Bob Miller has lived a challenging life. At age 17, he was struck by a truck while riding his bicycle. His brain was severely injured, leaving him with aphasia, which makes it nearly impossible to talk or read. For over two decades, he was essentially a prisoner in his own body, his health declining until he died from pneumonia in 2009. But Miller persevered.
Bob Miller was born and raised in the Midwest, and he’s never been a stranger to hard work. He’s a farmer, a businessman, and someone who understands the value of a dollar. He’s also been a businessman for well over 30 years and has seen his share of ups and downs. Bob was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012 and has been told he has only a few years to live. Since then, Bob has been looking at his life and how he’ll spend it. He’s even decided to retire, and has started writing about his experiences in hopes of inspiring others to live life to the fullest and persevere in the face of adversity.
In his fifties, Bob Miller battled metabolic and cardiovascular problems so severe that he was already close to death. When his weight reached an all-time high and his mobility was severely compromised, Bob found a way to lose nearly 100 pounds by taking small steps at a time.
I have stage 4 vascular, cardiac and renal disease
… I have already had a AAA repair, quadruple bypass surgery, 8 stents in my heart, and we are now starting to talk about the inevitability of kidney dialysis and a kidney transplant.
These are Bob Miller’s reception notes from two years ago when he started his coaching journey.
Despite these very serious and mobility-limiting illnesses, Bob had an ambitious goal: He wanted to lose a lot of weight.
And in fact, he already has.
Almost seven years ago, I weighed 60 pounds, recalls Bob, 60 from Edmonds, Washington.
Bob is at his worst before making a deal with himself to get better for his family.
At the time, I didn’t realize how much I had gained. My grandmother died and I had to buy clothes for the funeral. I bought a coat and a pair of pants and was shocked at my size 46 and my coat 48.
It stunned me. I had brand new clothes, and I thought: Something has to change or it won’t work.
So Bob came up with a plan.
I said immediately: Okay, I need to control what I eat, and low-carb diets have always helped me lose weight, I will. That’s what I started doing. Over the next two years, I went from 260 to about 210.
After a while, however, Bob’s weight loss stopped. And I stopped. And I stopped.
At 175 cm tall, Bob knew he had to lose more weight. But after 18 months of no progress, he had to admit that going it alone no longer worked.
And Bob was not willing to give up his own health.
I wanted to see my grandchildren, they weren’t even born yet. I don’t want my wife to be a widow.
There are people in my life who are counting on me….. and I’ve had some pretty serious brushes with death.
When I had my heart attack, I really thought I was going to die. When my wife took me to the hospital, I realized I couldn’t feel my face, arms and legs anymore, Bob recalls.
I knew we could all die, but I didn’t want that to happen because I hadn’t taken good care of myself. I didn’t want my inheritance. That bastard, if he had taken care of himself, he’d still be here.
These are all very good reasons why Bob was attracted to coaching.
After signing up, Bob was determined not to give up.
I would follow this program anyway and see what the results would be, Bob says.
Even if I don’t see results on day 364, I won’t stop until day 365.
Sure, Bob saw results long before Day 364, but he admitted to himself that the pounds weren’t coming off as quickly as he had hoped. At first Bob thought the program was too slow.
The first few weeks you learn the habits of an anchor. If all else fails, go back to them. The fourth week, I thought: You’ve got to be kidding me, Bob laughed.
But these ingrained habits proved to be a radical change in Bob’s approach to diet, exercise, lifestyle and even thinking. Especially the very first habit – taking time to move and eat – turned out to be the most important.
Taking time – you know what, it’s the most important thing I do in my life, says Bob.
Planning time to prepare food, thinking about meal planning or what I do during the day and where there are challenges. Take the time to exercise, to sleep, to do all those things. In my busy life, I never realized how important it is to take time out.
It was not easy. Complications related to Bob’s health have caused additional difficulties in his training.
Because of his condition, Bob may have low energy, especially in the middle of the day. But his new habit of taking his time helped him overcome this obstacle.
My workouts are a top priority during the day. So I do them first thing in the morning, when my energy is highest. So I take the lack of energy excuse out of the equation.
The combination of these conditions can also cause chest pain when the heart rate increases as a result of strenuous exercise. Again, Bob found a way to get out of it.
I’m working closely with my cardiologist to get this problem under control by combining medications and adjusting my exercises….. Skipping a workout is not an option!
While facing these challenges, Bob also discovered the unexpected value of having someone by his side – his PN coach. The fact that Coach Jonathan cares for him, responds to his messages and is just there for him has helped Bob to keep his promise.
I needed someone to hold me accountable, I needed someone to be there for me, he says. It is precious to know that my coach was there for me.
By the end of the PN coaching program, Bob had lost another 45 pounds.
Bob poses in his old pants after losing 100 pounds.
To his and his doctor’s surprise, Bob’s kidneys also began to work better.
Before PN, my nephrologist estimated my kidney function at about 26-28%, and at one point I was losing one percent every two or three months, Bob says.
I went from a fast track to dialysis and transplant to stable kidney function in six or eight months. My nephrologist is thrilled. I can’t believe it. It’s amazing.
But the biggest change for Bob may be internal. He went from fearing the future to seeking new opportunities.
Bob is in his second NP coaching session, this time to see what is possible.
Can I get to a single-digit body fat percentage? How do I look, how do I feel? What else can I do with my slimmer, healthier body that I couldn’t do before? I have no idea. But I am willing to do a scientific experiment and see what is possible for me.
Just the idea of exploring new possibilities is a big change for Bob.
Which is possible…, he mused. Not long ago, that was an impossible thought.
Not available: Okay, I’ve done my diet, I’m done. My brain, body, mind and heart are forever changed.
Bob’s physical transformation was so profound and unexpected that he still has to get used to his new slimmer body and what it can do.
One of the keys to overcoming my particular difficulties was talking to my wife. She was and still is amazing.
I recently had an experience where my dog’s ball ended up behind a TV decoder. I thought so: Oh, I can’t go back. I have to find a solution.
Then I thought: Wait a minute, maybe you can. And I did, and I didn’t touch the wall or the back of the console.
Bob plans to use the last half of his second year at PN to explore the emotional issues that come with such a big change.
Sometimes I don’t recognize myself. I look in the mirror and wonder who I see in the reflection, or I look at my pants and wonder how I can fit into those little things! My physical changes are slightly ahead of my emotional and mental growth.
But one thing is certain: As Bob searches for new opportunities for himself, he realizes he can’t go back.
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