First was the blood work. Bob threatened to use dull, dirty needles on me because he is a Braves fan and I am a Twins fan. He still is not quite over the 1991 World Series I guess. I liked him from the first meeting even as he poked me and delivered some bad news to me. My cholesterol was OK by number but the HDL was so low, he could not get a reading. All of my cholesterol was bad, LDL. My blood sugar revealed that I was a walking type II diabetic. I work in this data every day and knowing the number of comorbidities that accomodate diabetes, it was a dose of reality that really hurt. It reinforced why I was there yet was devastating news. Hopefully the damage was not too far along and I would get better.
I remember struggling to do pretty much anything fitness related as one might expect for someone nearing 400 pounds. The staff were all amazing though with their encouragement and faith that I would get stronger. Even riding my bike the 1.5 mile ride from my condo to H3 was hard and bring me to pant uncontrolled.
The days were long but the weeks were short. Before I knew it, I was on that flight to MSP with a renewed sense of drive and some goals set. Could this really be the solution to being overweight? Did they tell me the secrets that I had searched for?
It was so simple. It was too simple. I had tried everything! Body for Life challenges, Redux, Atkins, South Beach, and anything else that looked like it was the silver bullet.
I found an incredible bond with all of the employees at Hilton Head Health. From the instructors to the fitness team. You even gain bonds with the interns and culinary staff. They all play a key part in that well rounded recipe for success. While everyone was special, I found a bond with Jeff Ford that still exists today. A day does not pass where I don't think of him or some memory of being at H3 getting rowdy with him in treading or ultra-circuit. He became my @home coach and I consider him a great friend.
An unexpected connection was with the other guests while I was there. Many are still good friends and connections yet today.
So tonight as I ran 5 miles in celebration of a great year and went out for a nice light dinner with a certain 'Pals' of mine, I took pride that I was still eating healthy and still losing weight a year later...something I have never done before on any 'diet'. This is my life now. I can celebrate the good times and treat myself but always go looking back to the healthy meals. As my dinner companion tonight realized, the couple next to us were talking about how they were too full, and feeling like they could not move. We had a GREAT meal and felt like a million bucks. It is SO AWESOME to feel like this.
This trip would not have been as easy as it has been though if not for my friends from H3, trainers like Jeff, Karla, Adam and Amber and the tips from the culinary staff like Jen and Karla. This change would certainly not have been possible without great support from my immediate family and my extended family. They helped make my trip possible. I only want to make them proud. I also have to thank my coworkers from the guys I work with every day to the HR department and senior management that supported my leave of absence. I feel that I am 100x the employee I was a year ago.
I now look forward to this new year. I can only imagine how fantastic it will be. To the people that had the room next to me at the Oakland Hilton that put the note about my snoring keeping them awake all night and told me that I needed to get help. Well, I did. I found the best place on earth to get help! Anyone can do this. Just start today. Before you know it, a year will pass.
|The last time we'll have to see all of this guy....March 2011|
|My Awesome Family After a 7K Race!|
|Andy and Jim with me before the start...looking ready to RUN!|
|Celebrating an awesome finish to the Get Lucky 7K with awesome coworkers!|