I endorse and support Sparks Systems because as I aged, I had progressively more difficulty managing my weight through the athletic activities I have eagerly participated in all my life like cycling.
At 51, I had my first brush with serious health injuries by blowing my ACL/MCL while skiing. I didn’t fall, but it was hyper extended and I heard it pop like a starting gun.
My next health scare was open heart surgery for my genetically malformed aortic valve that at 55 years had calcified to the point it was about to kill me.
I was then faced with late stage oral cancer with 16 total hours of surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. I wasn’t overweight after that as I went down to 130 pounds with a feeding tube for almost a year … isn’t life fun!
Then came another open heart surgery for the same valve that had worn out again. I was 66 years old at this time and because I was in otherwise great health, I recovered!
With all of these health issues, I was still cycling long distances and occasionally experiencing the inevitable crashes and at 70 years old, it was time to do something about my weight gain.
My pounds were higher than they had ever been. I was 173 pounds and my BMI was 25.5. I guess you could say I was now in the “over-weight zone!
My physician was concerned, especially about my glucose and HgA1c blood tests. I was headed toward a pre-diabetic condition. I couldn’t let that happen and started studying many things about human metabolism.
This led me to try being a vegetarian again. I had lived that lifestyle for more than 8 years in my mid-forties. I tried everything from the Keto Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the Atkins Diet, intermittent fasting and even longer-term fasts.
I read books by Jason Fung, Mark Hyman, Ed Yong and many others. While all of them helped, it became a distraction and I was uncomfortable with the strictness of each one. If I wanted to sustain my best performance, I knew I needed something simple.
My life at this time was going great. I was coaching Executives in business and cycling. My home life with my wife, family and pets were awesome, but I was still overweight. I could tell my fat ass was getting too tight for my ancient, but favorite, size 34 Wrangler Jeans … unacceptable!
I discovered Sparks Systems in Phoenix while surfing online one day about a year and a half ago. While they were primarily concentrating on coaching elite and pro athletes at that time, they had just started working with people trying to manage their weight, mostly to enhance their weekend athletic ability in cycling, running, swimming and tri-athletic goals.
I could tell right away that the Sparks Systems team knew about human performance relative to our metabolism, which is exactly what my aging-self needed to understand.
I went to Phoenix after contacting Sparks Systems founder Anna Sparks. In my first meeting with her, it was clear that Anna was coming from an educated background and experience as an elite soccer player and coach and pro-tour cyclist.
I decided to try out her metabolic tests to understand my metabolism and learn what bad habits were doing to my ability to perform at my best. I did the Resting Metabolic Test and then the Active Metabolic Test.
Anna took the data from both of those tests and put an action plan into place for me to get back on a healthy track in the food and exercise department. This included going over my macronutrient needs and different training ideas when working out.
When I left her that day, I felt I had the best prescription for what I needed to do to get healthy and was enlightened
On the day of that testing at Sparks Systems, I was 5’9”, 173 pounds and my BMI was 25.5. In a couple of months, when I returned for a retest, I now weighed 153 pounds and my BMI was down to 22.6.
My blood tests were now showing that my Hemoglobin A1c was back to mid-range normal.
I had more energy and I was happily drilling new numbers relative to my exercise power, stamina and feeling like I was in my mid-forties.
Today, at 71 years young, I still weigh 153 pounds. How do I do it? I don’t diet. I eat what I want, which includes high-quality fresh foods, and practically no processed food or should I say no pre-manufactured food. This was learned through Sparks Systems and knowing what I needed to fuel my body.
When it comes to my sleep management, I’m much more stricter with that than my food management.
After a night’s sleep from 11pm to 7am, I can immediately bounce out of bed, feed the cats, get tea for my wife Lynnda, coffee with coconut oil for me and take Shamus to the Malecon for a long walk and run with the dogs. In other words, 18 months after meeting Anna Sparks and her team, I feel great, achieved and maintain my target weight, hit my training goals and stay happy!
So, why do I endorse and support Sparks Systems? Well, it is because I am very concerned about all aspects of our societal problems. The most important of which is the wellness of North Americans.
I believe North Americans are in horrible health! It is costing us our longevity and quality years, money and our pride in ourselves. It is stifling our future, our children will live shorter, less healthy, less productive lives than the adults now and it is because we think we can’t be healthy. In fact, it seems clear, most North Americans don’t know what it feels like to be healthy!
It’s less costly to eat healthy because usually we eat less! It is also less costly to eat healthy because we won’t become pre or worse Type II Diabetic. We won’t lose our insurance due to pre-existing conditions or lose our toes and feet to diabetes. Did you know that about 200,000 Americans have toe, foot or leg amputations per year due to diabetes? https://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/diabetic-amputations-may-be-rising-in-the-united-states). We can statistically avoid diseases, like cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular events from stroke and heart attacks to metabolic syndromes including Chronic Kidney Disease and Hypertension.
We are in this situation because we have formed bad habits around food, manufactured food, fast food, too much food, the wrong food and so on.
There is hope and we can break the rhythm of our bad habits by replacing them with learned good habits through education and nutrition from Sparks Systems.
They can help us maximize our level of performance and tweak it with better habits. We know dieting doesn’t work because 95% of people who start diets have failed to maintain healthy habits and weight at the ten year mark, but I can attest that learning new habits from companies like Sparks Systems does work.
It isn’t easy, but neither is being un-well at any age from bad nutrition, a lack of light exercise, poor hydration and breathing techniques.
Sparks Systems has a Three Pillar Approach to Wellness that includes Nutrition, Movement and Breathing! Let the team help you regain control in those areas of your life and feel the best you can be. I’m glad I did it!