Every so often we are provided with amazing transformation stories of people who have allowed fitness to completely change their everyday life and situation with in this life
Here is the incredible story of Bill Moore:
Five years ago my life forever changed. I awoke one morning very swollen and barely able to move. Within a few days I was sitting in a rheumatologist office, what I heard shocked me; “for a man your age, you are in very bad shape, if we can’t do something you could be in a wheelchair in five years or less”. My doctor told me I had an aggressive form of Psoriatic Arthritis, a disease that if left unattended could completely cripple me and from the looks of things it was off to a good start!
I was at the end of my rope: my blood pressure readings were ranging from 180/90 to 190/105 mm Hg; my glucose readings were running anywhere from 120 to 129 and I had sharp stabbing pains and numbness in my feet and lower legs (which meant that I was teetering between pre-diabetic and diabetic). Life was not going well; my hands had become completely deformed, all except for my left pinky finger, my hands feet and wrist were swollen beyond two times their normal size and the mobility in my neck, hands, wrist, knees and feet had been reduced by 75%. To make things worse my rheumatologist informed me that the only way to slow the progression was through medications that came with a list of side effects. He began prescribing medications that would help me cope with the pain and hopefully slow down some of my deterioration.
I spent years ignoring my descent into poor health, I could no longer ignore it, I was now an obese unhealthy individual. I had spent the years of my youth working out and taking part in different bodybuilding and strength competitions, I could not believe that this was happening to me!! The comforts of the world and monetary success had made me lazy and helped me forget that without health one cannot possess true wealth. Upon returning home from my doctor’s visit I began to cry, I did the worst thing a person could do; I entertained thoughts of helplessness and climbed into a pit of self-pity.
Upon the news of my bleak future I spent the next year in bed, watching television and wrestling with feelings of anger. Due to the pain, swelling and inability to move freely, I could not carry out simple functions around the house, I even needed help getting dressed and undressed. Worst of all, I could not even pick up my grandchildren, nieces and nephews, the pain in my hands and wrist kept me from being able to complete even simple tasks. My grip was so poor that I couldn’t lift anything that weighed over a couple of pounds! Within the first year of the onset and diagnoses of the disease, my strength and energy deteriorated rapidly; I would struggle with things like opening the front door of my house and removing the gas cap from my vehicle. I remember a certain day where a friend of mine was following me back home from helping me run an errand and I had to stop for fuel. Instead of going on my friend waited at the entrance of the station, I spent at least four to five minutes wrestling with trying to remove the fuel cap, I was so upset that I started to cry. My friend noticed that I had not yet started pumping fuel and figured out that I was having trouble, he quietly walked over and reached in and removed the cap for me, he could see that I was upset and said, no one will ever know but you and I.
One day about two years ago I finally pulled myself out of the pity pit!! I knew I had no one to blame for this condition but myself, years of inactivity and unhealthy eating habits had taken their toll. I had spent over eight years of my life on the road as a successful medical device sales representative. Unless one uses great caution, it is very easy to develop extremely unhealthy habits while on the road. I seriously believe that I spent those first two years after the diagnosis in shock; “how could this happen to me, I used to eat fairly well and work out on a regular basis?” Within just a few years of being on the road my weight had skyrocketed to 318lbs, and even on days when the arthritis wasn’t keeping me from being able to move freely, my obesity was! I was buying new suits every few months due to my increase in size and never paid it one bit of attention until the morning I woke up and could not move. That morning was the first time I had really looked at myself in the mirror in years, over the years I had subconsciously desensitized myself to the unhealthy person I was becoming. That morning I hated what I saw and it frightened me. After I was diagnosed I knew that I had to take positive action to overcome the disease; however, the size of the mountain before me was very intimidating; nevertheless, I had to climb it!
I started eating better with an elimination of most between meal snacks and most importantly I eliminated all medications. I started to see the weight come off slowly, at first it was nothing to get excited about but it was progress. I dropped from 318lb to 310lb in about a month; following that I went to 290lb in about another months’ time, by the end of summer 2011 I was down to 260lb. I made it all the way down to 240lb before I got lazy again and started gaining a little weight. I had become a little too comfortable with my weight loss and got back up in the 250-255lb range. I had started eating somewhat unhealthy again and started back up the scales! Even the gain of 10 to 15lb did not send up any red flag or wake me out of my slumber, until one night…
In December of 2012 I awoke out of sleep with a throbbing and some swelling in my right knee, over the course of about a week the pain was such that I was only getting about an hour of good sleep a night. Then one morning I heard the popping of calcium build up, that scared me because I knew that it meant my knee was fusing. I have already lost mobility in nine fingers and four toes, if my knee locked and drew up my life would be forever changed. If my knee fused, the all too chilling prediction of a wheelchair would come true. I had to get completely serious about HEALTH!! I knew that I was still overweight at 255lb, I was still wearing pants with a 38 to 40 inch waist, I was down from 46 but my body was letting me know that I was far from healthy!!
I knew that it would take more than diet to get to my goal of great health!! I had to incorporate healthy eating habits along with physical activity. The desire to change my condition provided motivation; however, that motivation was somewhat negative in form. I was standing in a very deep valley always looking up towards the top of what seemed to be an insurmountable mountain, which was discouraging at the least. I needed positive motivation to keep me on track, something that would cause me to focus on each step, instead of how far I still was from the top of the mountain. Back in early 2013 I started entering Transformation Challenges, they seemed to provide the fuel that I needed in order to stay motivated. They also helped me concentrate on each step instead of the entire climb. The Transformation Challenges helped me build some positive habits that would soon turn into positive addictions!!
Starting a workout program was definitely like preparing for an operation, there was so much preparation. I was very rusty and the weight training proved to be difficult at first because I had no grip to speak of! I live 35 miles from the nearest mediocre health club, so this path was one I would have to cut on my own, a bit overwhelming at first. However, I knew I had to Buck Up, HOPE would be my only partner! I started on 01/20/13 at 254.2lbs and 36.8% bodyfat, wearing size 40 jeans and XXL shirts. I had some equipment in storage; I pulled it out and turned our walk-in closet into a gym! I had a bench, adjustable dumbbells, a couple bars and 200lbs of weight. In the beginning I used wrist straps to keep the dumbbells in my hand, a pain but it helped me develop the strength I needed and I no longer have to use them! How little I had to work with did not matter, my life was on the line and I was determined to make this work!! Over the course of 16 weeks my Dumbbell Bench Press shot up from 10 reps at 17.5lbs each to 15 reps at 52.5lbs each, not bad, I am on my way!!
Today I am at 207.8lbs and 12.9% bodyfat. What I am most proud of is that I lost so much fat, which was my main goal, 70 plus pounds of fat GONE!! Not only that but I gained over 23 pounds of lean mass!! My blood pressure readings are now consistently at 120/75 mm Hg and my glucose readings are normal, consistently under 100, no more sharp stabbing pains. The psoriatic arthritis has left its mark and I still have to work through pain at times. However, the arthritis is in remission, my hands and feet are no longer swollen and I enjoy more pain free days than days filled with pain. Every day I suit up to push iron whether I am in pain or not; I know that every day I do so I am one step closer to a completely disease and pain free life!! I did this all through diet, exercise and proper supplementation, NO MEDICATIONS!!!! I feel amazing, as if I added 50 years to my life, I am very proud of my accomplishments and know that the best is yet to be!
I plan on using my victory to help others suffering with disease, turn their dreams of health into reality!! My story can convince many that they can turn life around. I want that first step that I took sixteen weeks ago to be not only my first step but a giant step for others, a step over the gulf of disease!! Discipline is the key, once the mind is focused on the goal, you can move forward leaving obstacles lying crushed behind you as you continue on your path!! Competing in Transformation Challenges definitely assisted me in developing discipline; it helped me set a goal and a timeline to work towards!! Now I carry on, knowing that the reward for my persistence is Great Health and that the only completion to the challenge that lays before me is death. Life is so much better when you take control and have a say so in your own future!! I refuse to be a victim, especially my own!!
I am determined more than ever to keep going, I know I now have the discipline and I will live the rest of my life in RELENTLESS pursuit of excellent health!! I never would have imagined on that dreadful day five years ago that today, at 47 years of age, that I would have my life back and feel better than I have in decades!!
When I began this life transformation I had a day in mind, a day that I looked forward to and waited for, a day that I continually fought and reached for: The Day I Could Tell Others My Story! Miracles come in many forms; however, the most rewarding phenomena are those that require personal effort. I believe in Miracles because I now live one daily!
I plan on pursuing Trainer Certification and making myself available to anyone who wants to turn their life around and pursue good health!! We were created with the ability to heal ourselves through proper application of knowledge; I plan on sharing that knowledge with as many people as I can!!
I had to come up with my own rule for inspiration, on days when I wasn’t seeing the results that I wanted to see I would go back and read something that I wrote at the beginning of the challenge: Keep Going Forward, No Matter How Slow You Seem To Be Traveling!!!! For One Day You Will Look Back From The Top Of The Mountain! ~ Bill Moore