Benefits of Antioxidants
”The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live."
- Dr. Richard Cutler, former Director of the National Institute of Aging, Washington
Antioxidants are the nutritional equivalent of man's best friend - they are loyal protectors and nurturers of our cells, repelling disease, and promoting good health. Antioxidants can come from healthy eating or in the form of supplements, and they include a family of naturally formed components like vitamin A, beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin E, and more. They are believed to protect cells from free radicals, harmful oxygen molecules thought to damage cells that result in cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, and they may be the underlying reason why we age.
Free radicals are formed naturally in the body, but their production is increased by factors such as smoking, alcohol, air pollution, infection, stress, excessive sunlight, and toxins like radiation and asbestos.
It’s ironic that the oxygen we need to survive is also the catalyst for the production of free radicals. When an oxygen molecule (O2) becomes electrically charged or “radicalized” it tries to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the cell’s DNA. Over time, such damage may become irreversible and lead to disease. The job of antioxidants is to “mop up” free radicals, meaning that they neutralize their electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules.
Even the healthiest among us have some free radicals in our systems, but when free excessive radicals are formed in the body, the harmful condition known as oxidative stress occurs, possibly leading to disease.
Antioxidants can also slow some of the physical signs of aging by minimizing wrinkles and preserving skin's natural “glow”. Some studies also suggest that antioxidant supplements help protect skin from sun damage. German researchers found that 1,000 IU’s of vitamin E and 2,000mg of vitamin C daily for eight days boosted resistance to sunburn by 20%. Other research found a mixture of beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein - three potent antioxidants - taken for three months also reduced incidence of mild sunburn.
Supplementing with antioxidants will help balance your antioxidant load, one of the best ways to get your antioxidants is in food that you eat. In short, a regular diet rich in antioxidants will help keep you healthy, inside and out.
by Naturalpath.com staff writer
When I was 17 years old, it was a time in my life that I didn't focus on the things that I should have. Instead of doing school work and playing sports I chased a buzz. My priorities were obviously screwed up. I went through a period where I would take shots of straight vodka as soon as I got home from school at 3:30 in the afternoon before going to work at a car wash.
This was a daily habit that formed and led to what my story is all about. One random school night my friend Daniel and I went over to a friend’s house to get drunk and that's exactly what we did. Since it was a school night I had a curfew. Driving home I was doing fine up until the point of about 2 minutes away from dropping off Daniel. He lives on top of a mountain and I was going around a turn and misjudged it. I was going too fast and we ended up rolling.
I was knocked out and when I came to, my upper body was hanging out of the window that my shoulder had busted out. This is how I got the scar on my shoulder in the picture above. My parents showed up in disbelief. Then the police showed up. I ended up blowing a .17 and luckily somehow I did not get a DUI. I was only charged with wreckless driving. Emotionally I broke down at the scene and was so upset with myself and what I had just done. I could've easily killed Daniel or myself or both. So please next time you think about getting behind the wheel and driving intoxicated DON'T because you might not be a lucky as I was.
10 Health Benefits of Red Wine
Since it's that time of year when you will most likely be doing a lot of drinking make sure to make healthier choices. Try to stay away from sugary mixed drinks and reap the benefits of Red Wine. I prefer Pinot Noir. Another suggestion if you are not a wine drinker try either light beer, straight shots or shots mixed with diet sodas.
Not everyone chooses to drink alcohol, but those who do are probably smart to choose red wine. Every year, the research on the health benefits of red wine piles up. Wine has always been a staple in the human diet. In fact, scientists have documented red wine as far back as 5400 B.C.
Here are ten reasons to drink red wine (in moderation of course!)
New research shows that red wine, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, and Merlot, contains melatonin. Melatonin regulates the body clock, so drinking a glass of red wine before bed may help you sleep. Melatonin is also an anti-oxidant, which means it also has anti-aging and cancer preventative properties.
A compound in red wine called resveratrol has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies.
Resveratrol has been shown to protect against Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease thanks to the resveratrol and other anti-oxidants it contains.
Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain found that each glass of red wine per day reduced the risk of lung cancer by 13%.
Four or more glasses of red wine per week has been shown to reduce men's overall risk of prostate cancer by 50% and the risk of the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer by 60%.
Moderate consumption of red wine is believed to lower the risk of breast cancer. However, drinking more than 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day appears to increase the risk of breast cancer in women, so moderation is key.
Researchers in Spain found that people who drank more than two glasses of red wine per day have 44% fewer colds than people who abstained.
Resveratrol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps overall physical health since many diseases and ailments can be attributed to inflammation.
Resveratrol has been found in studies to lower LDL cholesterol, while another ingredient in red wine, saponins, also have cholesterol lowering properties.
Health Benefits of a Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is rich in Vitamin A (betacarotene) and Vitamin C. Both Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that work in the body to remove free radicals, this free radicals are chemicals that damage cells.
Good for stomach ulcers and inflamed conditions of the colon.
It is beneficial for low blood pressure.
May be helpful for hemorrhoid because of its high fiber content.
A good food for people involved in heavy muscular work, since this food is high in vitamins and minerals.
May help prevent cancer in glands and organs with epithelial tissue due to its high Vitamin A content.
A good food for diabetics, because it helped stabilize blood sugar levels.
Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm.
Vitamin A : 7,700 I.U.
Vitamin B : Thiamine .09 mg.
Riboflavin : .05 mg.
Niacin : .6 mg.
Vitamin C : 22 mg.
Calcium : 30 mg.
Iron : .7 mg.
Phosphorus : 49 mg.
Potassium : 300 mg.
Fat : .7 gm.
Carbohydrates : 27.9 gm.
Protein : 1.8 gm.
Calories : 123
I've been just cooking mine in the microwave because it's easyier and quicker then baking in the oven. Poke holes with a fork. Wrap in a paper towel and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Self Sabotage – My Personal Battle with an Eating Disorder…
10 million people in America struggle with eating disorders, 5 million will fully recover and 2 million will die. For the longest time I was embarrassed by this story but now that I’m fully recovered I wanted to share my experience to let people know that I’ve had my own personal struggles with food. I want to tell my personal story of when I battled with an eating disorder for what felt like an eternity but was for an eight month period. For the past couple of years I had always struggled with being somewhat addicted to food. From weekend drunken late night binges to just random binges that were caused by trying to eat extremely restrictive and ended badly by back firing. It wasn’t until August 2009 that it started to take a plunge for the worse. I was on track for the previous months because I was trying to lose weight and muscle mass to enter the fashion modeling world. I had went from a muscular 225lb physique living the bodybuilding lifestyle to 205lb lean and healthy look but I quit lifting weights all together. I know that this shouldn’t be an excuse but from June to September I was dealing with living situation issues that were not necessary and I turned to binge alcohol drinking followed by binge junk food eating. This would happen a couple times a week. At this point I didn’t think I had a problem and in NYC if you are with a good club promoter it’s unlimited Vodka. I figured I could just do extra cardio and workout harder the next day to compensate for the alcohol and food issue. I couldn’t see myself in the mirror. I was slowly losing myself in more ways than one. I still managed to be “just in shape enough” at the time to sign with Major Model Management, a top 10 fashion agency in NYC, in October 2009. They told me that I needed to tighten my midsection to really have ripped abs and I of course knew this if I were to even have a slight chance of competing against the top guys in the world. There’s really no explanation of how and why this happened but I got more addicted to food. What I mean by food addiction is that I would literally get excited and a somewhat nervous feeling when I would go to the grocery to pick out my junk food. Almost like a weird head buzz and the anticipation to eat the junk is unexplainable too. I would have a rush of a good feelings while eating the junk but when I was done I would be depressed and end up falling asleep from the blood sugar level crash and being uncomfortably stuffed. I would eat to the point where I would feel sick . It was as if the one thing I wasn’t supposed to be doing, I was doing. The binges got more frequent and started to be out of control. I was trying different things to lose the weight and body fat but it was all of the wrong approaches. I was doing everything from smoking cigarettes to kill my appetite, to taking 2 different fat burners at the same time and starving myself on certain days where I would only eat one or two times which ended up causing an extreme binge. I was so unhealthy physically that every time I would stand up I was lightheaded and felt I was going to black out. I put what I joke about now a spare tire around my mid section and butt and lost my muscle in my legs and upper body (as you can tell from the pictures). Mentally I was in the darkest deepest depression I’ve ever been in and I really didn’t realize how bad it was until now that I’m myself again. I had no direction, no ambition, no drive, and felt sorry for myself. I was embarrassed to eat around people because I thought they were judging how much I was eating. I would hide junk food in my apartment room because I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know I was eating this way. What this eating disorder did to me has not only made me a stronger person now but at the time it stripped away all of my confidence, no self esteem, no sex drive and I can honestly say I really didn’t care about life. It’s very strange to me now looking back at this because food had total control of my life and I was just slowly letting life pass by. It wasn’t until I left NYC in March to go stay with my girlfriend Suzanne in Nashville that I realized I needed to make a change and make one fast. She knew right off the bat when she picked me up from the airport that something was wrong. She said I looked sick with dark circles under my eyes. Overall not healthy at all because one of the last times she saw me I still had somewhat of a fitness look (the pictures I did in June 2009 by Rick Day). So I slowly started to get my self back together. When I say slowly I mean this was a month to month process. I would still have binges. At that time Suzanne was a member of the YMCA so I started going there and went back to my roots and started weight training again. The binges progressively got smaller and less frequent. From March to the end of May I stayed in Nashville and by the time I went to Roanoke to stay for a few weeks to try and figure out what my next move would be, the binges were close to being gone but not completely. Good thing muscle has memory is all I’ve got to say. My body bounced back quickly and I really started to focus on a well balanced nutrition plan that wasn’t restrictive and was enough food to keep me feeling healthy. In October 2010 is when I put my vision I had to life with my website and in November I started my youtube channel. I devoted myself to this fitness lifestyle and I told myself I will never put myself through that again. The constant emotional roller coaster that food can give you is not worth it AT ALL. There is no better feeling in the world than of always being in shape. My confidence is through the roof now! It tears me up inside to think of how depressed I was but like I’ve said before you can make change! I changed myself with no medication and no therapy. My therapy is my workouts! So I hope each and every one of you that reads this can take something from this and make positive change in your own life.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine that are vital for a healthy body.
What are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful natural cure for a number of ailments which usually require antibiotics and other medications that have a number of side effects. In particular, Apple Cider Vinegar has been known to:
- Reduce sinus infections and sore throats
- Balance high cholesterol
- Cure skin conditions such as acne
- Protect against food poisoning
- Fight allergies in both humans and animals
- Prevent muscle fatigue after exercise
- Strengthen the immune system
- Increase stamina
- Increase metabolism which promotes weight loss
- Improve digestion and cure constipation
- Alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout
- Prevents bladder stones and urinary tract infections
Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar
While it is not known why, many people claim that Apple Cider Vinegar promotes weight loss. Some theories suggest that ACV helps to speed up the metabolism, while others suggest that it burns calories. A number of nutritionists also believe that combining Vitamin B6 and Lecithin with Apple Cider Vinegar is highly effective for weight loss. A suggested remedy is to mix 2 teaspoons of ACV mixed with a glass of water and drink this before every meal or sip it slowly throughout the day. I personally just use 2-3 tbsp a day. I either just pour it over my chicken or I use it as a dressing for a salad.
Skin Problems and Infections
Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural cure for acne.
Apple Cider Vinegar contains sulfur that fights the effects of aging, which makes it suitable for treating age spots.
Many women have found that Apple Cider Vinegar can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Our Cellulite Home Remedies page contains details on how ACV can be used to treat this problem.
Apple Cider Vinegar has been found to be an effective treatment for yeast infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar is frequently used as a natural cure for constipation.
There are various causes for diarrhea, and although it should not be left untreated, it is often a natural way for the body to rid itself of harmful compounds and ingested materials. Apple Cider Vinegar is a fantastic natural remedy for diarrhea since the high pectin concentration acts as a protective coating which soothes the irritated lining of the colon. A suggestion is to add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a large glass of water, and drink this 3 times daily while the symptoms persist.
Apple Cider Vinegar may help to control high blood sugar levels, which is why it is often used as a natural treatment for Diabetes.
Unpredictably Unhealthy To-Go Foods
Think sushi or soup are safe options? From Japanese to Indian to the salad bar, takeout is a minefield of unhealthy choices.
Japanese: California Rolls
Sushi is generally a pretty healthy option, with one exception: If you’re ordering California rolls made with artificial crab and white rice, then smothering the whole thing in soy sauce, what you’re eating is sub-par McSushi. Instead of ingesting beneficial omega-3’s from fresh fish, you’re only taking in empty calories. Not only is artificial crab meat highly processed with added starches, vegetable oil, and MSG, it also contains high amounts of sodium. Whenever possible, opt for real fish, and sneak some extra fiber into the roll by swapping in brown rice instead of plain.
Indian: Chicken Curry
Chicken can be a lean source of protein and, when not in fried form, a great healthy choice. But the culprit here is the curry itself. Curry sauces often include large amounts of cream, coconut milk, or ground cashews to thicken the sauce. Instead, choose anything prepared tandoori-style, especially if that dish includes turmeric, which many doctors say helps prevent cancers by blocking a biological pathway needed for the development of melanoma and other cancers.
Soup: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
We’ve all read the studies about how people who eat soup before a meal are thinner. This is not always the case, and not all soups that are stocked with vegetables are good for you. Among the worst offenders is the takeout favorite, broccoli cheddar. It has a base of cheese and cream, and sky-high amounts of sodium. One 12 oz. serving of broccoli cheddar soup at Au Bon Pain will set you back 21 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, and nearly 1000mg of sodium—nearly half your entire recommended daily allowance. If you can find it, opt for a soup with a legume base like lentil or black bean. If you’re still not sure, stick to soups that have a clear broth rather than ones with thick and creamy bases.
Snack Time: Yogurt
But it’s yogurt. And yogurt has calcium. And, um… active cultures? While it’s true that there’s nothing wrong with yogurt itself, the extra helping of high-fructose sweetener at the bottom of those single-serve cups adds an extra 100 calories. And don’t think it’s better just because it’s organic: Stonyfield Farm is one of the worst offenders, notorious for its heavy hand when it comes to added sugars. A 6 oz. container of their Chocolate Underground yogurt has 220 calories, 36 grams of sugar, and 20 mg. of cholesterol. Instead, take control of how much sugar goes into your snack and go for plain Greek yogurt with fruit, which contains only 90 calories per 6 oz. serving, and the added bonus of extra protein.
Baked Goods: Banana Bread
This seemingly innocent grab-and-go breakfast may come off as a healthy option first thing in the morning, but just because bananas are involved doesn’t mean it’s good for you. One slice of banana bread at Starbucks packs a whopping 490 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 46 grams of sugar--three components that, together, are otherwise known as the holy trinity of weight gain. Instead, lose the bread and just eat an actual banana.
Salad Bar: Grilled Chicken With Creamy Dressing
Amid all those fresh veggies at the salad bar lie nutritional landmines like bacon bits, croutons, and vats of dressing that are easy to go overboard on when you’re serving yourself. When it comes to pre-made salads, steer clear of toppings: Cheese, meats, salted nuts, and creamy dressings can counter all the nutrients those veggies are adding to your diet. Case in point: Chili’s Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken. But salad with grilled chicken is healthy, right? Wrong. This salad comes with a 1,010-calorie price tag and 76 grams of fat (blame it on fried croutons, gloppy dressing, and cheese). When in doubt, make sure that dressing comes on the side, and only choose salads that include one additional non-fruit or veggie topping.
Misconceptions of Energy Drinks
Several people wake up every day and the first thing they go to grab is an energy drink. Even more so I’ve seen several people over the years in the gym that use these drinks to get a quick perk up before their workout to only be let down with a harsh caffeine and sugar mix crash. So the reasoning for writing this article is that I want people to be aware of how unhealthy these energy drinks really are. Personally every morning I’ll have 1-2 cups of black coffee to get my day started and for a pre-workout boost I’ll have 200-300mg of caffeine anhydrous (you can get this either in pill or powder form). I did some research of the top 5 best selling energy drinks to break down the nutrition facts and to open your eyes to just how much sugar you are taking in and slowing your progress. Also, you might not have known why you feel lethargic after the buzz of these wear off.
Red Bull (*Est. $2.20 for 8.3 ounces) introduced the energy drink craze to the U.S.; it's still the best-selling energy drink in America, and the energy drink by which all others are measured. Interestingly enough, Red Bull is made in Austria and then shipped around the world. Red Bull contains 27g sugars, a measley 80 mg of caffeine (for the 8.3-ounce size), taurine and B vitamins, but no added herbal stimulants. My opinion is to completely stay away from these! Red Bull also makes Red Bull Sugar Free (*Est. $2.20 for 8.3 ounces). If you decide to drink the sugar free still be aware of the artificial sweet-ners (which I’m not a fan of at all) and keep these to a minimum.
Monster Energy (*Est. $2 for 16 oz.) is one of the best-selling energy drinks in the U.S. Several reviewers mention it as the energy drink to try after Red Bull because the taste and energy boost are similar to Red Bull, yet it comes in a can that is twice the size for about the same price. Monster Energy has 54 grams of sugars, 160 mg of caffeine and 2,000 mg of taurine. The Energy Drink Ratings blog says that this sweet-tasting citrus drink has a good kick and gives you good taste for the money. Monster also makes a variety of other flavors. I remember when I didn’t know anything about nutrition etc. Monster was my pre-workout boost of choice. I never understood why I felt so bad afterwards. It was the whopping 54 grams of sugar that was spiking my blood sugar levels and then the crash came...and it would come hard!
No Fear is a brand of clothing (I used to wear these t-shirts also had the stickers on my baseball batting helmet growing up) that partnered with Pepsi to create an energy drink originally known as SoBe No Fear. In 2008, the SoBe name was dropped. No Fear Regular (*est. $2.30 for 16 ounces), gets mixed reviews for taste and energy. No Fear contains 66 grams of sugars, 174 mg of caffeine and 2,000 mg of taurine per 16-ounce can.
5-Hour Energy (*Est. $2.50 for 2 ounces) scores well with reviewers for energy kick. The Energy Drink Ratings blog and RateItAll.com rank 5-Hour Energy highly, and it has more than 400 user ratings at Screaming Energy. 5-Hour Energy is packaged in 2-ounce shots, packing in an estimated 100 mg of caffeine per shot, or the equivalent of a cup of coffee, plus 2,000 percent of the daily value for vitamin B6 and 8,333 percent of the daily value of vitamin B12. 5-Hour Energy is sweetened with sucralose and contains zero net carbohydrates. 5-Hour Energy is not made with additional herbal stimulants, but it does contain amino acids and includes taurine. One reviewer calls 5-Hour Energy "little more than a shot of vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, with a caffeine chaser." But unlike most energy drinks, 5-Hour Energy is a low-calorie drink (four calories). It comes in three flavors: berry, lemon-lime and orange. Nutritionally these are the best (along with Rockstar Sugar free and Rockstar Zero Carb) but honestly with 5-hour energy I’ve had these and I could fall asleep after drinking this if I was in need of a quick wake-up.
Among the top-selling brands, Rockstar (*est. $2.20 for 16 ounces) One 16-ounce can contains 160 mg of caffeine and 1,000 mg of taurine, as well as 62 grams of sugars, with guarana, ginseng and other herbal extracts as stimulants. The company has expanded from the original formula to offer other energy drinks including Rockstar Sugar Free (*Est. $2.30 for 16 ounces), Rockstar Zero Carb
Bottom line is that I do not advise these drinks. First off, the regular ones that are packed with sugar shouldn’t even be a question of should I have this or not. Secondly, the sugar free and zero carb ones are still packed with artificial flavoring agents. Which that will be up to you if you want that in your body or not. Personally I don’t use them. Like I said previously I use 200-300mg of caffeine anhydrous and I never have the dreaded crash afterwards.
Descriptions of Heart Rate Zones
Healthy Heart Zone
The first zone is called the Healthy Heart Zone. This is 50-60% of your max heart rate. This is the easiest and most comfortable zone within which to train and is the one that is best for people who are just starting an exercise program or have low functional capacity. Those of you who are walkers most likely train at this zone. Although this zone has been criticized for not burning enough total calories, and for not being intense enough to get great cardio respiratory benefits, it has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury. In this zone, 10% of carbohydrates are “burned” (used as energy), 5% of protein is burned and a whopping 85% of fat is burned.
The next zone is the Fitness Zone, which is 60-70% of your max HR. Once again, 85% of your calories burned in this zone are fats, 5% are protiens and 10% are carbohydrates. Studies have shown that in this zone you can condition your fat mobilization (getting fat out of your cells) while conditioning your fat transportation (getting fat to muscles). Thus, in this zone, you are training your fat cells to increase the rate of fat release and training your muscles to burn fat. Therefore, the benefits of this zone are not only the same as the healthy heart zone training at 50-60% but you are now slightly increasing the total number of calories burned and provide a little more cardio respiratory benefits. You burn more total calories at this zone simply because it is more intense
The third zone, the Aerobic Zone, requires that you train at 70-80% of your max HR. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event. In this zone, your functional capacity will greatly improve and you can expect to increase the number and size of blood vessels, increase vital capacity and respiratory rate and achieve increases in pulmonary ventilation, as well as increases in arterial venous oxygen. Moreover, stroke volume (amount of blood pumped per heart beat) will increase, and your resting heart rate will decrease. What does all this mean? It means that your cardio vascular and respiratory system will improve and you will increase the size and strength of your heart. In this zone 50% of calories burned are from carbohydrates, 50% are from fat and less then 1% is from protein. And, because there is an increase in intensity, there is also an increase in total number of calories burned.
Say no to JUICE…
If being obsessed with trying to get as big as you possibly can is your goal, then so be it. I’ve been in that boat. And let me tell you it is not a good boat to be in. I remember when I first started working out from the start I just wanted to get huge. At the time I didn’t know anything about nutrition so I would eat a bunch of junk calories (pizza and grilled burgers everyday). My weight jumped up to 255 lbs. and it wasn’t a lean 255 one bit at all. I didn’t care at the time about detail, shape, symmetry, or being athletic. The food I was putting into my body daily also took a toll on my health as well. I just didn’t feel healthy. So next up for me was I always wanted to compete but knew if I wanted to do bodybuilding I would have to do some serious drugs because for one I’m 6’3” so it takes a lot more muscle to fill my frame and two the sport is just infested with drugs. I made the decision to do the modeling show Universe Weekend. I had always dreamed about being on a cover so I figured this might be my ticket. The first time dieting down to do a show was a rude awaking. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I was eating WAY too many calories to try to lean down. Anyways I ended up weighing a smooth 218 lbs. I placed 25th out of 75 guys. I didn’t really care about my placing considering I looked pathetic in my opinion but still accomplished meeting Adam Silver of Silver Model Management. Shortly after the show he booked me on my first modeling job which was the cover of the Under Armour Catalog. They cropped half of my face off but eh…I still got paid. After that I went to NYC for a week to do my first NYC test shoots (a test shoot is basically to see if you’re photogenic and use the images for your portfolio) I hated NYC on my first visit coming from the small town of Roanoke, Virginia. It was very overwhelming thinking this is where I would have to live. I figured I still wanted to give it a shot though so I moved there for a couple months and managed to book a couple things but still wasn’t happy. Feeling like a failure, I went back to Roanoke with my tail between my legs to personal train again. After being back in Roanoke for a short time, I realized that I just needed to focus more. So I tried to give the fitness modeling a shot again and competed at the 2008 Universe Weekend show. This time around I knew a little more about nutrition and ended up placing 9th out of roughly 100 competitors. Shortly after brings me to what this article is truly about. Throughout my whole bodybuilding experience I was surrounded by steroids and was always contemplating using. I felt the need to take my body to a new level chemically. I was consumed with trying to gain muscle mass at whatever cost it would take on my own personal health and body. I had bigorexia. I would look at myself in the mirror and not think I was muscular and big enough. I decided to join the dark side of bodybuilding and in August 2008 I did my FIRST and ONLY steroid cycle. I wanted to put this story out there because I’ve always been accused of taking steroids and now I want to let everyone know that yes I did one cycle. Do I regret it? Not necessarily, but I’m so thankful and fortunate that I did not go down thatroad any further because that is putting an expiration date on your organs and overall health. I did one 8 week cycle and the first 4 weeks consisted of Primobolan and Winstrol and the last 4 weeks was Primobolan and Anavar. When I did decide to do this cycle I made sure to take all safety precautions and research as much as I could before I decided on taking this. I now know that you do NOT need steroids to achieve a physique that I now have at 204 lbs. I think they are dangerous and I totally preach against them. My past is the past and I cannot change that but what I can do and what everyone can do is look forward and make change today!
The first picture was taken directly at the end of my steroid cycle that I did. My goal was to get a cover from this shoot but that did not end up happening but I did get a full workout spread and interview in that issue. The second picture was my first modeling job. Under Armour Catelog shot in September 2007.