113 – Surprising Words From a Hospital Bed

Welcome to the David Madow Lifestyle Show. This is the show where I teach you how to live stronger, thinner, healthier, happier, and more. I am a little out of breath and the reason I am a little bit out of breath is that I am hiking at Oregon Ridge Park, which is a really cool park about 15-20 minutes from my home. They have a pretty extensive trail system that is very nice and I am on the red trail. I am feeling great out here and I am going to explain exactly why I am recording the show live today at the park on the red trail.

By the way, this is the same park where I took a fall on Thanksgiving Day. I was out here and I think I started my run just a little bit too early. I didn’t get used to the surface and the leaves were wet. There were a lot of obstacles and things underneath the leaves. I caught my foot on a branch or stump and went down on my face. I hurt my knee, my leg, and my wrist. But there was nothing else to do, than to get up, recover from the fall, and finish my hike. And that is what I did. It hurt for another day or so, but guess what? I got over it. Thank goodness I am fine and I am here doing it all over again.

If you are a regular listener of my show, The David Madow Lifestyle Show, two episodes ago on episode #111, I interviewed my Dad for the first time since I started the podcast. I had my Dad as a guest and we talked about life, we talked about health, we talked about regrets, and things that maybe he thought he should do but he didn’t do yet. And I told him there’s still time. There’s no guarantees that anything works but there is always time to change your ways. He admitted on the show that he hasn’t been living the healthiest lifestyle in the world. And, well, none of us live the healthiest lifestyle in the world. There’s only one person on the planet that is living the  healthiest lifestyle. We do the best we can but some are better than others.

So the reason I am talking about this today, is that I just came from the hospital at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC). I was visiting my Dad who unfortunately had a pretty bad fall the other day at home. And Mom had to call 911 and get the ambulance out there. They got him to the hospital, and after being transferred to GBMC, he was admitted. After tests, the doctors believe he may have had a mini stroke. We don’t know for sure as of this recording but there is a possibility that he had a mini stroke.

Anyhow, I was visiting my Dad today a short time before I came to the trail today. And I knew I would be recording today’s show on the trail. Dad is laying in bed but is totally able to talk and is completely with it. He just is numb in some areas and can’t really stand up or walk too well. I was the only one in there visiting at the time and he keeps saying to me something like, “Dave, I just can’t believe this. I just can’t believe this!” And so I say to him “Dad, what do you mean? You can’t believe what?” He then says “I just can’t believe I have done this to myself.” So I asked him to explain. His response was “The way that I have lived my life, up until now, I haven’t done a lot of things right.” He explained that a friend of his was in the other day. This friend is a little bit younger than him but still an elderly man. And this friend was actually giving him a hard time because my Dad doesn’t live his life right. He doesn’t exercise and he doesn’t eat well. And so his friend, Marty, was giving him a hard time. Now I wasn’t there at the time but my Dad said that Marty kept telling him that he can’t believe this and he was very upset with my Dad. So I said,“Dad, when Marty was telling you this, how did it make you feel? Did it upset you?” He said, “No, he’s right. He’s totally right.” So I said “Wow that’s interesting.”And I asked him to expand a little bit. I said,“Dad, what do you think you have been doing wrong? What would you change? If you could go back forty years, what would you change?” I did not prompt him or give him clues or anything but the first thing to come out of his mouth was, “I’d be vegan!” I said, “Really, you would be vegan?” He said “Yeah”. So I said, “Why? Why would you be vegan?” His response was “Because I know it’s healthy.” When I heard my Dad say that I thought to myself. Wow! My lifestyle has not gone unnoticed by many, including my Dad. Now, my Dad has not chosen to do it. As a matter of fact, I have spoken on the show many time about it. So I am thinking to myself, I’ve been leading by example. I don’t put any pressure on anybody. I don’t say to anyone, you have to be vegan and you have to eat plant based. I don’t say that. But I do practice an incredible lifestyle. And I hope people notice! Damn if people aren’t noticing!

And he didn’t only say that, he also said that he would be out walking and exercising. And this is something that I have talked about on my show since episode #1! I don’t put any pressure on anyone but I do say that if you want to be in decent health and a decent physical condition, then you have to do these things. This does not mean that you have to be in the gym all the time. It means you got to get out and do something like walking. You don’t have to run. I like to get in my ” Magic 4″ which is walking four miles at a moderate pace.

So I am sitting there talking to my Dad and he is upset. Not at me. But he thinks that he has basically screwed up his life because here he is laying in a hospital bed now; not able to move and not able to walk. And he feels that there is a pretty darn good chance that it has to do with the fact that he has eaten crap his entire life and has not moved his body in the right way.

Now let’s back up for a second. I would say, most people in the U.S. are eating crap. Because it’s so easy. It’s so easy to go to the bar and hang out with your buddies, down some drinks, and eat the chips, chicken wings, and pizza that they have. That’s ok if you want to do that. I don’t look down on you. I still love you. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a good choice for you.

I have had plenty of people on Facebook that have unfriended me or given me a hard time because I am against eating meat. I had someone just the other day that told me that I don’t know what I am talking about. And that what I talk about is not evidence based. He said that I can’t cite any true studies that prove that being vegan is any healthier. And as it turns out he is on medication. He is on statins. Why wouldn’t someone who is so intelligent try a vegan diet for 30 days and see if your cholesterol levels don’t go down on their own? I know many people, many friends, that have reversed their cholesterol problems, reversed their obesity, reversed all kinds of problems. Is that a scientific study? No it’s not. Is it anecdotal? Absolutely! But I believe it works 100% and the reason is because I am also living proof of this. I went plant based a little less than two years ago. And I have noticed such incredible changes in my own body. Maybe the fact that my skin got clearer, and that I lost weight, and that I look ten years younger is coincidental. Maybe it is!

The point of this is that my Dad is laying in a hospital bed right now upset with himself thinking that he totally screwed up his lifestyle. The reason I am telling you this now is that I know most of you are much younger than my Dad’s age of 86. You still have the time! Our bodies are pretty strong and pretty resilient. Which means that they can take a lot of abuse and be ok for awhile. But there’s only so much it can take. Are you ok with living a party life now but then being on medication or in a hospital bed at 65? I wouldn’t be. My Dad is not saying that at all! He is 86 years old and he is saying that I really screwed this up. I could have lived much healthier. I could have eaten healthier, I could have been thinner, I could have been off of medication, and I could have moved my body more. That’s what he is saying! If you don’t want to take it from me, take it from my Dad!

I hope he makes a full recovery and gets out really soon! Thank you all for you well wishes and prayers. But still there’s a big lesson to be learned here! Our bodies are not forever. I like to eat the healthiest foods I possibly can which for me means plant based. I also like to move the heck out of my body. I like to run, walk, ski, climb, backpack, yoga. I love to move my body. God gave it to me and you better believe I am going to take the best care of it I possibly can. And I just try to give advice and hope that you follow it. I am not perfect but I am pretty darn good at it. The things I do have allowed me to be a 60 who feels better than when I was 30.

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