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My wife recently got me started on this whole SparkPeople thing and now, just a few weeks later, I've found myself suckered into this whole healthy lifestyle thing. Funny how that works.

I am a career soldier in the US Army. In 1999 I broke my back in a severe training accident, but managed to hold it together until April 2009, when I re-injured myself ... and all it took was a rolled ankle, and suddenly my whole life was spiraling down the drain. This was the same year I married my wonderful amazing wife who really helped me pull through it.

I have had two spinal surgeries to place a nerve stimulator, and have been through countless sessions of physical therapy. As of December 2009, I am officially off of narcotics for the first time in a long time.

When I first got hurt, life was awful. My wife was stationed in another state, and I was on my own. I was depressed, lonely, in excrutiating pain, and unable to workout like I have for so many years. Since I wasn't able to "beast mode" everything like I had done before, I just gave up. I quit working out, adopted even worse habits, and started eating like crap. Somedays, I ate all 3 meals from fast food restaurants, then would come home and eat junk food. I was also dependent on supplemts for energy; I would take more than the recommended doses, and have short bursts of energy, but then be drained and crabby for the rest of the day, and my blood pressure continued to shoot up. My weight got out of control, which made me even more depressed, and it looked like my career was over. I was at one of the lowest points in my life.

My wife got me to quit smoking (but I also gained ANOTHER 20lbs) and drinking early in our marriage. It took a lot of nagging on her part, and major healthscare on mine- the doctors told me if I did not quit, I would probably have a heart attack in the very near future. But I still was depressed and miserable and hated myself.

In late 2010, my wife said enough, and started making positive decisions on her own. I realize that I was really bringing her down, but at the time, all I could see was how many things in my life just sucked.

On New Year's, my wife sat me down at my computer, and made me sit there while she made a SparkPeople account. Then she told me that things were gonna change. And she was right!

So far I have lost 17lbs. I feel happier; I am no longer depressed and I have hope for the future. I have more energy, am less irritable and angry all the time, sleep better. I am starting to work out regularly now, instead of once a week.

In the past, I would try to do "beast mode" hardcore workouts like I used to before I got hurt, but I would get sore, or hurt myself again, and give up for weeks.

I am able to run, something the doctors told me I would never be able to do again. I intend on returning to a regular Army unit, something they also told me I would never be able to do. I am almost to the point now that I can stop taking my blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

I have had so many people tell me that I would never be anything other than a cripple. I am proving them wrong every day.

It's never too late. Never quit!

Member Since: 12/31/2010

Fitness Minutes: 1,717

My Goals:
Get to 205lb

Run 2 miles

Bench 300lb

Practice martial arts again.

My Program:
No soda. No alcohol. No fast food. "Cheat" only one time a week. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

Strength training 3x a week. Running 2x a week.

Personal Information:
Happily married. From Georgia, but have been all over the world from South America to Europe. Currently living in Louisiana.

Other Information:
Motorcycles are my big hobby. My wife bought me a Sportster 1200XLC for my birthday. Big martial arts enthusiast, 2nd degree black belt in Aikido.

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 current weight: 214.6 
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