OneStepStories-FreddyBMy story is about overcoming tobacco use, giving up caffeine, and getting physically fit. It all began in 2010 after a physical and I made a commitment to not be a statistic.

I was a normal everyday person, meaning I came to work and would go home. There were times when I would just get home and fall asleep on the couch. I know for me I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I felt great. I was an active person, but I never worried about what I was putting into my body. During a routine physical in 2010 is when I realized I needed to make changes. After getting my physical and reviewing my results with my doctor I learned I had high blood pressure which was going to require medication. I was overweight and diabetes was mentioned and I thought to myself, not me!

I was tired all the time which limited me from spending time outside with my kids. I was also disappointed with how I let my health go. I was so shocked when I had to take a medication to control high blood pressure. The first thing I did was get rid of all soda and tobacco products. I actually went home and quit all this cold turkey. It was tough to quit two addictions at the same time. I dealt with the normal cravings and headaches. I struggled because I felt so sick.

When I got back into exercising I chose a home program called P90X. To me this exercise program helped me the most because I was staying so focused with doing the exercise I was able to slowly forget about wanting a Coke or smokeless tobacco. I loved the workout program and never skipped a day. The program lasts 90 days and I did 3 rounds which helped me go from 250 lbs. to 185 lbs. I have maintained that weight since 2010.

My family and friends were my biggest supporters. I pretty much amazed people with my transformation. The biggest key was we quit shopping like we did in the past. My wife made adjustments in meal prep to accommodate my needs.  Whirlpool was also a big key to this change.  The health coach would help get us to do activities. I would sign up and participate in all the activities. It is fun to have little competitions, but the biggest key is to have your coworkers support you also.

The biggest impacts I see are my energy and alertness. I can work, workout, and still have the energy to play sports with my kids. This was significant to me because I am now able to perform all the activities required by both work and personal life. I love the fact I am not a statistic needing a medication to control something I can fix. The best way I can describe it is, when you make a change and get your health right you feel refreshed.

I would tell others to take their life back! Never be a statistic because the easy road is to just get a prescription to control your health. Life is so short and the amount of time we all have is different so make the most of it and enjoy it to the fullest. Lastly, never give up because the road is tough, keep fighting!

Freddy Baker, Cleveland Manufacturing, TN

March 29, 2016