My life journey began over forty years ago, but the journey to living more healthy and naturally began in earnest in 2012. This was me in the beginning of 2012 with my oldest son. I was a big huge fat mess. I was 394 pounds.
I was miserable. There was nothing healthy or happy about me. I put on a happy face daily. My ex and I called it my "public persona" to go with my Star Trek character. As far as the everyday person knew, I was "big" like the rest of my family. I struggled with daily tasks. Just getting up in the morning was exhausting. My heart would race, my blood pressure would fall, and I would pass out. This resulted in multiple injuries. When you worked in Law Enforcement, "unexplained injuries" or "frequent injuries" raised eyebrows and caused extra unneeded stress on my marriage where none needed to exist. Yes, we had issues, but physical violence between us was not one of those issues.
It was baffling to myself and my doctors. At 21, I was 135 pounds and FIT! I could run, I could exercise, I could chase, if not out run the dogs and get the bad guys. I was "The Kid" and you didn't mess with me. As I got older, my body started to betray me and I would just pass out. The weight gain began and I gained and I gained. Doctors constantly had me on this diet or that diet, but the weight kept adding on with no rhyme or reason other than "well, both of your parents are over weight, so you must be per-disposed to being over weight too. Have you thought of Gastric Bypass?"
Gastric Bypass, the most UN-natural way to loose weight ever devised by modern medicine. The surgeon goes in, cuts part of your stomach out, reattaches everything, and makes a smaller stomach for you, which then forces you to eat less food and then "naturally" you will lose weight. Seemed like the best option available to us at the time. Loosing weight would take the stress off of my body and my heart, and then maybe, just maybe, I could go back to the me of younger years that was full of energy that could exercise and do things! What did I have to lose?
Yeah, what did I have to lose? A tumor the size of a large grapefruit, a life long career in Law Enforcement lost its appeal, a marriage that went haywire from the stress, a Heart Attack plus Heart Surgery, another round of surgeries that removed three more tumors, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, 294 pounds, and then I became truly lost my way on my own spiritual path of faith when I was the one that so many depended on to guide them.... Cancer took so much from me.
Yeah, I look fabulous! But what was the price I paid? Four years later I still don't recognize myself in the mirror. I had to learn to find strength from years long gone to survive things that no one should ever have to go through, alone.
Along the way some other strange things happened to me. Because of the Gastric Bypass, there are certain foods I can no longer eat. Sweets would cause, and still do cause, a Diabetic Type reaction known as a "sugar dump" which is highly unpleasant. Imagine, if you will, a "Tilt 'A' Whirl" plus a Roller Coaster ride from Hades that you can't get off just from a sugary bite of decadent goodness. Dairy items are hit or miss...usually they are a miss because I miss eating them. Most importantly, I developed a life threatening allergy to Capsaicin and Pepperin, those two glorious, flavorful spices known as Peppers, Jalapenos, Paprika, Ginger, and Black Pepper that dominate our society, especially in South Texas. We are not talking it doesn't just mildly disagree with me and burn a bit and give me indigestion. We are talking: Call an ambulance because I can no longer breath from eating it. It is: I broke out in hives because sports creams use Capsicum as a "warming" agent in their muscle rubs. Finally, I avoid the grocery store during their peak food demo times because Capsaicin oil is one of the few oils that will go airborne on steam making walking through a wonderfully smelling, taste bud tempting, "here try this scrumptious morsel of food!" store on weekends a death inducing act for me.
Because of this life threatening change, I learned to read the labels on everything before I buy it at the grocery store. Those two ingredients hide in some of the most insane places. If the label says "spices" that item does not go in my cart. The number of items I could safely buy at the grocery store began to diminish. Even the produce section began to be deadly with cross contamination from my favorite foods being not-so-strategically placed next to death on a pallet. After a trip too many to the ER from a mystery exposure, it began to become apparent that the only safe way to obtain my food was to grow my own food. At the time, I was still living in Corpus Christi and didn't have my own place, or my own plot of land. UGH! I had to rely upon a network of Farmer's Markets to be my best friends in saving my life.
I desperately needed Requiem! I needed to find peace in my life. I need to find someone and somewhere to grow once again: spiritually and physically.
.... and so this is where the journey begins