For those of you that have been with us for awhile as customers and readers of our blog you may know my story. From fat chef who drank too much to svelte CrossFitting paleo meal company owner. Over three years we built up our little company from a little cottage in Ocean Beach to two commercial kitchens on both coasts and I lost 60 pounds and became a model of health and a rare instance of someone who practiced what they preached.
What I didn't do though, was work on the things that led me to get out of shape and drink too much in the first place. So after a while my old demons started to creep back up and I didn't have the support system or any kind of game plan to handle it. I still ran the company but became distant and started slacking off. 5 days in the gym a week became 4 and I told myself that its still plenty. Then it was 3 and I said well this is a good maintain schedule. No need to be crazy fit, I had a daughter now and all that. Then it just stopped. I replaced working out and focusing on Pete's Paleo with golfing and drinking. And more drinking.
It's true what they say, "no matter where you go, there you are." You see I've struggled with depression and alcoholism my whole life. I was sure that if I accomplished all my life goals in business and life that things would get better. When I was in high school I was miserable and partied because "I didn't fit in", when I was in culinary school and coming up as a chef I drank too much but that was because, "I was poor and no one appreciated me." Then we started the company and I stopped for awhile and wanted to prove to everyone that I didn't have a problem and build a company with my new wife. So that's what I did. Out of spite and my egos desperate need to prove everyone wrong Sarah and I built Pete's Paleo into what it's become today. And after three years I had a beautiful family, a house and was providing a living for the many people who worked for us while helping folks all over the country get healthy and live a better quality life.
See, problem solved. I'm not an alcoholic with depression, I'm a successful business owner, a super fit dad, a loving husband. Total package. But I knew the truth, I was a constant ball of anxiety, hopelessly believing the next purchase or thing accomplished would fill the hole. And so having never found a better way to make the pain go away I convinced everyone around me my demons had been beat back and I was able to start drinking again.
How bad things got from there, and how fast they got that way is a story that has been told many times by someone with addiction. I hurt everyone and everything in my path, nearly destroying it all until a year ago, I stood at a decision between certain death or finally accepting some help. I had gained all the weight I had lost back and then some. Barely there as a husband, father or business owner, times were dark. Finally I relented and accepted that the solution wasn't going to be found in my own thinking.
It was a decision that saved my life and couldn't have come any later. I've been committed to recovery and a new way of life for the past year. Every single aspect of my life has never been this great. I am truly grateful for my life now and in turn take care of it! Finding a routine that I can do week in and week out till my time on this earth is over has been a gift from the universe I never thought possible. Today my focus is on helping others, not to make me feel better, or to fill some unfillable hole, but to be of service to as many people and causes I'm able to. Sure I've lost the weight, its a side bonus to a new way of life. You can't actually love yourself and not take care of yourself physically it turns out. I play tennis and do olympic lifting a few days a week. They are both so fun to me and a great way to stay in shape for a guy whose quickly going from mid 30s to holy shit here comes 40.
So if you're struggling with reaching your goals or conquering your demons I'm living proof that things can get better. But we've got to ask for help and then take action. The universe, I believe, wants us to thrive and be happy, but it can't help us do nothing. We've got to get going towards help and you will be amazed at how things start to fall in place once you take action.
It's not easy to share this with as many people that this goes out to, but if it helps one person its worth it. Previously I thought nothing was ever good enough, and how could I really make a difference in this messed up world anyway. Now, I feel quite differently and I'll leave you with a story that puts it into perspective.
An old man is walking down the beach after a huge storm. The beach is covered in starfish that had been washed up from the wicked squall. As he's walking he looks down the beach and sees a young boy picking up a starfish and throwing it back into the ocean. The boy walks a few feet and picks up another and throws it into the ocean again. The old man comes up on the boy and says, "What are you doing?"
"I'm saving the starfish," replies the young boy.
"But you'll never be able to throw all these back in, theres far too many." exclaimed the old man.
The young boy pauses and looks at the old man, bends down and grabs another starfish and throws it back into the ocean. "No," he says "but I saved that one".
Every bit of good you can do for yourself and those around you is worth doing and makes a difference. Thanks for listening.