At 38 years old, I thought I was in good health. And by many measures, I was in good health. I had always played sports, watched what I ate, enjoyed a beer at the summer BBQs, hit the gym, and clocked 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
My dad’s diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes changed everything, reminding me of the impact our health has on our overall quality of life. I realized I didn’t just want to live; I wanted to thrive. I wanted to see my kids grow up and off to college, score their first jobs, walk down the aisle, fix up their first house… I wanted to be that awesome grandpa who can get down on the floor with the grandkids, give them piggybacks through the park. I wanted to travel the world with my wife by my side. When I thought about my future, I thought about these things… And I didn’t want the fear of my health to get in the way.
It was that moment that I decided I would do everything in my power to make that happen.
Shortly after the news of my dad’s diagnosis, I went to my doctor, and my blood work revealed that I had hypothyroidism. His recommendation? Start medication. But in my mind, that didn’t seem like the first resort. So, I told him no. “I don’t want to rely on a pill for the rest of my life to be OK… There has to be another way to do this. I’m going to find it”. I thought about my kids. My wife. The un-checked things on my bucket list.
Thus began my OptimumU journey.
I read books, changed my diet. I said goodbye to dairy, and then meat shortly after. I changed up my workouts. After six months of research, lots of intentional health decisions, listening to my body, and gains in my energy levels, I went back to the doctor for more bloodwork.
The results were drastically different when I went back. In fact, my doctor thought I had been on the medication the whole time! He couldn’t believe my results came from diet and lifestyle changes, with no pills or drugs at all. Now, I’m not saying that we don’t need help from doctors and western medicine to help guide us and heal us when we are sick. However, I am saying that the real changes come 365 days a year, day to day, and expecting your doctor to understand your lifestyle blueprint in the couple hours they spend with you per year is leaving too much to chance. A well-rounded understanding of your health largely happens outside of the doctor’s office.
At the same time, my dad’s health was declining. For four years, I watched him endure endless cycles of pills, checkups, poor results, waiting, more pills, more checkups, and more waiting. His diabetes ultimately led to his passing. I was sad to lose my father; But even more, I hated watching him struggle with his condition, feeling like he didn’t know what to do.
My health experience, paralleled with my dad’s, opened my eyes to the reality of the power we have over our health and well-being. We need to listen to our bodies, and let them do their jobs of self-healing and self-correcting.
I’m passionate about helping others be their best. Great health takes work, attention, and intention… but it is possible. Your best life is not out of reach. OptimumU is founded on the belief that we can all get there. We are all on our own health and wellness journeys, so why not do it together? Join me in the exciting venture of becoming your Optimum Self. Know what you need. Love how you feel. And do more of that.
Morgan Koth, FMCHC, CPT, CHC
Founder OptimumU Health and Wellness Inc.