An Overweight Leader’s Transformation: From 450 to 235 lbs!
I am excited to share with you this guest blog by Craig from Indiana. Becoming physically healthier allows us as leaders to better withstand the challenges we face. On that journey to better health, I know this blog will inspire you.
- Wes Saade, M.D.
I am 52 years old. I have been overweight all my life. I weighed 240 pounds in High School. I kept gaining weight until I weighed 450 pounds in my early 30s. I was active and mobile, but just ate wrong and way too much. In my mid-30s, I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes and lost 100 pounds through dieting and exercise. I was put on medicine to treat the diabetes.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” height=”400″ width=”625″]http://wesmd.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Time-For-Change1-e1352871450254.jpg[/image_frame]
In my mid 40s, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and my blood sugar was way too high (even on medication). I had circulation problems, and I began to lose feeling in my feet (neuropathy). I was put on 3 different kinds of medication by my doctors, and it seemed to help for a while.
I did not change my diet substantially. Still overweight when I turned 50, I weighed in at 310. I went in for my physical, and my blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels were too high. The doctors did a complete exam and all sorts of tests and changed my medications. I now had 8 pills to take every day. I went on a low carb diet. However, I began to feel dizzy and weak, so they changed medicines in order to find those that were interacting negatively. It didn’t help. I went for seven months feeling tired and dizzy.
In April of 2012, I saw two documentary films that changed my thinking: “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Forks Over Knives.” My wife watched them with me, and we decided that I needed to totally change my diet and go 100% vegetarian and cut out most dairy as well. I started seeing a new doctor that supports whole body healing instead of medicating symptoms. Under her care, I stopped taking all of my medications in June of 2012.
Within 60 days, my blood work was normal. It has been amazing. My high blood pressure and high cholesterol are gone. My morning blood glucose levels have gone from over 400 (uncontrolled diet, no medication) to 120 (with reasonable diet and two diabetes medications) to 82 (vegetarian diet, almost no dairy, no medication). I am down to 235 pounds and getting my energy and stamina back. I am also recovering some of the feeling in my feet. I have more to do, but am on my way back to healing and health.
The keys for me have been my new diet and my wife’s support. Making the changes has not been easy, but I know it will allow me to live and lead longer.
As a leader, what changes do you need to make in order to continue to lead well?
PS: If you think this blog can benefit a person you know, please consider forwarding this email!