Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of Two Years of Hard Work

As many of you may already know I've embarked on a new journey about two years ago thanks to my podiatrist and now friend who got me started on a road to a healthier me.  I wasn't in bad health to begin with but then again I'm considered young and a lot of chronic diseases are just starting to develop silently when you're my age.  So off I go changing what I eat, how much I exercise, and how I manage other lifestyle choices all in the quest to be the best that I can be.  Little did I know that doing something so positive would bring such negativity from others.  Not that it's all been negative because I have gotten some great compliments and wonderful support from many who care about me and love me but sometimes the pot shots add up over time and get the best of you.

You're probably wondering what I'm talking about.  Well, since transitioning to where I am today I will admit that I've lost weight (a small amount of fat around the waistline) and gained muscle mass (not much but I'm much more toned now).  I wasn't born with a big frame in the first place so for a guy living in America it's not really "cool" and readily "accepted" to be small and lean.  My major changes have come in the means of the foods I eat.  I have enthusiastically delved into the scientific literature to cut through all of the confusion and advice given out there from everyone from your doctor to those tv commercials.  What I've discovered is really eye opening!  What I found was that the more humans transition from eating animal based foods to plant based foods and stay away from refined sugars/carbohydrates and eat a low fat diet the better their state of overall health.  So this is what I've done and have never felt better and have never had better blood work because of it.

I've experienced such great improvements and benefits from all this that I wanted to share the information with others.  And so started a 6 week online course to get certified in plant-based nutrition.  And in the meantime I put every spare moment and ounce of energy I've had into creating and developing a website to help share this good news with others in hopes of making a positive impact on their life.  Everything I've aimed to do in this journey has been to become a better person and help others be the best they can be.  And yet despite all of my efforts I've run into numerous trials and tribulations along the way.  I'll list them below.

-  I've been told I'll never be able to produce change and that people are set in their ways and unwilling to listen.
-  I've been told I look anorexic because I've lost about 10 lbs.
-  I've been told that I almost resemble a cancer patient because I've lost weight.
-  I've been told that I need to put some meat on my bones and bulk up because apparently that's the popular way to look in America if your a man.  Big and heavy regardless if health problems go along with this.
-  I've been told I need to drink some protein shakes because I'm not getting enough despite the fact that my protein level came back normal in my blood test - this was told to me by a dietitian by the way.
-  I've been told I exercise too much even though I'm exercising the recommended 5-10 hours a week which certainly isn't excessive by any means.  If that's too much then I would hate to hear what would be said about professional athletes.  This again was told to me by a dietitian.
-  I've been told that I'm going to waste away if I keep doing what I'm doing.
-  I've been told that I won't have enough in reserves if I get sick despite the fact that living the new life that I live has been proven by science to reduce and almost eliminate the chances of becoming sick.
-  I've been told that my food choices are "extreme" and "drastic".  Apparently failing to conform to America's thirst for fast food, fatty steaks, and over piled plates is a sign of radicalism despite the fact that science proves those choices cause endless years of suffering with chronic diseases.
-  I've been told I'm not qualified enough nor do I have the credentials to dispense any advice on these life saving diet and lifestyle choices because I'm not a dietitian and don't have the letters "RD" behind my name.  Apparently spending 2 years with my face in numerous books and articles written by well respected physicians, continuing my education in the field of nutrition, reviewing between 400-500 scientific studies on health and wellness, and spending in excess of 300 hours doing the research and leg work to build a website on how to achieve optimal health is not good enough and makes me an idiot who doesn't know what I'm talking about.  I actually lost a close friend because of this one.  This one definitely hurt the worst.

So there you have it a small glimpse of what I've went through over the past 2 years.  I've been beaten up and kicked when I was down as well as ridiculed along the way but I refuse to give up.  I've been brought to tears especially by losing a friend over all this but again I refuse to give up.  I've dedicated my life outside of my full time job to this entire process sacrificing much of my free time that I could have spent with family and friends but again I refuse to give up.

Why you ask?  Because sometimes in life doing what you were called to do does not include failure regardless of how much suffering or sacrifice has to take place.  I'm not here on this earth to see how big of an ego I can develop or see how much money I can throw around in the face of others.  That's never been my goal.  I don't give up as much time as I do or purposely go around with the intent of bragging about myself and what I've accomplished to get attention from others.  I do what I'm doing because I care about others and how they're experiencing life.  I want nothing but the very best for them and I would never and don't feel that I've ever come across as forcing anybody to do anything they don't want to.  I've only tried to share information that could benefit them now and in the long run.

We are only given one life to live.  And all I hope you can do is when you see someone else pouring their heart and soul into something that means so much to them and their efforts only succeed in producing a positive impact on other's lives then don't ridicule them and tell them they're not good enough even if it is in a joking manner.  Those type of actions only accomplish something negative and do nothing to help.  Instead take some time to understand why they're so dedicated and you too may end up being filled with the joy and fulfillment that they are experiencing as you embark down a path you probably never thought was possible.

My new website - www.PursueAHealthyYou.com