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Healthy Habits to Change Your Life: How I Lost 100 lbs. & Repaired My Relationships

Healthy Habits to Change Your Life: How I Lost 100 lbs. & Repaired My Relationships

January 16, 2024

Healthy Habits to Change Your Life: How I Lost 100 lbs. & Repaired My Relationships 

By: Adrian Kulp

Writer, Producer, Author

Dad or Alive


‘Healthy Habits’… we heard those words ad nauseum growing up, yet it took me close to 45 years to figure out what these two words actually meant. Like most people, I’d maintained a daily routine (my wife says I’m a diabolical ‘creature of habit’ and have a hard time being flexible), but truth be told, there wasn’t anything exceedingly ‘healthy’ about the routines that I’d developed.


My Journey To Physical and Mental Health



Throughout the past few years, I’ve heard a phrase often traded around the circles of addiction - ‘if you don’t pick your bottom, it’ll pick it for you’. And I think there’s a lot of truth in that.

Over the years, the word addiction has become synonymous with drugs and alcohol. But by definition, it includes any behavior that provides a natural reward, despite potential harm or negative consequences.

For me, I was reaping all kinds of unhealthy rewards from alcohol and overeating.

But on a Wednesday morning in June of 2021, I woke up and decided to finally acknowledge that phrase and ‘pick my bottom’ before it was too late.

My happiness was gone. There was no light left inside. I had completely let myself go – spiraling into someone that didn’t care much about anything. I wasn’t recognizable to friends and family, weighing almost 300 pounds.

But it wasn’t just the physicality of the whole thing that got to me to change my ways - my mental and emotional state was also degrading at a rapid pace. The signs of depression were vast and apparent to everyone. My marriage was on the brink of being destroyed—I had lied to my wife and let her down more times than I can physically count on both of our hands and toes combined; my part of the partnership was dead and buried. My role as a father, as a role model and figurehead of our family was on the precipice of not being recoverable. I’m thankful my kids were so young at the time—they don’t have memories of this version of me.

I struggled with basic things like putting on my shoes. I’d have to pause to take a breath, before diving back down for the loop, swoop and pull. Playing with the kids or taking them for a hike became an arduous task that left me winded and drenched in sweat.

So, I decided to implement some of those ‘healthy habits’ that my peers have been so fond of. And I didn’t just implement one – in true addict fashion, I added them all. ‘Creature of habit’ is back once again.


Healthy Habits Change Your Life

I went on a tear - I cut out alcohol completely, along with temporarily giving up caffeine and reducing my overall sugar intake. I used common sense when it came to my meal choices. I looked at my sleep regimen (striving for 7-8 hours a night), added air purifiers around the house, but most importantly, I got back to exercising – finding my way into the gym in the wee hours of the morning to work out my frustrations on the weights, and reuniting with my love for the outdoors changed me in ways I can’t quite explain.

With all of these things working together, I lost over 100 pounds in less than a year. This was AMAZING. I looked and felt like a new person. But, while eliminating the excessive alcohol and losing all of that weight, also came a wave of new emotions to contend with. Now almost 48 years old, I began to realize that my body was changing—my hair, face, muscles and overall physique. Or perhaps it had already changed and I didn’t even realize it…

I was struggling physically - my recovery times weren’t looking anything like they were when I was in my 20’s. I had stripped my body down to the studs and was working to rebuild it. I added supplements, including the adaptogen-based Mdrive to help out with boosting my metabolism, maintaining healthy testosterone levels and overall energy and mental clarity.

Adrian sitting with Mdrive Supplements for Men.

Two and half years into my journey, I can finally feel myself leveling out. I’ve gotten myself to the other side, which feels incredible.


Overcoming Challenges

But nothing about those initial six months were fun nor easy. I can understand why people decide against making changes in their lives. It’s simpler. There’s no hard work in being lazy or complacent. It’s daunting to take that first leap. And it feels impossible. If you can find the mental fortitude to see past that – and get past those first steps… you won’t regret it.

I was initially very self-conscience about my body and 100% rusty about navigating around a gym… especially when it came to operating all the various exercise equipment. But you move forward – forget what people might think. This isn’t about them – it’s about you.

Along with losing that 100 pounds, I dropped a complete clothes size and was forced to replace an entire wardrobe. This probably sounds like a great problem to have, but it still affects you – even with success. The unknown, the new, is often scary. Not only did I have to buy new clothes, but I had to see that certain styles worked for my new body that didn’t before—and vice versa. “Hi Adrian, I’m a slim fit sweater. Nice to meet you.”

And I would be remiss if I didn’t underscore that it IS an emotional journey—a big one. I didn’t think that I’d have such a visceral reaction to seeing old photos of myself… seeing how unhealthy I was for so many years. Knowing that in those beautiful moments captured on film for our children was a tortured man, struggling so desperately. My wife and I can see addiction behind my eyes in those photos. I’m so grateful that I don’t have those glassy-eyed moments anymore.

Speaking of, those negatives are all quickly outweighed by the positives. The only regret that I have now - is that I didn’t take my health more seriously earlier. The amount of mental presence and clarity that’s returned is astounding. It’s changed my relationship with my wife on a level neither of us ever anticipated, my relationship as a father (and friend) to our kids is better, and I sleep soundly at night, knowing that even though none of us knows when we might take that last breath, at least I know mine won’t be at the hands of alcohol.

Not everyone might jive with my all-or-nothing approach, but there’s nothing wrong with slowing it down and taking baby steps. Set small goals for yourself, stay consistent and build on them.


You Can Change Your Life

It sounds cliché, but it really isn’t too late. You can be the change that you often think and talk about, it just takes action. Find others like you locally or on social media – locating a few people to share your journey and support one another along the way is a great approach.

I’d love to hear about your struggles OR even better yet, your personal successes when it’s come to turning your health (and life) around! Share your stories or ask questions – we’re ready to listen!

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