06/22/2012 05:19 pm ET | Updated Aug 22, 2012

Dodging a Bullet, or How I Stopped Making Excuses and Started Getting Healthy

It's the middle of the summer, and I'm sweltering inside my tiny room on a chunk of land and water known as Cape Cod. I'm going to talk about this "paleo eating thing," and that "CrossFit thing." You know, the things I do that make my friends think I'm crazy. Or that I'll fall off the wagon in a few months. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. I wasn't always this way. I wasn't always active, I wasn't healthy. I was everything that people pointed at when they thought of unhealthy people. Thankfully, I'd been outrunning the diabetes/cholesterol/thyroid problem, but I knew I couldn't keep that up forever. Nobody has forever, and eventually my good luck was probably going to run out.

My aunt's ran out when she was only 46 years old.

My younger brother, who was only 10 at the time -- found her dead of a heart attack. In case you're wondering, you guessed it -- she was morbidly obese. So was my father, who underwent gastric bypass some 10 years ago. He's gained almost all the weight back, but is trying desperately to change. He's even trying paleo.

I hope it works.

Clearly, the deck was stacked against me. I've only been doing this for a month and a half. I don't have a degree in nutrition, and I'm not a famous blogger or anything of the sort. I've always been a writer, and all I can hope for is that my story might resonate with someone. If I can help one person it will be enough. If I help no one but myself, it will still be enough.

If I can do this, ANYONE can. Really. Fewer excuses, more action. I should have been dead the day I was born. (I was three months early, tipping the scales at 1 pound 10 ounces.) I had a 10 percent chance of survival if I didn't die of some infection. I got one, though. So I probably slashed that chance in half. I survived, by some miracle. The aftermath of this was misdiagnosed autism, fine and gross motor issues (which makes doing CrossFit all the more meaningful to me, coming from years of physical and occupational therapy), and severe gluten intolerance that I now know pretty much ruined my childhood. (Ask any parent of a gluten-sensitive child how well their kids perform when the parents realize that gluten is the culprit and remove it from their child's diet.)

I don't know how things are going to go for me for the rest of my life. All I know is that the last month of my life has been the best I've felt in years. I'm not saying this works for everyone, I just know it worked for me. CrossFit has turned me into the strongest version of myself yet, and eating paleo has done wonders for my health.

It's a long journey down the road to fitness, but I know I'm not alone. There are so many people taking the paleo journey with me -- and even more CrossFitters! It's nice to know that there are others out there like me. My partner has been wonderful in adopting the paleo lifestyle alongside me, and is even going to start CrossFit. No words can express how much that means to me.

I suppose I've rambled enough, but if you're paleo, or you CrossFit, tell me your story. Were you always active? Were you like me and dodged a health bullet until you said, "I have to change?" Let me know in the comments below!

Some of my favorite sites for just starting out are: