My Diagnosis

I could have been dead or at least had a heart attack or a stroke by now if I hadn’t been so vigilant about my nutrition, exercise and stress management.

It’s said that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. What do you say about someone who eats super clean, works out like a beast and is committed to meticulous health and wellness practices yet was born with deadly genes?

While I believe it’s weak to use family history as an excuse for poor health habits and laziness, this week I learned that no matter what I do, I cannot overcome my genetic makeup. It’s been a blow to my confidence as a plant-based advocate/athlete and contradicts the research and studies that I’ve done in recent years – before, during and after earning my certificate in plant-based nutrition. Frankly, I’m still struggling to process the fact that my life now depends upon taking a prescription drug when I’ve been taught to use food as medicine. Food alone won’t do any more in my case.

It’s not the first time that my plant-based nutrition, as healthful as it is, is enough to resolve a serious health condition. Seven years ago, osteoporosis forced me to rely upon daily injections for two years. The pill that I now have to take daily will likely need to be taken for the rest of this lifetime – in conjunction with my plant-based diet.

I stopped eating animals 31 years ago and I haven’t eaten animal cholesterol in six years. I exercise 15-20 hours every week. I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs – not even caffeine. I manage my stress and blood pressure via meditation, but my genetic curse is hardening my arteries anyway.

I feel great and don’t have any symptoms. If it wasn’t for the calcium score test that I did recently with my cardiologist, I never would have known…until it was too late.

As Yogananda said, “The body will always find a reason to go (die).” He also taught about surrendering to Divine will. My spiritual shortcoming is evident in my struggle with acceptance since the diagnosis.

For my loved ones reading this, rest assured that I am surrendering and taking the little pills while continuing to eat, train, compete, meditate and live like the “freak” that I’ve always been.

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