I had the typical childhood of Midwest meat and potatoes, with very few green vegetables, if any vegetables, and tons of sugar, candy, hot dogs (extra long), and pizza. I was the kid that could never just eat one; it was as much as I could stuff in my mouth. I would down several pounds of Halloween candy in a few days and drink lots of orange and grape soda. I spent several time at my grandmother’s house due to her incredible ability to make cakes lots of cakes. I do remember at age 11, feeling weird lightheadedness, which I know now was blood sugar issues, but mostly my body felt fine, so there was no motivating push to eat better. I then went into sports football, track and wrestling and really pushed myself with very little recovery, ending up with lots of injuries, and even bone loss (due to trying to cut weight). I used to eat nothing, but drink a small amount of water a few days before a wrestling match to make weight. I lost several pounds, but was exhausted and stressed. Then after weighing in and making weight, I would consume a VERY large submarine sandwich. This cycle continued throughout college, and was compounded with lots of throat infections and motorcycle injuries. I was starting to wear out just after high school ¦so of course, I decided to join the army! Three months later, I could barely pass the physical fitness training because there was no rest, extremely hard work, and I was eating very poor foods.

Going through college, I pretty much lived on cheap refined carbohydrates, lots of coffee (Cuban coffee), and never ate any vegetables (justifying this by saying, I’ll eat better when I graduate ). The closest I came to developing my health was eating skinless chicken, low fat pizza, and diet foods. But I did take my vitamins (Centrum Silver)! I was experiencing right shoulder pain from what I thought was a dirt bike injury, but it was getting more severe. Little did I know that the Crisco from all those ˜Deep Fried Food Nights’ at college had destroyed my liver. Adding insult to injury, I also consumed huge helpings of salty Doritos and chips the extra large bags! All this was compounded by the stress of college, pushing myself to achieve relentless goals with no sleep.