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    BRACKENCHERRY   449
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Day ZERO

Monday, November 26, 2012

In the beginning, everyone is equal. We all have the same starting line. Sure, there is that DNA thing that can dictate the ease or struggle of the journey, but we all have access to the same choices. Choices are made; a conscious decision to take one path or the other. Forget income brackets and tools. You didnít hear Adam and Eve bitching about only having fingers and toes did you? I didnít read that anywhere. In all reality, we have all been at zero at some point in our lives, usually at birth. For some, the numbers just got bigger as they went through life. For some, they would fluctuate between larger and smaller, through progression and regression. What caused the numbers to retreat towards zero? Choices. Plain and simple. So if we have all had a similar starting point, why are we suffering in a different way?

Going back to genetics, we have the chance to be born like Hercules with super human powers and a God for a fatherÖor so the myth goes. Personally, I had an engineer for a father and a receptionist for a mother. They were fantastic and I learned everything I think I needed to know to move forward every day. Then I left and realized I only thought I knew everythingÖ.like every virile teenager known to man. I made mistakes. My parents, showing their unconditional love to me, warned me. They told me that I was doing wrong. I didnít care. I was rolling downhill with the momentumÖ.whether the momentum was good or bad, it was forward. At least, it was at the time. At 20 years old, the idea of regression is restricted to a hangover which usually passes quickly at such a young age. Meaning, itís a short lived regression. It doesnít teach you anything. That would fall into a poor life choice, intoxication. It is a rite of passage however and I can say pretty confidently that most pre-21 humanoids have consumed alcoholic beverages to the point that their balance is distributed evenly amongst all of the surrounding solid surfaces. Now, if this behavior is repeated, there is added wear and tear on internal organs; the esophagus from vomiting, the stomach fromÖwell, vomiting, the liver from processing and detoxing the alcohol ridden blood...just to name a few. Understand, too, that cancer, in and of itself, is a rapid reproduction of cells. Not just rapid, but uncontrolled. So when cells die and replicate at a fast rate, it would seem to me that abusing the body is setting oneself up for pre-disposition of cancer. Not a guarantee, but a possibility.

Letís recap, for me, on my level, my story. I was born, starting at zero. I was given every opportunity to progress being raised by two well-respected, loving, caring, compassionate, educated parents. After 18-years, I took everything I knew and set it aside and wanted to abuse myself a little bit. I smoked some weed too. Twice in college. Yes, I inhaled and laughed my ass off. That was my miniature dabble in narcotics. Fairly harmless. I played 3 sports in high school, was active and exercised regularly. I was a busy body. I was well-liked in high school and college. Personality was in full affect pretty much all the time. I was a jokester. I got my first traffic ticket when I was 16, very shortly after getting my license. Could have been a red flag. However, my Dad put the fear of God into me. Make sense? OK, letís flash forward ahead to present day.

Statistically speaking, I am a medical professionalís worst nightmare and a statisticianís wet dream. I have type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, morbid obesity, joint pain, am chronically fatigued, and I am a parent. The last one means I am setting an incredibly awesome example to my children on how to kill yourself slowly. Since their mother had gestational diabetes and I am a diabetic, there is a very, VERY high chance my kids will grow up to be diabetic. My paternal grandmother lost a limb to diabetic complications. I am pre-disposed now to a stroke, heart attack, atherosclerosis, arthritis, fatty liver disease, blindness, amputation and a slew of other chronic morbidities will most likely kill me by the time I am 50. Less than 20-years ago, I was an All-State baseball player that weighed 170 pounds. Now, I am a ticking time bomb with an unknown fuse length. Why? It is the choices I have made over the last 20+ years. I could have said no so many times, but sometimes it is just easier to say yes. Yes often tastes better. I know it did for me. This is not an excuse, but simply a fact, an ugly fact really. My upbringing did not allow me to overindulge on anything. Who says you canít teach an old dog new tricks.
Throughout this journey, I fully anticipate coming to grips with the demons that got me to where I am. These choices have wrecked me, ruined my attitude on just about everything. Regardless of what my outward attitude may be, which most often is a very positive, friendly, outgoing persona, inside I am outraged. I am angry with myself for disregarding every notion of common sense that was ever taught to me by my parents and did whatever I felt inclined to do. In a sense, maybe I felt repressed. I donít know. I donít blame anyone but me. Again, my choices, my consequences. I attempt to teach my kids the same thing, as I am sure my parents did with me. I hope that blatant disregard of common sense is not hereditary. I fear that it may be. This is Day Zero. This is the beginning of my Ideal Protein protocol. This is the time I change my life, my lifestyle, my thought process and my attitude. If I do not change and allow this damaging behavior to continue, I will be dead soon. I have missed too much already. It is never too late, however, to change for the better, one day at a time.
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