November 29, 2012

My experience as one of the Fastest Men Alive

This is my experience as one of the fastest men alive.  I'm not an Olympic sprinter, but I am very active.  I'm not a race car driver, but I am very driven.  I don't really do anything all that fast, but I do a lot of things very differently now.  I did a 14 day juice fast.  That means that for 14 days, I didn't eat anything. I only drank fresh fruit and vegetable juice that I made and it has completely changed my life.  I didn't do this alone.  I did it with a group of friends and we call ourselves, Fastest Men Alive.

We were inspired by the film "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead", a documentary released about a year ago that you may have seen it or heard of it.  It's going viral and exploding in popularity
about an Australian who is about 320 pounds overweight.  He was also sick for 9 years with an auto-immune disease that causes him to have a rash whenever he touches anything.  His health is deteriorating and so, he decides to go on 60 day juice fast.  He does nothing but drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days.  I won't spoil it by telling you the rest.  You should definitely watch this amazing film.  It was very moving and inspiring, inspired all of us.

We all had different reasons all had different reasons for doing our own juice fast, weight loss, detoxification, long term health benefits, complete system reboot, adoption of a more healthful lifestyle, address or even potentially cure some sickness and ailments.  It all came down to the fact that we all wanted to live better, more healthy, improve the quality of our lives, and extend our life.  My specific reasons for doing this was that I had suffered from severe acid reflux for over 15 years.  I tried every over the counter medication, including the ones for "severe" cases; those experiencing symptoms 2-3 times a week.  If that's "severe" than what did I have suffering from it 2-3 times a day?  I hadn't seen a doctor about it and had many reasons for not.  However, it had gotten to that point.  I was like the frog boiling in water.  Over the years, I had "learned to live with it".  My quality of life had drastically deteriorated and I was not honest with myself.  I'll spare you the details of just how bad it and how miserable I was.  In short, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  In addition to this, I was overweight, unhealthy, inactive, and unhappy.

I was talking to a friend about this and telling him that I had to do something.  At his suggestion, I was going to do a 10 day fast.  In addition to helping your body heal itself, you could lose weight, reset and boost your system, and jumpstart you no a healthy lifestyle.  The idea is that you drink only fresh fruit and vegetable juice that you make yourself, not store bought or processed juice.  It's going to detoxify your body, completely flush out your system, and essentially be a full system reboot.

One of us floated the idea that we should keep a blog to hold ourselves publicly accountable.  That then morphed into a web site, and the formation of our group, the Fastest Men Alive.  While doing research before we started, we couldn't find anyone documenting their experiences.  We found numerous people recording progress and outcomes.  I wanted to know what the experience was like.  What were people feeling?  What were they experiencing, thinking, etc.?  This is what we resolved to do - good or bad, pretty or not, we were going to document everything.  Unfiltered and authentic, our experiences would be out there for everyone to see.  

This is exactly what we did.  Everyone was very transparent and authentic in documenting and sharing their experiences.  Many of us, myself included, admitted things we hadn't admitted before - especially to ourselves.  It wasn't easy.  It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, and all of our blog posts reflected that.  Our goal was to go 10 days.  Everyone made it.  I and another guy extended our fast to 14 days.  Each of us had an overall positive experience and saw significant results: weight loss, feeling better overall, improved mood, and everyone experienced a paradigm shift to a healthy lifestyle in some form or another.  As for my specific results, my pallet has definitely changed. Where before I didn't like a lot of vegetables, now that’s mostly what I crave.  My diet has consisted mainly of whole vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.  I'm about 90-95% vegetarian. For me, it’s all about how I feel. That’s what I gage what I eat and if I’m going in the right direction.  I am sleeping great. I sleep through the night, have lots of dreams, and wake up refreshed and energized. This was something that was quite foreign to me before. 
My acid reflux is completely gone. Not one single, symptom since I started the juice fast. My body had healed itself.  I now have a very strong resolve that I will never go back to the lifestyle ever again.  I'll never feel like that again!

By the end of the 14 days fast, I had lost 11 lbs and was down to 25% body fat.  I continued to lose after I came off the fast as well.   I'm now down to  about 5 lbs over my ideal and 21% body fat.  I've lost 25 pounds since I started the fast.  I've lost nearly 40 since the beginning of the year.  More than just the weight loss, I feel incredible.  I have a new lifestyle, a new outlook, really a new life.  I also committed myself to becoming more active.  During the fast I was going to spin classes and trained for the MS 150, a bike ride from Houston to Austin.  I continued to work hard, be active, and push myself.  I continued training and competed in my first triathlon.  I completed a Tough Mudder, a 12 mile military style obstacle course.  In two weeks, I will run my first marathon.  I'm setting my sights on loftier goals.

As for our group, we continue to grow.  We've inspired others to do a 10 day fast.  We're continually promoting our healthy lifestyle and encourage others to do the same.  We got to meet and interview Joe Cross, the maker of "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead".  Our group and story are featured on their web site.  We continue to live our newfound lives and share our experiences.  We've each made a lot of changes.    Leo Tolstoy said "True life is lived when tiny changes occur."  I am living.  And that's my experience as one of the Fastest Men Alive.