My 43rd year was my best one yet and I’m going to tell you why, but first let me tell you why not. Not because of the money I made or a monumental career achievement or anything external that others would notice.
My 43rd year was my best one yet because I came to the realization that I am going to die. No I don’t have cancer or some other deadly disease. Nevertheless, I’m going to die, of something, someday.
We always kind of know we’re going to die but I don’t think we allow that fact to affect our daily life. Well, this year did it for me. From now on every decision I make will be impacted by the fact that my days are numbered.
Some might think that means I’m depressed or that I will play it safe, but oh no, that means I’m going to live life to the fullest, take risks and do what I believe God is calling me to do – no matter the consequences.
Let me put it this way; if life is everything, I have nothing to lose. Everything I cherish wakes up beside me every day; my wife and children. If anything can be taken from me, they’re it. I pray I’m the first to go.
So for now I will do my best to be present daily in their lives as a husband, father, friend, coach or whatever new role life has in store for me. But most of all, I will model for them a fear free life.
My 43rd year was my best one yet becuase it was the year I learned to be healthy. I remember seeing the movie Surfer when I was 12 years old. All the actors were thin and in shape and I wasn’t. Just an awkward phase? Maybe, or maybe McDonald’s had something to do with it. Either way the sit ups I did when I got home from the movie theatre that night didn’t help.
Yes, I thinned out after my freshmen year of high school and remained releatively thin until my days playing baseball were over.
Then bad eating habits coupled with sitting in a cubicle all day, everyday, began to take its toll. I ballooned from 210 lbs to a whopping 285 lbs. I was 305 lbs at my heaviest.
Then several years after getting married I lost 60 lbs in six months by going on my “Spring Training” diet, which was comprised of rice, chicken and black beans.
The problem is I couldn’t eat only rice and chicken for the rest of my life, so after returning to my normal diet, I gained half of the weight back immediately; gradually getting as high as 275 lbs.
Learning To Eat Healthy
Then I met a man who told me to replace bread and starches with beans. So I did that for a year and lost 25 lbs. Then I met two vegans who taught me the nutritional benefits of a plant based diet.
I began eating a planted based diet 90% of the time with two cheat or reward meals per week, on Tuesday and Friday nights.
In two years, I went from 275 lbs to 222 lbs, with only moderate exercise I might add, including hiking and home based workouts, 2-3 times per week. The best part is I know why I lost the weight and how to keep it off.
In fact, I’ve been this weight now for two years and I can’t imagine eating any other way. I feel too good, have tons of energy and have no regret when I scarf an In-n-Out Double Double Animal Style with a side of french fries.
Below are the foods I eat and their percentage of my overall diet.
The following foods comprise 95% of my diet.
- Black beans
- Pick de Gallo (diced tomatoe, onion, cilantro)
- Sweet potatoes
- Israeli Cous Cous
- Sweet peas
- Indian lentils
The following foods comprise 5% of my diet.
- Tortilla chips
- Golden raisins
- Refried beans
- Ice cream
I am financially secure, healthy, on no medication and have no physical ailments; none, nada, zilch.
I can do what I want, when I want, nothing and no one is stopping me. I’m free.
But how will I use this freedom?
Perhaps the most valuable thing I learned this past year is what really matters to me; being apart of others success stories.
Others includes my wife, my children, family, friends, colleagues and even strangers.
Yes, I’m free to live my life any way I want but I choose to live my life serving others. That’s my sweet spot, that’s me living life to the fullest.
44, get ready because here I come.