I have never met Rich Roll. I have never spoken to him, and I am not affiliated with him in any way. One day I hope to meet him and I’ll do my best to make that happen.
September 25, 2012 Was A Great Day For Me
2013 has been a great year for me, but it happened by accident.
I’ve been buying audio books on Audible since 2004 and most of the books have been nice to listen and to educate myself, but they haven’t been life-altering.
Suddenly, eight years later on September 25, 2012, my life was unexpectedly impacted by an audio book. That purchase was the best decision I have made in a very long time. I somehow found a book called Finding Ultra (Figure 1) by a guy named Rich Roll. I bought the book and started listening to it. I finished it by the end of the year and little did I realize how big of an impact it was going to have on me.
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Most of my life I’ve been involved in athletics. Baseball, basketball, power lifting, body building, cycling, triathlons, commuting to work by bike (up to 6,000 miles per year, Figure 2)….but my weight incrementally increased through the years. Cholesterol and triglycerides were too high in my blood work. Even though I could still do what I wanted to do, I realized that my health was being negatively impacted little by little. After having two close friends suffer near fatal heart attacks, I knew it was time to take a look at my health and decision making regarding my lifestyle. Additionally, since I have a 21 month-old son, I decided that I had to make some changes to live a long and happy life to be around for him.
As a kid, I was taught that I had to eat meat, drink milk, and do many of the things that we really don’t have to do, nutritionally speaking. Even when I took a nutrition class in college, I blew-off the information, thinking that I knew how to eat properly and since I was healthy, I felt that I must have been doing something right.
That went on for 49 years, which was far too long. I ignored nutrition. It is hard to break bad eating habits and I realized that something had to change. I would gain 1 to 2 pounds a day when doing business travel. I’d feel tired and sluggish carrying those extra pounds around. If you do this enough, you keep getting bigger and bigger.
Then suddenly in late 2012, Rich’s voice across my headphones and suddenly everything changed for me, my wife and our kids. Wow.
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How Rich Has Helped Me
What has changed? Well, my wife and I have now stopped eating meat. Our kids are eating less meat than before. Our 21 month-old baby Jett (Figure 3) already knows his vegetables and prefers these to processed food snacks.
Jett asks for Brock – for broccoli, he signals me to give him some fresh fruit when he needs a snack. He demands a strawberry at the grocery store when he sees me pick-up the package. He sits and eats salads with us, patiently picking out his favorite olives and other vegetables. He eats better than I did as a young boy and I hope to teach him what I have learned from Rich.
As for me, my physical activities haven’t changed that much because chasing Jett around is a big job in itself. However, my eating habits have changed – a lot. I got a Vitamix (Figure 4) from wife for my 50th birthday and I use it a couple of times a day. My 19-year old daughter drinks the left-over smoothies before I can get home from work! My wife makes a great minestrone soup using the vitamix. I eat much better food. I’ve discovered kale.
The Rich Roll Podcasts
I listen to Rich’s podcasts (@richroll) and I’ve learned a ton about nutrition and wellness. I have read book after book (more on this in another blog post), watched many videos, and I’ve started paying attention to my decisions.
Good changes are happening, even though I’m still making mistakes on what I choose to eat. Salt, sugar and fat are hard to avoid in total! It is hard to break all bad habits immediately but I’m trying to overcome many of these each day. Even though I haven’t tried to lose weight, let me show you what has happened during the past six months. Figure 5 shows my declining weight as a result of changing my eating habits.
These changes are occurring because of what I am eating, not what I am doing physically. Once I start training again, even better results will occur. Thanks for all the help, wisdom and guidance, Rich. You are the man!