You're Officially Obese

This is me, six years ago. I weighed 249 lbs and was 29% body fat. I couldn't tie my own shoes without gasping for breath. My 36 inch waist was the largest I had been in my life. I avoided mirrors whenever possible and the thought of summer and being in a bathing suit gave me anxiety. I was well on my way to type II diabetes.

Adding injury to insult, I was constantly comparing myself to my athletic brothers. How had they kept in shape while I had skyrocketed out of control?

This is my son Mason. It didn't take me long to realize that I was not going to be able to keep up with this Tasmanian Devil if I stayed on my current trajectory. I wouldn't be able to teach him how to snow ski, water ski, play soccer, or hike outside in nature. I was setting an example: just give in and accept your fate. It's too hard to make a change.

Just When Things Seemed To Be On The Right Track.......

Christmas 2015

For most of 2015, I had been losing weight and making it to the gym. I had managed to drop 20 lbs. of fat and I was starting to see results. My family was gathering in Colorado for Christmas to ski and celebrate another year of blessings. On the final ski run of the trip, I fell. At first the small pain in my lower back seemed in-line with what I had been battling for years. But by the time I reached the bottom of the mountain, I knew that something was terribly wrong. I had never experienced such pain in my life. The MRI results a week later confirmed my worse nightmare: I was looking at back surgery.

You're not just obese, your spine is in crisis

Years of improper tackling in football by leading with your head, concussions (7 total), and improper posture and the red line becomes a straight line instead of where it should be in green

                                                                  A healthy spine will have natural curves that act like a spring, absorbing shock and keeping pressure off of your discs                              

Years of neglect, old sports injuries, and sitting at a desk can lead to a spine that looks like this. Add a cracked disc from the 2015 ski trip and you've got a recipe to help your surgeon buy a new car. Notice that the discs are no longer smooth but have taken an elliptical shape with sharp edges known as bone spurs. In Between disc 5 and the sacrum, almost no spacing exists.