Origins of a Healthtrepreneur
There I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror, wondering how I had gotten so out of shape and overweight. My pants had gradually and suddenly decided to fit tighter around my waist. Shirts didn’t want to cooperate around my midsection. And the scale was telling lies about how much I weighed. (220 pounds? I don’t weigh that much! I’ve never weighed that much.)
“Oh, I’m just getting a little thicker due to age. I’m not that big.” “My diet isn’t that bad. Sure it’s not like it used to be, but I still eat healthy.” These were some of the lies I told myself over the last 5 years. Then the truth hit me, I was fat and out of shape. I had let it all slip out of hand oh so gradually that it had completely escaped my attention. How many of us have found ourselves in this situation?
That was my situation in February 2018.
Growing up, I was your typical high school athlete. I played football as a starting running back and was a captain on the team. Grew up playing baseball and basketball. Even dabbled in wrestling and karate a bit.
When I moved on to college/university, I had fallen in love with physical training (weight lifting, sprinting, odd object lifting, judo, etc.). Through this love of physical culture (as it was once known) I managed to obtain and maintain peak physical conditioning for 10 years straight. No wavering and unfaltering, that is until I got married (Dun dun dun).
Don’t get me wrong, marriage can be and is a great thing. However, how many people find themselves gaining a few extra pounds (say 20+) after they get to that comfortable phase in a relationship? I never thought it would happen to me, but there I was.
Now, when I finally faced the truth of my undesirable weight gain, my immediate desire was to get back in shape again. This desire was motivated by a few things. Ego and vanity were, admittedly, part of the reason, but the main reason was my health and well being. I didn’t want to become another statistic and let things spiral out of control to the point of developing one, if not several, lifestyle induced disease and degeneration.
Why this particular reason is such a strong motivational factor for me is two fold.
- I’m a father of 4 young, wonderful children. I want to set good examples for them to follow and be around for them as long as I possibly can. Being overweight and sick doesn’t make achieving either of those very possible.
- As a natural/holistic healthcare provider, I’d seen the end result all too often when you neglect your physical health. Plus, trying to give someone health advice when you yourself are 40–50 pounds heavier than you want to or should be doesn’t come off so well. No one likes to be a hypocrite, and that is exactly what I allowed myself to become in my business. So my ability to effectively help others was at stake. I knew I had to look the part and walk the walk in order to talk the talk.
Being a parent comes with its own set of difficulties. When the kids were babies (they’re still not that far from this point), I was the one who primarily got up with them at night. This led to lack of sleep and energy, which led to poor food choices. Overcoming the cycle of poor sleep and eating habits was the first thing I had to do. Finding the time to exercise without being interrupted was the next.
Thankfully, the answer to both was to force myself to join a gym and wake up at 5 am to go workout using a progressive exercise program. Now that the kids are a little older, this wasn’t all too difficult to achieve. It just wasn’t fun getting accustomed to it.
I’m pretty sure everyone by now realizes that there are two areas you have to cover in order to get into shape and lose weight. There’s the exercise itself and there’s the nutritional component, or diet. Exercise is crucial for a healthy body, but the majority (roughly 80%) of your results comes by what you put in your mouth. So, I also began a nutritional program that I had been looking at implementing in my practice. What better way to test its efficacy than to experience it myself?
As the weeks rolled on, I was faithful to my routine and diet. Since the diet was initially for 4 weeks (and designed to be continued after if desired), part of the protocol was to check your weight daily. I’ve never done or recommended this in the past for a few reasons, but it was a necessary part of the dietary protocol in order to make adjustments on days you didn’t see any loss of weight.
The great part was that the diet was working, and I was losing about a pound each day. There were obviously some days that stalled some, but I made the adjustments and continued on. At the end of the 4 weeks, I had lost right around 20 pounds. This awesome, especially considering that the reason I wanted to implement it in practice was because most case studies showed people losing 20–30 pounds in 4 weeks. I was beyond pleased at this point!
There was, unfortunately, a down side. At the beginning of the diet, my mood became very foul, especially toward my family. I knew going into it that this could happen, but it was still unpleasant for all. The second down side was that it didn’t look like this diet would be sustainable for someone with an active lifestyle and heavy workout routine. I was always hungry and this led to the inevitable rebound weight gain. Who’s ever experienced that?
I was now looking at myself in the mirror, yet again, seeing an overweight, albeit better conditioned, healthcare provider. This was not looking good in my opinion. Things started slipping in my mind causing me to question how I viewed health and weight gain as we age. “Was it true that you just hit a slippery slope of no return after 30 that only a few unicorns are able to avoid? What’s going on?”
As these thoughts played in my head, I kept assuring myself that this couldn’t be right. The typical American is indeed overweight, if not obese, but this is not the norm for a human being. So, I looked deeper into some of my old notes from Chiropractic school and through the vast training and nutrition books I had collected over the years. Finally, I ran across something I had learned and implemented about 7–8 years ago.
I was always hungry and this led to the inevitable rebound weight gain.
What I had rediscovered was a concept formed after looking at the feeding cycles of several dietary gurus and basic things I learned in the many biochemistry classes I had to go through in undergrad and Chiropractic school. I finally found an answer!
I had to balance out 2 KEY hormones in my body.
Leptin and ghrelin. These were the two hormones, that I rationalized, had to be the key to breaking the yo-yo cycle of weight loss and rebound weight gain. It just had to be.
To put my theory to the test, I came up with a dietary protocol to follow based on what I’ve learned through the years of classical and self education. The protocol was intended to help manipulate the release of these hormones and, more specifically, to train my body to be more sensitive to them.
I had also put together an exercise program that was based on a routine program I had used years ago that I remembered feeling extremely strong from its implementation. The original plan was based on using an external weight (kettlebells, barbells, or dumbbells), and I had been on steady routine of calisthenics/body weight exercises. So I simply altered the routine to fit in with my current interest and goals with calisthenics.
The goal of this “experiment” was to not just lose weight, it was also to improve my body composition. This entails at least some gains in muscle mass along with muscular strength and definition. So, onward I pushed for another 4 weeks (6 weeks would be typical most of the time, but why not have a side by side comparison with the previous attempt).
This time around, I decided not to jump on the scale every day. I just checked my weight once or twice a week. There’s nothing magic about that, obviously, but it was nice to see that my weight was going down each time without stressing whether or not I’m going to have to do a special dietary trick to break through a plateau if I didn’t lose a pound that day. Not that those “tricks” didn’t actually work, it was just the hassle of it all I wanted to get rid of.
At the end of the 4 weeks, it was the moment of truth. Was I successful in losing a satisfactory amount of weight? Did I manage to change the composition of my body enough to yield a desirable look?
Everyone has a right to be in shape, healthy, and feel great!
Yes. Yes I did! I began this go around weighing 205 pounds (not as much as in February, but I had gained a lot back in 4 months). At the end of 4 weeks I was back down to 180 pounds! On top of that, my energy increased, I looked more lean and muscular, my shirts and pants all fit looser (which wasn’t the case when I lost weight from the first 4 week plan), and all my patients were commenting on how much weight they had thought I lost. This was now the end of August/beginning of September, so a lot of those patients were coming back from vacation and hadn’t seen me in a month or two. This was extremely encouraging!
What was actually better than that, was having balanced my ghrelin and leptin levels, I was never hungry or craved junk food! I just had to see how sustainable this way of eating would be, so I continued it through September as well and into October. I can honestly say, I had more “wiggle room” to add more foods back in to the diet, both quantity and variety, without any rebound affect.
It is now the first week in November and I can honestly say that I have been able to maintain my weight (even lose a little more without consciously trying) even with the occasional laps in what I eat. I now look the part of a healthy healthcare provider (walk the walk), which makes it easier to guide people through the same process (talk the talk). It’s amazing how simply improving the way I look improves business and patient care, because now more and more patients keep asking what I’ve been doing. And why wouldn’t they?
I had to balance 2 KEY hormones. (Leptin & Ghrelin)
Who wouldn’t want to learn how to quickly and safely lose weight, get in better shape, and eliminate cravings that end up sabotaging every other diet attempt in a healthy and lasting manner?
I was able to show that, just because you turn a certain age, doesn’t mean that everything has to just fall apart. That’s a mindset that too many people are taught and continue to believe throughout their entire lives. It’s nothing more than a lie society has decided to believe and hold on to that needs to die.
Being in pain, over weight, obese, and sick is not the normal state of a human being. You were created with an amazing ability to heal yourself, have tremendous energy, a healthy weight and disease-free life. Healthy eating habits and regular movement (may or may not be in the form of a gym workout) are two big parts of obtaining this life. They are not everything, but they are necessary for a healthy, normal functioning body.
I became a Chiropractor because I have a passion and desire to help people live a healthier and better quality of life. Through my experience of having been in shape, getting out of shape, and getting back in shape, I have been given an opportunity to further help others gain the body and lifestyle they want.
Everyone has a right to be in shape, healthy, and feel great! You simply have to decide you want it, and take the actions required to achieve it.