June 24, 2011
Guest post by James Schreiber, former sufferer of Candida albicans
A couple of years ago, my passion for fitness took on obsession-like qualities and led me over the edge of a cliff. In this article you can read about my steroid-fuelled decline and discover three simple tips that will add a bounce to your step and a boost to your life.
For me, steroids were a way to push my body beyond its natural limits. As a nineteen-year-old athlete who got a college scholarship to play football (soccer) at a major university, I was constantly looking for new guaranteed ways to become faster and stronger. So I started a cycle and everything looked great – my muscles were growing and my fat disappearing. But what goes up must eventually come down…
The Beast That Is Yeast
My use of steroidal supplements escalated over time and when I heard that injectable testosterone and Winstrol were more effective, I overcame my fear of needles. And while people did notice my 210-pound, 6-foot frame, they didn’t see the damage going on inside.
Over time, the steroids compromised my immune system and I started feeling sick all the time. Before I knew it, I got symptoms such as indigestion, brain fog and lack of concentration. I felt tired and sluggish even though I’ve just gotten out of bed.
To cut a long story short, I developed a debilitating disease most people and conventional doctors haven’t heard about – chronic Candida. This condition is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like organism called Candida albicans in the digestive tract, where it can overwhelm the beneficial bacteria (a.k.a. probiotics) and produce a wide range of toxins that can affect our health on all imaginable levels.
3 Lessons I Learned
Candidiasis was a much needed wake-up call that encouraged me to change my view on health and fitness. The transition wasn’t easy – in order to reclaim my health, I had to say goodbye to both steroids and my obsessive mindset. In the process, I’ve learned three fundamental tips that I’d like to share with anyone interested in sustainable approach to bodybuilding:
- Avoid excess sugar. An average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year. Some people – including your typical bulky/carbo overloaded guy at the gym – consume significantly more. The bad news is that too much sugar creates an unhealthy domino effect. It robs your body of minerals, fires up inflammation, diabetes, and cancer, wigs out your pancreas and feeds Candida.
- Relax. Fitness is intended to give you liberation from the stress of everyday life. It’s not meant to support or create more stress in your life. Are you over-exercising or getting too little sleep? Sooner or later, the stress will wear down your body and cause you to experience health complications, including fat gain, fatigue, inflammation and compromised immune system. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to control stress – you can practice deep breathing to get some fresh air, try meditation and get plenty of sunshine, rest and water.
- Don’t expect impossible. My extraordinary journey taught me the hard way that there are no sustainable shortcuts to perfect body. Steroids and other quick fixes really aren’t conducive to bodybuilding in the long run. No sir. They can be quite destructive and alienate you from society.
For me, this handy list is a great reminder when I try to get fit without tearing out my hair. Health and fitness should not be a struggle. Skip all the stressful routines, avoid steroids, eat healthy and enjoy your body.