John's Story

My daughter and son-in-law gave birth to their first child. I was a new grandpa. I've entered a whole new season of life. Shortly thereafter I had my yearly physical. I was 51 years old, 320 pounds and having a conversation with my doctor as to whether or not bariatric surgery is something to consider. I was looking at high blood pressure and cholesterol medication.  Tammy works in the healthcare industry and I've heard countless stories of people deciding whether or not they're going to pay for medication or pay bills.  The cost of maintenance medications is through the roof. I was eating myself into an early grave, a horrible quality of life, tremendous unnecessary expenses, a physical burden on my family and it was all self-inflicted.  My doctor literally looked me straight in the face and asked, "What are you going to do, go to a gym and lose weight?"  He was convinced surgery was the only option. Tammy and I discussed the surgery. She said there are still unknown side effects and it is not a guarantee. You still have to make lifestyle changes in order for the surgery to be worthwhile. We have seen people have surgery and still return to their pre-surgery weight.  I figured if I have to make lifestyle changes in order for the surgery to be effective, why not make the lifestyle changes, not have the surgery and live responsibly. So that's what I did.

I played little league, high school and college sports so exercising and training was not new to me. I just got lazy. I decided I was going to prove my doctor wrong. I started going to a gym and have been taking classes with a personal trainer. I've lost 70 pounds and regained my life, the same life I was gifted and taking for granted.  I discovered the secret to health. Eat clean and train hard. It doesn't get any more difficult than that.  I have learned that 70% of a healthy lifestyle is in nutrition. So if exercise is a challenge, you have to eat.  I obviously knew how to eat. That's one of the few things in life I mastered.  I am thrilled to say I have a new lease on life. I look forward to getting up and down on the ground with my grandson for many years. I thank God daily that he has given me an opportunity to live. Not just for me but for Him.  It has also been a tremendous blessing to my marriage. When your wife looks you in the eyes and says I need you around for a long time, it has an impact.

If your body is supposed to be a temple, I was abusing the temple and spitting in God's face. I did not realize the impact it had not only on my physical life but my spiritual life. The new lease I had on life has given me so much joy that I want to be out and about among people. When I'm out among people, I find myself talking more about life and faith. It has recharged my spiritual life like I never knew it could. I've had opportunities to minister and be a witness to my trainer and to others in the gym. I was not expecting that.  I encourage everyone to make the small changes necessary to live longer and live better and be a witness.  My bike can still find its way to every homemade ice cream shop in the area all by itself, but now I don't feel so bad to have a treat here and there.