Allow me to begin with a snapshot of my life. Maybe you can find yourself somewhere in this description. For the sake of anchoring the story, let's start at my 25th wedding anniversary. At the time, I was 47 years old and 21 years into my career. As a dentist, I had clearly chosen a career which defined me as a guy who sat down for most of his day.
As for the rest of my life, I realize that I made different choices than most of my readers. My wife and I not only got married young, but we planted our flag in the "big family" camp. At this point in my life I was also a dad to 8 kids ranging from 8 to 24. I was, by definition, fat and happy in my middle age.
If I defined my exercise status, it would be measured by months. In other words, I worked out a little this month and a little that month, but nothing daily. I was just starting to rediscover my love for walking and hiking. I was inspired by movies like, A Walk In The Woods, especially the old and out of shape character of Nick Nolte.
But, by ignoring exercise and having an "anything goes" approach to my diet; my late 40's brought a host of health issues and stress. As this blog series goes on, I'll dive into each of them individually, but let me pause for a moment and briefly describe my attitude.
When it came to food, I was pridefully "all in." I was raised by good cooks and married an even better chef. I was known for mastering our wood-fired pizza oven. I could spin a great blender drink and made variations on the Moscow Mule that dazzled my guests. I was known for begging my dental patients for Slurpees or donuts. This was my normal and my palate knew no limits.
By this point, I had discovered the first three issues in my diet related to my overall diet. The first was high liver enzymes, the second was high levels of iron in my blood and the third was an extreme sensitivity to gluten. The solution was pretty easy: Cut out iron rich food and cut out anything with gluten.
Thankfully, I have a very supportive wife. Every time a change came to my diet, Kendra took it in stride. She encouraged and planned and managed our pantry, but it really was on me to make the choices. In case you are wondering, yes we really knew what it meant to eliminate gluten. We love the science behind our food choices and my only point in mentioning all of this at this point in the story was this: I knew what it took to make a drastic change and keep to a strict diet.
I was middle-aged, sedentary, and just starting to wake up from my "I don't really give a rip" attitude toward food and exercise.