Element Mb Coach: Mark Bosick

My health history begins at age ten when I began to participate in the sport of wrestling. My brain at this point was very malleable and habits were forming quickly. With weight classed competitions, the sport of wrestling was perfect for my small but robust frame and scrappy attitude. Dieting became ritualistic. Although it was physically draining it provided a mental edge, as the thought was that if you could get down to as low of a weight class as you could, you would be the biggest and strongest kid in your class. So I learned how to manipulate my weight to a degree that borderlines with a disorder. I would make weight just long enough to weigh in and then balloon back up five pounds, ten pounds, sometimes more. The diets were not based on anything but food restriction and dehydration. I developed a relationship with food that centered on weight loss and weight gain, and I had it down to the ounce.

I planned my meals days in advance, carefully calculating how much I could eat five days, three days, and down to the final night before a weigh in. I used a food scale my mom had in the cabinet to weigh my food. I would cut my food into small pieces and count how many bites I had left, trying to savor every bite.

I was asking my body for high performance on a poor supply of nutrition. And then...

It's just bad genes. You've been dealt a sh*tty hand...

When I was in 8th grade my father suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, he survived. My dad was the strongest and most fit man I knew at that point in my life. He was so tough that in less than hour after he had the heart attack, which he suffered while running I might add, he challenged me and beat me in a push-up contest. As as wrestler I was fairly strong, especially with body-weight exercises. I could do some push-ups! The stories of his youth; the street fights, boxing matches, and broken home life infiltrated into my boyhood. My friends and I would always try and challenge my dad to a wrestling match. Of course all of us verse just the one man. Needless to say he was ale to uphold the tales of his childhood with ease, and often with a smile on his face the whole time - and we would go hard.

The result of his heart attack was anger and frustration toward the idea that my family got screwed in the realm of genetics. It was believed that no matter what we did, we were going to have high cholesterol and suffer from cardiovascular related illnesses. That is, unless we went on statin drugs and stayed far away from fat and red meat. This of course, was according to the current conventional medical recommendations at that time and that of my father's physicians.

I swore to myself then that I would never let heart disease kill me and I wasn't going to depend on medicine to help me beat it either.

It's been 20 years since then, and my father is still alive. We aren't afraid of fat and red meat anymore. I don't follow a restrictive diet but rather, adhere to a simple lifestyle. I love my relationship with food, and my commitment to my health continues.