I want to take the time to share with you a personal story about myself. I call this my origin story and I want to give you a little bit of the backstory. I had always been active in my life and when I was in high school, I was a wrestler, after high school I joined the army was active duty for three years. Then I went to college and I became a top ranked competitive power lifter. Power lifting was a sport that I just really took to and I absolutely loved it. I’ve always been active, I’ve always been working out but you know, the thing about that I loved about power lifting is it allowed me to get as big and as strong as I wanted to.
The beauty about it was I could just eat, I could eat anything I wanted to and boy did I eat. I just ate anything and everything. But the sad thing about that sport, as great as it was and as fun as it was to compete, it’s not a question of if you’ll get hurt, it’s a question of when, and sure enough I got hurt. Next thing I knew I couldn’t lift anymore. I couldn’t work out like I used to. But that sure didn’t stop me on the eating. I continued to eat and because I wasn’t working out and I wasn’t watching my diet, I started to pack on the weight and got really heavy. I mean, at one point I was 75 pounds overweight and I knew I had to do something.
So, I started focusing on using a ketogenic diet to drop the weight. And boy, it worked beautifully. I mean, it took the weight right off. In five months I had lost 77 pounds on this ketogenic diet. I was excited to have lost this weight but I was also struggling. I was juggling my physical therapy practice, my family, and trying to stay true to this diet. It was really getting hard to, to keep that weight off. During that time my wife and kids rarely saw me when I wasn’t exhausted.
I stressed out. The demands of running the business, trying to stay on the diet, and trying to balance my family were really weighing on me. I really wanted to keep that weight off. You know, I’ve worked really hard to lose those 77 pounds and I really didn’t want to put that weight back on. I didn’t want to go back to where I had come from and I had this desire, this deep desire to keep the weight off, and not go back to being fat and unhealthy. I really wanted to stay lean and have the energy to spend time with my wife and kids, and to be the husband and the father that I knew I could be for them. So I was really struggling.
I really struggled to find a sustainable way to keep that weight off. I wanted to be lean. I wanted to look like I did back in my high school wrestling days, I wanted to feel great. I loved the feeling of being able to wear clothes off the rack and not have to go to the big and tall store. I mean, it was a great feeling when I was able to go into like Kohl’s and buy a pair of pants that were 34 inch waist instead of a 42. I can’t even tell you how good that felt. That was absolutely amazing. I didn’t want to give any of that up. I had created this new me and I wanted that to be permanent, but there was this internal struggle. I finally had what I wanted but I could not maintain it and I felt terrible and I felt terrible about myself.
You see, this is hard to share, but years ago when I was in elementary and junior high, I never felt like I fit in. I never felt like I was part of anything. I suffered from low self-esteem, low self-confidence and I was bullied. It made me feel less than and that I wasn’t good enough, that I was inferior to everybody else. Those feelings transferred to adulthood. Those feelings fueled my drive to become big and strong and powerful and learn how to lift all these weights.
But when I couldn’t have workout anymore, I still had those feelings of insecurity and I didn’t like how I looked. I knew I was heavy and unhealthy. I had found a way to get that weight off, but now I was struggling to keep it off. Even though I had a successful career, I was successful in business, and I had lost this weight, I still had these feelings. I still felt like I wasn’t good enough and I was killing myself just trying to keep that weight off, trying to juggle the stress of my business and spend time with my family. I had finally lost the weight, but I really wasn’t a lot of fun to be around at that time in my life.
I remember my wife telling me that she was just tired of me being irritable. I wasn’t enjoyable. I wasn’t the fun-loving guy that she married. I had become this person that didn’t smile a lot and was really crabby. I was unhappy and I wasn’t being a good father to my kids. This was killing me inside. I felt like I had hit this wall that required me to choose between the body I wanted or being happy in my life and with my family. I knew that the problem was the keto diet that I was on. I could take the weight off and I could keep it off but it meant that I had to follow the strict diet guidelines. Following those restrictive guidelines meant that I was crabby, tired and exhausted all the time.
In addition, I would get intense cravings for sweets, out of nowhere. Prior to being on this diet I had never had a sweet tooth but after I took the weight off using this keto diet I would crave sweets like you wouldn’t believe! Those craves would often end in self sabotage. I found myself sneaking treats and I didn’t know how to stop the cravings. I tried just saying no but the self-control really, really wasn’t working. I remember my daughter found me one time, middle of the night in the kitchen, spoonful of Jif peanut butter, just shoveling it into my mouth. I had never had cravings like this before the ketogenic diet and I had no idea what to do.
Then I started having physical issues. I started getting cramps in my legs. My inner thigh would just seize up and cramp. I would get lightheaded. I would stand up and almost pass out. I was maintaining my water intake. I was doing everything right, but I knew something inside of me wasn’t right. I was trying to so hard to be healthy and had finally lost this weight but I felt worse than ever!
Then everything came to a head when I suffered two major tendon ruptures within two years of each other. First, I ruptured my left Achilles tendon and to have surgery to fix it. Then no more than a year later I ruptured my right bicep at the elbow and they had to sew that back into place. This is when I knew what I was doing with my diet, trying to keep this weight off, it was taking a toll on me. It was taking a toll on me mentally. It was taking a toll on me physically. And it was effecting my family and even my business. It just wasn’t working.
It was around this time that I went to a conference for physical therapy and it was as if by chance all these new concepts were introduced to me and this light bulb went off. I was introduced to the secret of intermittent fasting, the use of yoga, high intensity interval training, and the problem that we have with our current food industry. It was mind blowing to learn about all the chemicals that are being put in the food, the preservatives, and the amount of sugar that the food industry is hiding in everyday items. No wonder people have issues trying to lose and keep weight off. I started reading the ingredients and looking at what’s being put into our food today, it’s absolutely scary. I kept thinking “this is creating problems for people.” I couldn’t believe what I kept finding. I mean were talking hormonal imbalances, problems with our gut, inflammation, joint issues, all kinds of problems that were all being linked back to things in our food!
What is even more bothersome is that I found a lot of this information is not easily accessible to the public community. It’s really not, I mean, you can find it, but you have to look really hard. You know, it’s being hidden from us. This is when I realized two things:
1) The struggle that I was facing wasn’t my fault.
2) I wasn’t the only person that needed to know this information!
It was this aha moment. My eyes were opened and it all clicked. I realized that it wasn’t just about exercise or diet alone. I immediately started researching. I still remember sitting in the conference and it was just like this, boom, this light bulb went off. I knew that this was the piece that I was missing. I learned how important it was to alkalize your diet. How an unalkalized diet effects the inflammation in the body and when inflammation is uncontrolled, it messes with your insulin levels. Which in turn makes it really hard for your body to burn fat and keep the weight off.
I also learned how important the mindset is in the weight loss process. I was so focused on the diet or the exercise I have never thought about how much of an impact our mind has. I realized I was focusing on the mechanics of losing weight. I was focused on a physical goal but I wasn’t focusing on what it truly means to be at peace. I wasn’t thinking about why I wanted that physical goal and how important that is to have peace, balance and harmony within you. In order to be successful it’s the whole body that has to be addressed. It’s your mind, body, and spirit. That was the key that I was missing. I still get goosebumps when I think about getting on that plane home and feeling like I had a whole new lease on life.
I remember getting home and I sat down for like two and a half hours writing out a new plan for myself. I wanted to implement everything I had just learned. My plan was to start using this new information to restructure my life and I would go on this journey on how to address my body, my diet, my mind, my spirit. I started to study intermittent fasting. I studied the timing of how we should eat, the foods that we should be eating, how we should be pairing them together, and the importance of macro and micro nutrients. I started to meditate and do yoga at home. I started adding high intensity interval training with my workouts. I was so excited to implement all these new things I had learned.
But after a few weeks I started having trouble finding time to work out. You know how it is. You start everything guns a blazing you’re just moving and all of a sudden you start to hit a roadblock and you have trouble with time and you have trouble getting your workouts in. That’s what happened to me. I couldn’t find the time for it.
My workouts would take too long. I didn’t know how to structure them properly. I started skipping my meditation, I just couldn’t find time for it. I couldn’t fit everything into my busy life but I really wanted this to work. So I did what anyone else would do I said, well, I just got to create more time. God only gave us 24 hours in a day. Um, how do we create more time?
I just thought, well, I’ll wake up earlier. So I started getting up at 4:00 AM and I would work out and then start my day. But I quickly found out, if I am going to get up that early then I have to go to bed earlier. Well, shoot! Now I had to go to bed at 8:00 PM. Once again, I’m missing out on my family time. I’m missing out on that time with my wife and my kids. I’m still not being that husband and father that I’ve wanted to be. I struggled. I remember just sitting there saying, you know, this isn’t worth it. I just want to quit. All I want is to be happy! I’m just going to quit and accept that I will just be fat and happy. I’m just going to be unhealthy because nothing’s going to work.
I wanted to throw in the towel so many times. But there was always this little voice deep down inside that said, “don’t quit, don’t quit, that’s not going to make you happy. That’s not going to fulfill you inside. You gotta find a way to make this work.”
At that point, I decided I was going to burn my boats. I’m going to cut off all other avenues. I am going to make it to where I have no other option but to succeed. And I’m just going to keep moving forward. So I ended up getting so frustrated that I started to focus on how do I put this together?
I sat back and I took stock in my life. I about thought what’s truly important and what is the legacy that I want to leave behind when I’m gone from this earth? I once was told that there’s 24 hours in a day and if you can’t fit everything into your day, is that your fault or God’s fault? Well, I’m going to tell you, God doesn’t make any mistakes. So if you can’t fit everything into your life, there’s a problem. You have too much. For 30 years I had abandoned that my relationship with God and through this journey I started to rediscover that. It was truly a whole new outlook on life.
I started to ask how can I fit these things I have learned into my life? You know, if you ask the right questions, eventually you start to come to the right answer. As I asked this question and started to work toward finding a way to make this work I realized I don’t need to work out for 45 minutes. If I have a properly designed, high interval intensity training routine I can get a great workout and burn a lot of calories in as little as 15 minutes.
I realized that with intermittent fasting I didn’t need to worry about planning as many meals. I started making meals that were delicious and full of healthy items because I didn’t have to cook as often. I found short guided meditations that I could do before I went to bed which helped me sleep better throughout the night.
I discovered these bio hacks that increased the effectiveness and calorie burning of my HIIT workouts. When paired with the proper micro nutrients things within my stomach and my gut settled down, my inflammation decreased, and I learned that your gut is kind of like your second brain and those cravings. I was having were not because of a lack of self-control. Those cravings were because there was a problem in my stomach and once I solved that I realized that my cravings were gone.
My journey has not been easy. It has taken me years to get where I am today. But because of the struggles I have gone through I was able to create a system that gave me the ability to lose weight, keep it off, and regain my happiness. It was healthy, sustainable and most of all, it fit into my busy lifestyle. I wanted to share what I had learned. I called the program the 4 Week Weight Loss System for Busy Moms and Dads.
So after creating the 4 Week Weight Loss System for Busy Moms and Dads, I not only found a way to lose the weight and keep it off, but most importantly, I found a way to lower my stress levels. I found a way to be more at peace, more present and to be more relaxed with my family and friends. I found balance between the body, the mind, the spirit. This harmony has given me a greater sense of what is truly important in life. And you know, I am no longer worried about my weight. I’m no longer feeling like I am not enough because I’ve been able to create that balance that I needed. And in the end, this means that I am going to be the person, the husband, and the father that God has created me to be.