My mother died at 51 from heart failure. My father has an over-sized heart and has suffered multiple heart attacks. My brother has had two minor heart attacks and my sister has a heart murmur. So much for superior genes.
In 1999, I found myself lying on an emergency room bed surrounded by doctors discussing how to get my heartbeat back in the normal range. They gave me a mix of drugs by I.V. I don’t remember what they were; I was light-headed and barely understood what was happening. At 23 years old, I was diagnosed with ventricular fibrillation.
What I do remember was being asked to sign a treatment waiver in case of death. The doctors were going to shock my heart back to normal using the paddles that bring people back to life after they’ve already died. But, luckily, 30 seconds before the shock of my life the drugs began to work and my heart screeched to halt then returned to normal. Whew, that was a close one.
I lived, what I thought was an active life of martial arts, surfing, and military physical training. What wasn’t good was my diet. I had eaten fast food every day along with four pots of sugar loaded coffee. I was young and besides fast food isn’t really that bad, is it?
Well, for me, it was. The blend of a terrible diet and too much caffeine nearly sent me speeding down a one-way road to the emergency room.
That emergency room trip got my full attention. Most don’t realize how bad they eat until they change it to a legitimate diet. I certainly didn’t understand how poorly I was eating.
I began researching diets to find the perfect one to follow. It became an obsession to find the ultimate diet to take me far into elder years.
The first diet I strictly followed was The Abs Diet. I felt great within a few days, it seemed legitimate, and made sense to me at the time. Three weeks in, I started to falter and slip back into my sugar gobbling ways. So much for The Abs Diet.
Soon after discovering CrossFit, I uncovered The Zone Diet. I read ferociously about The Zone Diet while deployed to northern Iraq, but I felt I couldn’t eat in the Zone because I couldn’t control my menu. It seemed complicated at first. I mean come on, weigh my food? What the hell is up with that?
I promised to myself I’d eat in the Zone once I returned home. And I did just that. It drove my wife nuts at first. I bought a small scale and started weighing all my food. So far, so good. I ate in the Zone for about two months. My body stripped itself of body fat to the point where my wife stepped in. I was getting out of the shower, and she said, “You need to stop zoning, you look disgusting.” I had nearly no body fat, and looked as if I had been sickly.
No doubt The Zone Diet works.
Ah, The Paleo Diet. I’m a Paleo diet addict. Compared to most other diets, a Paleo diet is simple. Eat high-quality unprocessed meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. You eat as much as you need until you’re not hungry (not until you’re full). Easy enough?
I now eat a Paleo diet. My body fat, after starting eating a Paleo diet, went from a whopping 22 percent to 8 percent. My pant size went from a 36 to a 32 inch waist. I feel great because of my low body fat and knowing that I’ve done what I needed to so my children will have a father for many, many years.
It’s simple and concise. The clearest definition of the Paleo diet I’ve found is from Professor Loren Cordain. He says, “Eat combinations of lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.”
After much researching on the Paleo diet it just makes sense to me, and it’s easier to maintain when I deploy and don’t have much control over my diet.
Even though diet is 80 percent of wellness, I would rather focus my attention on perfecting clean and jerks or snatches than tweaking my diet. That’s just me.
I feel great eating a Paleo diet, have gotten more compliments on how I look healthy, and feel all around stronger.My goal is overall wellness, and so far eating a Paleo diet has taken me to uncommon wellness.