Post 2: Changes for the better…unedited…

As I wrote yesterday, I made several changes to my life in January of 2021. I wrote yesterday that I cut out starches but left it at that. Among the other things I dropped off, I gave up carbonated drinks, Monster energy drinks-including Rip Its and Red Bull, all forms of dessert, and bread.

In the midst of dropping these items from my diet, I added the following: Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar, Keto friendly bread, sugarless preserves, eggs/meat/cheese, and fresh vegetables such as broccoli, squash, and asparagus. 

On top of that I added Propel water, and I continued to drink my coffee. I burn through roughly five 24-packs of water per month, which is nothing for most people, but for me that’s a massive increase in my water intake. Especially considering I wasn’t drinking any.

At my heaviest, I couldn’t bend over and tie my boots without coming up for air. Today, I can tie my boots without losing my breath, and I can tussle with my pups on the floor. I walk without pain, my back no longer hurts, and I have a spring in my step.

My mental health has improved drastically. I no longer stay depressed for long periods of time. Sometime during the pandemic I began seeing a therapist for my anger. It was the end of a long, dark road. I know, I’m exposing parts of myself that’s uncomfortable for me. I apologize if this is ‘too honest’ for a blog post. 

Therapy has helped me, and it provided me with tools to control my anger. *Takes a deep breath* I’ve been in various forms of therapy for so long, I sometimes wonder if I can make it a day without it. I can, but it helps to have someone to vent to. Especially, if you live alone in a cabin way out in the woods.

Now, my routine involves sitting at my desk and writing. I work out during the week, not with the intensity I did when I worked in the military, but I still get it in. I’ve come to realize that full-blown heavy sets are great when you’re young, but when middle age comes along you’ve gotta tone it down some. 

From 12 years of age until the ripe age of 38, I lifted weights and worked out. I like to think it equipped me with the mental fortitude I would need later in life. That’s not to take away from the Lord and the redemption I found at the altar. Without redemption and salvation, I’d still have my struggles with depression, anxiety, and would not be where I am today. 

I wrote all that to say this: It’s okay to struggle, heck, it’s okay to get angry and throw your phone. Sometimes, the weight of life is more than we can bear. Being in shape and maintaining strong, physical health can lead to mental clarity. At least it did in my case. 

At a 7/11 convenience store, I was checking out and the clerk looked at me, smiled and said, “I don’t know how you eat all that and stay skinny.”

“I’m getting older. It’ll soon morph into fat,” I said, as I shoved a twenty at the woman in exchange for my Big Gulp of Mountain Dew and two taquitos.

“Nah, I can’t see you ever getting fat.”

If she could have seen me at 313 pounds. It would’ve blown her mind. It did me. I have myself to blame for the excess weight I gained. Still, I’m thankful that I’ve lost the weight, and I’m working hard to keep it off. 

“If you’re gonna do something, go all out,” my dad would say. “Don’t halfway do anything.” Well dad, I wish you were here to see me. I think you’d be proud. 

Good luck on pursuing your dreams. You’ve got this! Don’t quit until you cross the finish line. 

Freeman

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