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At 50 Years Old I Have Had The 'Opportunity' To Experience Transformaition.

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By: Jon C.

At 50 years old, I have had the 'opportunity' to experience transformation. Not all of us need transformation, others need it, but are not able to execute it. I feel a type of kindred with others that have found their way off of their unhealthy path. It is a club that provides us with the power and responsibility to help others, simply as a role model or as mentor. My own story is not particularly unique or exciting. I felt unwell all the time. I had chronic pain and fatigue. I had anxiety, fogginess, and forgetfulness. I had been experiencing hypoglycemic symptoms for 30 years. I was out of shape but still appeared strong. I stayed moderately active and felt like I was eating 'good'. I looked for reasons for not feeling well. Viral, hormonal, mental. My blood tests showed pretty good results and I presented as healthy to doctors. I started taking anti-depressants and Testosterone. Smoking helped with my anxiety and soon I was addicted. I failed at getting off medication or smoking again and again. My anxiety and depression would spike and I would lose willpower. I had told my children I felt like I was dying and started getting affairs in order. I made a last-ditch plan. It was the summer of 2014, 1161 days ago, I started on the path to better health. I would stop smoking cold turkey and when cravings went away, I would taper off meds. Then I would lose weight. It took me longer than I had thought, a year to stop smoking and drugs. Another year to lose weight and another year to feel better. After the first year of breaking addictions, I was ready to lose weight. I had climbed to 275lbs. At 6'3", medically morbidly obese, but looked average heavy American, with weight, well distributed. I was dealing with pain that seemed related to eating, I had nap attacks that were not optional, and walking more than a block was a struggle for me. I started my diet with fasting. My philosophy was to end the food cravings like I had smoking; cold turkey. The first month I introduced rice only, figuring I would eat all the white rice I wanted. It did produce results and I was losing weight. I got tired of eating rice and went hungry. Very hungry. I stuck with it and introduced back foods one at a time to experiment. I kept a diary of foods to see what foods would produce a response. I kept shifting the elimination of certain foods in my diet. The results were confusing and nonsensical. My family would get frustrated by my shifting diet restrictions. But in the first year, I had lost 50 lbs., at a fairly consistent pound per week rate. I would not recommend this method if I had to do it again. I still felt unwell. I started biking to see if I could do it. I could, so I started a regimen of biking a few miles a week and started mountain biking trails. I also learned of the Ketogenic diet. It was the first time I really thought about the macronutrient level of foods. Instead of tracking green beans vs. corn, I started tracking carbs and fat. I saw some amazing benefits. I noticed that my rides went longer without break, I did not need to refuel, I seemed to be getting more oxygen. It was not a miracle cure, but it made sense to me. My family thought I was nuts. For the past 6 months, I have been LCHF and daily intermittent fasting. I would guess that I have been ketogenic for only about 4 weeks in the last 6 months. I did not make being in Keto a hard goal. If it happened it was fine. I have stayed at nearly the same weight. However, my waist is 3 inches smaller and I have more definition as I have lost subcutaneous fat. My strength and endurance have improved. I am no longer needing testosterone creams or shots. I do not reliant on any medication and have a nutritious diet. I feel like I am finally on the path to true health. I went to generalist and specialist in the managed care model and was disappointed. Fortunately, I avoided pitfalls and medications treating symptoms. I pushed for knowledge and foundational causation. It was not easy. If I had to provide my own diagnosis, I consider myself to be a victim of HPA Axis dysfunction and Fat Storing Hormone resistance, and leaky gut. Causal factors include chronic long-term stress and poor diet. For various reasons, none of these are diagnoses that managed care normally like to provide as a diagnosis. Perhaps I am wrong. It may not be all three or the symptoms and causalities are too intertwined for me to understand. However, my path to health is through some common denominators that support healing. At the core is knowledge and giving my body the nutrition and care it needs to heal. I realized that I am now perhaps a skeptical health fanatic. I need to hear it from multiple sources, including opposing views I realize that we live in a time in which we have unprecedented access to information, but we are burdened with opposing viewpoints, outdated science, and cultural norms. Adopting information as knowledge is a modern challenge. Not only does this challenge impact how we RECEIVE new knowledge, but also how to PROVIDE knowledge to others. I want for my experience and journey to have meaning. By helping others gain valuable knowledge and avoid pitfalls, I may find value to my own transformation experience.

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