Elite ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll is author of the newly published book, Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself. As it subtitle so plainly states he did undergo a remarkable transformation at age 40, facing middle age as a man 50 pounds overweight who had long ago abandoned his earlier years as an accomplished athlete for the intrusions of a demanding life as an entertainment attorney and father of four that that was beginning to take its toll on his health.
Yes, in such circumstances we may feel a nagging voice vaguely saying, well, we need a little more exercise and we need to “eat healthy.” Some take action and some do not. Rich Roll took his life in a remarkable direction. His is one of those transformations that make us take even closer notice to wonder, what was the impetus to make such a change and how did he do it?
He speaks candidly about his journey in some recent interviews notably with Rip Esselstyn, a fellow elite athlete (triathlon) and author of the The Engine 2 Diet.
How he began is what we all want to know, and he encapsulates it:
“On the precipice of my 40th birthday, I was blessed with a moment of clarity. It was very late, and as my family slept, I walked upstairs to go to bed after a long night of mindless television on the couch eating fast food. My chest tightened, and I was so winded, I came close to passing out. As I watched my wife and our little baby girl sleeping in my bed, I was gripped by fear. I was reminded of the heart disease that runs in my family. The disease that had taken my grandfather’s life at an early age, long before I was born, despite himself having been an Olympic hopeful swimmer in the late 1920’s. That night my denial was snapped and I faced the reality that I was no longer fit and youthful, but rather very overweight, terribly out of shape, and – more likely than not – facing the strong likelihood that I would suffer a heart attack.
The next day I formulated a plan. A plan to take back my health – something I could no longer afford to overlook. A plan that started with embarking on a whole food plant-based diet. Everything – and I mean everything – that I have achieved as an endurance athlete — begins and ends with this paradigm shift in my perspective on food.”
Continue at Daily Beet
In another interview, he talks about his discipline and commitment. He tells Amy Ziff of veritey.com what the most important takeaway for people who read Finding Ultra:
“Two things. First, just because I live in the extremes, doesn’t mean the book isn’t for you. Sure, I’m 100 percent plant-based. And I’ve done some admittedly nutty things when it comes to fitness. But the diet, fitness and lifestyle methods I have used to succeed in these arenas are entirely scalable, applicable and easily implemented whatever your goal may be, no matter how modest.
Second, on its surface the book is about an unhealthy guy who decided to get fit, lost a bunch of weight and went on to tackle a fitness goal. All fine and well. But between the lines, the Ultraman race and EPIC5 (where I completed five Ironman-distance triathlons on five Hawaiian islands in under a week) are intended as metaphor. At its core, the book is a spiritual journey about discovering and exploring a more authentic version of myself. And I think that is universal — something we can all relate to, because we all have latent dreams deferred. Finding Ultra is a call to action to dust off that thing you’ve always wanted to do but just can’t seem to ever get to — and start doing it.”
Continue at Huffington Post.
You can find out more about Rich Roll from his Web site richroll.com where he continues to share his inspiring story of weight loss and total physical, mental and spiritual transformation as he detailed in Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself.
We already know these whole foods,plant-based diets work for restoring health and reversing such diseases as diabetes and heart disease and for natural weight loss that’s effortless, and that can free us from food addictions.
It’s been my experience as I’ve shared here many times. Like any addiction it starts to take over our lives and we defend it until we have the courage to take the beginning uncomfortable steps to break free. I never smoked or drank but I do remember still quite clearly years ago, defending my provolone cheese on pumpernickel bread habit and my Sicilian pizza habit before I gave up dairy, which immediately rid me of adult acne and five pounds. (Cheese, like all dairy is highly addictive and is said to be one of the most difficult foods to give up when going vegan.) So I can relate to the 100 percent plant-based — the freedom it gives can’t adequately be described. I can see how his dietary transformation is so intertwined with the emotional, spiritual as well as the drive to become an elite ultra-endurance athlete, as well as an example some point to as a successful vegan athlete. On a much smaller scale that’s roughly how I dropped more than thirty pounds and became a competitive racewalker.
Yes, I am grateful for Rich Rolls book and his story which I hope will reach many. Check out his compelling video below. Let us know what you think, and if you too have had such moments of clarity.
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