Image provided by Calvin
When Calvin was growing up in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, there was no question about it: movement, activity and health were simply everything. From long-distance running to sports, Calvin always kept his body moving. However, he was a skinny kid and was ready to bulk up after he graduated from high school. He hit the weights hard, going from a 6-foot, 160 lb. kid graduating high school to a muscley mountain of a man at 300 lbs. ''I wanted to look like the muscular and fit people in the magazines. I slowly started to pack on some muscle and this motivated me to keep training,'' Calvin said. ''Working out made me stronger and has given me more energy. I always take pride in the fact that I built my body naturally and drug-free. I was always working out and trying to look my best.''
''As I got older, in my late thirties, I started to abuse my body,'' Calvin said. ''I would go out drinking with my friends every week. I consumed way too much alcohol. I started to overeat and eat unhealthy foods. I started to cut back on my workouts. I started to get fat and out of shape. I had low energy. I was always tired.''
The former gym rat was a shadow of his former self, reverting to high-calorie foods and way less exercise than normal. After two injuries -- Calvin injured both knees and his ankle playing soccer, and then tore his labrum playing volleyball -- it was much easier, and much less painful, to live a sedentary lifestyle. Calvin leaned into his life post-injuries, pursuing his career as an MRI technologist for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, but something just felt off. His once-active lifestyle had fallen by the wayside, and it was catching up to him. ''It is very easy to let yourself go. I let it go too far,'' Calvin said. ''In December, two years ago, my body just didn't feel right.''
Calvin was constantly thirsty, going to the washroom at all times of the day and night and had incredibly low energy. Going out with friends just wasn't as fun, and he didn't feel great. Splitting headaches were normal, as was an occasional pins-and-needles feeling in his feet. However, the general discomfort soon turned into something a lot scarier. ''In January 2018, I was driving to work one Saturday and everything was blurry. This was a really scary moment for me,'' Calvin said. ''Everything was blurry to me. The street signs were hard to read. My patients at work were hard to see. They just looked blurry. Losing your vision is a very scary thing.''
Calvin went to the doctor, and his blood work showed some bad news: he had developed diabetes. ''This was an eye-opener for me. By working at that hospital I have seen how bad this disease is,'' Calvin explained. ''I wanted no part of that, so I was determined to change my life around.''
Upon further testing, Calvin realized that his health had declined much more than he ever intended it to. His cholesterol was high, his blood sugars were high, and he could feel the once incredibly health-conscious and fitness-conscious man slipping away. ''They wanted me to start taking medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I refused,'' Calvin said. ''I told them I wanted to clean up my unhealthy lifestyle and start living a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to try this first before I started taking medication.''
Image provided by Calvin
Calvin immediately embarked on a huge lifestyle change, hitting the gym several days a week and alternating cardio and strength training. Nutrition-wise, Calvin began to avoid processed foods and consume as many whole foods as possible. He cut out alcohol and sugar, increased his water and tea intake and started using natural additions like cinnamon and coconut oil in his protein shakes. Soon, Calvin's vision came back and his levels were back to normal. With just simple and intentional lifestyle changes, Calvin was absolutely determined to avoid medication if all possible. ''My bad health was all the motivation I needed to start to make changes in my life. I was mentally focused to change. When you have bad health, you realize how much of a gift it is to be alive and healthy. We sometimes take our life for granted. We need to step back and realize, ''life ain't so bad!''' Calvin said. ''The doctors and nurses at the clinic couldn't believe it. They told me that people don't usually make these kinds of improvements so quickly. Especially without taking Metformin for diabetes.''
Also contributing to Calvin's lifestyle change was proper supplementation, using high-quality supplements to increase his energy and overall wellness. ''Proper supplementation has really helped me a lot on my journey to better health. I use supplements that are really high quality, just like the supplements from Progressive,'' Calvin said. ''Progressive supplements were part of my supplement stack during my wellness journey and continue to be part of my supplement plan. The changes you notice happen so quickly with proper nutrition, a good workout plan and proper supplementation.''
The changes were incredibly evident in Calvin from the get-go, and he lost 31 lbs in just two months. He lost six inches in his waist, was able to increase his running endurance from only 10 minutes to 60 and noticed increased energy in every aspect of his life. By focusing on himself, his nutrition, his sleep and his fitness plan, Calvin was able to take diabetes by the arm and drag it down the best he could. It's certainly not always sunshine and rainbows, and Calvin has to focus in on things like poking his fingers to test his blood sugar and checking his blood pressure. However, his life has changed immeasurably and for the better. ''Instead of taking a bunch of medications to help with your problems or health issues, try improving your health first,'' Calvin said. ''You might be surprised by the results. I can't even explain how great it feels to have my health back. I am a happy man.''
Calvin's story is intended for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have before taking on new lifestyle changes or avoiding any medication.