It started with my vision. Then one by one other symptoms began to emerge. My doctors telling me it was perhaps a bit more sinister than just muscle cramping and some blurred vision.
Multiple Sclerosis? I didn’t even know what that was. Soon, I would know everything there was to know about it, as it consumed me, and the life of my family.
As it does, life did go on, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would never be an active, healthy person again. I even stopped walking my beloved dogs. I gave up.
I was destined to be overweight, walk with a cane, be in constant pain and sit at home and do nothing. I lost my self-worth, and dove into the world of self-pity. I ate, addicted to cheese, dairy and of course, sugar.
The one thing that I had going for me the entire time, was my hubby. He stood by me thick (and I was) and thin (I would become).
I was 100 lbs. overweight and I didn’t even recognize myself. Debilitating Psoriasis was eating my hands, nails and feet away as my immune
system raged and destroyed the very body it was meant to protect. I was offered steroids, and other chemical pharmaceuticals but I refused most of them. I knew what they did.
That was my physical life. It wasn’t very healthy.
I love animals. I love all animals, even bugs (even though they scare me). I am full of empathy, and I believe everything that lives has a right to live out its life.
I was also a hypocrite. I loved animals but I didn’t stop contributing to their suffering. I loved my cat and dogs enough not to eat them, but didn’t give the same consideration to all other animals.
I lost sleep because of it. It wasn’t right. This wasn’t me. I was weak, it was just too much trouble to change THAT MUCH.
My soul cried for me to make the changes, to live my authentic life. One that actually matched who I really was. I ignored it. Until…
One evening surrounded by our regular pile of junk snacks, we watched a movie. It was called “Fat sick and nearly dead.” The title amused us, as we both agreed, that was US!
When the movie was over, my hubby and I looked at each other, and declared, we would go full out Vegan ( something I NEVER thought my meat loving husband would consider), change our lives and become healthy. We had HOPE.
You see, my hubby was sick too.
He suffered for 26 years with super high blood pressure which required him to take several heart and water pills a day. He was 50 lbs. overweight, suffered from chronic intestinal issues, arthritis and he smoked.
We charged through the house and got rid of everything that was bad for us. Our fridge and cupboards were bare. We decided we wanted to see food we could eat, not what we couldn’t eat.
That was the first important step. NOT feeling deprived. When you feel deprived, things usually don’t work out well. We intended on setting ourselves up to be successful. We wanted to find a sustainable diet. Something that never ends…it’s just the new way of eating now.
We dove in with enthusiasm, and lots of hope for a much better future. No, it wasn’t always easy to know what to eat, how to cook or if we were “doing it right”. We didn’t care, we felt so much better just making the decision.
We felt proud that finally we were not responsible for any animal suffering. We no longer feel like hypocrites. It’s a grand feeling of freedom. I do love animals, and I don’t want to cause them to suffer.
Running came into the picture after Rod quit smoking. He needed to do something that would require he never go back to smoking. He signed himself up on the corporate team at work to do a 10 km in 4 months from then.
When he started running he couldn’t run to the corner. Night after night he would go out and run. Sometimes he went farther, slopping along doing the shuffle, sometimes he had to do intervals. He never stopped running. He did his 10 k in 1:02:00 He dropped all his blood pressure meds, and 50lbs! His arthritis cleared up and he is a new person.
Now he is training for his first 50 km ultra. He has run 50 km several times, and has high hopes the fatdog 120 is in the near future. Couch potato to ultra-runner at 47 years of age. In less than one year. Plants. We credit the plants.
I joined him soon after I had lost about 45 lbs. It was easier to run with less weight on me. At first I ran for 13 seconds. Like my hubby, I went out each day, and ran just a bit further. I did walking intervals, and then one day, I just kept running.
I signed up for a few 5 k’s ( did 4 🙂 )…and I was hooked. I finished my season (started running last May 2016) with a half marathon, and finished in 2:22. I’m not fast, but considering where I was, I’m a lightning bolt! I can run! I can jump! I can play with my grand kids!
I got my life back, I learned so much because my heart was open to something new. I finally got it. All those years yo-yo dieting. All I had to do was eat fruits and veggies and move my body.
I continued to lose weight and run, I bought a bike and started to cycle. I started swimming, and we started to really explore veganism, one step at a time. We aren’t perfect yet ( who is?), as there are many steps to the full Vegan transition. Food is first. Now we are working on everything else. Finding products we like to replace the old.
So far, I’ve lost 80 lbs., my MS is dormant and in remission. My psoriasis is completely cured. My cholesterol is at normal level. I have tons of energy!
I have many goals for myself now. I want to one day do an ironman. That’s the biggest dream I can muster for myself. So this year, I start with a sprint triathlon.
I will train hard and do my very best. Running remains difficult to do some days ( as i’m sure that goes for everyone), as my leg muscles still need time to gain strength and memory.
I’ve also decided to start trail running as I never enjoyed road running. It’s almost like starting to run all over again! The climbing is brutal, so is the descent sometimes, but I love it!! I’m taking a trail running clinic with a race at the end, so stay tuned for some great stories from the trails!
So, if you’re thinking you’re too old to change, or you’re too stuck in your ways…you’re not. You can change your life any time you want. All that is necessary, is the genuine will to do something better for yourself.
I hope that my story inspires even just one person to TRY plant based eating, veganism and of course, if you really want to feel great, running.
I am a proud team VRC member. I have a personal message to share. I want to connect and help spread the compassion revolution!
Go Vegan, help the animals, the planet, and of course, yourself.