This was the pic that was on the front page of my local newspaper yesterday.
I am surprised, amazed and humbled that this journey we are on is “news”. To those who are joining the journey and who have been supporting me, I say thank you. When I first started this blog, it’s main purpose was to help me journal and to capture my thoughts to help keep me on track. But I have learned that there are many others who are on a similar journey. Whether it be for 25 lbs or if they have huge amounts to lose because, like me, they are morbidly obese. While my primary motivation is to keep me on track, I am also getting a great deal of satisfaction from helping others on their trip. Hopefully, some who stop by here as a result of the article will hang around and join with us.
I know for others, like me when I first watched “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” the time may not be right. They will get here, they will reach a point that everything clicks for them. When that happens, I hope to still be here. A little lighter, a little further on my journey but still ready to cheer them on.
Here is the article as it appeared. Thanks to Denise Williams for writing it and for spending time with me. I am praying for you and your family as you walk your own path.
Morbidly obese man turns to controversial juicing diet
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm
David Robinson stands on the porch of his home with a copy of the documentary that inspired him to try and change his life. He has lost nearly 100 pounds and would like to lose another 160.
David Robinson knew his life was off the rails and something needed to be done.
He weighed 470 pounds. The 44-year-old Robinson was in constant knee pain. The time he used to spend with his children hiking and running was now instead spent sitting on the sidelines.
He couldn’t do the things he was used to doing and had trouble sleeping at night, even with his CPAP machine.
“I’m too young to be this old,” he told himself one day. “There is too much of life ahead of me and I can’t go through it like this. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Robinson said he would watch all the weight loss infomercials on TV and get frustrated.
“Their before picture is where I’d hope to end up,” he said.
Even a health scare three years ago which sent him to the hospital for an emergency heart catherization didn’t quite get him motivated.
“I knew what needed to be done,” Robinson said. “I just wasn’t doing it.”
In August 2011, he watched the movie documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” and everything clicked.
He identified with Phil Staples, one of the people featured in the film. Like Staples, Robinson picked a path toward weight loss that most might find drastic — juicing.
When he started on his path toward achieving a healthy weight on Jan. 10, he did his research and started out on the journey. Instead of eating regular meals, Robinson is drinking his fruits and vegetables in juice he prepares at home from his juicer, or packaged, commercially prepared juices.
He has given himself until October or November of 2013 to reach his goal weight of 220 pounds.
He set a goal of reaching 399 pounds by Valentine’s Day. He reached that milestone one day early. By the end of February, he had trimmed down to 388 pounds. He set a goal of losing 100 pounds in his 75-day juicing journey — which ends on March 24.
To date, he has lost 92 pounds.
“I can taste it,” Robinson said of his 100 pound goal.
Realizing that attempting to lose more than half of his weight would not be done in one fell swoop, he established a number of mini-goals to help him stay motivated on the journey.
He’s looking forward to losing enough weight so he can take part in the 8K Midnight Run in Pigeon Forge with his son later this year.
“I plan to turbo waddle,” he joked.
Robinson said he ultimately hopes to complete another marathon. He completed one while weighing 295 pounds and another when he was just over 300 pounds.
He also looks forward to fun activities with his wife and his two children, including being able to fit in roller coasters at Dollywood and hiking from the parking lot at Clingman’s Dome to the top of the overlook.
“I want to be able to wear cowboy boots again,” he said.
In the meantime, Robinson realizes that he still has a long road ahead of him.
“I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds and I’m still the biggest person in the room,” he said.
Part of the process of getting where he wants to go is understanding what got him to this point.
“I didn’t just wake up one day and weigh 470 pounds,” he said. “I got here. There’s a reason why I got here.”
Dealing with the psychology behind those reasons has been harder than only drinking juices five to six times a day. Robinson said he realizes that poor food choices were much of the equation.
“There’s a whole lot of food I thought tasted like gravy,” he said. “Every time I shoved a French fry in my mouth, that was my choice.”
Unlike many other morbidly obese people, Robinson is lucky. His overweight years have, so far, not caused any long-term health issues.
“I’m fortunate not to have the conditions normally associated with obesity,” he said.
Following his heart cath, Dr. Sunil Ramaprasad told him he was lucky. The arteries and veins of his heart were in the condition of someone half his age and half his size.
While his family and friends support his decision to lose weight, some, including his doctor, question his chosen path.
Robinson said while he started the diet without consulting a doctor, he is now followed by a physician who monitors his health condition.
“He’s not 100 percent on board with what I’m doing,” Robinson said. “He feels it’s a drastic program. But he knew I was in a drastic situation.”
Editor’s Note: Juicing is a drastic change in diet and can result in serious health issues. It should not be considered without consulting a physician.
While he believes in the health benefits of juicing, Robinson admits it’s not for everyone.
“People need to do what makes sense for their lives,” he said. “Everybody can find a place that will make sense and make a dramatic improvement in their health.”
Robinson said he has been overweight for most of his life and may possibly be fighting genetics. With the exception of one sister, most of his family members are heavier than they should be.
“I’m the only one that’s morbidly obese,” he said.
He said that many overweight people shy away from the term “obese.”
“It’s a diagnosis, not a sentence,” he said, adding that often extremely overweight people feel they’re “trapped in a situation where we feel there’s no other option. If you’re still drawing breath, you can change your life and you can change your destiny.”
Robinson has already changed his.
Within 10 days of starting his diet, he was able to walk without pain in his knee. Earlier this month, he hiked for 1.5 miles. The swelling he had in his lower legs is mostly gone. The skin-on-skin rash he had from contact between his abdomen and upper thighs is about 90 percent cleared.
“I clipped my toenails the night before last,” he joked. “There’s a lot of things people who aren’t my size take for granted. I can tie my own shoes again.”
Best of all, his health has improved. His cholesterol level has dropped from 180 to 112. His blood pressure, which was high at 156/110 is down to 138/56 and is being treated with diet. He was prediabetic and his blood sugar has dropped to normal levels.
“All of these changes were made in less than 30 days,” Robinson said.
He believes that other people in his condition can make the same changes for their lives.
“There is hope,” he said. “If a fat slob like me can do it, anyone can.”
Robinson started a blog as a journal of his journey and as a way to help his family stay abreast of his progress. He’s now using it as a way to share his experiences with others.
“I want people to know there is hope,” he said. “If you set your pace, you can do this.”
Robinson said losing weight and getting healthy is long-term process.
“It’s not about doing one thing for a week,” he said. “It’s about doing little steps every day.”
For more information about Robinson’s journey, visit his blog at www.myjuicingjourney.com.
-By Denise Williams, Tribune Staff Writer
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