Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Have you been thinking about starting a major health journey? Are you contemplating bariatric surgery? Do you have a chronic health condition? Are you worried about starting and failing? Lastly, are you ready to overcome bad health habits that are cutting your quality of life short? If you answered yes to some of these questions, you are reading the right blog post. I know from experience that starting a major health journey is a courageous and challenging mission. It’s courageous because it shows the willingness to change an unwanted behavior. It shows the determination to start and finish an important task. Most importantly, it shows the bravery to venture out, and immerse yourself in an unfamiliar world. That takes moxie.
Below you will read:
How I started my health journey
An introductory story about me
How I developed and overcame a chronic health condition
How I am helping others.
I will start with the truth.
I will be 100% honest with you…starting a major health journey is demanding, but also achievable. It requires discipline. It requires patience. It requires determination. Most importantly, it requires a detailed and thought-out plan, something a good coach can help you with. Believe me, I know about the difficulties, potholes, crashes, and the temptation to give up. It’s all apart of the major health journey. If it’s your first-time cooking steak, the meat likely will not melt in your mouth. If it’s your first-time roller skating, you will fall. If it’s your first-time starting a health journey, you will have struggles. That’s just the straight down the middle truth. No person, coach, book, or guru can prevent that.
However, do not let these facts deter you. Starting a major health and fitness journey has several benefits, including eliminating, or decreasing chronic health conditions such as: hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, arthritis, and decreased chances of heart attacks and strokes. These are just some of the benefits of starting a major health journey.
These are all attainable, life-changing benefits. Increased energy, fall prevention, feelings of fulfillment and accomplishment, muscle gain and increased flexibility (which makes functional activities easier), and increased blood flow (which leads to higher intimacy levels), are also beneficial byproducts of starting a major health journey.
Side Note: Perfection, and eating dry, flavorless foods is not required to start and complete a major health and fitness journey.
How my health journey started.
My health journey began as a little boy in Fort Wayne, IN. Playing outside all day and night, running around the neighborhood, riding bikes across town, playing in creeks, climbing trees, and going to a magnet elementary school – that was the start of my enjoyable fitness journey. In 1990, my life changed. When I was eight- years- old, my mother made me play little league football that summer. I remember that day clearer than any other day in my life.
My mother notified me, letting me know that I would be going to football practice that day. I was devastated! I refused, I cried, I begged her not to make me go. She took college courses in the evening, but she let her sister know that I needed to go to practice. After my first day of practice, I came home excited, exuberant, overjoyed, happy and ready for the next day. I was so pumped! What changed in two hours? What made me love football practice? How did I go from hate to love in the span of two hours? As I reflect on that life changing moment... It was GOOD COACHING. Good coaching is the only way to get someone to go from hating something, to loving something. Talk about the patience one must have to coach someone from hate to love.
The little league coaching staff knew my fears, my shyness, my resistance to participate. They coached me according to my level. That, coupled with the natural endorphins that were unlocked from working out and having fun with my peers, got me hooked. I went on to become voted the “hardest hitter,” and most improved player that year.
What if they coached me on day one, like they coached me on day 30 or day 60? I would have hated football. I would have missed out on so many great experiences. Once they gained my trust, and saw I was coachable, it was a totally different coaching experience. They were sterner, they focused on discipline, they became father figures, with a lot of tough love. I'm forever grateful for my little league coaching staff.
Super Long story short: I moved to Flint, MI on December 9th, 2009, from Fort Wayne, IN. I was 26 years old when I moved. My books, a pallet I would sleep on, a few kitchen utensils, 40 college credits, my clothes, and 50 dollars cash.
My high school sweetheart had a friend who needed someone to maintain a newly renovated house she’d owned. It was empty. I went for it! It was an opportunity for me to make some major life changes.
I didn't have much. However, I had a clear and detailed visions. A few of those main visions were:
Find out how to get a fitness product I envisioned created and manufactured.
Become a health and fitness professional.
Get back in good graces with my high school sweetheart, and hopefully marry her. She was born and raised in Flint, MI – she was my connection to the city. We maintained a 12 year, long- distance relationship. We met each other when we were 14 years old.
As the years passed, I achieved some of my main goals. I got married on June 30th, 2012. I got a job as a fitness professional the next day. I overcame part of my fear of numbers and and created engineering drawings for my fitness device. I created a working prototype.
Fast forward to 2015. The health coaching job I had, went out of business. My world was rocked!
All the things I was in the process of creating with my fitness product halted. I went into a depression. I started smoking cigarettes and cigars. I consumed alcohol. My love and passion for health and fitness was sucked right out of me. Six months passed. Finally, through hard work, prayer and my wife’s encouragement, I got myself together.
We decided I should enroll back in school to get a degree in design and computer assisted design (CAD). I wanted to really learn how to design and develop consumer products from inception to fruition. I also could make a higher salary, which would allow me to pour money into my fitness product. Did I mention I hated math? Not only did I hate it, but I also didn’t know how to do it. It has always been my weakest subject. I have avoided math my whole adult life.
Nonetheless, my vision overcame my fear. I received a job as a paraprofessional. I worked with children, and teens with autism. I also worked for an after-school program all while going to school full time. It was D.I.F.F.I.C.U.L.T. However, I completed my CAD course work.
In 2017 I left the social service field to enter the mechanical engineering field. A year after that, I got sucked into the civil engineering field–- power distribution. This is where my health took a dive for the worst. My whole teenage and adult life, I lived a life of health and fitness. I worked out 5 days a week. I ate healthy. I ran. I kicked boxed. I lifted weights. I swam. I did it all.
But then the perfect storm hit me.
I wasn’t accustomed to working a sedentary job for 40 hours per week, along with an hour commute to work one way.
My wife and I have our first child. Couvade syndrome (sympathy pain), was in full effect. We ate some good food together. I even had major sympathy pains when the doctor checked her cervix for dilation.
The most embarrassing one… I just lost the drive to be fit and healthy. As a fitness professional, I lost my way. I had a moment. I ditched my plan. I had no boundaries. I did not have any goals set for my future health.
And then COVID hit and I found myself sitting around more while I worked from home.
I packed on 50 pounds (of fatty tissue), in 5 years. I developed hypertension; I was about a doughnut away from being pre-diabetic. I was 5’8’’, 293 pounds. At one point, I drove about 40,000 miles in the span of one year. I was the unhealthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. My health hit rock bottom. The good news was that I knew what to do. I had to remember that.
I looked in the mirror one day and said, “I am going to get my health back together. I am going to get off this high blood pressure medication. I am going to get back into the health and wellness field. I am going to get my fitness product in the market.” I also wanted to be in the best shape for my family, yet my health situation was in direct opposition to that.
Over the next few months, I began to chisel my way back down to 245 pounds. I developed healthy habits, I wasn’t so hard on myself; I created a realistic eating and fitness plan that catered to the lifestyle I wanted to live. I worked the plan and stuck with it. I finally got in shape! I did not have to be perfect because my plan did not call for perfection. I have regained my love and passion for fitness again. I just absolutely love it.
I swim, I run, I ride my bike, I lift weights, I stretch, and so much more. And, yes, I eat barbecue, burgers, chicken wings, and my beloved sweets (sparingly). It's a balancing act. I stick to my plan. I now have a new vision and a new mission that I want to share with you.
I will use my 24 years of fitness experience, and my extreme health scare, to pre and post weight loss recipients, professional athletes, and employees of corporations. Like me, you can start and complete a major health journey. Forward Health Management, through caring coaching, will put more cut in your strut, more pride in your stride.
I know a thing or two about starting something new and starting over. I understand going through the process and the struggles. I understand wanting to give up. I understand giving up and quitting on yourself. I understand being depressed and not wanting to go outside even when it's 75 degrees and sunny. I also know how to overcome obstacles and complete a major health and fitness journey. When you start a major health journey, and you begin to see results, it's unequivocally guaranteed that you will want to stay on the right path and complete your journey. The plan you and I put together for you will change your life. Good coaching can help you do that.
Here to serve you
Forward Health Management was created to help people start and finish a major health journey. Like my little league football coach was with me, my fitness associates and I will be with you. We have a plan guaranteed to produce results. We will guide you in the right direction and provide you with the best practices and information to help you make your major health journey a successful one. If you take the first step, we will take the rest with you. Click the link below to start your health journey.