Sheer Willpower: How My Health Transformation Changed My Life
After my divorce, I switched up my diet, revitalized relationships and renewed my confidence.
My most recent journey on the pathway to sound physical health all started on a seemingly normal Tuesday afternoon in February. After returning home from lunch with a friend, my wife announced what was to be the most liberating moment of my life: her intention to divorce me. (As a side note, her motivation to initiate the divorce was poor communication, incompatibility and basically “getting on each other’s last nerve.”) At the time, I was truly devastated and felt like a failure who was about to lose regular contact with my now 16-year-old daughter.
During the last years of my marriage, I had slowly gained weight and approached 200 pounds. Laden with guilt and shame, I decided to embark on a path where I made the best of a stressful situation. My energy levels were low, and I felt sluggish from being overweight, so I silently concluded that I needed to revamp my entire lifestyle to improve my health. My chief motivating factor at the time was to reinvent myself in order to revitalize my relationships with my daughter and immediate family.
My existence was fraught with grief, guilt and a sense of failure and impending loss. Physically, I was an absolute wreck. Thus, I chose not to feel even worse through a poor diet. Almost immediately, I cut my portion sizes, had lighter dinners, ate more fresh vegetables and reduced my intake of sweets and carbohydrates. By the time I moved out of the house, my weight dropped about 20 pounds from dietary adjustments alone. My divorce would be a blessing in disguise.
I Started a Workout Regimen and Saw Immediate Results
As my confidence grew and stress levels abated after the dissolution of my marriage that March, I redoubled my commitment to a healthier lifestyle. As soon as I moved from Boca Raton to Coral Springs, Florida, I joined Planet Fitness and quickly adjusted my schedule to work out as much as I could. By the summer, thanks to a workout regimen that required exercising four times a week and a diet consisting of proteins, fresh vegetables, low-fat milk and fruit, I dropped at least 20 pounds. My cardiologist and primary care physician were stunned (and impressed) by my transformation. Blood pressure and EKG readings, along with my lab results, showed vast improvements in my LDL, HDL, blood sugar counts and triglyceride levels.
Once I saw the fruits of my labor (defined muscles, flatter stomach, chiseled face and so on), my sense of pride and confidence started to radiate in my personality, mood and attire. Honestly, I’m embarrassed to admit that I often posed in front of my mirror, flexing my biceps and looking at my flat stomach. My self-worth grew now that I was a freer, healthier and happier man. While looking at myself in the mirror, I immediately felt a rush of confidence and a sense of great achievement that would ultimately save my life.
As a result of my new outlook on life, renewed health and slow self-discovery, I started to date women by the end of summer. Instead of looking down at the ground in defeat (as was the case in my marriage), I walked with a confident gait, head always held high. Women took note of this, and since my divorce, I’ve been involved in three serious relationships (including my current one). Two of the three partners were impressed with my commitment to leading an active lifestyle and one even referred to my fit body as “my trophy.” Such observations further motivated me to stay the course of healthy eating and exercise. My current romantic partner is a devotee of healthy, natural living and fitness. This characteristic is certainly another major motivating factor for my continued pursuit of a health- and fitness-oriented lifestyle.
My Health Conditions and Family Life Have Improved Drastically
Of course, there were other positive effects from leading a healthy lifestyle. While engaged in passionate political or personal conversations, I’m no longer gasping for air because of being overweight. This has already enhanced my politically-oriented YouTube channel, which has earned a few hundred subscribers after existing for a few months. And, as a result of my enhanced physical energy, I’ve been able to perform my job functions with extra zeal. Even my overall sleeping patterns have improved and I no longer snore like a tuba or need a CPAP machine. Clearly, I ceased being an annoyance to any woman sleeping by my side. The nasal orchestra was retired.
As I reflect on the two and a half years of my mental and physical revitalization, I am clearly satisfied with the trajectory of my life. My dramatic weight loss, improved blood count levels and other physiological changes benefitted me during this new phase. As I mentioned previously, my renewed physical energy and mental peace paved the way for a vastly improved relationship with my daughter and the rest of my family. It is my contention that a revived physical/physiological chemistry leads to clearer thinking, which in turn leads to sound decision-making and vastly increased self-confidence.
Before my dramatic weight loss and improved blood chemistry/blood sugar levels, I felt sluggish and tired. This condition impeded my thought process and my self-confidence declined precipitously over the years. Such a mental state trickled down and affected my relationships with my daughter and family. My lethargy could be compared to the post-1977 United States or the late Western Roman Empire, which were arguably governments and societies in steady decline. They became too focused on satiation and trapped in materialism without any consideration for the long-term survival of their respective nation-states. As my life was slowly crashing around me, I experienced the equivalent of two Pearl Harbor situations (divorce and a near heart attack) and made a radical course correction.
I can not only express pride in my accomplishments, but encourage others struggling with heart disease and weight loss with the hope they will stick to regimens that improve their lives.