Sometimes people have ailments, diseases, injuries, and/or any other issue that they believe that stops them from being able to live a healthy life style. Now think “Does that make sense?” Absolutely not, it doesn’t make sense. How are you supposed to have good health and maintain good standing health if you don’t take care of your body? How are you supposed to get healthy without taking that first step? Well, the answer is, by taking that first step.
I was born with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’ve hid it my whole life, because I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t do things or tell me I couldn’t. Also, people didn’t know back then that being active with arthritis is actually more beneficial then anything. As a child, I was told to stay in bed if I was in pain. Staying in bed did absolutely nothing for me, besides make all my symptoms worse. My youth consisted of pain, swelling, experimental medicines, and experimental surgeries. By the age of 18, I already had 6 surgeries. At least 4 of those surgeries could have been prevented by living an active lifestyle, instead I received, “you can’t because you’ll get hurt.” I was also told by the doctors I would be in a wheel chair, and I was. They put me in one for a whole summer. I remember going to a zoo with all my cousins and watching them run around with the other kids. That was my mental turning point. I believe I was 9 years old when I made the choice that I would no longer be in a wheel chair from that day forward. If I would have listened, I would be completely crippled by doctors today.
Fast forward to my wrestling career, wrestling actually made me feel better and stronger. I slowly got into lifting weights to help build more strength. I started feeling better. I started weening off of some of the medicines I was on.
Also, another part to the equation I never thought about was food. I was completely uneducated about the effects of food on your body, and inflammatory foods when you have an auto immune disorder that causes severe inflammation.
One night, I had dinner with my friend Lacey and Johnny Caferella, at Timber lodge Steak House. We had a business dinner, and like most people, I ordered a steak. I am from the Midwest and grew up on steak and potatoes. Well, after the meeting I didn’t feel so well. I literally felt like I was about to die. I went to the bathroom, Lacey followed, and waited for me for almost an hour. I didn’t get sick, but I didn’t feel well either. Lacey drove me home on one of the most miserable rides ever. When I got home I finally got sick. It was terrible! I still felt so sick, so much so that I went to the doctor. I had a concern about being sick from the steak house and also from having some discoloration on my back. The doctor asked me if I eat my vegetables....Well, the answer was no. So, he suggested I give up meat because I may have had my limit and add veggies into my lifestyle. When I left I gave up red meat and added veggies to my nutrition. I ate chicken like it was going out of style instead as my protein source. Within a month, all my blotches went away, and a lot of my inflammation had decreased. I noticed the change with the spots right away, but I didn’t really pay attention to the inflammation, because I was just used to it. I only noticed I wasn’t taking all the meds, because it wasn’t necessary. I also got off of all my meds for a whole 7 years with no issues just being active. I had to get on some post car accident, but that’s another story for another time.
Basically, the point is I’ve had “issues” with the RA my whole life, and I don’t know what pain free feels like and I thought popping joints was the norm. I also know the difference between eating the Midwest foods, not exercising, and being medicated feels like vs proper nutrition choices, working out/being active, and not medicated feels like.
The BIG point is, that I can relate and I am not just any trainer. I know, I feel you, and I can relate to the pain, but trust me when I say being active will help you.