I have this vision of myself. We all do. It is me at 20 years old, 30 years old, 40 years old, even 50 years old - not me at 57. I am getting older. I get it. I weighed 190 lbs in high school and maintained that weight +/- 10 lbs throughout my 30’s

I'm not wearing the puka necklace

I'm not wearing the puka necklace

I played baseball, tennis and racquetball  during my 20’s and 30’s. When I turned 40 years old I started lifting heavier weights and continued it for 10 years. My weight grew to 215 lbs. I liked how I looked and felt. I was strong. In my early fifties, I discovered that I had heart disease and had to stop heavy lifting. To avoid bypass surgery, I adopted a plant-based, whole foods diet. My weight dropped from 215 to 155. I DID NOT like how I looked. I was thin (no Chatlin has ever been thin!)  I was weak, looked older and was not happy about it.

...but I recently lifted the biggest weight of all - acceptance.
— Paul Chatlin

Glad not to have bypass, but unhappy about my own look. What to do? I decided to take myself off of my cholesterol medication. Go back to lifting heavy weights and added quite a bit more starch to my diet. The result was that I gained 25 lbs. back felt stronger BUT my cholesterol went up from 120 (70 LDL/50HDL) to 170 (110LDL/60HDL). I was still eating a plant-based, but I was even more unhappy and concerned that the numbers went up. What to do? I realized that being strong was not as important as my health so I went back to my cholesterol medication and gave up the starches for vegetables again. I have lost 8 lbs. so far and feel much weaker, but I recently lifted the biggest weight of all - acceptance. I will probably lose more weight as I get my cholesterol numbers back to 120. I accept that I am getting older and for me to enjoy my 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s I have to follow a plant-perfect, whole foods lifestyle. I understand I am NOT a doctor and if in the future I want to make changes I will discuss it with my doctor first. I just want to keep living!

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