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I’ll start my story by telling you how and why I got into fitness and veganism. Growing up, I had an early fascination with martial arts. I started strength training when I was 18 because I was tired of my older brother outmuscling me. I had a pretty standard American diet as a kid, and I cringe today at some foods I would put in my mouth. I was fortunate to work at a GNC while earning my finance degree at Georgia State University. At GNC, I learned a lot about nutrition and diets and how it impacts our performance. That’s when I started questioning the commercial food system and began to have a general concern for the well-being of animals that I was blindly consuming. I began feeling guilty about eating meat, so I stopped eating beef and pork when I was 24. It was also around that time that I followed my desire to be stronger or more physically capable, so I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
After graduating from college, I worked in finance in corporate America for about six years. I was still active in martial arts and strength training while fighting in amateur MMA events in the Southwest. I realized my passion didn’t lie with finance, so I decided to make a career change that involved the things I loved doing. I became a full-time personal trainer in 2010 and had no regrets. I don’t view my work as work, as I generally care about my clients and helping them achieve.
I became a vegan at 34 years old, cutting out eggs and dairy as the last animal products in my diet. I am currently 43 years old and in better shape than my 20s. I achieved my second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2022 after 19 years. I competed as a professional MMA fighter on a vegan diet. Over the last 20 years, I have learned more about myself through my training journey and becoming vegan. It has forced me to be a better person, and I strongly value integrity, honesty, compassion, respect, and empathy towards others. I think there is a movement growing of people starting to wake up about the state of the world and realize that things need to change.
I believe there is a direct connection between what people eat and how they feel. I think that I can offer a voice to those seeking help by becoming a part of this movement.