why i’m an ND

In the before-times, I was hopelessly lost when it came to my own health and body. It took some remarkable people and divine intervention to make me realize that I didn’t have to be lost or hopeless; that I too could thrive like the people I saw and so envied when I was 19 years old, nearly 300 pounds, and racked with pain, depression, anxiety, and very little will to carry on.

In 2003, I discovered that through a change in nutrition (it was keto for me), I was finally able to shed most of my body fat, gain muscle, and feel good for once. I read and learned  more. I lived with an autoimmune disease most of my life and every doc I saw was convinced that antidepressants were the cure or that they could guilt me into slimming down because CLEARLY it was just from overeating… right? Why did these things happen?

When I found out the root cause for why my own health was failing, I started to adjust the imbalance and my body responded. It began healing itself. I still have an autoimmune disease, but it no longer enslaves me the way it once did. And that is why I am so passionate about what I do.

Left: 2002; Right: 2016

There’s hope for the person who can’t figure out why they can’t lose weight; the depressed, anxious person who can’t get out of their own way; the athlete who wants to fight on but their body is telling them “no.” There’s a way to work with our bodies so they will serve us. I’m here to lead you to better health because I know what it’s like to be in pain and feel hopeless, yet rewrite my story. I know I couldn’t do it alone and you shouldn’t have to either.

I want to mention here, that there is a huge element of my path to sports medicine in particular that should not go under-appreciated. After a random conversation in Mother’s Market in Costa Mesa, California, with two complete strangers, named Matt and Travis, I was enticed to start training at 10th planet. When I entered the martial arts community, it further empowered me to take the power back that I had lost (or perhaps never felt I had) through the course of my life.

My jiujitsu family created an atmosphere of acceptance that I never had before, especially in athletics. They pushed me to be the best me I could be. They encouraged me on my path to excellence. I don’t think I would be as strong-willed without that aspect of my life. That’s why I love helping fighters with injuries and nutrition. It’s one way I can reciprocate love to my martial arts community that will always be part of me. Hopefully, the following images give you a glimpse into this precious part of my world.

You made it to the end! Good job.