was, mood swings were common, fatigue, restless sleep. Not too mention those moments, waking gasping for air. Chronic joint pain, due to having rheumatoid arthritis, always in a flare up.
At that time my friend gave me a copy of,” Forks Over Knives”, many of you I know have heard me go on about its accolades, although it took me 6 months before I watched it.
It was also at this time my beautiful and amazing cousin Crazy Vegan Mommy, Laura-Lee, and I re-connected via Facebook! And low and behold she had also gone vegan!! It all started coming together! The change had to happen for me soon! Laura-Lee went through a serious scare while she was pregnant, and fought for her and her babies health by making the change!
I was 39, and it happened, at first I had done the vegetarian path. But still ate dairy, and eggs and fish. But the only benefit I found was my mood swings began to subside but weight and pain where still there. Not as strong was the pain but the swollen angry knees, hips and feet still required me to have a glass of water and a bottle of ibuprofen, on my bedside table. There was no way I could make it to the washroom first thing in the morning in under 10 minutes of painful hobbled walking without taking two pills 20 minutes before getting out of bed.
I initially blamed playing football for the pain, injuries I incurred during my 4 years of playing in my youth. I had justified all of this pain to football twenty five years ago. In reality it was my diet.
Then on a stormy rainy night when the satellite was out, I had watched all the movies I owned, the the only thing I had not watched was,”Forks Over Knives”. So I ordered a cheese pizza with peppers and pineapple. Sat down and began too watch it. Halfway through, what I consider my saving grace, I had to vomit. Seriously kids! This cheap ass homo, who never puked due to the fact I paid for it, had to get out that cheese and veggie pizza outta me!!! I paused the movie voided my belly, then went to my fridge and cabinets and threw out anything that had any animal products in it.
It was in this documentary that they found dairy and animal products triggered rheumatoid pain. FOR REAL!!!??? What the hell!?!?? My doctor kept telling me dairy was essential to my health! I was totally misinformed, lied to by a doctor is how I felt. That Bitch lied! And when I asked her about how dairy was a trigger, she could not give me a straight answer and danced around the “maybe’s” of what was the truth. Bitch got fired that day! From her posture facial expressions and color, I knew she was cornered, and didn’t have a way out. When I mentioned to her bovine protein and secretions (milk) where the cause of cholesterol, she simply said,”yes”. She conceded that right off. Yup the Bitch was not looking at my health entire! But she sure was ready to give me a trial of another cholesterol reducing drug that day. Can you believe she actually had a bottle in her hand to give me when she walked into the room! For real!
Hell to the no was I taking this sitting down!
It was the beginning of June 2011, raining buckets, and there I was taking out 30 lbs or more of “foods” that contained any dairy dyes and preservatives, to the garbage bin. I came back into my apartment and could not believe what I had done. Not the throwing out or up, all those “foods”, but the fact that I was fooled into believing that these substances I was eating was called food!!!
I did not sleep that night, after watching the rest of,”Forks Over Knives”, I tossed and turned with guilt about what I have done.
And again I have found, if it all broke, fix it!!!! And this Bitch had a lot too fix!!
After turning vegetarian I dropped from 362 lbs to 323 lbs. I had gone from a measured waist of 52 inches, yup you read it right 52!!! to a measured waist of 48. But that still held me in the category of obese, and pre-diabetic, my new physician told me so. My cholesterol had only dropped one point, I started working out.
At first I went with a friend, but she petered out after 3 weeks. And I knew that I couldn’t go on this journey with anyone else. I could not let someone else denote my success, nor hold me back (ps only I held me back). This is my burden to bear I thought. But that was me projecting my failures onto her. Sorry to her I say. And bad on me for not owning this! It was no one else’s burden but my own.
Getting over my ego, i.e. me giving into the craving. And I say craving because I had addictions to certain substances in the “foods”I was eating. It seemed like I couldn’t go on without the dairy, cola or sugar. I am an addictive personality. When I excluded dairy from diet, that was the three weeks that took me to clarity. The few days that followed my rejecting dairy cravings, I was fuzzy headed almost befuddled, in a haze. Sluggish in a cloud, I felt worse then I had before. But there was an almost instant pro to this. My painful swollen joints, all but faded away.
The first morning that I woke up and simply walked to the bathroom without pain or pills, (also my bathroom is 13 feet from my bed). I almost cried!! I knew that part of my life was over!
It had begun! my journey through life without pain! An unthinkable thought not a year previous! Was now a reality!!! Yup truth was in the pudding, as “they” say. Dairy outta my diet for 3 days and holy shit! I could walk!! Without pain! AND with dairy out of my life, it was August of 2012, my new physician told me, ‘your cholesterol is text book perfect.” I almost hugged her! My blood sugars stable! I had given up the cola, the ice cream, chocolate bars, and processed foods.
This is my my body, my story and my proprietorship!!!! I am Vegan hear me ROAR!!!!!