A CDC study released last fall indicates that obesity among Americans is:
“still high – at 34 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over”
“More than one-third of U.S. adults - over 72 million people - were obese in 2005-2006
“Adults aged 40-59 had the highest obesity prevalence compared with other age groups”
According to the National Institutes of Health:
About 5 million people in the U.S. have heart failure. It contributes to 300,000 deaths each year.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should.
A study featured in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 revealed “that obesity itself (and not just the associated medical conditions) can lead to heart failure.”
Michael Mead: XXL Heavy Weight Lifted
By Mia Evans
The 700 Club
Severe obesity was destroying Michael Mead’s life. At his heaviest he weighed more than 650 pounds. Barely able to move, he rarely left home. He relied on machines and medication to keep him alive. It wasn’t until he almost died that he started making serious changes and turned his life around. When Mia Evans of The 700 Club recently visited Michael he had lost over 400 pounds.
Michael Mead: “When I started this journey I was 72 inches in the waist and I was a 7x. Right now I am about 250. I want to stay at a 32 inch waist and a medium to large shirt and I am happy.”
Keeping his weight down wasn’t always a struggle for Michael. In high school, he kept trim playing sports. But after graduation, his life began to slow down, but his eating didn’t.
Michael Mead: “When I left high school I weighed approximately 225. Then over the next ten years I probably put on a hundred pounds. Then over the course of time I put on the rest of it.
Mia Evans: “Did you ever think, ‘Oh I need to slow down,’ or did it not bother you?”
Michael Mead: “It was addictive and I just loved the food. So I would just eat and eat and eat until I got sick, basically on a daily basis till I couldn’t eat anymore.”
Mia Evans: “Describe an average meal that you would eat.”
Michael Mead: “On a daily basis at least a loaf of bread. At that time I was doing a lot of cold cuts and this was just snacks before dinner. I was drinking a lot of pop. I would have to eat a couple of sandwiches before dinner and then when dinner would come we were doing a lot of fast foods. My wife and I would order three pizzas and two were for me.”
It wasn’t just eating that piled on the pounds.
Michael Mead: “I didn’t do anything. At one point I couldn’t even walk down the stairs. I was asthmatic. I was on medication. I wasn’t getting around. I wasn’t getting any exercise at all, period.”
Going out in public became a challenge.
Michael Mead: “There were certain things that I didn’t do in public out of respect for myself. I wouldn’t eat in public. Most of my eating was at home. I didn’t go many places. I couldn’t fit in the tables at the restaurants.”
Mia Evans: “What were some other limitations?”
Michael Mead: “I had a brand new car and I couldn’t use it because I couldn’t fit behind the wheel. I had to get a seat belt extender from the car company, which helped, but my stomach was still up on the wheel. I didn’t feel safe so I just had my wife drive me around.”
Michael knew his life was out of control, but he couldn’t stop eating. His weight climbed to more than 650 pounds.
Michael Mead: “I would just stay in the house because I couldn’t move. I just waited for the food to come in.”
After suffering heart failure, Michael knew he had to make changes, but he needed help.
Michael Mead: “I didn’t have any direction and I didn’t know where I was going. My wife got into church and she was participating in a lot of things. She actually wanted me to and I couldn’t. I can recall a lot of times getting angry when her sister would come by to take her to church. I would say that it was because they would blow the horn, but really I was angry because I couldn’t attend. Eventually I started going and things changed after that. I went down to the altar during the alter call and got saved and from that point on everything was getting better and better every day.”
Michael’s new relationship with God helped him find the discipline he needed to get control of his eating.
Michael Mead: “We first started eating a lot of fruit. Then I started eliminating certain things, like bread and soda. So I eliminated those two things and added more raw fruits. It still was coming, but it wasn’t good enough. We started cutting back on fast food. Instead of going three or four times a week, we just went on the weekends. I eliminated all pork products and only ate certain fish. That helped. I would journal record what I was eating.”
As the weight fell off, Michael was able to start exercising again.
Michael Mead: “When I first started walking I could barely walk 200 feet. I would walk 200 feet and stop. I said that if I can just get to two miles then I’m ok. Three years later I was doing five miles, six days a week.”
Mia Evans: “This journey that you’ve been on isn’t weight loss. You call it weight removal.”
Michael Mead: “I call it weight removal because if you lose something or if you lost something you want it back. If you lose your ring or if you lose your mind, you didn’t mean to do it, you want it back; so it is temporary and that’s what most people say and they get it back. Remove is permanent. So it wasn’t an accident. God removed this weight.”
Now Michael no longer needs medication or machines to make it through the day.
Michael Mead: “God has helped me through this process because that’s my guide. All of this would not be possible without Him.”Can God change your life?
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