Today’s article is quite personal.
You see, on Monday morning, a good friend called me internationally telling me he had collapsed on the floor and couldn’t move for about two hours. After that he staggered to bed and fell asleep.
Why this happened has everything to do with what he did an hour before.
He gulped down a whole big pizza and two liters of sugary cola. Something he had done many times before but this day it caught up with him.
My orders were clear: “Go to the doctor NOW – you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. No question about that.”
Scared to death (almost literally) already, my friend went to the doctor, who, after a short test confirmed that he fortunately only had pre-diabetes but it wouldn’t be long till it was full blown diabetes if he kept up the same lifestyle.
Not only that, my friend had moved from being on the borderline with his blood pressure to clinically hypertensive, something he had never worried about before.
What shocked me was when my friend told me the news, he sounded surprised. Like this process that I and many other people had been watching for a long time coming had just hit him out of nowhere.
You see, he’s only 40 years old but has been severely obese for years, which is one of the major risk factors for type-2-diabtes and high blood pressure. And for years he has been throwing back a very unhealthy diet, loaded with white flower and sugar.
Aside from being a little slow due to his weight (and according to his wife having a few erectile problems), my friend hasn’t had other health problems. So I guess he didn’t see much use in changing his lifestyle.
In fact, I’ve witnessed this process with people over and over again. I’ve long ago given up on advising anyone in their twenties on better lifestyle choices. They can drink, smoke, overeat or whatever; as long as it’s not extreme, their body can handle it.
Then in the thirties, we begin to feel it. We’re a little bit slower. It’s more difficult to pep up from the night out. And the food we eat seems to stick to the hindquarters longer and more permanently. And we become aware that our actions have some consequences on our health.
Then the forties and fifties hit us and our sins begin to show up in the form of all kinds of health issues: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems, erectile dysfunction and, of course, type-2-diabetes.
(I would note that this order of problems cropping up isn’t universal. Some people experience this in their thirties or even twenties, others not till their sixties, seventies or never. But none of us is completely unaffected by aging.)
This is the reason most of us don’t really make big health changes till our late thirties or early forties (if ever). We frankly don’t see the immediate benefits of it.
But it’s the time when diseases are beginning to form that is the “make it or break it” moment in your life. It’s the time when you have the decision to go down the road of hospitals and drugs or in essence reverse aging and get back to where you once belonged.
I’ve experienced and witnessed it over and over again how people who had lived the most unhealthy lives took sharp u-turns and are now healthier than in their early twenties.
I have many friends in their fifties and sixties, even seventies or older that are more energetic and healthy than most people in their thirties. Their arteries are clear, blood sugar balanced and they shine with joy and happiness.
I heard someone describe life like this:
1) In your twenties you’ve a lot of energy and time but not enough money to do whatever you want.
2) In your midlife you still have energy, more money but not enough time to do whatever you want.
3) Once you are older, you’ve more money and plenty of time but not enough energy to do whatever you want.
I want to follow the example of many people whom I know who, as they age, they kept their energy level and health while having enough money and time to do what they wanted to do.
But that’s only going to happen if you take care of yourself and life the lifestyle that keeps you healthy and energetic.
So here are exactly the three steps I advised my friend to follow to begin reversing the disease-hole he’s in:
1) Make a decision- a permanent commitment to change. Not just for a month or a year, but for the rest of your life. This means you have to accept that some things you can never do again no matter how much you love it. Then make a concrete plan that you’ll follow no matter what.
2) Go cold-turkey on a drastic diet plan for at least two weeks. Depending on the disease and what you want to accomplish, you’ll have to make up this plan. I advised my friend to cut down calories drastically (below 2000 a day at least for a man his size), cut out all sugars, white flower and white rice – some people may want to cut out all grains- most fat and milk products, only a minimal amount of vegetable oils. I’d avoid all processed food and mostly eat raw vegetables.
3) Make a permanent long-term plan that you can follow for the rest of your life. This may include some grains and carbs and fats but still keep the calorie count low. This should be a plan that you feel you can commit to for the rest of your life.
Some people have told me they’d never give up this or that. They’d rather be fat and happy and eat whatever they want instead of slim, fit but unhappy. I, on the other hand, believe happiness rather comes from feeling good on a daily basis than eating a cake.
If you want to follow my personal example, you may want to check out the diabetes guide that saved my mother’s life. You can find the type 2 diabetes guide here…
If high blood pressure is more of an issue, please check out Christian Goodman’s high blood pressure program here…
But first, what do you think of all this? Please leave your comments below.