Fat Burners Nearly Killed Me; Here’s What I Did to Save Myself

For years I struggled with depression and weight issues. I yo-yo’d through fad diets, spent thousands on supplements, and got bounced around by doctors. I was fat, lazy and depressed. Out of desperation to feel and look good, I turned to fat burners. I wanted a quick fix. I figured they’d give me the pep and enthusiasm I once had and also help control my appetite. I started with Hydroxycut and those worked for a time, but I found myself wanting more. I dabbled with a bunch of different brands. Then one day I came across OxyElite Pro, it had great reviews, so I gave it a shot. These little purple pills were high octane. I had zero appetite, my energy was through the roof, I was losing weight, I felt euphoric, and my mind was focused. Before I knew it I was hooked. I rationalized with myself, figuring this would only be temporary and that when I reached my goal I’d just wean myself off and work on maintenance. So when I hit my goal I went ahead and started to taper off. Easier said than done. I ended up crashing hard. I had flu-like symptoms, slept for an entire day straight, woke with an insatiable appetite, and felt depressed. I soon realized I was going through full blown withdrawals. A couple of weeks later I noticed I was puffier and the scale was horrifying to look at. All the weight I lost was quickly coming back. You know that saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is?” Well this is a great example of that. I couldn’t help but wonder what was in these pills? What would explain the intense appetite suppression, euphoria, weight loss, stamina, and brutal withdrawals?

So I did a little digging on the net. I looked up each ingredient one by one. And there it was, buried in a proprietary blend of seemingly innocent ingredients: 1,3-dimethylamylamine AKA DMAA. Turns out DMAA is an amphetamine derivative (think cocaine). Before hitting the sports supplement scene it was once prescribed as a nasal decongestant and also used as a party drug dubbed “legal cocaine.” In 2012 the FDA caught wind of its use in sports supplements and started issuing letters to the companies to remove DMAA from their products. USPlabs, the makers of OXYElite Pro and Jack3d, was first on the list. In 2013, UPSlabs agreed to remove DMAA from all of their supplements.

This was a big wake up call for me. I felt duped and ashamed to say the least. The inner turmoil was debilitating. I vowed never to take those pills, or anything like them again, and set out on a quest to get my health back in check. Unfortunately, when I came off of the fat burners, I was a mess. After having blood and neuro labs done by my doctor, it came back that my thyroid was shot, my adrenals were beyond fatigued, my hormones were in the dumps (especially my testosterone) and my neurotransmitters nose-dived to levels on par with someone severely depressed. And since the pills killed my appetite and I wasn’t eating nearly as much as I should’ve been, I developed vitamin and mineral deficiencies. My weight ballooned up to 210 pounds. This was a huge blow to me, and it seemed like an insurmountable task to get my body and mind back to normal. At that point I knew I needed to get my shit together and start living a healthy lifestyle before I ended up with some serious, possibly irreversible health issues. It was time I got tough on myself, enough was enough.

So, there I was, fat again and pissed off, but motivated to make a change. Then I did what any determined millennial would do, I hit the internet to figure out what to do to get into the best shape of my life. And that’s when I realized the internet is full of contradictions, quackery, bro-science, and straight bullshit. I had to separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out what was legit and what was nonsense. I pored over health, self-help, and philosophy books; I closely followed leading experts in the fields of mental and physical wellness; I devoured the literature for evidence-based, science-based health and wellness; set up my own n=1 experiments; and continued to work closely with my doctor, making sure to take blood and neuro tests regularly to monitor all of my levels.

After some trial and error, I found that a low-carb diet with an emphasis on high quality protein, healthy fats and nutritious, green leafy vegetables worked great for my overall health. I cut all refined sugars and grains out of my diet, I monitored my calorie intake as well and found a zone that allowed me to enjoy plenty of delicious food while still losing weight, and I committed to a resistance training program. Little by little, I started to feel and look great. The number on the scale was gradually dropping and my body composition was changing. I was finally living a healthy lifestyle and seeing positive changes in my physical and mental health, all without any fat burners or weird, restrictive dieting. The shackles came off, I was free, and the Think Right, Eat Well: Thrive (TREWTh) lifestyle was born.

TREWTh isn’t a gimmick. It’s a way of thinking and eating born out of necessity. It’s a philosophy. A simple, practical, back-to-basics field guide for learning how to think and how to eat so we can live optimally and conquer life. It's about learning how to control our fickle thoughts, baseless desires, and compulsive consumption of food and material things so that we can live simply, healthily, and optimally.

My journey started with one small decision to quit my dependency on fat burners and take back control of my health. That decision saved my life and it can save yours too. We ALL have the power within us to make those tough decisions, it’s just up to us whether or not we want to. Get out of your own way, dig deep, stop making excuses, and start living the life you know you’re capable of living. Man the f*ck up and embrace the TREWTh.    

Thanks for reading. Check out www.thinkrighteatwell.com for more info on how you can conquer life.

The TREWTh will set you free-

Joe

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