I have been struggling a bit over the past year or so on making a decision on my next career. I retired from the Army in Sept 16 and with my last duty station being in Mountain View California, right smack in the center of Silicon valley the pull of trying to join one of these exciting tech companies was definitely there. That written, I am excited to announce that I am entering the health and wellness industry as a nutritionist for my next career.
This may not be the common path for most retiring Army Colonels who was not in a Medical career field, but one that was seeded a long time ago for me and truly feels the right decision. I started on this path as a young man for two reasons, first my father passed away at the young age of 45 years old from cardiovascular disease. I first started searching for answers in my late teens on how to live a healthy, productive, long life. I have also been a life long athlete, always interested in understanding proper nutrition for optimum athletic performance. As I have aged that interest has expanded to trying to figure out how to lead a healthy productive life with a proper work, family life balance. During this learning process I was taught a process that works, one that I am very excited to now share with others for them to lead healthy, long, productive lives.
As a young person growing up I was like many aspiring athletes who really did not have a clue about nutrition and exercise, but still tried to absorb any and all information. I started reading articles and listening to trainers at gyms on proper nutrition. What I later learned that I was doing was following others advice on what may have been working for them, not for me. I was following the diets and nutrition protocols of the famous bodybuilders and athletes of the time. Looking back I had no clue on what foods and supplements were right for me. I started to dig deeper in my nutrition study around 1992 reading nutrition books from the experts of the day like Dr Michael Colgan and Robert Crayhon. These books gave me hope that there may be an answer to finding optimum nutrition. They also told me I did not have an understanding of the science of nutrition. My first undergrad degree was not science focused at all so in 1998 I went back to school to take many of the science classes I lacked to include biology, chemistry, biochem, physiology, endocrinology. This helped give a better foundation. I was preparing to leave active duty in the 2001-2002 period to start working in the health and fitness field after completed a Masters degree in Nutritional Sciences from my alma mater Rutgers University when 9/11 happened. This changed most of us and refocused me to dedicating my life be the best Soldier I could be, contributing to this new war on terror. My sister was also working in the first Trade Center Tower hit and this made it personal. Fortunately she got out safely, but like many there have lived with the personal experiences of that harrowing day.
Fast forward to 2016 and during this 15 years with two combat tours, a divorce and many, many job changes within the Army and moves; I was still able to find time continued my personal growth in studying nutrition and exercise. I achieved my goal of receiving a Masters degree in Human Nutrition, not from Rutgers, but Univ of Bridgeport, and continued my personal growth in studying nutrition and exercise. I received numerous certifications during this period, and had the great opportunity to meet and learn from some of the great nutrition and exercise minds out there like the late Charlie Francis, Dr. Fergus Connolly, Al Vermeil, Bill Wolcott and Nancy Dale. What also happened to me is even with all of this training and education, I was not following the basic principles I had learned on how to lead a healthy productive life, I was letting life control me and negatively impacting the situation with some by poor choices in nutrition to include increasing alcohol consumption; and in the end I became a different person. The combat, divorce, and life really was taking a toll. I knew I had gained weight, was not feeling my best, but was still exercising everyday. I was blind to what was happening to me and really did not see it until early 2014, if you can picture this I went on date where the woman was not very in to me. I returned home and FINALLY recognized I had become someone else and after looking in the mirror I said "enough is enough, I want my old life back!". I have worked hard over the past 2 and half years to get it back, and the one thing I did was go back and follow one of the certifications I had receive over 7 years before, Metabolic Typing. I finally embraced it 100 percent and quickly found out it works. I dropped my weight from over 200lbs at my peak to now in the low 170lbs. I have the energy and most importantly I have the euphoria and passion for life back. This all happened without the aid of conventional medicine or drugs. Figuring out the right diet and lifestyle for me was at the core of my program. I learned how to eat right and not deprive myself, using foods to nourish myself and also heal any health imbalances I had developed.
This rebirth, or refocus in my life has made me feel great again and given me the energy, drive and passion back to help others too. I do not want to go back to that old me and this is why I choose health for myself, and look forward to helping others choose health too!
To our health! Charlie