In October 2009 with my weight ballooning to a record 307 lbs, high blood pressure, high Cholesterol, and Type II Diabetes that was out of control I met with Dr Gann for my Cardiology check-up. At that time the Diet of Hope had not been created yet so based on my medical history and my need to lose weight in order to help my health recover Dr Gann recommended the South Beach Diet. I really had no other options before me so I started South Beach the next day.
Over the next 3 months I lost a good amount of weight and I started feeling much better. But like many time before I slowly went back to my old “bad” eating habits and of course by my recheck appointment in February 2010 I had begun to gain back my weight! When I started the Diet of Hope I was back up to 289 lbs. That was 17 months ago. Then on October 15, 2010 I weighed in at 204 lbs. for a total of 103 lbs weight loss! But not only did I lose the weight but I also lost all Cholesterol and Diabetes medications. Both have been reversed with diet and exercise and I have the resources now to keep my weight in check.
The other part of the story besides feeling better and looking so much better is the extra energy I have. The Tucson Heart Group has long been the Title Sponsor of the Cinco de Mayo 10 K (6.2 miles) and 2 mile Family Fun Run. My wife Patricia, fellow Diet of Hope alumni, and I signed up to run/walk the 2 mile Family Fun Run. Since we had not really been running much at all we got busy training so that we could finish the event still upright. Remember we were still in the middle of our weight loss journey but we did the race and something about that day and how we felt accomplishing that feat stuck.
We began to enter 5K (3.1 mile) and then 10K races around Tucson with theSouthern Arizona Roadrunners. By the time this year’s Cinco de Mayo 10K came around I had run in over 10 road races in that year in between, including an 8.5 mile Pecan Classic, and the Valley of Gold Half Marathon (13.1 miles). But as with any hobby or sport that we have all been involved in there is that pinnacle accomplishment that exists.
For Road running that is the Marathon, 26.2 miles. On July 31, 2011 I ran my first Marathon! That is just 15 months from the date of my first running event in over 25 years, a 2 mile run/ walk (mostly walk). Now I don’t want to imply that I am competitive and look to be on the podium of any event anytime soon, including my age group division. For me it was about stretching the boundaries of my abilities and to never give up. I finished and that was all that mattered to me. I know that just because you lose weight does not mean that you should plan to run a Marathon and that is not the point of this story.
The point I want to convey is that we can overcome any mental obstacle that we have put in our own way given the right tools and support. For me after an entire adult life of battling weight issues and the associated health concerns I now have the tools and support I needed with Diet of Hope, Dr Gann and Elizabeth to be able to really believe that I will never again be overweight and consequently out of shape. By achieving a weight that I had not seen since before my first wedding anniversary 38 years ago I wanted to see what else I could accomplish. I have one more marathon left in me. Then I can look for other goals to put in front of myself to continue to grow.
Thank you Dr Dietmar and Elizabeth Gann and the entire Diet of Hope staff,