As Chris Christlieb sat in a ditch, surrounded by items of his shattered motorbike, he might hear his spouse yelling his identify in an try to search out him. Realizing he couldn’t really feel a lot on his left aspect, he reached all the way down to his knee, solely to find it merely wasn’t there anymore. The automotive that had struck him as he traveled to place his motorbike in storage for the winter didn’t give him a lot of an opportunity to keep away from the collision.
When his spouse lastly discovered him and noticed the dangerous form his leg was in, she shortly eliminated her belt and fixed it round his higher thigh to cease the bleeding. About seven minutes later, the native sheriff arrived and placed on a second tourniquet whereas the medical helicopter landed close by.
After three days in a medically induced coma and having his left leg amputated above the knee, Christlieb, now 48 years previous, awoke to a brand new chapter of his life. Whereas he knew the highway to restoration can be lengthy and tough, he was grateful to be alive, particularly as a result of he owed his life to a 113-pound weight reduction only a couple years previous to the October 2015 accident.
“The physician instructed me that if I’d nonetheless been my unique weight of 313 kilos, the quantity of sentimental tissue in my thigh would have made it unattainable for my spouse’s belt to work,” he says. “I might have bled out in 5 minutes and would have been gone by the point the sheriff bought there.”
Fortunately, Christlieb’s determination to remodel his physique can be the very best one he’d ever make — and it began along with his liver.
On the morning of his marriage ceremony anniversary, October 9, 2013, he shuffled to the toilet of his Stanchfield, Minnesota, house and seen how badly his palms have been shaking. A reasonably heavy drinker, he’d resolved to have a pleasant day of consuming and consuming along with his spouse, so he skipped having any drinks the evening earlier than. Taking a look at himself within the mirror and seeing how heavy he’d gotten — and the way aggressive the alcohol withdrawal signs have been — he determined to stop consuming proper then and there.
“I appeared like hell, I felt like hell, and I knew if I didn’t change, I’d by no means really feel or look good once more,” he remembers. “My spouse was nonetheless in mattress, so I went again and kissed her, then stated, ‘Joyful anniversary, and I’m an alcoholic.’ That wasn’t the way in which we’d deliberate to begin the day, but it surely was the start of a complete new me.”
Christlieb had been hiding the extent of his consuming drawback for a while, however with that vast confession out of the way in which, he might deal with restoration — and that included getting his well being again beneath management.
“If you stop booze, you are likely to shed pounds with out actually attempting,” he says, noting that inside just some weeks, he was down 25 kilos. Individuals began noticing and complimenting him on his progress. That fueled him to take it to the subsequent stage, specializing in extra than simply reducing out alcohol. His youthful brother had used the MyFitnessPal app to lose about 100 kilos, so Christlieb gave it a strive. It turned out to be an ideal match for his objectives.
He started to trace his energy religiously and used Fitbit to observe his strolling exercise. The mix led to regular outcomes, and he was 70 kilos lighter by his 2014 marriage ceremony anniversary.
In June 2015, Christlieb met his weight objective of 195 kilos and had gone from a 44-inch waist to 32 inches. He remembers standing in his closet, holding an previous pair of denims in a single hand and a brand new pair within the different. In that second, he determined to donate all of his bigger garments as a dedication to himself to keep up the load loss.
“When folks ask me maintain the load off, I say: Purchase garments that truly fit your needs, don’t maintain sporting your previous ones which can be too massive,” he says. “For me, having dishevelled garments places me again within the mindset of being over 300 kilos. It feels like such a small factor, however one among my happiest moments was realizing I had to purchase medium-sized underwear as a substitute of XXLs.”
After all, the happiest second of all was having the ability to get up within the hospital after that motorbike accident.
Right this moment, two years after the accident, he’s nonetheless devoted to his health journey. He says it helps that prosthetic limbs are chosen based mostly in your exercise stage. Since Christlieb was getting 17,000 steps per day main as much as the accident, he obtained the highest-quality prosthetic accessible, which is aiding him in setting even larger objectives for weight reduction and health features.
“There have been so many issues that wanted to go proper for me to outlive that evening, not the least of which was my unbelievable weight reduction utilizing the MyFitnessPal app,” he says. “We additionally selected very early on to stay as constructive as potential. It’s not at all times simple, however we do our greatest!”
Initially printed November 2017
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