Meet Michael, a college running back who was determined to transform himself into an endurance athlete. His story may surprise you.
I would love to tell my story of how functional nutrition changed my life. First, let me provide you with a little bit of background information. I was a relatively healthy guy, a lifelong health nut, a college running back at a well-respected football program, and I did not have any glaring or significant health issues. With that said, I sought out assistance as I prepared to run my first full marathon, the Dublin Marathon in Ireland. And yes, I had lofty goals of breaking 3:30.
After hearing many terror stories about how my friends and family hit a wall at mile 20, felt like they were going to die the last 3 miles, or could barely walk the week following their marathon, I was determined to take the necessary steps to try and have a positive experience. I thought maybe if I prepared myself well enough, I might be able to run a great race and still be able to walk afterwords so as not to ruin the rest of my Irish vacation!
As I mentioned, I had zero symptoms or health concerns and I had what I thought was a pretty healthy diet. However, I still felt that my body composition wasn't where it should be. I was slightly less muscular/had a higher body fat % than I used to and I was having a hard time recovering from runs/lifts. I could no longer lift my legs and run in the same week. If I just did 2 sets of a barbell squat with a moderate weight, I was sore for 2-3 days and it would hinder my running for up to 5 or 6 days. If I did squats on Monday, my long run on Saturday would suffer. My muscles were so fatigued that I found myself needing to walk-jog the last few miles. Considering that in high school and college I did heavy lifting 2-4 days a week combined with practice and other activities without major issues, I had a hard time believing age had taken that big of a toll on me at just 30 yrs old. In reality, little did I know how many other symptoms/issues I had until I made a few changes…
I completed a comprehensive nutrition consultation and related testing followed by specific and individualized recommendations regarding my diet, supplements, and lifestyle, I have to admit it was a bit overwhelming but I kept a print out of everything next to my fridge and read over it several times a week for the first few weeks until I started to get a hang of it all. I removed all foods that I was sensitive to as well as most refined sugar from my diet. I cut out almost anything that was made with any type of flour- pasta, pizza, crackers, chips, etc. There were many supplements that I took to improve the health of my gut and I also corrected numerous nutrient deficiencies revealed by my test results. The most interesting part is that within a few weeks, I noticed that some of my supplements were allowing me to breakdown my food more efficiently and as a result, I felt much fuller for longer after eating. Furthermore, I was recovering SO MUCH FASTER from my workouts and I was starting to be able to lift my legs again and still run the same week. I just couldn't believe it. I was finally recovering in a way I never thought to be possible.
After 3 months of this new protocol, I ran my first full marathon with great success. I finished with a time of 3:28:56 and could not have been happier! Furthermore, my body composition had improved and I had dropped about 10 lbs in the process. The best part? I noticed a tremendous improvement in my focus at work. My energy skyrocketed too. I no longer needed any form of caffeine to feel alert. My attention span also improved quite a bit, so much so that I can now sit down and read a book for 20-30 minutes straight. That may sound strange but I was never much of a reader because I was either too tired at the end of the day or I just couldn't stay focused. I would read for a half hour and not realize what I had read because my mind was wandering in 20 different directions. I was amazed that this was no longer an issue. I felt more calm, focused, and experienced more clear thinking than I had in my entire life. Prior to taking a functional approach, I didn't even realize any of these symptoms were holding me back. I figured it was just because I was such a busy and hard working guy.
The most shocking part was that I became more organized and productive without even trying. I’ve always been a pretty organized person but I’ve noticed over the last few months that my desk at work and my home are more orderly. Everything just comes to me easier than it did before. It's unbelievable, really.
My experience shows that even “healthy” people can witness significant life changing improvement with Kylene's approach to nutrition. My way of eating and my lifestyle on the whole has been forever changed. I don’t ever want to go back to the way things were before. While I wasn’t “sick” or experiencing any major issues, I saw absolutely life changing improvements. I now lift my legs heavy one day a week and perform body weight or TRX variations the next day without any issues running. Not to mention, I ran my fastest 5k OF MY LIFE a few weeks ago, I can now go the entire week without any caffeine, and my overall productivity at work and home is better than it has ever been. Taking a functional approach to my health was truly an amazing experience and I will continue to work hard to maintain the progress I have made.