Guest Blog by Mike Ramshaw
I have struggled with weight loss throughout my entire adult life. I would gain weight, lose it, and then put even more back on. I have tried virtually every diet out there. I always lead an active life playing sports and going places with my wife of 21 years (we are high school sweethearts and have been together for 26 years) and our four children, Gabe (17), Colby (14), Abigail (11) and Sophia (6).
When I started working in Minor League Baseball for the Fisher Cats, I began to put work before my health and it was taking a toll on me.
In November of 2017, my family and I went on a mini vacation to NYC. We would go out as a family to see the sights and while my family would walk everywhere, I would have to take a cab to get me there. I wasn’t able to walk more than a city block without having to sit for a minute to rest my back and stop the spasms. My family understood, however, it was embarrassing and not fun for everyone.
On January 18, 2018, I had surgery on my left triceps and became even less active. I had hit an all-time high for weight weighing in at 457lbs.
Fast forward to July 17, 2018, the Fisher Cats game was rained out and I was at home sitting at the kitchen table responding to emails, no one knew I was home. My wife was upstairs on the phone with a friend and what I overheard that night changed my life forever. It was something that no man wants to hear from the person he loves the most and wants to grow old with.
My wife was expressing her concern for my health and explaining she didn’t know what else to do. She tried to have a conversation with me many times and it always led to me becoming defensive and saying something hurtful. She told her friend that she would rather hate me and have me out of her life than to love me and bury me. In all the times we talked about my weight I had never heard it in that context. That night I found my ‘why’ and unbeknownst to my wife, the next day was the first day of my new life.
The next day, I called the doctor to set up an appointment to talk about my weight. I joined a 90-day wellness program and started to make changes. I stopped drinking beer and stopped eating after 8:00. I knew I had to start with small changes first in order for this to be successful.
When the program completed on October 30th, I had lost 62.2lbs! Before the program, I was at risk for early heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and risk of cancer before age of 55. This was only the beginning. I continued to workout during the off-season and ran my first race (4K) on Thanksgiving Day 2018.
By February 19, 2019, I was already down 104lbs and ready for my next challenge, I was going to have Gastric Bypass to help keep the weight coming off. Not to replace what I was doing but to act as a tool to help me keep it off and live a better lifestyle.
Since the night of July 17th, I have been 100% percent committed to put myself first and then the rest will come. I have already participated in the following races this season through Millennium Running:
Shamrock Shuffle (2miles)
Stonyfield 5K (3.1)
Cinco De Miles 5K (3.1)
And just signed up to run my first 5 mile race ever on June 16th at the Ribfest 5-miler in Merrimack.
I couldn’t have done this without the tremendous support of my wife and kids, friends and community partners. As of May 6th, I am down 149lbs and look forward to losing the next 50lbs. My goal is to lose 200lbs and get back to my high school weight which I haven’t seen in 27 years.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you find your ‘why’ and I couldn’t believe that it took me over twenty years to find it when it has always been there right by my side….
Mike Ramshaw will be awarded the Lifestyle Change Award at the New Hampshire Heart Walk on June 1st. For more information, please visit NHHeartWalk.Org.
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.