My Health Hero!

My life has been nothing but hustle and bustle recently. All great stuff, just constantly in motion, constantly on the go. I love my life and love who I am and who I have become. Then out of the 100 emails in my Inbox, I see that one email that just stopped me in my tracks. An email that made me thankful, thoughtful, and feel very blessed in life.


The email came from Andrea at Oscar Insurance. Oscar Insurance is a new kind of health insurance company that is using technology to make understanding insurance simple, intuitive, and human. You had to know I was going to check them out before I went much further! Anyway, Andrea talked about different people, pets, or anyone influencing my journey of weight loss and to health and fitness. She ended the email with the show stopper: “Looking forward to hearing about your Health Hero.”


Well, that certainly put it in a different light! Health Hero? I have had so many positive influencers on my journey and in my life. I even blogged about it last year. I posed the question “Are ‘others’ important to TheFatGuy’s journey?”   And the answer obviously, is yes! There are so many. I even found my 4 rescue dogs getting in on the act. This prompted a local article and a blog titled “TheFatGuy goes to the dogs!”


But, Health Hero is a totally different question and thought. I knew the answer right away. I knew the person well. She had seen me through so many heavy unhealthy years. She stood by me when I would not have stood by me. She cared for me and cared deeply about me. I know my battle weighed heavy on her. I see that clearly now. My Health Hero is my very wonderful wife, Polly! She is truly my hero because she Saved My Life. She set me on this journey that has seen so much improvement in my life, weight, health, and fitness.


The pivotal moment came in the second week of February 2009 when I was feeling horrible and in very poor health.

During that week I attended a wonderful family event for my niece/God Child, but I could barely fit in the seats of the High School auditorium.  And at the same time, Polly was wondering “Just how big are you going to get” (which is a whole other story). Also during that week, she came home one evening from a Community Emergency Response Team meeting for our county. She is a nurse and had volunteered to be on this Team. When she arrived home she came to the TV room where I sat with our dogs watching TV and downing a bowl of ice cream. She said, “We had a fire professional present at our meeting tonight and she posed a question to us about the most important person in a burning building. If you, your spouse, family, US President, Governor, Mayor, The Pope, and a bunch of other important people are in the building, who is the most important person in the fire?”   Well I asked, “Who would it be?”  Polly quickly responded, “It’s me, because if I can’t find my way out of the fire, I can’t help anyone else.” It was a pretty great story and made me think. I loved the story.


360, unhealthy and feeling horrible!

360, unhealthy and feeling horrible!


That story bounced around in my very hard head for almost three weeks. Then the AHA moment happened on March 2, 2009. I was seeing Polly off to work and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was in a Fire. I was in my own personal FIRE. I loved helping others. I loved helping others find success in life and find their journey in life. I had helped family, friends, employees and peers. BUT, no more. I could not get out of my own personal fire, how could I help others!?  Polly’s story was the missing piece of the puzzle that made the puzzle complete for me to have my AHA moment! I went straight to my clunky laptop and started a spreadsheet right then and there.

Here is the initial entry:





Starting my weight loss program today. I am trying the 7 day weight loss diet to get moving. Today I am eating just fruit to get started. I need to lose weight for my health and quality of life. I do not know the final destination, but I do know I need to start the journey! I want and need to be more positive about myself and my future even with the things that are happening in the world and the economy. I need to take care of me so I can best help my family and community.

(Note: I actually lost about 9 pounds just thinking about the story)


The key words were clear to ME. It had to travel a journey. No A to B plan, diet, or exercise program. This would be my path Out of the Fire and to health and fitness. I needed to take care of ME so I could best help my family and community. I was telling myself I had to Take Care of ME so I could best help others in my life. I was giving myself permission and direction to Take Care of me, because if I did not find my way Out of the Fire, I would surely not be able to properly help anyone else.


Let’s jump to now, to the rest of the story. I have not only found my way Out of the Fire, but also helping so many others in a much better way, a much better me. I Chair Eat Smart Move More Charleston Tri-County and am heavily involved with them on a state level. I am Volunteer Director of the Youth Marathon Program helping kids and teens set healthy lifestyle habits. And I give away my story, Fat Guy Diary: Out of the Fire! , to anyone that wants to download it from my website. There is so much more I do and want to do in life now!


My wish is that I’m able to help as many people as possible find a way out of their personal Fire! My dream is that somehow I’m able to help thwart the obesity epidemic in our country in a big way. My wish for YOU is that you start your journey to health and wellness today. If you have started your journey and are traveling it, I wish you the best of luck and success on your journey.


WOW, all of this because of my Health Hero! ALL of this because a school nurse that happens to be my wife stood by me and cared enough about me to share a very special story and moment with me.

Thank you Polly for saving my life and sharing the journey with me!



Polly Saved My Life!

Polly Saved My Life!






Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply