“Food and fitness is the world’s best medicine”
Reading stories about how people suddenly are capable of turning their whole lives around because of a simple dietary change never cease to astound me!
In this success story, Eric takes you through his transformative keto journey. Not only has he been able to shed more than 100 lbs (45 kg), he has also overcome serious mental-health problems:
What was your life like before?
Soccer was my whole life growing up, which is how I started running, my speed was always my biggest strength. I grew up playing as forward for Bays United in Victoria, B.C, Canada. Unfortunately, after high school I made some very bad life choices. I began using hard drugs, drinking a ton of alcohol and combined with poor eating habits I ended up gaining a lot of weight. Because I relied so heavily on my speed as a soccer player once it was gone I just couldn’t play at the same level anymore.
I had been working at a restaurant for a couple of years. In 2010, my boss made a team for the TC10k and that was my first race. I think I finished in about an hour. it was really hard but it felt great. I decided to focus more on running and eating healthier so I could lose weight be a successful soccer player again. I did lose weight and improve my health, but still didn’t see much playing time.
After two seasons on the bench I decided that enough was enough, I did the one thing I never thought that I would ever do. Quitting soccer after 15 years was a heartbreaking decision for me, given the dreams and goals that I had for so long. I ran the TC10k that next year in 45 minutes, then the Victoria Marathon in 4:46 later that fall.
Although I was beginning to turn things around, Victoria is a fairly small city, things had gotten to the point where living there felt a bit tainted for me. I decided to move to Vancouver to try to start a new life and take my training more seriously. Things went well at first, and I broke 40 minutes for a 10k fall of 2013. Unfortunately, after that I began to struggle with some pretty serious mental health problems including anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Because the symptoms I was struggling with it made it very difficult to stay employed, by 2015 I was living on the streets of Coquitlam in East Metro Van.
What has happened that changed things?What is your life like now?
After struggling with homelessness, obesity, addiction, and mental illness on and off for the last five years, I had also become pre diabetic. At 280 lbs (127 kg) a heavy drinker and smoker as well now, I did not feel like I was going to be alive for much longer. Living in Edmonton now in 2017, I decided to go on a low-carb ketogenic diet and got back to running as well.
Within one year of biking, swimming, running and eating keto I had lost over 100 lbs (45 kg), my running and my health was back in business. Not being able to handle the long harsh winters of Edmonton very well anymore, I decided to move back home to Victoria to return to my family and continue my athletic goals. Now over 100 lbs (45 kg) lighter, fitter and faster than ever before I’ve decided to race the full 26.2 in Victoria once again this fall and looking to cut my 4:46 in half.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you approach it?
My biggest challenge going forward will be the mental health issues that I will likely always struggle with at some level, but because of all the obstacles I have overcome it has really helped to build a lot of character and personal growth.
What did you wish you knew when you started?
Food and fitness is the world’s best medicine.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring and powerful story, Eric! I love your quote that “Food and fitness is the world’s best medicine.” I agree! Hopefully stories like yours will help others learn that lesson as well. Thank you for showing us the transformative power of low-carb living and healthy lifestyles. Keep up the great work!
/ Dr. Bret Scher, MD
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