By Michael Campbell
I found the fountain of youth! No, really, I did find it.
You see, in 2009 I was quite old. Weighing 360 pounds did a lot to make me old. I was on medications for sleep, high blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, pain, migraines and allergies. I used a CPAP machine at night to help me breathe. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I accepted the fact that I was old and unable to do things I liked to do. Riding a bike or going with Polly on a walk were out of the question. I was 52 going on 92.
Then I found my journey, the journey that would save and change my life. Losing 150 pounds in 2010, I started turning back the clock. I realized I didn’t have to accept feeling bad and getting old long before my time. Feeling my body gain flexibility, strength and energy became my norm.
And the secret to the fountain of youth is eating smart and moving more! It’s that simple. Notice I didn’t say it was easy, just simple! Of course, I had to get my head and heart in the game to move my journey to health and wellness along. I needed them to work the plan and stay committed. Looking at food as fuel and exercise as energy to improve my body was a big part of getting younger.
The realization that food is the fuel for my body was a big deal. I know some of you are going, “Well, duh, you didn’t know that?” At 360 pounds, I did not try to know or understand that food is fuel. I put all kinds of junk in me that made me feel like crap: sugar, salt and high-calorie drinks, all in excess. As I look back, I’m surprised my body operated at all. I got very comfortable with my body being a clunker.
As I started fueling my body with better nutrition on a regular schedule, I started feeling darn good. As the crap fuel funneled out of my system and the good fuel took over, I felt amazing. Yes, I did slip some crap food in occasionally, but I paid attention to how I felt afterward and focused on how I wanted to feel and live.
And I do want to live! I want to live a long life that has the quality I deserve built into it.
In 2010, as my nutrition improved, so did my activity level and workouts. I wanted to move more! I thought to myself, you are not a sloth anymore. I wanted to be fit; I wanted to be a beast about taking care of my body. I needed to be a beast about taking care of me because I’m worth it.
How much have I really moved the needle? I’ve done a few online life expectancy calculations over the past eight years. My life expectancy in 2009 at my heavy weight was 64. That number was scary to see. Today, as I approach my 62nd birthday, my life expectancy is about 96 based on my current life style and goals. Hmmm, would you want to add 32 years to your life? Let’s come back to that!
The other piece is quality of life. That is harder to measure but a definite part of my equation. Look at pictures of me now and multiply the difference you see by four and that’s how much better I feel as opposed to 150 pounds ago. I feel fantastic!
As you think about getting into that swim suit for summer, think about something else. If investing an hour or a day could gain you a year of quality life, would you do it? It’s easy math: a 24 to 1 return on investment. If it were money, you’d do it. What’s your wellness worth? My wellness is priceless!
I’ve found the fountain of youth, and I plan to hang on to it the rest of my life!
Continue to join me on my journey each issue.
You can also contact Mike @ 843.637.0723