"About six years ago I decided to give it one more try before I gave up. My goal was simple, I wanted to live one more year. My wife and I had recently buried my dad and her mom, we didn't talk about it but we knew I wasn't too far behind. I looked at the pain in her eyes as she put my socks and shoes on one morning and it hit me... I was next, I was the next loss that she would experience.
In my early twenties I was diagnosed with a disease called Elhers Danlos Syndrome. During the next two decades the disease had taken it's toll on me. I did what I was supposed to do. I was told to move less and keep my body as quiet as possible. As a result of my choices I found myself a 400+ pound, sick, crippled addict by the time I was 38 years old. Desperate and hopeless I stumbled onto a couple films on Netflix, one of which was Forks Over Knives. I wasn't searching for anything but a way to slow down the speed of the spiral I was stuck in. I had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it. I had no idea where the plant-based path would take me, in fact, I had no idea what plant-based even meant. I also had no idea that it would destroy my world.
See my world looked much different than it does today. My world had been reduced to trying to escape reality. I used food, drugs, alcohol, and TV to distract me from the truth in my world. My world consisted of canes, crutches, braces, pills, doctors, alcohol, fentanyl, chronic pain, sleepless nights, and a helpless, hopeless existence. A plant-based lifestyle not only destroyed that world but it replaced it. My bitter, selfish world turned into a life of gratitude and selflessness.
My crutches turned into trekking poles, my drugs turned into authentic happiness, my hopeless nights were turned into an excitement to live everyday to it's absolute fullest. My search for a scooter turned into the latest running shoes and my need to "move less and keep my body as quiet as possible" turned into miles, 5202.4 actually, although that will change in a few hours. My MRIs, high blood pressure, high sugar, high cholesterol were also destroyed and replaced with a clean bill of health that my doctor himself envies. My world of percocet, hydrocodone, codeine, oxycontin, and fentanyl...... destroyed, and replaced with climbing mountains, 5ks, 10ks, half and full marathons, 100 mile bike rides, and Ironman.
While my world was being destroyed, my beautiful wife of 24 years watched the changes. She was getting healthier as a result of having some healthy food options. Then it happened........ about two years ago her world also got destroyed. Her world of carrying 80 extra pounds, being tired all the time, crashing on the couch, and feeling like she was just surviving the week had been destroyed by a plant-based lifestyle. Her tired and fatigued days were replaced with a life full of energy, in fact, so much energy she's run so many races that we have lost count. Her medical conditions were also destroyed and replaced with a pristine bill of health.
Somewhere along the way, I'm not really sure exactly when, but our marriage world was destroyed. Our married world consisted of take out food, fast food, and movies. Hours on the couch and years of ordering pizza and wings, gone, destroyed. But our marriage world was also replaced. Our passion for food has been replaced with a passion to help people find the plant-based lifestyle. From teaching classes to being filmed for movies and interviews, things look very different now. But ya want to know what we like most about the plant-based lifestyle? ........
It's out there for anyone. Change is a choice and we think that's awesome. So, tell ya what, give this whole food plant-based thing a try.. maybe your world can get destroyed too!
Eat plants and move your body, all ya gotta do is a little more than ya did yesterday.
-Tim and Heather Kaufman
* Watch Tim and Heather's video on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/xf3eodwqurw