As a young boy I was optimistic, creative, and energetic but struggled with severe digestive issues, a weak immune system (doctors thought I may have needed a blood transfusion right after being born due to a very high white blood cell count), asthma requiring 2 different prescription medications, frequent colds and flues, severe allergies, nut allergies, ear infections etc. I also had behavioral “issues” that I now know were diet and chemical related.
Growing up my parents always enrolled me in sports and other physical activities. I mostly enjoyed these activities and was pretty good skill-wise, but I struggled to keep up with others my age in strength and speed etc. due to my health conditions and low life-force in my body. I enjoyed swimming, soccer, hockey, cross country running, track and field, basket ball and was especially good at baseball and mountain biking.
I grew up eating a standard North American Diet. My parents often made home cooked meals, but our diet was high in fat, sugar, salt, milk, cheese, meat and highly processed foods. We frequently enjoyed order-in pizza, Chinese food etc. and ate out at fast food restaurants almost weekly as a “treat”. Despite all this I would say that we still ate a healthier diet than most people I knew. My mom would lovingly pack me a lunch each day for school with sandwiches (usually white bread), yoghurt, crackers, cheese, and juice boxes. She usually included a piece or two of fruit like apples, oranges, and bananas, which I often brought back home or threw into the trash.
I never struggled with my weight from eating these foods, if anything I was malnourished, anemic, and weak. I was what you would call “skinny fat”.
Entering my teenage years I developed severe depression, acne, and my asthma worsened. I visited various specialists and they prescribed a variety of medications. Anti-depressants, increasing in strength and dosage over only a few months, acne medications and skin burning creams, asthma puffers and equipment…
Never offering any real solutions or options for healing.
Nothing worked. I still struggled with severe depression, only now I was dealing with harsh side effects from the pills too.
I still had severe acne all over my face, neck and back, and now my skin was burned, raw, and irritated from the creams, and who knows what the pills were doing to me.
My asthma remained. The puffers were only a band-aid for attacks.
Not one doctor ever mentioned diet. Not once!
I accepted things the way they were and accepted that I would be struggling with these conditions for the rest of my life.
My body ached and felt arthritic most of the time. My energy levels crashed and I could barely make it through a day of school, and often didn’t.
I just wanted to sleep all day.
I fell into a dark depression despite the medications and I stopped participating in almost all physical activities that I once loved.
My acne worsened and became so bad on my back and neck that I was too embarrassed to take my shirt off or go swimming for the next 4 years.
My diet worsened in an attempt to comfort myself. I didn’t know a thing about nutrition or how food affects our bodies. I would eat fast food almost daily, sometimes twice a day or more.
It was a common habit of mine to tear into an entire carton of ice cream and not stop until it was gone, or I would eat an entire large pizza to myself.
I used food to comfort myself, to cover up my emotions…and even though I wasn’t overweight I would binge on a regular basis in an attempt to numb myself.
I started drinking coffee to get through the days, but it didn’t help and the crashes were even worse.
As my diet worsened so did my skin and overall health. I was always getting sick.
In high school I began to take on self destructive habits like smoking cigarettes, abusing marijuana several times per day, drinking alcohol and acting violently.
My grades slid. I hated school, I hated myself and I was officially lost… but no one really noticed.
After finishing high school my life didn’t seem full of hope and opportunity like it seemed to be for others.
I didn’t want to do much of anything, so I just worked low paying jobs in restaurants and other businesses to support my habits and get by day to day.
My diet took a turn for the worse while working in restaurants…as if it could get any worse…
I drank soda all day long and ate fried foods for every meal on every shift.
Salad wasn’t even in my vocabulary except as a side dish for customers.
I began to feel stuck in a rut. Like my life wasn’t worth living if it was going to continue on this way.
I started experimenting with harder drugs, then using them more frequently. Alcoholism began to become a problem in my life.
My self confidence was non-existent unless I was drinking.
I would wake up severely hung over and late for work.
I recall one night where I spent a couple of hours on the bathroom floor puking into the toilet after drinking all night knowing that I had to be at work for a 5:30 am shift.
I heard my alarm go off over in my bedroom while sill laying on the floor at 5 am, not having slept a wink…and still drunk.
Somehow I made it to work albeit a few minutes late but I was the only one there. I barely made it through that day, but there were many others like it. This is not something I’m proud of.
Many of us go through phases, especially as young adults, but my life was a complete mess. I was going nowhere and I wanted to change so bad but just couldn’t.
It was too big of a hole to crawl out of…or so I thought.
One day after years of struggle, I decided that I had to do something. I felt so sick and depressed and hated my life so much that I felt I only have two options left:
Option 1. Take control of my life and my destiny and completely overhaul all aspects of myself and my path in life.
Option 2. Stop living.
I couldn’t bare another day trapped in this cycle that I was in.
I couldn’t live in my sick, weak, pain-stricken body anymore.
I couldn’t deal with the drugs, booze, smoking, and medications another day.
Somewhere deep inside of me I knew that there was a better way to live and a better life waiting for me.
And that was enough for me. I chose option 1. To live on and completely change my life; To transform myself and learn how to thrive.
Right then and there I decided to quit smoking, drinking and doing drugs…cold turkey as they say.
I weaned off of all of my medications. The anti-depressants were the hardest of all to quit, with horrendous side effects and withdrawals.
I started running. Even though my lungs burned and wheezed, and I had no endurance; I knew that I had to keep going.
I no longer wanted to smoke because it would make it harder to run.
I remembered my cross country running days when I was younger, and fell in love with running again.
I started going to the gym. At first only once a week and then within a month later I went almost every single day.
I replaced my old habits with HEALTHY new ones.
I was inspired to start eating healthier and began preparing my own meals with lots of fruits and vegetables for the first time. My diet wasn’t great yet but my body loved it because it was getting a whole new variety of nourishing foods.
I remember the exact moment when I ate a large plate of rice noodles piled high with steamed vegetables and fresh made sweet and sour sauce. I sprinkled sesame seeds on top.
It was the largest portion of vegetables I had ever eaten in my life up until that point.
My energy levels shot through the roof. I was literally high from the surge of nutrients entering my body.
My depression wasn’t as bad anymore and my skin started clearing. My digestion improved a lot.
I felt stronger and I felt faster.
I shed fat rapidly and gained muscle. I even grew a bit taller…and this was well after puberty.
These dramatic changes motivated me to improve my diet even further. As my diet got better, so did my health.
I cut out all dairy products and my skin cleared even more. I stopped eating gluten and my digestive problems went away.
I started learning more about the importance of eating organically grown foods, and whole foods.
My fitness was skyrocketing and people started to notice.
I was winning my age group in running races. I was in the gym 6 days a week, doing hot yoga, eating clean and detoxing physically, mentally and spiritually from all of those years of abuse.
I became a hard working, focused, and reliable employee at work and my bosses noticed.
My new found confidence gave me the strength to quit a job that no longer served me and I began working on improving all areas of my life.
I enrolled in college and earned excellent grades in all of my courses, experiencing a level of focus and clarity that I had never known before.
I eventually cut out meat, eggs, and whey protein from my diet and became a vegan.
I often had people coming up to me and asking me for fitness and diet tips and advice.
“What is your diet?” and “How do you train?” were common questions.
I felt inspired to help others and become a personal trainer in 2007.
Around this time I discovered the raw food diet that so many people were raving about.
I dabbled in it but my success was limited. I enjoyed eating raw foods and experienced some benefits but made many mistakes.
I started bike racing and again and quickly improved. I gained new levels of endurance and become able to ride my bike for up to 12 hours in a day and over 340 km straight.
I stopped driving and would ride my bike everywhere for transportation, training and racing.
I met others with similar interests to me in an organization called OrganicAthlete.
I slowly dialed in the raw food diet and made it work for me.
I reached a whole new level of health, rarely getting sick or injured and recovering very quickly from training. Overall I felt AMAZING!
I went on to intern with OrganicAthlete and live in Sebastopol California at the OrganicAthlete Training Center where I worked as the office manager and helped put on events and give talks, educating and inspiring other athletes about a vegan diet.
Jump forward a couple of years and I was back in Canada working a job I hated, feeling stuck and like I wasn’t living my life’s purpose. Which I knew was helping others transform their bodies and lives through movement, eating a healthy plant based diet with as much raw foods as possible and living a more natural lifestyle.
I felt amazing and loved my new life but something was missing. I needed to give back and help others.
Just like the time when I was so sick and tired of my life before, I knew what I had to do.
And that is when I created Wild Body Wellness.
You may be able to relate to my story or you may not. You may be reading this at the beginning of your journey just like I was all those years ago or much further into it.
Or you may be right where I was for many years, feeling fed up and looking for an answer.
No matter where you’re at, I’m glad you’re here and that we’re on this journey together. I wish you all of the success in the world and hope that you consider my 30 Day Fitness Quest program and my services as a health coach and personal trainer through Wild Body Wellness as a genuine way of helping you get there and discover the true Wild Body that is already within you. If I could do it SO CAN YOU!
Yours in health,