TOPS Healthy Lifestyle: Follow the Signs – Danger Ahead

Growing up, although I had family members who were obese, diabetics and had heart problems, I felt these afflictions certainly would not happen to me. I was young, immortal and drove right past the DANGER AHEAD sign.

As I got older and pounds started to pile on, I deflected the snide comments about my size. I made jokes and continued to ignore the signs. I was not as active as I should have been. I huffed and puffed going up the stairs, but if it got too bad, there was an elevator. My health was never a great concern despite all the early DANGER AHEAD signs.

Even when I started my lab career, needing to wear white pants, a white shirt and a white lab coat and then promptly realizing I looked like Moby Dick, I continued to ignore the signs.

I wish I had started to follow the DANGER AHEAD signs sooner. I waited (ignored) the signs until I weighed 321 pounds. At that point, I was pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol, mild sleep apnea and posted extremely high blood pressure readings.

I wish I had started to follow the 'Danger-Ahead' signs sooner. I waited (ignored) the signs until I weighed 321 pounds.

Health issues aside, I just did not feel comfortable in my own skin. I felt miserable, wondering what I had done to myself.

I consider myself truly fortunate to have found TOPS, which gave me time to YIELD and find the INFORMATION I needed.

It is true that it is never too late to turn things around. I am living proof of that. The threat of being diabetic is diminished, no sleep apnea, my blood pressure is normal and I lowered my cholesterol without medication. With the assistance from TOPS, I accomplished these lifesaving milestones by following the SAFETY FIRST sign.

You may have seen the same DANGER AHEAD signs I did, or you have seen different ones. It does not really matter as long as we STOP and get the INFORMATION needed to get to be our healthiest selves. I applaud those who read the signs sooner than I did.

Despite gaining back some of the lost weight, I know I am on the right road to living my healthiest life.

During my lab years, I was fortunate to do presentations at conferences across the country. I even presented at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. It gives me pleasure when I bump into colleagues from my lab years, or they find out what I am doing now. Surprised to see me, they’ll say, “I thought you died years ago.”

Now if that is not a sobering thought, nothing is … that was how bad I was. Thank you, members of TOPS, for providing support in helping me to Follow the Signs.


5 thoughts on “TOPS Healthy Lifestyle: Follow the Signs – Danger Ahead

  1. Thanks for the reminder, Rick! I’m one of those who needs to remember that the “Danger Ahead” signs are there for anyone who choose to ignore their health issues. It is just not smart, I’ve been a member of TOPS Club for about 15 years and it has made a big difference; I am much more “health aware”.

  2. Always thought provoking and comforting knowing one is not alone on this journey.
    I’ve often wondered why did it take an event to make me realize that something needed to be done. I will forever be grateful to my friend who took me by the hand and said “come with me..I attend a meeting where you will get all the support you need”..and she was right. They have supported me for 18 yrs and counting. ♥ Thank you Rick for this series.

  3. great information. I shared the signs with my TOPS group and they seemed yo appreciate the information. Are your other blogs in print in booklet form that could be purchased.

  4. TOPS Healthy Lifestyle: Follow the Signs…. your posts with all these different signs are amazing!
    Thanks, again, for sharing!! I enjoy hearing your profound comments, while you made your way from packing around lots of weight, to learning how to “Take Off Pounds Sensibly”!!! “Weigh to go!”

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