Mission: Get Healthy | Planet Ryan - Republic-Times | News

Mission: Get Healthy | Planet Ryan

By on October 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

PlanetRyan copySome of my readers who are also real life friends will have already heard this story, but for those who haven’t, I sincerely hope that if you have been in my position, my small and ongoing success story will motivate you to do something about it. As I’m discovering, it’s definitely never too late to make something happen.

Once upon a time, I was in good shape, and quite healthy. To be fair, that was pretty easy to accomplish when you’re only in your late teens-early 20s. As I advanced through my 20s, everyday life got in the way (not a good excuse, I know) and I stopped exercising and started eating full-time to cope. My addiction to junk food was spiraling out of control. Eating delicious sweets and treats was the easiest way to cope with daily stress. Some people drink, some people skydive, and some people eat. Why did I have to choose the eating one? My luck.

During that decade or so of unlimited, no-holds-barred chowing down, I packed on the weight faster than a sumo wrestler in advanced training. The really nasty part is that once you gain weight, your self-esteem plummets and to compensate for it, guess what? You eat more! It’s such a vicious cycle and one that’s extremely hard to break.

It got worse. Earlier this year, by chance, I had my blood sugar tested, and it was sky high. Several more tests confirmed it. I was a prime candidate for Type 1 diabetes. It scared me, and I don’t scare easily.

So, on July 27, after a conversation with my mother about how ridiculously obese America is becoming after we saw a billboard advertising streaming chocolate fountains at all-you-can-eat buffets, I decided enough was enough.

I immediately dropped all, and I mean all of my bad eating habits. Somehow, overnight, I was able to get a full grasp on my nutrition, and that was a good thing because that’s where it all starts. Talk about a miracle.

No surprise here, I started feeling better within days. My energy levels increased, sleep was better, and I started to feel like I was alive again. I knew that I had to beat the sweet cravings into the ground and never look back. Within a month, my high blood sugar levels dropped over 100 points down to normal. Because of the new found energy I had, I picked up some home-gym equipment and started working out. But that wasn’t enough.

I kept hearing about this amazing fitness program called “CrossFit.” It’s very popular among people who eat the same kind of Paleo diet I eat. Turns out, a new CrossFit gym (Bare Hands CrossFit) opened earlier this year in Columbia, and after talking to the coach via email and telling him my story, I signed up immediately. His response to my plea for help was touching, motivating and downright inspirational, to say the least.

I’m over halfway through the beginners class, and I must say, it’s very intense. But as hard and humbling as it is, and as sore as I am after it’s over, I find myself looking forward to the next one. It’s truly life-changing stuff, folks. And it’s such a blast!

Between diet and now CrossFit, I’m pleased to report that as of this writing, I’m 31 pounds lighter than I was this summer. I have an awful long way to go, but I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel — even if it’s just a glimmer.



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Ryan Ledendecker

Ryan is a biweekly columnist for the Republic-Times newspaper. When he's not working, he enjoys a good movie, bass fishing, and CrossFit.