May 02

Top 5 Healthy Drinks You Should Be Drinking

My clients always ask me what I drink so I thought it would be helpful if I just created a blog post with my top 5 healthy drinks. Remember, what you drink is just as important as what you eat!

Top 5 Healthy Drinks

(1) Water. I mean come on, it has to be water, right? Water is essential for not just living, but being healthy. But it can’t just be any water. It has to be clean water. No, tap water is not clean water no matter what your city might tell you. Just because it’s cleared by the EPA doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. In fact, many studies have shown that there is a number of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants in tap water. I went into more detail about this in my “Is Your Drinking Water Poisoning You?” blog post.

What type of water is good to drink? My number one choice is water from a reverse osmosis system. When we moved into our new house in Texas, the first thing I did was install an under sink reverse osmosis system because of how poor the quality of water is in Texas. They can be quite pricy, but it’s well worth it. I believe mine cost around $500 and I got it from ThePerfectWater.com. However, it’s probably right around the same amount you would spend purchasing bottled water each year, except RO water is much better. Most RO systems remove 98% of contaminants, but they also remove important minerals as well. The RO system I got adds minerals back in during the filtration process. If you get an RO system that doesn’t add the minerals back in, a pinch of Himalayan salt in your water should do the trick.

If you absolutely cannot afford an under sink RO system, a normal fridge filter or pitcher filter system is fine, too. However, you have to make sure you change the filters regularly. In the end, though, they aren’t going to remove nearly the amount of toxins an RO system will.

top 5 healthy drinks(2) Organic Kombucha. Kom-what? Don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either until I started digging into the importance of healthy gut bacteria, AKA probiotics, when I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I learned quickly that a strong immune system stems from the gut. We have an antibiotic problem. Doctors prescribe antibiotics anymore like they are handing out candy. Most people don’t realize that antibiotics not only destroy bad bacteria in the body, but ALL bacteria, including the good kind that is crucial for a strong immune system. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is loaded with healthy bacteria. After I finished up my round of antibiotics for my disease, I started drinking kombucha daily. There are a few options when it comes to kombucha. We purchase our kombucha from our local Whole Foods store and normally get the Synergy brand. However, you can easily make it as well. We haven’t done so yet, but we are planning on doing so eventually. A simple Google search will teach you how. And just a warning, the floating stuff at the bottom of the bottle is normal! Just drink it up.

(3) Organic Bone Broth. Dealing with Lyme Disease taught me a lot about what it means to truly be healthy. Not only did I come across the importance of drinking (or eating) fermented foods, I learned about the incredible benefits of drinking bone broth. First of all, what is bone broth? Basically, the bones, tendons, feet, and ligaments of animals are boiled and then simmered over a few days. The process draws out glutamine, collagen, proline, and glycine. Bone broth also contains phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and other important minerals. The benefits of bone broth include strengthening the gut lining (helping leaky gut syndrome), reducing inflammation, strengthening the immune system, and detoxification. I normally drink bone broth in the evening once or twice a week. I do have to warn you, though, more store bought bone broths aren’t actually real bone broth. To get the real stuff, you have to either make it yourself or go to your local organic grocery store.

(4) Green Tea. Green tea comes in at #4 on my list of top 5 healthy drinks. Green tea is one of those drinks you can pretty much find anywhere. Hell, even Starbucks carries green tea. Why is it so healthy? It contains polyphenols and antioxidants. What are the benefits? Lots of them. Drinking it reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces cholesterol and inflammation, improves memory and bone density.

(5) Coconut Water. I’m a huge coconut anything fan. Coconut oil, coconut water, coconut rum. Wait, what? Yeah, I enjoy some coconut rum every once in a while. But coconut water is an excellent drink that has multiple benefits. Last month we were down in St. Lucia and they gave us coconut water every single day. They literally chopped off the top of the coconut, put a straw in it, and gave it to all the people around the pool. Coconut water is LOADED with vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and sodium. It has also been shown to contain antimicobrial properties. It tends to be loaded with antioxidants as well, which help reduce free radicals and toxins in the body.

So there you have it, my top 5 healthy drinks! Next time you’re at the store and tempted to grab soda, choose one or all of these instead. Your body will thank you. Questions? Feel free to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com, message me on Facebook, or DM me on IG! (@TheJoshSpencer)

May 02

Is Your Drinking Water Poisoning You?

Have you ever drank water straight from the hose? I have. I used to mountain bike all day as a kid and come back home and drink my weight in water straight from the hose! That was a normal occurrence. I also drank straight from the tap and never thought twice about it. However, after a health scare in 2015 when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, I started looking at good health differently. I did a ton of research on how to naturally heal from disease and learned that a crucial step was to eliminate toxins from food, water, and various products you put on the body. The body can’t heal if it’s in a toxic state. That was happening to me. I had to change my entire lifestyle if I wanted to get better and that included being smart about the water I’m drinking and showering in daily.

The majority of people drink water right out of the tap. They trust the local government that the water supply is clean. It’s a rude awakening when you find out the majority of the time it’s not. In fact, most tap water around the U.S. is loaded with various toxins, heavy metals, and other chemicals! Yes, the EPA jumps in and makes sure that the water supply meets certain standards, but those standards are poor. Even if it’s just a small amount of toxins and chemicals that are allowed, consuming it daily over time can lead to some very serious health issues.

Common Toxins

Here are some of the common toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals found in tap water and their side effects.

  • Flouride – A neurotoxin that can negatively affect the thyroid and pineal glands.
  • Arsenic – Various cancers can develop from long-term arsenic consumption.
  • Chlorine – Can dry out skin and hair. Can also destroy good gut bacteria, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
  • Mercury – Can lead to a number of issues, including brain damage, headaches, memory loss, and nerve damage.
  • Lead – Can also lead to brain damage and developmental issues.
  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) – Can lead to cancer and other immune system issues.
  • Dioxins – Can cause respiratory problems.
  • Dacthal – Damages organs such as the adrenal glands and kidneys.

There are many others found in tap water, but those are just the most common.

Whole House & Reverse Osmosis Systems

What can you do? Few things. First, stop drinking from the tap. Second, get yourself a whole house filter system. We have a 2 stage system by a brand called Home Master that we purchased for a little less than $400. We also have a water softener as well.  You can also install a reverse osmosis system under your kitchen sink. I installed one myself in our new home down here in Texas and it took about 30 minutes to do. We purchased the best one from Home Master called Hydroperfection. The only issue with RO systems is that they remove a lot of healthy minerals. Just add a pinch of Himalayan Salt to add the minerals back in. I believe the RO system that we purchased adds back in minerals during the filter process, though.

Bottled Water

What about bottled water? It’s better, but not much better. Many of the well known bottled water companies actually use tap water, but they filter just a little more. However, there are still many brands that have a number of toxins within their water. It’s also very poorly regulated. To make it worse, the mark-up is ridiculous. For what it costs to purchase bottled water, you might as well just install a very good RO system. In the long run you will save a ton of money.

Refrigerator Filters

These are an option, but there are a few things to watch out for. First, the filters wear out very quickly. You will have to replace them regularly. Second, mold can build up in the lines. Be sure to clean them out as best as possible on a regular basis.

So no, not all water is created equal. Most of the water out there anymore is crap. Just like with crap food, you might not notice a difference right away, but over time it can tear down the immune system and lead to a lot of health issues. It’s better to be careful about the water you’re consuming. Questions? Email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com, message me on Facebook, or DM me on IG (@TheJoshSpencer).

Apr 18

Beachbody Beachbars Review

Here’s the best Beachbody Beachbars review you will find. And yes, they are known as Beachbody Snack Bars as well. Anyways, back in the day Beachbody had these glorious protein bars called P90X bars that I ate like candy while I was going through my first round of P90X. The bad thing is that they were pretty much like candy, containing loads of sugar. Probably why they tasted so good, eh? They wren’t terrible quality, but they weren’t the best either. But they stopped selling the P90X bars because they probably realized they didn’t go along with their brand of creating super high quality products. Since they took those bars away I’ve been impatiently waiting for a new better bar to come out and replace them. Us Coaches were told years ago that a “new bar was being developed.” Awesome. Got me pumped up, but then I was left hanging. I heard nothing until recently. Then in 2017 we were told that the new Beachbars were coming out in April of 2018. These bars were going to be of the highest quality and packed with nutrition without any artificial ingredients. Then a few months back a select few top Coaches had the opportunity to try out the new Beachbars flavors. I was one of those Coaches. Here are my thoughts.

Beachbody Beachbars Review

Beachbars Quality

If you know me, you understand that I don’t consume anything regularly that isn’t of the highest quality. I haven’t since being diagnosed with Lyme Disease back in 2015. I’ve healed myself from the disease after intense treatment, but I have to make sure I keep my immune system strong by only consuming good quality food, drinks, and supplements. When I heard about the new Beachbars being released, I was hoping that they were (1) going to be without any artificial coloring or flavoring and (2) going to be low in sugar. Anything can taste good with a lot of sugar. The real test is creating something that tastes good without all the artificial crap and sugar. I travel often and am constantly searching for good snack bars to take with me. Airport food sucks, so I’d rather eat a good quality protein bar to tie me over until I reach my destination. I have researched and tried out a lot of protein/snack bars over the years and it’s very rare that I come across one that is of excellent quality. Beachbars is one of the rare ones.

What does it contain? I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t think that they would be able to create a bar that had the right amount of protein, carbs, and sugar and taste good at the same time. However, they have achieved just that. Here is a breakdown.

  • 10g protein
  • 150 calories
  • 4g fiber
  • Gluten free
  • 5-6g sugar
  • 7g healthy fats (0g trans fats)
  • NO soy lecithin
  • Whey and pea protein crisps
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Dried cherries
  • Peanut and almond nut butters
  • Real chocolate chips (derived from cocoa beans)
  • Diced peanuts and almonds

beachbody beachbars review

Beachbars Taste

OK, the quality is there, what do the Beachbody Beachbars taste like? Here’s my Beachbody Beachbars review on the taste. First of all, there are two flavors, chocolate cherry almond and chocolate peanut butter. I’ve had the privilege of trying them both and let me just tell you that they are absolutely fantastic tasting! If they tasted awful, I would tell you, but they don’t. They are incredible, simple as that. The chocolate cherry almond tastes exactly how it sounds. You tastes all the flavors. Plus, there is a crunchy crisp to it. The chocolate peanut butter again tastes just as it sounds. I’m a huge peanut butter and chocolate fan and the flavors of both are very prominent in the bar.

Beachbars Price

I thought that such a high quality bar would cost a lot more than other bars on the market, but that’s not the case. Here’s the breakdown.

US Non-Coach Price

  • 1 box = 15 bars = $39.80 = $2.65 per bar
  • 2 boxes = 30 bars = $79.60 = $2.65 per bar
  • 3 boxes = 45 bars = $119.40 = $2.65 per bar

US Coach Price

  • 1 box = 15 bars = $29.85 = $1.99 per bar
  • 2 boxes = 30 bars = $59.70 = $1.99 per bar
  • 3 boxes = 45 bars = $89.55 = $1.99 per bar

Canada Non-Coach Price

  • 1 box = 15 bars = $48.80 = $3.25 per bar
  • 2 boxes = 30 bars = $97.60 = $3.25 per bar
  • 3 boxes = 45 bars = $146.40 = $3.25 per bar

Canada Coach Price

  • 1 box = 15 bars = $36.60 = $2.44 per bar
  • 2 boxes = 30 bars = $73.20 = $2.44 per bar
  • 3 boxes = 45 bars = $109.80 = $2.44 per bar

UK Non-Coach Price

  • 1 box = 15 bars = £39.79 = £2.64 per bar
  • 2 boxes = 30 bars = £79.60 = £2.64 per bar
  • 3 boxes = 45 bars = £119.3 = £2.64 per bar

UK Coach Price

  • 1 box = 15 bars = £29.84 = £1.98 per bar
  • 2 boxes = 30 bars = £59.7 = £1.98 per bar
  • 3 boxes = 45 bars = £89.5 = £1.98 per bar

Competitor Comparison

How do the Beachbody Beachbars stack up to it’s competitors?

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you found my Beachbody Beachbars Review helpful. If you’re looking for a good, high quality, excellent tasting protein/snack bar, you can’t go wrong with these bad boys. I actually just ordered 3 boxes (2 chocolate peanut butter and 1 chocolate cherry almond) recently. If you’re ready to purchase the Beachbars, just EMAIL ME at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com or click on the links below! If you have any questions, such as how to get the Coach price, email, Facebook Message, or Instagram DM me.

Mar 19

Home Workouts VS Gym

If you’re curious about home workouts VS gym you’ve come to the right place. Either people are all for home workouts or completely against them. As a fitness Coach of 10 years, it’s rare that you find someone who likes both. I’m one of those people, though, who do enjoy both. If you’re trying to make some changes to your health, hopefully I will be able to provide some valuable insight on the next step you should take.

Let me share my story quickly. In high school I was a skinny 140 lbs kid (I’m 5’7″) and rarely lifted weights. At home we had a machine that allowed us to do presses, flys, lat pull-downs, and leg extensions, but that’s it. If I did work out, it was a quick 30 minute session and I was clueless about what I was doing. I got a scholarship to play baseball in college and once I got on campus my coaches were determined to beef me up. We had team lifting sessions about 4 times a week. Once I started seeing some results it didn’t take long for me to become addicted to the gym. From that point on I was in the gym at 6 AM just about every day, regardless if my team was there or not. My friends then introduced me to pre and post workout supplements and creatine and I got massive. In just a few years I went from 140 lbs to almost 180 lbs and became strong as an ox. However, I had a real tough time getting as lean as I wanted to get. There were two issues. One, I wasn’t sure what exercises to do and when to do them. I always just did the same things over and over again. Two, my nutrition was terrible. I was used to eating chicken fingers, french fries, and fast food. I was the guy who believed that french fries were healthy because there were made from potatoes.

When I graduated college and got a job I stopped working out. The weight came on quickly because my nutrition was still so poor. I started looking for a solution and contemplated home workouts VS gym. I already knew that I could see some results with the gym, but I also knew that it wasn’t going to take me where I wanted to go. Then I found the king of home workout programs, P90X, and committed myself entirely for it for 90 days. I ended up losing 25 lbs and getting into the best shape of my life. I believe it was because of how the workouts change with each phase and the in depth nutrition plan. That was in 2008 and I have been doing home workout programs ever since then. I’ve also been able to stay incredibly strong and lean throughout that time span. However, I still enjoy going to the gym and getting in a heavy lifting session when I’m traveling, which is quite often for my career.

home workouts vs gym

Home Workouts VS Gym: 5 Things to Think About

(1) Cost. If you’re new to fitness, you will have to get yourself a personal trainer if you go to the gym to teach you what exercises to do and how to do them properly. Personal training sessions can range from $60 – $160. Yes, it’s a wide range, but the fancier your gym, the more it will cost. Membership to the gym itself normally costs anywhere from $30 – $50 per month. So if you get one personal training session each week, you’re looking at around $450+ per month or $5,400+ per year. If you are someone with some basic knowledge of what exercises to do and when to do them, then you might not need a personal trainer. You’ll still be paying the gym membership fee, though. That will come to right around $480+ per year. One thing to think about, too, is the equipment that you will have available at the gym. That means you won’t have to go out and purchase your own. Last, don’t forget the cost to drive to the gym. I’m assuming the gym is somewhat close to you (~15 minutes), so $100 a year in gas would probably cover it if you’re going every day.

Most home workout programs are relatively inexpensive. I have a Beachbody on Demand membership to a library of programs to stream online and get charged just $100 a year (~$8/month). If you want to purchase a program on it’s own (DVDs), you’re looking at around $120 or so. But I just start a new program once I finish with my current program. Most programs are 2-3 months long. With most programs you will need some equipment, mainly just free weights and some resistance bands, which will come with most programs. I have 2 sets of Powerblocks (one set is plenty) here at the house. Powerblocks are adjustable dumbbells. You can get a set of them that go up to 50 lbs for right around $300. If you check your local sports buy-back store, the Facebook marketplace, or Craig’s List, you might be able to get them much cheaper. If you purchase your own weights and get a streaming membership like what I have, you’re looking at right around $400 the first year. Then since you already have the weights, after that you’re just paying the yearly membership fee for access to the programs.

WINNER OF COST: Home Workouts

(2) Time. If you get a gym membership, normally it’s for one that’s relatively close to your house. Again, maybe 10-15 minutes away. If it’s 15 minutes, that takes 30 minutes out of your day driving back and forth. If you work out for an hour, you’re looking at an hour and a half of your day total. With home workout programs, you don’t have to plan for driving time since you will be working out in your basement, living room, or possibly home gym. Most workouts are anywhere from 30-60 minutes long. For those of us that are extremely busy every day, working out from home is always most time efficient.

WINNER OF TIME: Home Workouts

(3) Effectiveness. With home workouts VS gym, determining which is more effective is a tough one because it depends on a number of different factors. If you have excellent knowledge of various exercises, how to switch them up, how to switch up the timing between sets, how to properly switch up rep count, and how to use the proper weight, you will probably get great results at the gym and stay in excellent shape, just as long as your nutrition is on point, which I will talk about here shortly. Most people, though, don’t have that knowledge and want a well designed plan that tells them exactly what to do and when to do it. That’s where home workout programs excel and what I like most about them. I have enough knowledge now to create my own workouts and constantly switch them up, but it’s nice to just open my browser and follow along with the workouts. All of the workouts are so different, too, that I continue to see results.

WINNER OF EFFECTIVENESS: It’s a wash IF you know what you’re doing at the gym! 

(4) Nutrition. As a fitness Coach, nutrition is what most people struggle with. It’s what I struggled with in college and why I could never get as lean or strong as I wanted to get. The problem was that I had no knowledge on nutrition. The biggest reason I started P90X was because of the nutrition plan. I knew that was my missing link and I was right. I truly believe that the majority of people out there have the exact same issue as I did when they go to the gym. They might have some basic knowledge on workouts, but they are clueless about nutrition. One of the greatest things about home workout programs now is how simple it is to follow along with the nutrition plans. And every program has an associated nutrition plan to follow. Most of the ones that I do now use container systems. In a nutshell, you are allotted a certain amount of carbs, protein, fats, condiments, etc. per day, as long as it fits in the recommended containers. It’s super simple to follow and has made a HUGE difference with my clients!

WINNER: Home Workouts

(5) Accountability. This is another tough one. Most people enjoy going to the gym because there are others there that can push them. However, unless you are with a friend, those people don’t ever say anything to you. But the motivation alone from seeing so many others pushing hard in the gym is worth it to many. It was for me. That is the one thing I miss about the gym. I enjoy working out with my buddies. When I’m on trips I’m normally with a group of friends that can push me during the workouts. I always get in incredible workouts! With home workouts, you’re normally working out alone, unless your spouse does it with you. But that’s where an online fitness Coach like myself comes into play. I’ve been helping my clients stay motivated and hold them accountable on a daily basis. I’m also there to answer any questions they have and make sure they are staying on track. If you have an online Coach (you can make me your Coach for free), you should have all the accountability you need.

WINNER OF ACCOUNTABILITY: It’s a wash IF you get yourself an online Coach or have someone to work out with you daily while working out at home! 

OVERALL WINNER: HOME WORKOUTS! 

When you break it all down, home workouts take the crown. It’s just so much more time and cost effective and easier to follow. Like I said, I’ve been doing home workout programs for the past 10 years and have loved every minute of it and gotten absolutely incredible results. The picture you see here is one that I took recently. So if you were contemplating home workouts VS gym, hopefully now you have a better idea on what you should do. If you DO decide that you’re ready for a change and want to do home workouts, FILL OUT THIS FORM and I will get back to you and recommend an entire plan for you. I would love to Coach you through the program and help you get fantastic results like I and my clients have gotten.

Feb 21

Healthiest Organic Peanut Butter Brands

I was writing a Facebook post on my Josh Spencer Fitness page about the healthiest organic peanut butter brands and realized after doing some research on Google that most of the recommendations were terrible. The search results brought up numerous brands that claimed to be healthy, but in reality weren’t even close to it. I now feel it’s my responsibility to clear things up and make sure you are guided in the right direction when it comes to your healthy peanut butter options.

Food companies have gotten tricky these days. There has been a movement over the past decade or so with people looking for healthier options to their favorite foods. Instead of actually coming out with healthier options, a lot of companies have changed the words and labels to make others think they are healthy. Most of the “healthy” terms that these companies are using aren’t even regulated, basically meaning they can add in whatever they want. “Natural” is one of those terms, especially when it comes to peanut butter. Just because it’s labeled as “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. Sure, it sounds healthier, but that doesn’t mean shit. I’ve seen a lot of “natural” labeled peanut butter brands that contain many terrible ingredients. “Organic” is one of the terms that is regulated, but you still have to be careful because there are organic ingredients that still aren’t that good for you. In the end, it’s your responsibility to research what is in the food you buy. Eventually you will get to the point where I’m at where you have a good understanding of good VS bad ingredients.

I’m a peanut butter addict. I mean seriously, if I could eat a whole jar of peanut butter a day I would, but obviously that wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do since peanut butter is loaded with calories. Speaking of which, that is one of the “downfalls” of peanut butter, the high calorie content. I quote “downfalls” because the high calorie content could be detrimental or beneficial, just based on your individual goals and ability to control how much you eat. If someone is trying to consume 1,800 calories per day, for example, and can’t control how much peanut butter they eat, it would be considered a “downfall.” It could easily get to the point where they are consuming half or more of their total calories just in peanut butter alone. On the other hand, for someone that isn’t too worried about calories and is trying to gain mass, the high calorie content can be a good thing. In the end, just be smart about how much you consume. A serving of peanut butter is right around 200 calories. I normally have right around 1-2 servings per day.

Unhealthy Peanut Butter Ingredients

When I first started making a healthy shift in my lifestyle and began researching the healthiest organic peanut butter brands, I constantly came across ones that contained ingredients that I learned to stay away from. Here are a list of those ingredients:

  • Palm Oil
  • Hydrogenated Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt (unless it’s sea salt)
  • Corn Syrup

Healthiest Organic Peanut Butter Brands

Now it’s time to get to the healthiest organic peanut butter brands. These are the ones that I personally use.

Whole Foods Fresh Ground Organic Peanut Butter

We are Whole Foods addicts. We love the place. One of the reasons is because of their healthy peanut butter options. Not only do they carry a lot of great brands in jars, they also have their own machines that you can use to get your own fresh ground peanut butter. Ingredients? Just fresh ground peanuts.

MaraNatha Organic Peanut Butter

MaraNatha is one of the healthiest organic peanut butter brands. When the option for fresh ground peanut butter isn’t there, like when we travel, this is usually our go to. The ingredients are peanuts and sea salt.

 

Healthiest Organic Peanut Butter Brands

Simple Truth Organic Peanut Butter

Just like with MaraNatha, the only two ingredients are peanut butter and sea salt. That’s how it should be.

 

 

Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter

Just like the previous two, Smucker’s also makes a great peanut butter than contains only peanuts and salt.

 

 

 

There are a few other good options out there, but these are the most popular ones that you will find in stores and that taste the best. Hopefully I was able to help you find the healthiest organic peanut butter brands. Oh and one more thing. It’s very common for the oil to be sitting at the top of the jars in organic peanut butter. Just stir it in. Enjoy!

Jan 30

Becoming a Beachbody Coach

Been thinking about becoming a Beachbody coach? Great, you’ve come to the right place. There’s not many Beachbody Coaches that have the type of experience and success that I’ve had in the business. A lot of Coaches claim to be “top Beachbody Coaches,” but I am an actual Top Coach and millionaire in the business. I’ve got the accolades to actually call myself a Top Coach. Making me even more rare is the fact that I’m a male in a very female dominated network. If you’re interested in the business, read on. I’m going to explain my story and then about my team and how I mentor others.

Who is Josh Spencer?

My story is quite interesting. I grew up in a family of business owners. My grandpa owned a large grocery store and my father currently owns and operates three businesses himself. While I was young I always believed that I was also destined to be a business owner. How could I not? It’s in my blood. When I was a senior in high school I received a scholarship offer and accepted to play baseball in college. Throughout college I planned on getting my degree in Finance and Business, eventually opening up my own Financial Planning firm. Once I graduated, I got a job as a Financial Advisor, thinking that it would give me the necessary experience and knowledge to be able to become a Financial Planner. Once I discovered what the industry was like, though, I quickly lost my passion. With the stress of my career, I stopped working out and gained quite a bit of weight in a short amount of time. My health spiraled out of control and I knew I needed to make a change and that’s when I found P90X. I purchased the program and committed myself entirely to the workouts and nutrition plan for 90 days and ended up getting into the best shape of my life.

My career continued on a downward spiral. I wasn’t able to reach my quota one month and didn’t get paid because of it. With the way it worked, if you missed the quota, you had to make up for the amount that you missed it by the next month if you wanted to get paid again. I fell so far behind that I worked for months without any pay. It wasn’t good for someone living on their own. I lost all desire to work in the industry and wanted to do something different. After completing P90X I had developed a passion for fitness and helping others experience the same changes that I did. My Coach told me about the Coaching Opportunity shortly after I completed my first round of P90X, but I told her no. There was just too much going on in my life at the time. A few months later, I really starting thinking about becoming a Beachbody Coach and decided to join up in July of 2008. Not too long afterwards I quit my Financial Advising job and starting working for my father. Luckily, he allowed me to leave work early so that I could focus some effort on building my Beachbody business.

Being so young, though, I was clueless about how to build a business. I had to figure it out on my own by doing a ton of research on branding, social media marketing, and leadership, but that all took time. Fast forward a year and my business still wasn’t really growing. In fact, with earning just a little here and there with Beachbody and working part time for my father, my now wife and I hit some very rough financial times. I couldn’t support our family and we relied on government assistance to help us out. We were living in a tiny one bedroom apartment with our daughter and could barely afford rent. We let our daughter sleep in the only room while we slept on a cheap couch. Times were hard. It was normal for us to have just $50-$100 in our bank account at a time. There was one moment, though, that changed everything for me. We were in the grocery store purchasing food for the week and I came to the realization that I was failing my family when I handed the cashier the government assistance card. What kind of father am I if I can’t even afford formula for my child? It was at that moment that I decided to really take Beachbody seriously.

I sat my wife down and told her that if she gave me one year of sacrifice and hard work that I would provide her and our daughter with a lifetime of freedom. That was late 2009. In 2010 I went full-time as a Coach, became the Top Beachbody Coach in the entire network, and went from being on government assistance to a six-figure income. From then on my team just exploded and I helped one of the men that I brought into the business become the Top Coach in 2011 and 2012. My team, Team Next Level, has become one of the most successful teams in the entire network. To this day, 10 years into the business, I still bring on people to mentor and achieve the type of success that I have been fortunate enough to experience. In the 10 years I’ve been a Coach, I’m the Top Beachbody Coach 2010, a 3X Elite Coach, 2X Top 10 Coach, 1X Premiere, a former CAB (Coach Advisory Board) member, and part of the Million Club. I have also helped create many six figure earners on my team as well.

My Coaching Style

I’m a little bit different than most other Coaches that you will come across. I’m a no bullshit, straight-forward type of guy. If I’m doing something wrong, I want someone to tell me exactly what I’m doing wrong and what I need to change. I don’t want someone telling meBecoming a Beachbody Coach what I want to hear. I want someone to tell me what I need to hear. There is a big difference. Because of that, that’s how I am with both the people I coach with fitness and the Coaches on my team. If I tell others what they want to hear and not what they need to hear, I’m doing them a disservice and not helping them move forward. My mission is to help as many people succeed as I can. Most people hate hearing that they are failing or doing something wrong, but it’s important that they know so that they can make necessary changes and move towards success. What’s important to understand, though, is that I am this way for the right reasons. I’m not trying to be an asshole, but rather I have a desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Through years of experience, my straight-forward, no bullshit approach is what has been most effective. It’s why the people I work with are able to make real, long term changes. People might be upset with me at first because I’m telling them something they don’t want to hear, but they always come back to me later and thank me for being so straight-forward with them.

But I also have a very laid back, fun side as well. I am probably one of the most easy going people you will ever meet! I like to have a good time. I always try to be myself and as transparent as possible and teach my Coaches the same thing.

Mentoring New Coaches

If’ you’re ready to become a Beachbody Coach, like my style, and are interested in joining my team, below is a list of things that I have available for all new Coaches.

  • Personal one on one support. For the first month especially we will be working close together making sure you are doing the right actions to build a successful business. I will be in contact with you via text, phone, message, and video conference calls.
  • Goal setting. I will help you create attainable, short term goals. Each short term goal will help you move towards long term goals.
  • Excellent team training. I have a system that I have been using for years that has been very effective for me and my team. Once you sign up you will be plugged right into the training.
  • Team accountability and support. You will be plugged into our Team Next Level team page and have a ton of support from other Coaches on the team.
  • Team Calls. Each Wednesday night at 7:30 PM Central I hold a team call. Normally I have celebrity trainers and other top Coaches as guest speakers on the calls.
  • Team rewards trips. If you are able to accomplish certain specified goals within a time frame after signing up, you will be invited on an exclusive trip with my wife and I.

Becoming a Beachbody Coach

If you’re been considering becoming a Beachbody Coach and are ready to sign up, here are the steps to get started.

  1. You will need to apply to be a part of my team. I only sign up those who are hard workers, make no excuses, are ready to change their life, and are passionate about fitness and helping others. Here is the link. Team Next Level Coach Application
  2. If you have any questions about the form or joining my team, feel free to message me on Facebook or email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com.
  3. Once you fill out the application, I will review it and then set up a 15 minute call with you.
  4. After the call, I will send you directions on how to sign up.

**BEACHBODY INCOME DISCLAIMER: Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach’s income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill.  See our Statement of Independent Coach Earnings located in the Coach Office for the most recent information on our Coaches’ actual incomes.**

Jan 19

Beachbody Performance Recover Review

By now you probably understand that I’m a supplement junkie. My addiction started in college, all thanks to my buddies. It seemed that every time I went to the gym they were talking about something else they tried and got great results with. Of course I had to try it out too. One of the main supplements we always seemed to talk about besides pre-workout supplements were post-workout recovery supplements. For years and years I studied and tried out many various recovery supplements hoping to find the one that works best. Eventually, I came across a brand of supplements that were clean, but extremely effective called the Performance Line. The Beachbody Recover formula from the Performance Line was a post-workout supplement that I used for quite some time while going through multiple rounds of a program called Body Beast. As I was trying to put on mass, I knew the importance of having a good quality supplement to take right after my workouts. Recover was exactly what I had hoped. Here is my Beachbody Performance Recover Review.

Why Use a Post Workout Supplement?

Before I actually get into my Beachbody Performance Recover Review, I want to talk a little bit about why it’s important to use a post workout supplement. When you do an intense workout like what I do every day, you drain your body of glycogen and protein. After you get done with the workout, you have about an hour time span to consume either good quality food or a post-workout supplement that will help replenish the glycogen stores and kick-start the muscle repairing process. That supplement or food needs to have a great balance of fast digesting carbohydrates and important amino acids. The fast digesting carbs will help transport the amino acids to the muscle cells quickly, therefore aiding in protein synthesis (muscle recovery). I have used both food and supplements for post workout recovery, but supplements seem to be more effective for me, probably because they are designed to have everything I need for proper recovery, whereas I might not get it all with food. A good quality post workout supplement will reduce soreness and aid in proper muscle recover.

My Beachbody Performance Recover Review

When I’m judging a post-workout supplement, I do so in 4 different areas: (1) Quality, (2) Taste, (3) Consistency, (4) Effectiveness. I’m going to break down the Recover formula regarding each of those areas.

(1) Quality. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the quality a 9. Out of all the ones I’ve used over the years, this one is by far the best quality. The sugar in Recover is actually beet sugar Beachbody Performance Recover Reviewand the rest of it is sweetened with Stevia leaf extract. Most post-workout supplements are loaded with low-quality processed sugar, mainly to make it taste better. In addition, Recover has a 2:1 protein to carb ratio, which is excellent for recovery. The protein comes from whey isolate, pea protein, and contains a number of additional important amino acids. There are no added chemicals, dyes, or other toxins.

(2) Taste. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the taste a 9. I love the taste of both flavors of Beachbody Recover. Back in the day Beachbody had something called the Recovery Formula (which isn’t nearly as good of quality as Recover), but the orange flavor tasted like an orange creamsicle. The orange flavor with Recover is very similar to that. Not as good as the old one, but still very good. The chocolate flavor tastes like chocolate because that’s what it is, chocolate. It’s hard to mess up a chocolate flavor.

(3) Consistency. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the consistency a 10. It’s a very powdery substance and mixes very well. Normally I just put it in a shaker cup and shake it.

(4) Effectiveness. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the effectiveness a 9. All I know is that when I use Recover I tend to get outstanding results. My recovery time is shorter and I don’t experience as much soreness as I normally would without taking anything after my workout.

So that’s it. That’s my Beachbody Performance Recover Review. If you’re interested in purchasing Beachbody Recover, just click here. If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com.

Jan 15

Learn to Roll With the Punches

Today I work up with a plan. Today was the day I was going to once a for all become organized. Now listen, I’ve achieved a lot in my 32 years of life and I have a lot of strengths, but good Lord, organization is not one of them. The day started off gloriously. I created a new task list for my assistant, organized my schedule, created a one month plan, and I planned on writing a killer blog post, but then came the curveball. As I was updating my iPhone this morning, it decided to stop updating and give me an error message. Then I tried to restore it, but yet again, another error message. OK, deep breath. I became a little frustrated because I had planned on getting everything done on my task list today. Let’s take it to the Sprint store to see what they can do. I drove 20 minutes to the store only for them to tell me that I had to drive another 20 minutes further to the Apple store in some gigantic mall because they can’t help me. OK, OK. I see what you’re doing to me buddy. You’re trying to teach me patience, I get it. Patience, something else that’s not a strength of mine. I drove to this mall and traffic was out of this world for some odd reason. I drove like a bat out of hell, passing people where I shouldn’t have passed them. I yelled at them like they could actually hear me inside my car. I get to this place and it’s so freakin’ large that I had no idea where I’m going. Sweet, JC Penny parking lot. Let’s start there. I went inside and wandered around this mall that’s larger than any I have been in before searching for the Apple store. Found it. It was so busy that you would have thought it was Black Friday. I went up to the girl greeting at the door, explained my situation, only for her to tell me that I needed to set up an appointment to get it fixed and unfortunately, they had no more openings for the day. BUT if I stood in this line that was backed out of the door, I could set something up. SCREW…..THAT! I basically sprinted out of that mall with steam rolling out of my ears. Finally, I got back home and decided to contact Apple Chat Support. After an hour they finally helped me and my phone was fixed. Miraculously, iTunes backed up my phone right before it froze and I got all of my pictures and information back. The ones I were worried about were the Christmas photos and videos of my children. All back.

Now here I am writing a blog post I wanted to write 4 hours ago. And yes, I know, this is definitely a first world problem, but I am leaving on a trip soon and have to have a phone to contact my family when I’m gone. Plus, I work from my phone. The point is that we all start with a plan, but that plan is constantly blown to pieces. It’s almost impossible to start with a plan and finish it without any obstacles. Today is a prime example of that. However, how we choose to handle those obstacles is key. There’s no denying it, I got pretty pissed off today. I just wanted to get everything done that I needed to get done for my business and then go spend time with my family for the rest of the evening. But as you saw, it didn’t turn out that way. It’s past 5 PM and I am halfway through my to-do-list. But I have to sit back and laugh about it. I knew something like this would happen. My entire life to this point is a giant obstacle. Why would today be any different? I’ve been able to handle every other obstacle properly, I needed to handle this one the same way. Instead of letting it ruin my day and knock me off course (for very long), I took a deep breath, smiled, and adjusted. Now here I am writing a blog that I would have never written about. Maybe one of you reading this is going to say “YES! I needed this today!” Then this is for you. Maybe this is what you needed to hear.

People start their fitness journey with a plan. It’s funny because right now with the New Year everyone and their uncle is starting a plan. As a fitness Coach, the amount of times I hear “This is it, I’m going to change this year!” within the month of January is ridiculous. But then 3 weeks later they fall off. Why? Because they can’t roll with the punches. Maybe their best friend called them fat. Maybe their family ridiculed them for eating healthy. Maybe their friends tempted them to eat pizza and drink beer with them. Maybe they hit a plateau. Maybe some asshole on the internet made fun of them for posting their one week results. Maybe they gave into temptations during the weekend and strayed off course. IT……HAPPENS! Why are so many of you letting these negative things affect you so drastically? Who gives a shit! Learn to smile and adjust. If you go into your fitness journey expecting everything to be perfect, you’re fooling yourself. I’m 10+ years into my own fitness journey and the amount of times I’ve come across some sort of issue is insane. I’ve dealt with a crazy amount of injuries, haters, jealous people, plateaus, sickness (yes, even a disease), but I still keep moving forward. I have just come to accept that these things will happen. It’s all out of my control so I just don’t worry about it. I expect it, yes, but don’t stress about it. I can’t. If so I’d be stressed out all the time. Stress is not good. If you’re one of the many starting your journey this year, don’t go into it thinking everything will be perfect. It won’t, I promise. Rather, come to expect the obstacles and quickly make adjustments so that you can keep moving forward.

Speaking of the New Year and fitness goals, I’m taking on more clients right now. If you would like me to recommend an entire workout, nutrition, and supplement plan for you and support you while on your journey, just email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com or message me on my Facebook Page. I’d love to help you out. I’m going to be opening my support group soon starting at the beginning of February as well. That group will fill up quickly like it always does. If you want in, you’ve got to be serious about being ready to change, and just reach out to me.

Dec 21

How to Handle Failure – My 5 Step Process

I’m writing a book. I’ve been working on the book for quite some time. While writing for a few hours yesterday I addressed the topic of failure. This is my sweet spot! When I’m asked to speak at events, this is one topic that I really enjoy discussing, probably because I’ve dealt with more failure in my 32 years of life than anyone can imagine. Even though they should, the majority of people just don’t know how to handle failure. They go about it the wrong way. They always do their best to avoid it. You can thank the movement that “failure isn’t an option” for that one. Whoever came up with that saying clearly has never experienced any success. When I see someone post it online, all I picture is this middle aged man living in his mother’s basement never doing a damn thing because he’s too afraid to fail. Failure is the only stepping stone to success. Once you understand it, then you can move forward.

We all fail in many different areas, but I’d like to elaborate on the health and fitness aspect since we are coming upon the New Year when everyone and their mother creates a New Years Resolution to lose weight. As an online fitness Coach, I always experience a surge around this time of the year. People believe and tell themselves that “this is the year” that they finally change. Three weeks into the new plan they come across their first obstacle. Maybe they aren’t dropping the pounds like they thought they would or maybe they had a slip up in their nutrition, which are both very common. However, how they handle that obstacle is why most people can never get past the 3 week mark. Instead of taking a step back, analyzing why they might have slipped up or where they might have went wrong and then making quick adjustments, they get frustrated. The frustration leads to them pulling back from the workouts and proper nutrition, which adds back on the weight. They get frustrated even more and end up giving up and going back to their old, unhealthy lifestyle. I’ve experienced this with people too many times for my liking.

I have developed a 5 step process, though, regarding how to handle failure. If you are that person that gets frustrated when you fail, fears failure, or tries to avoid failure all together, I want you to apply this process from this point on. What’s going to happen if you actually follow this process is that you’re going to notice all aspects of your life improve. You will also become a hell of a lot less stressed out because you will stop worrying when you do fail. I’ve had a lot of success in life with business, fitness, and relationships, because I have consistently used this process over the years.

The Spencer 5 Step Failure Process

Step 1: Embrace failure. While most people avoid and fear failure, I embrace it. Whether you like it or not it’s going to happen! Stop looking at it like it’s some bad thing. It’s not. Failure is great if you handle it properly. The first step is that you accept that it’s necessary in order for you to move towards success with whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. When you accept it, you no longer run from it and actually look forward to it. For example, maybe you have been working out for a month and have only lost a few pounds when you expected to lose about 15. Instead of getting down on yourself about it, embrace it, because this won’t be the last time you experience an issue like this.

Step 2: Write down what you failed with and why you believe you failed with it. I like to write things down because when I see something it becomes real. If I just think about what I failed with it’s very easy for me to forget it and neglect working out a solution. I like to write down what I failed with and why I feel like I failed with it. In the same example above, write down the fact that you aren’t losing weight and then the reasons why you feel it could be happening. Are you eating too much? Are you eating the right things? Are you having too many cheat meals? Are you not pushing hard enough during the workouts? Are you doing the right workouts? Are your macros incorrect?

Step 3: Figure out a solution for the failure. You already know why you failed, now it’s time to figure out a solution so that you don’t fail with that same thing again. I don’t want you spending too much time thinking about a solution. Rather, this needs to be quick, maybe a day or so, sometimes more if it’s a major failure. Once you figure out that solution, write it down. With the same example, think about the things that you can adjust so that you can get yourself out of the plateau. Maybe you figured out that you indeed were taking in too many calories. Write it down along with the new amount that you plan to consume daily.

Step 4: Seek help from a mentor. One thing that I like to do quite often is go to someone who knows more than me about the specific thing or area that I failed with. I will then explain to them what I failed with, why I believe I failed with it, and my proposed solution to the problem so that I can get their input. Many times they will tell me that they have experienced that failure before and can offer some great input on what I can do to get beyond it. If they haven’t experienced that failure before, they can at least offer up some different ideas for a solution. In the example above, this is where a fitness Coach like me comes into play. You would come to me, explain the situation, talk about your possible solution and then I would give my input. With my experience, though, I don’t actually believe that it’s because you’re taking in too many calories. I think it has a lot to do with the amount of sugar you’re consuming. We then adjust your macros accordingly.

Step 5: Take immediate action. This is the most important step of all. Without action there is no success. It’s pointless to go through steps 1-4 if you don’t apply what you learned. Most people learn a great deal from others and research and always have fantastic ideas, but they never act on those ideas. Eventually without acting you will forget and move on to something else. With the example, you can’t wait on making the changes to your macros. You need to make those changes the very next day so that you can start moving in the right direction again.

My 5 step process on how to handle failure works! You just have to put it into action. Get into the habit of using this process every time you fail. Remember, failure is going to happen! Embrace it, analyze it, talk to someone about it, figure out a solution, and put that solution into action. If you have any questions for me or would like to be coached by me, you can message me on my Facebook Page.

Dec 06

How I Used a (Mostly) Natural Approach to Heal From Lyme Disease

This is going to be a long post, but it’s necessary. The last 3 years I have battled one of the nastiest chronic diseases out there, Lyme Disease, and have conquered it. How? Persistence, positive attitude, an incredible amount of research, stubbornness, complete lifestyle changes, and a whole lot of commitment and patience. You’re going to discover that I am an avid believer in naturally healing from disease. However, you will also discover that I have been through some antibiotic treatments as well. Some of that I regret, some of it I don’t. Since going public with my journey I have had hundreds of people reach out to me looking for a solution. I wrote a Lyme eBook, but so much has changed since then and instead of writing another book I thought it would be much easier to direct people to a blog post. My intentions with this post is to share what I have done to heal and hopefully provide information and hope for others to heal just as I have. I am not a doctor, but a normal guy who never gives up and just wants to help others. In no way do I benefit from anything I link out to in this post. Today I am back to my normal lifestyle, very rarely have any symptoms, and can enjoy life once again. I work out daily, am very active, snowboard, dirt bike ride, mountain bike, play with my kids, all things that I wasn’t physically capable of doing for well over a year while I was very sick.

**Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Everything I share from this point forward are changes that I have made and treatments that I have done that have worked for me. Before making any changes yourself, you need to make sure you check with your doctor.**

Where My Lyme Journey Started

In early 2015 I traveled down to Mexico for a business/luxury rewards trip I earned for the success I achieved in my business from the year before. While down there, I didn’t think twice about the buffet food I was eating because it was a 5 star resort. However, when I got back home I became extremely sick for about 5 days. I knew I had picked up some intestinal parasites. The sickness ran it’s course and that was the end of that, or so I thought. A month and a half later I started developing some very strange symptoms. At first it was terrible pain in the back of my head on both sides where the neck meets the skull. Then came the fatigue. Every morning I woke up I felt like I had not slept. Then came the stomach problems, nausea, and night sweats. All day every day I felt like I had the flu. Not too long after I started developing some additional symptoms. Extreme dizziness and breathing problems set in. These symptoms progressively got worse as time went by. I became so dizzy on occasion that I couldn’t stand up and the breathing problems became so bad that I landed in the ER. I was having a terrible time catching my breath, almost like I was experiencing an awful asthma attack. And as a fitness coach, even though I was sick I wanted to try to work out, but every time I worked out I became even sicker. I had to stop working out all together because my body just couldn’t handle it. Not too long afterwards I started developing some very serious and scary cognitive issues. I started slurring my speech and couldn’t concentrate on anything I was doing. I had to step back from helping others and mentoring my team because I just wasn’t physically capable of doing so. I also began having memory problems. Last came the worst of it all, the anxiety and panic attacks. Because I was misdiagnosed so many times (I’ll get to that shortly) and was so sick every day, I started having terrible anxiety. “What is wrong with me?” “Why is nobody helping me?” “Am I going to heal?” “Am I going to die?” “Will I have to deal with this for the rest of my life?” “How can I be the father and husband I want to be if I’m so sick?” All of these questions consumed my mind daily. I couldn’t shake the negativity. All I did from that point on was worry. As someone that is extremely analytical and dealt with OCD issues as a kid, constantly worrying is not good. I had to figure this out or I was going to find myself in a darker place than I already was in.

The Lyme Diagnosis

When all of those symptoms above began, I didn’t just sit back and let them happen. I immediately went to my family doctor and explained to him what was going on. I told him about the trip to Mexico and how I believed I picked up parasites. He was sure that I didn’t have parasites, but instead of trying to dig deeper and find a root cause of all my symptoms, he tried to get me on anxiety medication and pain killers. He basically told me that it was all in my head. Of course I refused the medication. 7 different doctors later I still didn’t have an answer. We did a lot of testing, but each test we did came back negative for anything serious. Each of their solutions was to get me on anxiety meds and pain killers. None of them wanted to take the time to figure out what was going on with me. Obviously something very serious was happening.

At this point I stopped going to conventional doctors and started doing a ton of research on my own. I was tired of spending money and not getting answers. It was time to stop relying on others and take matters into my own hands. After much research, I narrowed it down to two possible culprits: lyme disease or serious intestinal parasites. Based on my Mexico experience I instantly thought I still had parasites and sought out help from a kinesiologist in California based on a recommendation. He was the first person to actually listen to me. We then began a detox and parasite cleansing plan. I went through multiple treatments and actually expelled a lot of parasites, but my symptoms still persisted. In fact, they got worse. Since I still had symptoms, I figured the only possible explanation was that I had lyme disease.

I then started digging even further into understanding Lyme. Everything I found matched what I was going through. I talked to my kinesiologist about my thoughts and he agreed that it could be lyme and that I needed to get tested. I went back to my family doctor and demanded a lyme test. He very reluctantly agreed and I took the test, but it came back negative. It didn’t make sense to me and then I discovered just how inaccurate the typical Western Blot test was. I then decided to seek help from a Lyme Disease specialist. Within two minutes of meeting with him he told me I have lyme. Of course I told him I wanted to get properly tested using the iGenex test to make sure, but he was sure that’s what was going on with me. He told me that Lyme can lay dormant in your system for years until some sort of stressful situation or sickness breaks down your immune system allowing it to flourish. When I was a kid I was bit multiple time by ticks. The parasites I picked up from Mexico must have weakened my immune system just enough to let this disease take over.

I took the test (along with having a lot of other blood work done) and it came back positive for a few bands of Lyme. On top of that, though, my blood work showed some very concerning issues. My adrenals were shot, I was extremely deficient in most vitamins (normal issue with those who suffer from Lyme), I had thyroid problems, my cholesterol and triglycerides were high, my eosinophils were through the roof, other white blood cell counts were high, my liver enzymes were very high, and my creatinine levels were high. It was blatantly obvious that I was dealing with some sort of very serious infection or disease. After progressively getting worse for 6 months, it was a relief having an answer, but I knew this was the beginning of a very long journey to get better.

The Lyme Disease Treatment

Antibiotics

My Lyme Specialist thought it was best to get me on antibiotics right away. The first one he started me on was Clarithromycin. I took that antibiotic for 6 months and saw a little progress, but it wasn’t enough. I was still pretty sick. However, I could at least function again. Later research taught me that it was because the antibiotics forced the Lyme to change to a bleb form and “hide” from the antibiotics. However, as soon as I stopped the antibiotics I became sick again. He then got me on another antibiotic. However, I had already started doing an insane amount of research on how to naturally heal from disease. I read multiple books, watched a ton of YouTube videos, and read countless articles and discovered a ton of changes that I needed to make. I will get to those changes here in a bit. But in my research I did learn about some very powerful herbs that were shown to combat serious bacterial infections like Lyme, such as Cat’s Claw, Sarsaparilla, and Japanese Knotweed. Looking into those herbs led me to an herbal plan called Vital Plan Restore Program and I started it right away and took it every day along with my antibiotics. I also began understanding the effects that antibiotics had on the body and immune system and started questioning whether or not I was making the right decision by taking them.

I also joined a bunch of Lyme Disease forums, but quickly found out about the negativity and depression that was rampant in the forums. Here I was staying positive and convinced that I was going to heal while there were thousands of others who were convinced that there was no way to heal from this disease. I read countless stories about how people were sick for years and years and years with no end in sight. They were depressed, on a ridiculous amount of medication, and lost all hope. Quite frankly, it was extremely depressing reading everyone’s posts so I decided to leave. It was important that I surrounded myself with positivity and leaving the forums was the best thing for me. First, though, I found a guy who was just like me and was sure he was going to conquer this disease, so we started communicating outside of the forums. His name is Ed. Ed and I started doing even more research into healing from Lyme and came across a forum called “Cured of lyme in 60 days.” At first it looked like a bullshit scam, but I quickly discovered that the guy who “cured” himself was an absolute genius. He is a chemist that contracted Lyme and decided to create his own antibiotic protocol. He claimed that he healed himself in 60 days. Every piece of information he shared he backed it up with sources and other proof. He went into extreme detail about why normal antibiotic therapy for lyme fails and created a pulsing protocol that targets the various forms of lyme. It’s a 60 day plan, where you take 2 antibiotics, Minocycline and Tindamax, every other day. I could go into detail about the plan here, but I’d rather you read it directly from the source (link above). There are a number of things that he suggests to do and Ed and I followed everything to a “T” for 60 days. At the end of the 60 days, we were both about 60% better.

Natural Lyme Treatments

Before I started that antibiotic protocol, I promised myself that was the last time I was going to take antibiotics regardless if it helped or not. After doing an insane amount of research on healing from disease, I knew that the only way that I would truly heal was if I built back up my immune system so my body could fight this off on its own. No more chemicals were going into my body. Now I’m going to go into great detail about EXACTLY what I have done naturally to heal from Lyme and get myself to where I am today.

Detoxing

The immune system cannot function normally if there are built up toxins in the body. Cancer and diseases such as Lyme occur and flourish because the body is not strong enough to fight it off on it’s own from the toxic overload within the person’s system (among some other factors, such as obesity, leaky gut, and parasites). Things that most people don’t think twice about are poisoning their bodies on a daily basis, such as deodorant, toothpaste, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish soap, bath soap, shampoo, and even those wonderful smelling candles. That’s not even mentioning the amount of chemicals, toxins, and dyes that get into the body from what you eat and drink. I’m going to go into detail about each of the things that I did to detox my body and reset my immune system.

Infrared Sauna – When I first started my antibiotic treatment I learned that it was very important that I detoxed regularly to eliminate all the dead Lyme bacteria out of my system. If I didn’t detox, I could have some very serious Herxheimer reactions. I did have some reactions because of the die off, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because I used an infrared sauna every single day. After research I learned that infrared saunas were one of the best ways to detox the body so I went out and bought one. Infrared saunas are different than traditional saunas in that they detox at the cellular level. Traditional saunas heat up your outside causing you to sweat. Traditional saunas work, but aren’t as effective at detoxing as infrared saunas. One thing I noticed while using the sauna was the strong ammonia smell of my sweat. After research I learned that it’s a normal smell from the bacterial die off.

Parasite Cleanse – It’s very interesting how I went through multiple parasite cleanses before I knew I had Lyme Disease. This was something that I needed to do anyways. Parasites wreak havoc on the immune system. And guess what, you probably have parasites. Most people live with some sort of parasites in their intestines or liver. It’s crucial that you do your best to rid yourself of parasites. The one I followed was Dr. Clark’s Parasite Cleanse.

Colonics Treatment – Just a warning, these are extremely uncomfortable and not too fun to talk about, but if you’re suffering from lyme, you’re past the “eww that’s gross” stage and are willing to do whatever you have to do to get your body and life back. When my kinesiologist recommended that I get multiple colonics treatments while going through my parasite cleanses, I was less than thrilled. Colonics treatments are enemas on steroids. Normally it’s about an hour long session and a tube is inserted into the rectum and shoots warm water into your intestines. The water is then expelled along with anything else that has been sitting inside there, mainly an ungodly amount of feces. It cleanses your system and hydrates you at the same time.

The Ultimate Reset – I was hesitant putting this in here because I do sell this as a fitness coach, but it is something that I used to detox. Basically, this is a 21 day plan to gently detox your body. It consists of slowly moving to an all vegan plan that’s very high in fruits and vegetables (fiber and nutrients) and contains a few different detoxing supplements as well. Because I want to make sure that you understand this post isn’t to benefit me in any way, if you’re interested in it, just go to the Beachbody website. I will not benefit in any way if you purchase it from there.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Every single morning I have a shot of Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. I mix one tablespoon with a cup of water and chug it as soon as I wake up. Not only does this cleanse the body and kill bacteria, it aids in digestion and helps alkalinize the body as well.

Ginger Tea with Lemon – While going through treatment, every morning with my breakfast I would have Ginger Tea with fresh squeezed lemon. Ginger tea helps calm the stomach (it calmed mine when I had all of those stomach issues), but also aids in digestion and absorption of food. Lemon is an incredible detoxing food as well. Not only does it aid in digestion like ginger tea, but it flushes out toxins as well.

Detoxing the Home – I mentioned above that most people don’t think about the things they put on their body, surround themselves with, and breathe in. Every single day the majority of people are absorbing a ridiculous amount of toxins into their bodies and don’t even know it. It’s time to detox your home. Everyone needs to do this, but it’s crucial for those who are dealing with some sort of chronic disease. I mentioned chemicals and toxins in household items like toothpaste, soap, deodorant, but I didn’t even mention other normal items like make-up, perfume or cologne, or cleaning wipes. Like it or not, whatever you touch or put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Most household items anymore are loaded with toxic chemicals. Before I dealt with lyme, I was guilty of being ignorant about what I touched or put on my body. I just didn’t know better. I used deodorant that had the best TV commercials. I used cologne that smelled the best. Once my eyes were opened, my wife and I went through and detoxed our entire home. We threw away or donated anything that we felt was toxic to our family and replaced them all with non-toxic items. There are two main brands that we use for most household cleaning items. The first one is Seventh Generation and the other is Method. Both are natural based and non-toxic. When it comes to soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, there are a number of different brands out there that are non-toxic. A simple Google search will point you in the right direction.

Nutritional Changes

This is going to be a long section because there is a lot of information to cover. If I look at the progress I made while on antibiotics compared to the progress I made when I stopped antibiotics, there is no comparison. I only started to truly heal and get my life back when I focused on eating the right foods, detoxing, and using the right supplements and vitamins. I believe the last antibiotic treatment that I went through (the 60 day pulsing plan) was effective enough to kill many of the bacteria that were in my system, but it didn’t kill them all. I knew that my body had to take over afterwards and finish off this nasty disease. If you would ask me today if I it was worth going through about 8 months of antibiotics, I would tell you no. I would have never went through the antibiotic plan that my Lyme specialist recommended for me because it wasn’t effective. However, I would still have gone through the 60 day pulsing plan (which is only 30 days of antibiotics).

Antibiotics are interesting. Yes, they are a medical marvel and are very effective at killing off most unwanted bacteria, but they completely destroy the immune system and can lead to the emergence of super-bacteria that are antibiotic resistant. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. When I finished up my pulsing protocol, I instantly started focusing on healing the gut. The thing about antibiotics is that they destroy all bacteria, regardless if they are good or bad. Our immune systems stem from the gut. Believe it or not, our gut is LOADED with good bacteria that play many important roles in our bodies, especially with our immune system. Taking antibiotics, especially long-term, destroys all of that, leaving you susceptible to other illnesses. The 3 months after I stopped antibiotics were not good. I felt better, yes, but developed MRSA (a very dangerous antibiotic resistance super bacteria) twice. Normally my body would fight it off on its own, but my immune system was so weakened that it wasn’t able to. Fortunately, I recovered fully each time and have been able to stay relatively healthy because of all the work I’ve done rebuilding my immune system back up.

Now that you understand the benefits and side-effects of antibiotics, it’s time to shift to all of the nutritional changes that I made to heal my gut, strengthen my immune system, and fight off this disease. What you have to understand is that if you want to heal, you have to commit fully. There is no “I’ll eat good today, but eat a large pizza and fries tomorrow” type of deal. It’s 100% pure commitment to consuming things that are only going to benefit your health. Will it be hard? Absolutely. The toughest part about all of this is the patience you have to have. You won’t eat well today and notice a difference tomorrow. However, over time of consistently consuming the right things daily you will slowly get better. It’s confusing to me how many people I talk to and try to help that can’t commit to a true healthy lifestyle. What’s the alternative? Progressively getting worse, being sick every day, slipping into depression, not being able to enjoy life, that’s the alternative. I made a choice back in 2015 to commit fully to healing and not look back. I have busted my ass every single day since then and have been greatly rewarded for it. There was no other option for me. I refused to become those people I constantly saw in the Lyme forums. I made all of these changes that I’m about to go into detail about and it’s the biggest reason why I feel like I am where I am today with my health and life.

Drastically Reduce Sugar & Carbohydrate Intake

Sugar is evil. Most of the health issues you see today, including obesity, disease, diabetes, and cancer stems from sugar intake. It’s not really something that you hear about in the news, but it’s a major problem. The daily sugar consumption here in the U.S. is out of control and people are clueless about what exactly it’s doing to their insides. In an article I was reading by a natural doctor that I follow religiously named Dr. Mercola, he mentioned that those who consumed 25% or more of their daily calories from sugar were three times more likely to die from heart disease (Dr. Mercola’s article). But sugar severely decreases the immune system and the ability to fight off sickness as well. When you are trying to recover from a disease like Lyme, obviously you don’t want to do anything that’s going to weaken your immune system. Drastically reducing sugar intake was one of the very first changes I made back in 2015 when I discovered I had Lyme. I found out that there was a lot of hidden sugar in most of the foods that I was eating, such as breads, pastas, pasta sauce, condiments, fruit juices, etc. I made the change so that the only sugar I was consuming came from organic fruits and vegetables, that’s it. In addition, I drastically decreased my overall carbohydrate intake. For one, it wasn’t necessary to consume a lot of carbs because I wasn’t able to be active throughout the day from being so sick. Second, I purposely increased my healthy fat intake (which I’ll get to shortly), so I had to eliminate some calories I was getting from carbs. I went from consuming about 40% of my calories from carbohydrate sources down to about 15% – 25%.

Here is a list of healthy carbs (fruits and vegetables) that I consume. So that I don’t have to mention this again, any food that I eat is organic, so when you see a list of my foods, automatically assume it’s organic. The reason is because non-organic foods are normally loaded with toxic pesticides. Again, when you’re trying to heal from a disease, you have to eliminate as many toxins as possible from your life.

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Bananas
  • Raw Honey
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Red and Green Peppers
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans

Drastically Increase Healthy Fat Intake & Eliminate Inflammatory Foods

Lyme causes inflammation. That’s why there’s a lot of pain associated with this disease. The reason inflammation occurs is because the body sends white blood cells to battle the infection site. Because of it, there is an increase in blood flow to the area and swelling and pain occur. So the pain is just from the body trying to fight off the infection that’s occurring. While doing research online and reading many books, I discovered that I needed to drastically increase my healthy fat intake to help battle the inflammation. I went from consuming about 20% of my daily calories from healthy fat up to around 60-70%.

Here is a list of healthy fats that I consume.

  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Fish (Mainly wild caught salmon and swordfish. Stay away from farm raised fish.)
  • Olives
  • Eggs
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter from raw grass fed organic milk

There are also certain foods that cause inflammation in the body. If you’re going to boost your anti-inflammatory foods, you have to also eliminate the inflammatory ones. Once I was diagnosed with Lyme I eliminated all gluten and dairy from my diet. That means that I stopped eating bread, milk, cheese, butter, etc. However, after later additional research I found that there are health benefits to some dairy foods, such as butter and yogurt, and added some back into my diet.

Eliminate Processed Food

Processed food is just not good for you, period, and you should avoid it completely. Processed food normally contains additives, chemicals, artificial coloring, refined oils, and a number of other things that just aren’t good for you. With meat, the animal is usually fed an unnatural diet high in antibiotics, GMOs, and hormones.

Here is a list of some processed foods.

  • Farm raised fish
  • Fast food
  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • “Fat Free” and “Sugar Free” products
  • Margarine
  • Vegetable oils
  • French fries
  • White rice
  • White flower
  • White breads and pastas
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Most cereal
  • Pastries
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Hot dogs
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Non-organic Ketchup
  • Non-organic chicken and beef

Drink the Right Things

What you drink is just as important as what you eat. Water is the most important. Most people are unaware of the amount of crap that is in normal tap water, such as chlorine, lead, fluoride, PCBs, and arsenic. I shouldn’t have to tell you that it’s not safe to consume these things, but most people are doing so on a daily basis, which can lead to immune system breakdown and major health issues. Once I understood that the water I was drinking wasn’t good for me, I purchased a reverse osmosis system and installed it under my kitchen sink. The one I use is made from a company called Homemaster. Drinking highly filtered water (and enough of it daily) is a very important step to take in healing from disease. What about bottled water? I used to be one of those people that thought that bottled water was better than tap water. Not so much. After really digging into it, I found that many bottled waters contain just as many toxins as tap water. Again, your best bet is to find a good, high quality water filter system that you can install under your kitchen sink.

Now I want to talk about probiotic drinks. Every day since 2015 I have drank a fermented tea called kombucha. When I finished up my antibiotic treatment I knew that I had to restore the healthy bacteria in my gut. I started taking a probiotic supplement along with drink kombucha, which contains a ton of healthy probiotics, every single day. Over time I have effectively restored healthy gut bacteria, which plays a big role in immune system function. The brand that I normally use is called Synergy, but you can also make your own. Other than drinks, you can also eat fermented foods to get healthy probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kefir, miso, kimchi, and yogurt.

There are a number of healthy teas that you can drink as well. I already mentioned that I drank ginger tea with lemon every day, but there are some others that I drank/drink that have a ton of health benefits. They include green, chamomile, hibiscus, and echinacea tea. Those last three are herbal teas.

The last drink that I want to mention is bone broth. I have been drinking organic bone broth every day for the past 5-6 months because of all the health benefits. I wish I would have learned about the benefits while I was going through treatment, but hindsight is 20/20. It aids joint health, boosts the immune system, boosts detoxification, and helps repair a leaky gut. Leaky gut syndrome is actually fairly common and a major cause of a lot of chronic illnesses. Your gut has a lining that keeps out microbes and toxins and lets in important nutrients. Leaky gut is when the lining is ineffective and lets in those microbes, toxins, and large food particles into your system, therefore causing inflammation and diseases. Bone broth is extremely important to drink if you are battling some sort of disease or chronic inflammation to help strengthen that gut lining and keep the bad stuff out.

What about the wrong types of drinks? First and foremost, avoid soda. The majority of sodas contain an unbelievable amount of sugar, but also chemicals, toxins, and dyes as well. I cut out soda from my diet while going through lyme treatment. To say that soda is detrimental to your health is an understatement. Second, avoid alcohol. I stopped drinking alcohol entirely while I was going through the bulk of my treatment. For some reason, the effects of alcohol are massively increased in those who suffer from Lyme. I experienced this first hand before I knew what was going on with me. The alcohol hit me quicker, but I got extremely sick as well. It was like an instant hangover that lasted for days. Not only that, though, alcohol beats down the immune system and affects immune response time. If you want to heal, stop drinking alcohol.

Supplements & Vitamins

There are a number of supplements, herbs, and vitamins that I took (and still take) while healing from this disease. Everything that I started taking and still use to this day was decided upon through extensive research and is of the highest quality. Quality is crucial when it comes to supplements (and food). There are a lot of supplements and vitamins out there on the market that are poorly made with terrible quality. Just remember, everything that you consume either helps you fight this disease or makes it stronger.

Vital Plan Restore Program – This herbal and vitamin protocol consists of taking 12 pills (3 each of 4 different kinds) twice daily. The 4 kinds are Adaptogen Recovery, Prevention Plus, Advanced Biotic, and Mitochondrial Support. All of them have a concoction of different herbs and vitamins. I started using this program about 5 months after I started antibiotic treatment and have been using it ever since. I could go into detail about what exactly the herbs do, but it’s much easier for you to check it out on the Vital Plan website. I have now cut back to a maintenance mode, taking only one dose of each pill daily.

Vitamin D3 – Helps boost immunity and battles inflammation. Most people who suffer from Lyme are D3 deficient. I take 4,000 IU daily. The brand I use is Garden of Life Vitamin Code D3.

Vitamin C – Promotes a healthy heart and supports the immune system. The brand I use is Garden of Life Vitamin Code C.

Vitamin B12 – Helps with energy, immune function, and neurological activity. The brand I use is Kind Organics B12 spray.

Glutamine – Helps with immune response.

Cats Claw – Helps inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, and boosts immune function. I took 1 capsule (500 mg) twice daily. The brand I used is Green Dragon Botanicals.

Japanese Knotweed – Supports a healthy immune system, promotes a healthy microbiome and liver function. I took 1 capsule (500 mg) twice daily. The brand I use is Green Dragon Botanicals.

Organic Raw Aloe Vera Juice – Helps balance body PH level, helps digestion, and contains important vitamins and minerals. I drank one cap full on an empty stomach daily. The brand I use is Herbal Aloe Force Organic Aloe Vera Juice.

CoQ10 – Protects the brain, nervous system, and joints from inflammation. Can also help with fatigue. I take one pill (200 mg) with my Omegas. The brand I use is Garden of Life Raw CoQ10.

Omega 3 – Battles inflammation, helps lower cholesterol, and helps with anxiety and depression. I take 2 pills (1000 mg each) of the brand Nordic Naturals daily.

Magnesium – Most people who suffer from Lyme are also deficient in magnesium because the Borrelia bacteria uses it up. It helps with anxiety, muscle twitches/spasms, and helps battle inflammation. Take 1 300 mg pill daily.

My Sample Lyme Diet

Wake-up

  • 1 cap full of Aloe Vera Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water
  • 1 glass distilled or filtered water with a pinch of Himalayan Salt

Breakfast

  • 4 whole eggs scrambled
  • Half an avocado
  • Fruit bowl of 1 cup of mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  • Ginger tea with squeezed lemon

After Breakfast

  • Round 1 Vital Plan Restore pills
  • CoQ10
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin C

Lunch

  • Spinach or kale salad with grilled chicken, pecans, olives, green and red peppers, onions, and quinoa -OR- Shakeology blended with 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 cup spinach, unsweetened almond milk, and ice.
  • Cup of Bone Broth

After Lunch

  • Cat’s Claw
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Vitamin B12 spray
  • Magnesium

Dinner

  • 6 oz Wild Caught Salmon
  • Asparagus
  • Hibiscus Tea

After Dinner

  • Round 2 Vital Plan Restore Pills
  • Glass of water with 1 scoop glutamine

Snack

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Kombucha

Essential Oils

A lot of people undermine the effect of essential oils. I am not one of those people. I firmly believe that essential oils have an incredible amount of healing properties. Instead of burning candles in our home, we run essential oil diffusers almost every day. Here is a list of essential oils that we use.

  • Frankincense – builds immunity and battles inflammation.
  • Eucalyptus – improves respiratory issues.
  • Lavender – helps with relaxation.
  • Peppermint – boosts energy and relieves pain.
  • Tea Tree – antibacterial and helps stimulate the immune system.

Working Out

When I started getting sick, I physically was not capable of working out. No matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t do so without feeling awful during or after the workout. This is very common with those who suffer from Lyme. Unfortunately, I had to stop working out completely for about 9 months while I went through treatment. That’s a very tough thing to deal with as a fitness Coach. In that time span I lost about 17 lbs and became very weak and skinny. However, even though I couldn’t work out, I still tried to be somewhat active throughout the day, normally by walking. Looking back, I wish I would never have stopped working out because it could have helped me heal quicker. Working out helps with detoxification, boosts energy, improves circulation, lowers body fat, and keeps you strong and flexible. Once I finished up with my last round of antibiotics, I immediately started an intense weight training routine and ended up gaining about 11 lbs of muscle in 90 days. I have been working out every day since and I’m a firm believer that it’s played an important role in the incredible progress I’ve made over the past year or so.

Mental Strength

I want to spend quite a bit of time talking about the importance of mental strength and positivity while battling a chronic disease such as Lyme. Chronic lyme is awful. Unlike most illnesses that can be cured in a week or two, Chronic Lyme requires a unbelievable amount of time and patience. I believe that most people who have Lyme, especially those who were recently diagnosed, look at it the same as they look at a common cold, that they can take a few antibiotics and it will be knocked out of their system quickly, but they have to start looking at it much differently. Healing from a chronic disease is a long, drawn out process and only happens with the right attitude and treatment plan. In addition, they have to be prepared for constant ups and downs, wins and losses. The right formula for healing is this: Positive Attitude + Commitment + Patience + Natural Treatment (and possibly some antibiotic treatment) = Results.

The Roller Coaster Ride

Patience has never been my strong point. Whenever I have to wait more than 10 minutes to be seated at a restaurant I would rather go somewhere else. When I was diagnosed with Lyme I knew that I had to learn how to be patient because it was going to take a long time to heal. And I thought I was ready for the constant ups and downs, but I don’t know if anyone is ever ready for it. The mind games that are at play when healing from Lyme are enough to drive anyone insane. One day you will wake up and feel great, the next you feel like death. Sometimes that “death” feeling lasts weeks. Sometimes it lasts a half a day. You just have no idea when you are going to feel well and when you will feel awful. Before I started treatment I felt like death every day. There were no good days. In fact, I just kept getting worse and worse. I honestly believed that I was not going to be around a year from that point. It scared the living hell out of me. Then we found out Melinda was pregnant with our boy Brody. It was at that point when I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to get better by the time he arrived. There was no way I was going to allow myself to not be the father I wanted to be for him. My attitude shifted and I amped up my research and found my Lyme specialist.

When I first started treatment, I would go about 3 weeks of feeling awful and a few days of feeling OK. As each month passed, the amount of time I felt like crap decreased, but very, very slowly. At the 6 month mark I was having about 2 weeks of feeling terrible and a week of feeling OK. I think that this stage was the toughest for me. When you finally begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, start to feel better, feel some sort of relief, but then it suddenly gets ripped out from right underneath you, it’s a tough thing to deal with. Like I said above, I thought I was ready for this, but I really wasn’t. You can try to be as optimistic as possible, but when you feel good for a prolonged period of time and then start to feel terrible again, it instantly deflates you. It happened to me quite a bit. However, I finally began to understand the process and came to expect the constant ups and downs, so when they did happen, I didn’t get too upset about it. I just kept telling myself that “it was all part of the process.” All I could do was stay as positive as I could and do the things that I needed to do to heal, such as take my herbs, vitamins, supplements, and eat right.

One thing that I am extremely thankful for is the amount of support I received from friends, family, and even people on social media. I can tell you, though, that you quickly learn who your true friends are when you deal with something like a chronic disease. There were people who reached out to me that I would have never expected to, but also people who I expected to be there to help me that weren’t. But having support is crucial to healing. I’m someone that likes to keep things to himself. I’ve always been that way. But I was dealing with so much mentally and physically that I absolutely had to talk to someone about it. Just having someone there to listen to you is a big time help and relief. My wife is absolutely incredible and was my rock through this entire process. I will be forever grateful to her and all of the others who were there for me in my darkest hours. If you’re dealing with some sort of chronic disease, don’t try to tackle it on your own. Find someone to talk to. If you have to see a therapist, do it. There is no shame in doing so.

One thing that I suggest that you do is keep a symptom tracker. When I first started treatment I wrote down every symptom that I was experiencing. As each month passed I wrote down what symptoms I was still experiencing and which ones were getting better or had gone away. This is a great way to track your progress and keep you optimistic. If you’re doing the right things, your symptoms should begin going away. Slowly but surely, one by one my symptoms began to disappear.

The year mark is when things finally began to really shift for me. This is shortly (2 months) after I completed my last stage of antibiotics and started focusing on building back up my immune system. I had started working out again after not working out for an entire year. I had lost a LOT of weight and became very skinny. I was finally able to get in a good workout without getting extremely sick afterwards. At this point I was going about 3 weeks of feeling great (yes, great) and one week of feeling OK. That 1 week of feeling OK consisted of a few symptoms here and there, such as a little fatigue and pain in the back of my head, but it wasn’t enough to slow me down or stop me from being active and working out. 6 months later I was going about 2 months of feeling great and maybe a few days of feeling OK. Today, I have gone about 5 months of feeling great with just a few symptoms appearing very rarely.

Dealing With Anxiety & Panic Attacks

I’ve always been analytical. Whenever something happens in my life, I analyze it until I figure it out. I’ve always been somewhat of a perfectionist and worrier as well. Combine the two and you get a lot of OCD behaviors. When I was younger, I developed a lot of OCD type odd behaviors and it did get out of control for a while. However, one day at about 12 years old I woke up and decided that I was done worrying about the little things and that was that. I literally stopped my OCD cold turkey. But being over analytical has always been a part of who I am and sometimes that has led to worrying. Personal development has allowed me to keep my worrying under control, though. I’m a big believer in reading personal development books and have been since the age of 15 when my father introduced “The Magic of Thinking Big” to me. He made me read the book because I couldn’t stop worrying about my failures in baseball. For example, if I struck out the first time at the plate, I would normally have an absolutely awful rest of the day. That was because I overanalyzed what went wrong and kept worrying about the fact that I failed and that I would fail again. I was always in my own way, but “The Magic of Thinking Big” taught me how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and control the worrying.

I went a long time with a very positive mindset and kept the worrying at a minimum. I’m not saying that it didn’t creep in a time or two because it did, but for the most part it was under control. I kept it under control until I started dealing with Lyme. Lyme caused a shift in me mentally and rightfully so. I went months and months of feeling awful and progressively getting worse while doctors were all telling me I was crazy. When you don’t have any answers, feel like you are dying, not sure what to do next, it’s common for anxiety to set in and that’s what happened. It’s very common for those who suffer from a chronic illness. The anxiety got progressively worse and I started having panic attacks. Panic attacks are not normal for me. I’ve never had one before. The first time it happened was an absolutely awful experience. From that point on it was downhill. Once I had a panic attack, all I could think about was my anxiety and having another panic attack, which of course, led to more panic attacks. It was a vicious cycle. So not only was I having anxiety about not knowing what was going on with me and being extremely sick, I was worrying about worrying. My days were filled with worry. Negative thoughts absolutely consumed my mind. I couldn’t do anything without the thoughts of worry controlling my mind. All I wanted was for the worrying to stop and to find an answer as to what was going on with me.

When I finally got diagnosed with Lyme it was a huge relief. Instantly my worrying decreased because I now had answers as to what was going on with me. However, it didn’t eliminate all of it. I understood that if I wanted to heal, I had to control the anxiety. Stress makes things worse. You cannot heal if you’re stressed. I knew that. Just like with everything else I started doing a ton of research on how to control anxiety and stop worrying. There was no way I was getting on medication and wanted to tackle this on my own. I was confident that I could figure out how to control it. The first step was understanding what anxiety is and what the triggers were. Just knowing that you’re not alone is a relief in itself. There are a ton of people that battle anxiety on a daily basis. Sometimes you feel like you’re the only person in the world that is going through this. You’re not. I then figured out the different type of things that were triggering my anxiety. Interestingly, it was certain feelings I got or places I had been when I had the panic attacks. Whenever I would be around those places or get those feelings, instantly my mind began to worry about having another panic attack. Once I began understanding my triggers, I began to control the anxiety. I didn’t avoid those feelings or places, though. Rather, there were times I forced myself to experience it so I could teach myself how to calm down and control it. This might sound silly to some, but one thing that I did when I started to feel anxious was tell myself, “Control your thoughts.” Instead of letting those negative thoughts creep in, I thought about the progress I was making, my family, or something I enjoy doing, like snowboarding or dirt bike riding. Through practice of being confident, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, I was able to stop the anxiety and panic attacks all together.

I’d be lying, though, if I told you that there weren’t a few times over the past few years where the negative thoughts and anxiety tried to creep back in. When I was experiencing all those panic attacks and was extremely sick I was in a very dark place. Sometimes I experience some sort of PTSD from that time. There are certain things that remind me of what I was like during those 6 or so months and it’s hard to fight off the demons and negativity. It was the scariest moment of my life, not understanding what was happening to me and wondering if I was going to die. However, understanding anxiety, being healthy, I am able to get my mind right back where it needs to be rather quickly, whereas in the past it would get out of control. I just remind myself how fortunate I am to be healthy and to be able to heal from a debilitating disease. There is no reason to worry anymore.

Why did I share that? Because I know that a lot of you that are dealing with Lyme experienced or are experiencing the same thing. It’s OK. You’re going to be fine. Stay positive and truly believe that (1) You will heal from this disease, and (2) You can control your anxiety because you absolutely can. I know what it’s like to be in that dark place. I know how it feels. It’s terrible. But you have to remember that the only way to heal is if your mind is in the right place. If you haven’t done so yet, read “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. It will help. Or do what I did and hop online and read articles and watch videos on how to control your anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Not too long ago I had some blood work done to find out my current numbers. After 3 years of dedication to healing, every single one of my numbers normalized and were perfect. I sent my results to my naturopath to check out and she told me, “Josh, you’re numbers aren’t just OK, they are literally perfect!” All the liver, kidney, thyroid, and other issues were gone.

There is nothing else that I have done to heal from this disease. My process has worked for me and I know can work for you as well, just as long as you have the right attitude, fully commit, and have some patience. Lyme disease is one of the nastiest, toughest diseases to deal with. But you can heal. You will get better. What you’re dealing with right now is just temporary. Soon you will be able to get back to a normal lifestyle like I have. Just remember, though, that this will probably be the toughest journey of your life. It will be one full of ups and downs. Eating 100% clean and organic is hard and not cheap. Using supplements and herbs is not cheap. Staying consistent day in and day out with your nutrition is not easy. Staying mentally strong when you feel terrible is not easy. But again, what’s the alternative? Being sick every day. Being depressed. A few short years of hard work and sacrifice is worth a lifetime of being healthy, right? It absolutely is.

If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to reach out to me on my Facebook Page or email me at CoachSpence8@yahoo.com.

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