Is it too late for change?

Hello everyone! We hope all is well, and that you are constantly pursuing new ways to improve yourselves. This post is about a recent visit from Grandpa, and how he has made some small changes in his daily routines that have made an amazing change in his health! Enjoy!

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My, how things have changed.

Going home to Texas to visit the family…food, beer, laughs, and more food. This seemed to be the daily agenda: enjoy the fact that we were together, splurge on whatever we could, and reminisce on days past. The “splurging”, however, came with its consequences. Every time we’d go home, I would gain about 10 lbs., the Mrs. would complain about the bloat and eczema flare-ups from all the corn (tortillas and pupusas), and leave back to work to work though the added weight. It would work out okay for me, I had the military . This wasn’t the case for my father, though.

For years, I’d watch the man I admired so much grow older, larger, and eventually he would grow less and less active. It would bother me in the back of my mind; to keep the spirits high, I’d chose not to spoil our festivities with pointing out the negative – I do enough of that at work everyday. This was until New Years, 2014: this is where things took a turn in the other direction.

At the end of 2013 is where I realized that I had done a poor job at maintaining my health the way I should.  This paratrooper, this leader…I should know not to allow myself not be be prepared to perform on behalf of my nation…but I had let it begin to slip away. It wasn’t until during a health physical when I was told I was “tip-toeing on the line of obesity” that I decided to make a change. My wife jokingly asked if I misheard the doc and they really said, “O-beast!” Our family changed our eating habits for the good, we changed how we spent our spare time, and even how I spent my idle minutes at work (though they were few, and far in between). This would be (unknowingly) how The Warrior Family began. By the time the New Year rolled around, I knew I would be going home, but I had no intention of spending my time like I had done in the past. It was time to stay on course, and it payed off.

While on leave, I drove everywhere with a footlocker full of my kettle-bell weights, and worked out at least once a day. Whenever I’d go visit family, I’d try to get them to do something more active, e.g., walk the mall, go to a park, or even do a work out. I remember working out with my sister and her boyfriend (now husband). That is something we would have never done before. The biggest change came on New Years Eve. Yes, I did enjoy myself. I ate, had drinks, socialized, but I ended early. I made it a point not to get too intoxicated, remain hydrated, and get back in bed for some much needed rest. I was so focused on the next workout that I would not allow myself get sucked into the all night drink-fest like I used to, and people noticed. What I didn’t expect was how much influence that trip would have, and how much my family would go on to improve their lives.

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This is how I remember my father (right)

Po Po’s visit

It had been well over a year since I had seen my father. I know he had recently retired from his job of over 30 years, and picked up a second job because that’s just his character. However, through much planning and persuasion, we were able to set up a visit. During the weeks leading up to the visit, I was skeptical as to what we would be able to do. Some of the people who had come to visit us in the past had a hard time keeping up with our active lifestyle, and we found ourselves out of our element. However, my father mentioned that his health had improved drastically. That he had changed how he was eating, he started going to the gym, and even started running! This was amazing to me. My father was coming to celebrate his 64th birthday with me, and he said to me, “Son, one morning during the visit, we should go run together.” This was so strange to me, but I was extremely excited. When I saw my father at the airport, I was BLOWN AWAY! He looked like a new man, and several years younger.

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My father and I at the airport

We immediately began talking about his new found lifestyle, how he developed a love for running (this man runs six miles almost daily!), and how both he and his wife were dedicated to improving the way they lived. From my vantage point, they succeeded.

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My father promised me we’d run together…Here we are!

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My father and I talking about life, reflecting on how amazing this experience has been, and how it would be one we’d never forget.

It was extremely inspiring to see my father, an immigrant, blue-collar working, 64 year old man take charge of his health, and not only improve, but THRIVE! I took him to my place of work, showed him off to my co-workers, I was so proud! It’s no wonder why I try so hard to be the best I can for my family –it’s his blood pumping through my veins.

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This man, ladies and gentlemen, is my father. The one who showed me how to be a man, and inspired me to be the person I am today. I love him.

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