Posted by: leebase | February 2, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me – Gave Myself the Gift of Health

Before and After 2012Happy Birthday to me. Today I turn 48. When I turned 47, I weighed approximately 315lbs with a 55” belly. I was morbidly obese. I was on meds for high blood pressure. I took Tums and Pepcids constantly. My feet hurt. I couldn’t buckle the seat belt on an airplane. I couldn’t do a single pushup, not even the girl kind. I couldn’t run a block let alone a mile. I had undiagnosed sleep apnea. I was taking anti-anxiety sleep meds because I would wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. Bending over to plug my computer in would cause me to break out in a sweat. Climbing the minimal stairs in our house would get me breathing heavy. I was wearing XXL-Tall shirts and size 48 waist pants.

That was then, this is now. A couple months after last year’s birthday, I started giving myself the gift of health. Unlike a one time a year birthday gift, I had to give myself health every day. Every day I gave myself better eating. I tracked what I ate first with WW Online, then with the free MyFitnessPal. I tracked every day. I didn’t eat perfectly, but I ate better and better and better still as the days wore on.

I wasn’t fit enough to exercise much. So I walked. Every day. A little faster, and a little longer. Day in and day out, I walked. And then in the fall I began to run. A little bit. And then more. And now I run the distance of 5K a couple times a week.

I did pushups against a wall. And then gave up. And then started back up in the fall with pushups on the stairs. I tried to “work out” in the summer and couldn’t make it through the warm up. I started P90 at the very end of the year and now I can make it through the complete workout and am pushing myself harder.

I’ve given myself good running shoes. I’ve given myself a set of Bodylastics resistance bands. I’ve given myself numerous fitness apps. I’ve just today given myself a heart rate monitor that works with my phone. Gadgets and toys are great, but what I gave myself most importantly is daily attentiveness to diet and exercise.

At 48 on my birthday, I weigh 227lbs, have a 43.5” belly. I wear large shirts and size 36 pants. I have normal blood pressure without meds. I no longer wake up in panic attacks, nor do I stop breathing in the night. My feet no longer hurt. I can buckle the airplane seat belt and even have to cinch it in. I no longer have heart burn. I do pushups and have touched my toes. I have run a mile in 9:30 and 5K in 35minutes. I work out an hour a day. It’s a victory not just that I _do_ work out but that I _can_. I am no longer obese.

I did not win the lottery. I did not make it onto The Biggest Loser. I could not buy what has happened. I had to give myself health by making choices and actions every day. And I’m continuing in my journey. I have a long way to go to realize my personal affirmation: The real Lee is a hit, he’s at a healthy weight and is fit. By my next birthday, I aim for that affirmation to be true. And then I must continue to give myself health for the rest of my life.

Give yourself the gift of health. Everything that is currently coming first in your life instead of your health — your kids, your wife, your carer, your church…all will be served better by a healthy you. It is so worth the effort. It seemed such a daunting task that for years I never even started. You are worth the time and the effort it takes to give yourself better health. I feel so much better. If I could have really understood that my own good health was largely in my own hands…I’d have started sooner. Don’t wait. It’s the best give you could receive and only you can give it to yourself.


  1. Happy Birthday Lee. Fantastic progress!! My favourite part is the second to last paragraph. 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday Lee! You are a great writer, I have enjoyed reading your posts and blogs during this journey. It has inspired me to lose weight too. Starting January 1st 2013, Jim and I have been eating healthy and dropping pounds. Reading your posts helps reinforce all of this, so thank you for that 🙂

  3. Thank you for your inspiration, Lee. You look great! I have enjoyed your writing and your success. Now on to enjoying my own!!!

    • Lee started my journey on 1-7-13 with stats similar to yours at your start. You are a inspiration and a fabulous writer. I am so glad I stumbled on to your blog. Keep up the great work.

  4. Hello,

    I have a question about your blog, could you please email me? Thanks!!


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