As a freckle-speckled, extremely awkward, wide-eyed kid, I always wanted to impress my dad. I played sports and listened for his cheers. I got good grades and immediately wanted to show him my success. When I played the piano spot on, I made sure he was in the room to hear it—though I’d never let him hear me when I was fumbling. Yes, I spent most of my life working hard to make my dad proud. How bout it Dad, have I made it yet? Upon reviewing the post, he says “absolutely.” Yes!
There is no unwritten rule, however, that says that I can’t be proud of my Dad, too. That’s what today’s story is all about. Hey Dad, I’m proud of you as well. And here’s why…
In my recallable memory, my Dad has always been at a pretty steady weight. Never overweight by any means, but consistent. However, starting a few years ago, he repeatedly received unattractive results at his checkups—cholesterol and blood pressure were relatively worrisome. However, this did not become a major problem until right around the time that my personal health was in question. I had suffered my head injury and was living at home, with no end in sight and no answers from mainstream medicine. Additionally, my brother with Autism was continuing on his path, similarly with no end in sight and no answers. Like my mother always says, “you can only be as happy as your least happy child.” You could say Dad was not feeling so peachy then.
The stress of the environment both outside of my dad and within him became too much. His weight fluctuated and his cardiovascular health came to the forefront. Confusion, resentment, frustration were all emotions to describe this time.
The kind of pressure that causes some men to break.
But not my father.
Around this time, he stared down that prescription bottle and decided that one pill was enough. He was going to take his health into his own hands. A healthy heart became the priority–in more ways than one.
Along with the help of a compassionate health practitioner, my dad started a healthy lifestyle change through the Standard Process Purification Program. In the program, he cut out caffeine, sugar, and alcohol; focused on delicious vegetables and meats; and developed a passion for the spin bike and circuit training at TOP Fitness (jury is out on whether “passion” and “spin bike” can be used in the same sentence…). Additionally, he tried out some alternative techniques like Reiki healing, Bikram yoga, and massage therapy. Through making a conscious decision to make permanent adjustments to his lifestyle, my dad is now in the best shape and health of his life.
For my quantitative friends, here are the figures:
The physical – 195 pounds on a 5’10” frame, 34” waist, cholesterol at 285 points, blood pressure approaching high, uncomfortable
The mental – tired, frustrated, low energy
The physical – As low as 169 lean pounds, 32” waist, cholesterol at 160 points, healthy blood pressure, comfortable
The mental – calmer, high energy, overall healthy demeanor
Saving money on health and life insurance by ranking at “super preferred status”.
Nutritious food and diligent exercise are both key players in a successful return to balance. However, what must always come first is the willingness to change and the desire to do whatever it takes. Dad had both. After that, the details fall into place.
Like a strongly beating heart.