Us Series: Big Ted

About six years ago I chased my little nieces Aria and Nyla up a floor of stairs and damn near passed out. About the same time, my little hearts Ava VanZandt-Raelyn Holmes and I had a dance contest and I almost passed out. Mind you Aria, Nyla, and Ava were all between 4-6 years old. Five years ago I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. My blood pressure was 155/110 my fasting blood sugar was 140, and I weighed 383 pounds with 25% body fat. My cholesterol was around 195 not bad but not great. My max bench press was 450 and I could kick an apple off of a 6’3″ man’s head. I worked out but didn’t eat right. My mom (the love of my life) had passed away in 2012 and my uncle Lee passed away almost a year to the day later.

I decided it was time to make a change. I lost about 40 pounds in about 70 days by giving up starchy carbs and processed sugars after 12pm each day. I also quit eating fried foods altogether for the most part.

You see as a biologist with a Master’s degree in Human Physiology there was no excuse for me to be on the path I was on. I had the work ethic, the perseverance, the education, and the support of family and friends. What more did I need? Exactly four years ago I opted for gastric sleeve bariatric surgery which is a “tool” that has assisted me in keeping my weight between 240-255 pounds. The key term is “assisted.”

What I found was that although I was losing weight I was also losing too much muscle. You see, I pride myself on being able to slap the taste out of a fool’s mouth if he disrespects me and mine. So now I spend more time in the gym than I did before: running, boxing, Hapkido, lifting, and cycling. I do whatever I can to keep that casket as far from me as possible. God put me here for a reason. I beat two hundred million other sperm cells to that egg and I’ll be damned if I am going to fuck that up over a few pieces of cheesecake and french fries.

Today I weigh 256 pounds, my blood sugar non-fasting is between 90-95, and my blood pressure is 127/84 although I do take BP meds.
I’ve been told that I have motivated a lot of people to get right. I’m cool with that.

Live while you livin’ Cause you a long time dead.

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About Randi B.

Randi is a diversity and inclusion strategist, speaker, trainer and writer, focusing on making connections and cultivating empathy in this diverse world one trip, speech, article, book and conversation at a time.

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