Part One in a series on why and how to beat obesity
On December 18 2012 at about 5:30 in the afternoon I stopped breathing. As I dropped face first to the floor I had just enough left in me to dial 911 on my cell phone. Then the respiration stopped. Next the heart stopped. Miraculously the paramedics arrived and got me marginally restarted but in a coma.
After 26 days in the hospital I was released but still in very bad shape. It took me almost 30 minutes to walk up 14 stairs to the door of my home. That experience created a whole new me; I was imbued with a deep passion to regain excellent health motivated in part by the disaster I had miraculously survived and even more so by the words I heard even though I was in a coma. Those words, uttered by a physician speaking to my family were: “If he survives you will have to put him in a home. He will never walk again.”
That was on December 22, 2012. Last month in August of 2016 I walked a total of 596 miles just in that one month. For many months now I have been and will continue to walk in excess of a half marathon every day.
From this experience I became passionate about gaining and maintaining excellent health in general and defeating the scourge of obesity sweeping our modern world. You see obesity is far more than a fashion issue, it is severely life threatening in ways most folks don’t even consider. Some of the other deadly ailments that can be caused or accelerated by obesity include coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and even some forms of cancer.
All of this is vastly more disturbing then the need to buy new larger pants or a dress. So clearly obesity is an issue and it now impacts roughly half of our population. So what do we do about?
The very first step in defeating obesity is exactly the same as the first step in every twelve-step program in existence. First you must admit that you have a problem. There is no solution if there is no problem and believe me if you are more than 20 pounds over your ideal weight you have a problem. Hell at one point I was 160 pounds over ideal weight but, of course, I had no problem because I was, like so many others are, deeply devoted to avoiding the problem by ignoring it.
So this first step while essential and on the face of it simple enough, is in fact a very tough step to take. It is made even more difficult by our modern fixation with political correctness. When I was a kid we would routinely refer to those obviously over weight by terms such as “fatso, tubby, blubber butt” and “jelly belly.” Do that these days and you will be beaten down by our ever-present political correctness police.
But this is not about someone else insulting or embarrassing you, this is about you being completely honest with you. Truly, are you in fact more than 20 pounds above ideal weight? If so you are not simply pleasantly plump you are obese and with each extra pound you are making early death just that much more likely.
Of course determining your actual weight requires getting on a scale and that thought can be extremely scary because you know damn well what you will most likely see when you do. But grasp this thought: whatever you see is merely the very first step and a most welcome beginning for your new life of health and happiness.
It is a very important starting point and by no means a brutal end. So smile, step on the scale and get the real information. If the scale confirms that you are in fact not obese, congratulations. But if you are 20 or more pounds above ideal weight then the program begins. And it is a program to make critical life style changes and not yet another “diet.”
So take that all important first step. If changes are required you can discover the what and how of making those changes in my book Lose Live available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and lulu.com. You can also keep checking back at the Los Angeles Post Examiner as future installments of this series are published.
All photos by Ron Irwin
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.