By Paul J.

With a medicine cabinet packed with blood pressure and heart pills, statins, diabetes medicine and two different kinds of insulin, life was closing in.

Increasing medical problems—A1Cs of 8 or nine—and a weight that soared higher each time I stepped on the scale were warnings, but I paid scant attention.

Fishing and other outdoor activities were almost impossible. It was hard to climb stairs; get into my car; stand on my feet for any length of time. Doing anything left me panting, but still, I never passed up a french fry.

My weight hit 335 and, then, I could not reach my shoes to tie them. I got scared. Worse, my wife tearfully told me she was terrified she would get old alone.

My physician had given up. He was urging gastric bypass surgery, but I balked. Frustrated, he suggested Alaska Premier Health. I was leery, but it was clear I was not going to see my granddaughters marry if I did not do something. Soon.

He likely saved my life. Everybody there was on my side from the moment I walked in. A balanced Optifast, low-calorie diet. Counseling from Allen Chapman. Support. It was what I needed.

Now, I have lost 122 pounds and am walking up to 50 minutes at a crack on a treadmill and starting weight training. My A1C was 5.9 a few weeks ago. I am off diabetes medicine altogether and my other meds have been cut drastically. My life is back on track and, best of all, my wife of 40 years no longer worries so much—I am sure to get one of the first dances at my granddaughters’ weddings.

Because of Optifast—and a lot of incredibly caring people—I am nearing the end of one journey and beginning another as a more healthy guy.