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    Posted July 12, 2014 by
    DerrellDunn
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    More from DerrellDunn

    From Cripple to Fit!

     
    I used to be at least 340 pounds, diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure. I say at least because my scale at the time did not go past 330 pounds. (My highest weight was 350 pounds in the early 2000’s.) At 52 years old, I now weigh in at 198 pounds and am no longer diabetic. I've lost over an astounding 150 pounds - an entire person that was literally riding on my back. I am still dropping weight pushing toward a goal of being a very physically fit person.

    In December 2009 my life a traumatic accident, changed my mindset and my life direction. As I was walking, I stepped down off of a sidewalk curve and suddenly both legs gave way under my body weight. I heard two sudden and loud pops and I discovered myself face down on the asphalt - unable to move. Basically, the quadriceps muscles in both my legs had popped off of my knees because of my weight. The fall left me with torn quadriceps tendons in both legs. One leg had a quadriceps muscle tear and with the other leg the tendon retracted up the leg approximately 3 cm. The severity of my injury was directly related to my weight. After a successful operation to repair my legs, I was bedridden for two months. I actually had to spend some time in a nursing home during my rehab. I had to rely on a wheelchair, walker and cane before re-learning how to walk. This accident gave me time to reflect on what I needed to do to lose the weight. I felt like I had been visited by the ghost of Christmas future from Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” I became determined to take off the weight. I knew I would have to make changes to be the father that I needed to be for my daughters and to save my life.

    This journey has continued over these past four years, where I have adopted a much healthier lifestyle. I currently exercise a minimum of 1 hour each day for 6 days of the week at the Houston area YMCA’s. The specific exercises I do include weight lifting, treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, Stairmaster, TRX, boot camp, and group exercise classes RIPPED™ and Les Mills GRIT™. I also wear a pedometer and insure that I put in at least 10,000 steps each day. In terms of diet I log my calories in a smartphone application called LoseIt! to be accountable to myself and insure that I am not overeating. The Houston area Y’s have been incredible encouraging and nurturing environment for my weight loss journey. The Houston YMCA’s have used me in past year in an advertising campaign because of my success. (Highway billboards, posters, YouTube video and glossy handouts).

    My healthy habits have rubbed off on my daughters. My oldest daughter who is in grad school at Cornell went from over 200 pounds down to 135. She has started running 5K’s on a regular basis and doing half-marathons. My youngest daughter is a junior in college and has dropped 40 pounds and loves the kettlebells, the elliptical and weight training. My youngest daughter is now a health food store aficionado. I now understand my father’s passion for me losing weight after seeing my daughters live healthier lifestyles.

    I now understand that being healthy is not a one-time diet that you do for 3 to 6 months and are finished. The effort is all about perseverance and determination to keep going. It is about making good choices regarding the activity and the foods I consume on a daily basis.

    There is no magic pill or diet. You have to mentally change your mindset and make persistent small changes on a daily basis. I jokingly respond when asked what diet or operation did I have to lose the weight; I respond the SSS diet, the Sweat, Slobber and Snot diet. I may not be the fastest, strongest or most buff at the gym. But, I can always keep going when things get tough for me and that’s what has made the difference. I have recently finished my fifth Houston Wellness 5K. I am not even close to being the fastest (in fact I maybe one of the slowest), but I am determined to finish what I have started!

    My Doctors have been amazed at the progress I made over the past years. Many have to take a double take when I walk in the room. I have transformed from a self-created cripple to someone who can knockout sixty pushups in a row and do a seated leg press of over 400 lbs. It feels awesome to be getting as healthy as possible.


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