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Thank you Sparkpeople! 70 pounds lighter and living life to it's fullest!!

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Russell Dawe CEO Veterans4Veterans A Non-Profit Company

How I found a life-saving program!

Seven years ago I entered the VA Hospital in Boise, Idaho. I hadn't been to see a Doctor for over a decade. The staff and my Primary Physician were wonderful. They did all the tests and workups to find out why I felt so terrible and tired all the time.

I went in for my follow up an appointment to review all my blood tests, my stress tests and everything else they tested for.

My Dr. told me that I have had a great life and should start making plans. I sat there in shock and did not like that "plan".

I told him we needed to be aggressive and I was not ready to die. I have a beautiful wife, two amazing daughters, and granddaughters. I was not ready to say goodbye.

After a year of tests and more tests, this is what I was diagnosed with and was being treated for:

Extreme High Blood Pressure-4 Medications

Arterial Fibrillation-My heart was beating out of control. They put me on a blood thinner Warifin so I had blood drawn 4 times a month. This was to prevent my great chance of having a stroke and clotting. They had to remove clots from my veins in both legs. Over 30 incisions in each leg.

They shocked my heart twice to try to stop the irregular heartbeats. Worked for three months and then returned.

I also had to take another heart pill to try to regulate my heart rate.

Chronic Sleep Apnea. I wear an oxygen mask when I slept at night because after three different all night studies, they found that my heart was stopping every few minutes and that was causing me to wake up. Basically, I never went into a deep sleep so I had to take sleep medications.

Physically I could barely walk up a flight of stairs.

I had gained 75 pounds in 7 years and went from a very active physically fit 58 years old to a dying 65-year-old.

12 months ago I decided to quit all my medications. Get into shape, learn how to eat well again, and change my mental attitude.

I figured I was either going to change or die. My quality of life was not worth living any longer.

Then I discovered this life-saving program online. I stumbled across this gift of life. I found SparkPeople!

I dove in and learned about nutrition and what foods really can kill you. I got back into a gym and tracked my fitness every day along with my nutritional intake. This online program made it easy.

(side note: I have degrees in Psychology, Premedical, and Education. I owned Health Clubs and was a consultant for that industry throughout the U.S. and Canada. )

12 months later, Christmas of 2018, I am 70 pounds lighter. I take no medications, no Warifin, no masks at night and I can do 5-hour hikes on Mt Baker.

I have none of my past chronic ailments and no health issues whatsoever.

At 67, I retired. With a brand new life ahead of me I wanted to do something special for the rest of my life.

I have had two heroes in my life. My father was a WWII Veteran that came home from Europe with a 99% hearing disability. He was deaf.

My oldest brother was a Vietnam Chopper pilot and Commander. He came home and has suffered from severe PTSD all is life.

I come from a family of service. From WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Golf Wars. I also come from a family that never quits.

My father, even though deaf, became a very successful minister in the Boston area.

He was deaf standing in front of hundreds of people preaching love and sacrifice. Did I tell you he migrating from Scotland through Ellis Island?

Dirt poor and lived through the Great Depression in Boston as a Scottish immigrant that could not speak English well.

My oldest brother, Dr. Ronald Dawe, received his Ph.D. and became a published author, Soldiers Heart. This book discusses the Physiological & Psychological damages of PTSD. Ahead of his time for sure. He was a Counselor to Veterans with PTSD in Florida. A hero to me!

I truly believe we can overcome our physical and mental roadblocks. But my two heroes showed me we can adapt and survive and flourish.

SparkPeople showed me how to get and stay healthy. Fitness is not just controlling weight and exercising to look better. "Fitness" is also being ready to handle stress and life's challenges. This program and the Sparkpeople gave me those tools.

Thank you SparkPeople!!


Russell Dawe

CEO Veterans4Veterans

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Member Since: 12/20/2017

Fitness Minutes: 13,760

My Goals:
My personal goals are to maintain an excellent nutritional and fitness program. To participate in the SparkPeople platform and more importantly, spread the word to my Veteran and Military community around the world.

My Program:
I work out in a gym 5-6 days a week alternating between full body workouts with 30 - 45 minutes of cardio and 60 minutes of cardio and leg workouts. I also try to do a 2 hr hike each week. I am blessed to be able to live in Bellingham, WA with some of the most spectacular mountain trails in the world.

My nutritional program has become a plant-based diet with very little to no processed foods. I do include a variety of chicken and fish. I do a protein, amino acid and vitamin regimen. Total calories per day are often under 1,500 to 2,000. If I start to gain then I will reduce to 1,000 calories to get back on track. I also do intermittent fasting. I try not to eat after 8:00 pm and not before noon the next day.
If I find myself getting off track then I quickly jump back into tracking on my page on Sparkpeople. It gets me back on course. I have been on the platform for over a year and the nutritional program that I developed is followed daily. However, from time to time I need a

Personal Information:
*Retired US Army Officer and Helicopter Pilot

*Degrees in Psychology, Pre-Medical Studies & Education

*Founder and CEO Veterans4Veterans, a not for profit charity working with veterans and active military members.

*Founded and Operated Careers Northwest Academy, (CNWA) A Private Vocational College, Bellevue, WA

*Founded and Operated Travel Careers-An Employment & Placement Company-Bellevue , WA

*Founded and Operated Career Makers Travel, (CMT) developed 800 Independent Self Owned Travel Agencies-Throughout the Northwest.

Other Information:
CEO of Veterans4Veterans. Please check out our Not-For Profit Charity at

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