Almost Time!

The last twelve weeks, I’ve been on a training program to get me ready for the ATA Nationals tournament. The tournament starts on Friday.  Almost there.  I don’t know how I’ll stack up against the competition, but I feel like I put in the time and met my goals of sticking to the program. Over the past twelve weeks, I’ve put in over 80 hours of training (while continuing to work long hours at my full-time job).  I’ve done well over 5,000 push-ups to boot.

On the nutrition side, I’ve been good about following my Fighter’s Diet program.  I’ve dropped my body fat percentage from 15.5% to around 13.5%, and feel like I’ve gained some strength in the process. You can see a chart of my progress below.

You can see a lot of variability in the day to day measurements, but the trend is clearly downward.  And, trust me, I wasn’t starving on this diet. In fact, I was eating like a horse most weeks. The only real break from the program came from a week-long international business trip earlier this month where I broke my diet almost everyday — and you can see the backslide on the chart.  Overall though, I’d say the diet part of the program has been doing what I wanted. However, my next challenge in this area is to put on more muscle mass and I expect to make some adjustments there.

Mid-way through my program, I did a warm up tournament in Rocklin, CA.  Results were mixed. I placed in sparring (my strongest event), but I bombed in my other two events. In fact, I was disqualified from my weapons event because my form didn’t meet the black belt forms requirements. That meant I had only six weeks to learn an entire new weapons form. While it isn’t perfect yet, I’m pleased to report that I’ve learned the form and feel confident I can perform it at the event. We’ll see how I place! If you want to check it out, here’s a little video of a practice run.

Next week, I’ll report results from the tournament!

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Evaluating Mike Dolce’s Living Lean Book

When I started designing my own Fighter’s Diet, one of the first things I looked into was Mike Dolce’s Three Weeks to Shredded.  I liked a lot of the ideas in Mike’s book, but it was really more of a weight cutting manual than an optimized diet for a fighter.  While there was a lot of good advice, it left me wanting more.

Late in 2011, Mike published a new book called Living Lean.  This book has a lot more of what I was looking for.  I get a ton of hits on my site for people googling the Dolce Diet, so I thought I’d add some info on Mike’s new book too.

There are three main sections to Living Lean:

Here’s what you’ll find in each section:

The biographical information is interesting and Mike tells some good stories.  While there is some entertainment value here, I think it’s really just to deeply establish Mike’s credibility in the area.  He doesn’t take the time to explain the science of what’s he’s doing — unlike many other diet books.  He’s pretty much making the claim that he knows what works and he’s going to share the secrets with you.  You don’t need to worry much about the “why” part because he’s an expert.  Given this, I can see why it’s important for him to set up this context.

In the diet section, Mike lays out some basic principles about eating good, whole food.  He doesn’t believe in calorie counting — which is good because I don’t either!  Instead, if you eat the right things the rest will take care of itself.  Next, you get a lesson in shopping for the right things. If you only buy good stuff then you’ll only be able to eat good stuff!  And finally, you get a set of meal plans and recipes.

I like Mike’s approach on the recipes.  While he doesn’t spend any time on the issues with grains, like you’ll get from Robb Wolf, he does offer gluten free options for all the recipes.  That’s simply a decision that’s left up to you (although many of the recipes are gluten free by default).  He also offers vegan options if you’re eating that way for moral reasons (I feel sorry for you, but that’s your call).  I’ve tried cooking some of the recipes and they’re generally easy to follow and tasty.  My favorite so far is the Chicken and Asparagus stir fry.  You can put this together in just 10 minutes if you have the (easy to find) ingredients on hand.

The last section is about exercise.  While it’s hard to substitute a book for time with a real strength and conditioning coach, Mike offers sound advice in this secion.  Some of the workouts are killer.  My favorite is the Fighter’s Treadmill Workout.  It gives you a ~30 minute interval training routine to get you the kind of endurance you’ll need for a MMA fight.  When you first try this workout it will bring you to your knees. If you can get through this without wanting to die then you’re ready!

So, is this book worth the investment?  The price per page is pretty steep.  At about $40 for a 160 page book it seems expensive when you compare to some other diet books.  However, would you even think twice about paying $40 for even just 30 minutes with a coach that has Mike’s qualifications?  I wouldn’t!  When you think about it that way, it’s a steal.

I’m working several of the Living Lean recipes and workout tips into my own program.  It think it’s worth checking out for yourself.

New Martial Arts Goals

In 2010, the Little Ninja and I both worked hard to help her earn her black belt.  After we succeeded at that, 2011 was really where I focused on myself so I could do what was required to earn my own black belt.  That was a fabulous experience, but after getting my black belt confirmed in December, I now found myself without a short term goal.  Second degree black belt is a long way away, so I needed to look for something more immediate.

A few weeks back, I came up with the idea of going to the ATA Nationals Tournament.  I’ve competed in some smaller tournaments, but nothing like this.  This is a big tournament, and I’ll have to compete in a higher division now than I have in the past — since I have my black belt now.  I talked to the Little Ninja about it and she loved the idea of taking a trip to Vegas with her dad.  So, we have 12 weeks from the start of the year to get ready.  We just finished the first week of training.

The Little Ninja is planning to compete in traditional forms, traditional weapons (with a Bo Staff form) and XMA Weapons (with her Kamas).  For her, I’m really only worried about getting her to put in the training hours on technique.  If she does just that, she’ll do great.  For my own training, I need to be more aggressive.

I’m planning to compete in Traditional Forms, Traditional Weapons and Taekwondo Sparring.  I’ve done all these events at small tournaments before, but I’m also planning to push myself.  The ATA has been introducing a new Integrated Martial Arts System (IMS) that uses TKD’s striking and adds submissions and takedowns.  This is really MMA fighting (with more restrictions and safety gear than the UFC).  I’m planning to train to compete in IMS at nationals.  For this I need to up my game a lot!

I’ve started by putting together a format to track my progress over the 12 weeks leading up to the tournament.  I just finished week 1, and I’m going to try to peak my training at week 11 (a week prior to the actual tourney).  Here’s what I’m tracking:

  • Minutes of traditional Taekwondo training/sparring
  • Minutes of MMA training/sparring
  • Minutes of fitness training outside martial arts (includes: gym time, weights, running, intervals, etc)
  • Push ups – I can do these anywhere and I’m setting a goal to work up to at least doing 1,000 a week
  • Adherence to my Fighter’s Diet program (I mark down each cheat meal so I don’t have too many)
  • Weight and body fat percentage.  I don’t really want to loose weight, but instead want to drive up my muscle mass without also gaining fat.  I’ve never tried to actually gain weight before so this will be new!

Here are my entries for this week.  I’ll be posting these once a week to help keep me honest.  I appreciate any feedback, suggestions or encouragement.  If you’re reading this then consider yourself one of my virtual training partners!  I appreciate your help!

So, this week I trained just over 1 hour per day (including all seven days of the week), did 400 pushups (not counting any from my regular martial arts classes), and had one cheat meal (the fries my friend ordered looked just too good!).  Oover the course of the week I weighed in on average at 143.5 lbs with 14.8% body fat (calculated using my fancy new scale).  Let’s see how next week compares!

My Fighter’s Diet 1.0

For the past several years, I’ve been on an Atkins-style diet program. I did successfully lose a lot of weight (and kept most of it off) on this program, so I have nothing but love for Dr. Atkins.  That being said, as I started to get much more serious about my martial arts training I didn’t feel like my diet was really meeting my needs.  Thus, a few months ago I embarked on a plan to design myself a new Fighter’s Diet.

Along the way, I looked at several diet programs to see what ideas I could steal.  I looked at the Gracie diet.  While the Gracie clan is known as some of the world’s finest fighters, I found the diet confounding and really couldn’t take much from it.  I looked into the Dolce Diet with the Three Weeks to Shredded program.  This was really a program for weight cutting before a fight, but I actually found much of the advice sound.  I also, stumbled into the Paleo diet program thanks to Robb Wolf’s excellent book The Paleo Solution.  And of course, I couldn’t completely neglect what I learned from Dr. Atkins.  Thus, by taking bits of advice from Mike Dolce, Rob Wolf and Dr. Atkins, I designed my program.

My Fighter’s Diet had to be simple.  I can’t count calories, and I found that over the long haul I couldn’t really count carbs either.  I needed something with a very simple rule set about what kind of foods were OK and which were not.  Here’s where I arrived.

Bad Things (to be avoided)

  • Sugar – seems simple, but it’s a core concept.  Avoid foods with cane sugar and corn sugar
  • Bread – Except for the occasional cheat, I’ve gone gluten free.  I have never been diagnosed with celiac, but I’ve become convinced that gluten is bad for most people.  Also, most flour-based products are full of empty carbohydrates, so why even go there?
  • Rice – Empty carbs.  What else do you need to know?
  • Artificial sweeteners – goodbye diet soda.  I think this has made a world of difference and it really surprised me.  Research continues to show this stuff may be nearly as bad as the real thing
  • Sugar alcohol – Dr. Atkins said this stuff is OK.  I now think he’s wrong.  All my Atkin’s-branded, low-carb junk food went in the trash and I’m happier for it.
  • Caffeine – I don’t think it makes you fat, but it makes me irritable and it messes with my sleep patterns.  There’s nothing good here.  It’s gone.
  • Cheese and Milk – I’ve minimized dairy in my diet.  I didn’t find many good things in dairy that I couldn’t get elsewhere, and I found that cheese and milk may have been causing me digestive discomfort in larger quantities.  I’ve cut them out.

Good Things (eat ‘em up)

  • Meat – Turkey, chicken and lean beef (grass fed when I can get it).  Also, I eat bacon.  This one is a little controversial in the Paleo community, but I eat bacon several times per week.
  • Eggs – A core food for me on this program.  Great way to start the day and helps keep appetite under control.  It means I don’t get hungry for hours after breakfast.
  • Fruit – Strawberries, blueberries, apples.  All good stuff.  This I would have avoided on Atkins, but the insulin impact is actually low, and there is too much good stuff in here to pass up.  It also helps to get some carbs from these sources to keep up your energy when training.  Oh, and don’t forget tomatoes
  • Vegetables – Lots of good fiber in here.  Broccoli and asparagus are favorites
  • Leafy greens – Lettuce and spinach.  Salad is good, but it’s best with meat on top!
  • Water – drink lots of water!  This is something Mike Dolce hammers on continuously.  I took this to heart, and water is now pretty much the only thing I drink.

Things in moderation (OK, but watch the quantities)

  • Nuts – I like almonds and cashews.  They’re a good snack or garnish, but I’ve had to avoid turning them into meals.  They’re energy dense, high-fat, and I’ve found cause digestive distress for me when consumed in large quantities
  • Greek yogurt – I don’t have much dairy in my diet (see cheese and milk item above), but I make this exception.  For me, it’s a great ingredient for breakfast or snacks and seems to have a good effect on my stomach.  Also, the sugar content is low and it has good fat and protein to ensure it helps control appetite.
  • Dark chocolate – the darker the better.  It doesn’t have all the sugar of milk chocolate and feels like a treat.

So, what are my results so far?  It’s been a bit shocking to me.  Over the past four months, I’ve lost over 20 pounds.  For my 5 foot 9 frame, this has dropped my Body Mass Index (BMI) from 24.1 (the high-side of normal) to 21.0 (smack in the middle of normal).  I’m at my lowest weight since I was 19 years old, but in a less quantifiable measure I can now see my abs!  I’ve never seen them before, not even as a kid — I was kind of pudgy even back then.  I’m also starting to see some good definition in my chest and arms.  On simple Atkins, I didn’t feel like I had the fuel for serious athletic training, and I had a hard time breaking through to get under a body fat percentage that really took me from looking “healthy” to looking “athletic.”  I’m now getting there!

Beyond weight management, I feel great.  My endurance in taekwondo and MMA training has gone way up.  I feel strong in multi-hour training sessions where before I just couldn’t keep up.  My energy level during the day, even at work, is higher and I’m sleeping better at night.

So far, I’m declaring my Fighter’s Diet program a success and marking this as version 1.0.  I’m going to continue to tune this over the coming months and will be writing more about it here.  Thanks to Robb Wolf and Mike Dolce for the excellent advice and helping to get me on the right track.

Interval Training for Martial Arts

If you watch UFC fights on TV, you’ll somtimes hear announcer Joe Rogan exclaim, “Uh oh, he’s gassed!” This means that one of the fighters is showing signs he’s out of breath. This is usually followed shortly thereafter by the gassed fighter being knocked out or submitted. Being in better shape is clearly a huge advantage in the UFC.

However, this clearly isn’t only for UFC fighters. Earlier this year I started to notice the same thing in my Taekwondo training. At the start of a sparring class I felt strong, but 20 to 30 minutes in, I was gassed. I might win my first match, but by #2 or #3 my guard had dropped, so I wasn’t protecting my head, and I couldn’t kick high or fast. I was a sitting duck, and I decided I had to do something about it.  I’ve been quite successful so far.

The first thing you might think of when you need to “get in shape” is running. Marathon runners run for miles and don’t get gassed, do they? Well, you’ll want to be careful about adopting that kind of static endurance training if what you’re training for is a fight. Marathons take hours. A fight is over in minutes (or less!). A fighter needs the ability to turn on maximum effort for a short burst, then recover and go again. This is where Interval Training comes in.

Interval Training involves exercises where you push yourself to peak exertion, hold that for an amount of time, scale back to a lower level of exertion and then push again. Repeat. You can see this illustrated in the chart above. This type of training allows you to train harder at max exertion than you could with something like a consistent running pace — as a marathoner does. A marathoner doesn’t have a high peak exertion level.  They operate at a low/medium level for the entire event. In a fight, you have to be able to turn on your full capacity to push the offensive or escape from an attack.

I’ve added Interval Training to my program in two ways.  One way is using the “Interval” programsetting on the elliptical machine at the gym.  It automatically cycles between a hard setting and an easy setting.  This let’s me push myself to the absolute limit for a full minute, driving my heart rate up above 170 bpm, and then ease back to a level where I can recover.  I can then get my heart rate back down 130 bpm and catch my breath in time to crank it up again.  This is great for simulating the cadence of a fight.

The other way I’m adding Interval Training is running through hilly terrain.  Running on a flat surface is good for endurance training, but running through hills allows me to push to exhaustion while ascending and then recover during a descent period.

With these additions to my program, I find that I am never gassed during a typical Taekwondo sparring class.  Better yet, last week I competed in a regional ATA tournament.  I had to fight 3 sparring matches in rapid succession with different opponents. While I pushed hard in all of them, and worked up quite a sweat, I never felt gassed and that kind of endurance was a big factor in how well I placed. Adding 20-40 minutes of Interval Training to my program ~3 days a week has made a huge difference. You shoud give it a try.

Do you have any experiences with Interval Training for martial arts?  If so, please share them here.  Do you have any good ways you use Interval training in your program?

Should I Eat Like A Caveman?

I recently blogged about how I’m trying to tune up my diet in order to create a Fighter’s Diet.  I evaluated the Dolce Diet and found some interesting tidbits that looked great for professional fighters, but by itself it wasn’t the program for me. I’ve seen a lot of people tweeting about the Paleo Diet, so I thought I’d make that my next stop so I could learn what it’s all about. To that end, I picked up a copy of Robb Wolf’s Paleo Diet Solution.

The basic premise of Robb’s book is that humans have started eating a number of types of foods the past few thousand years (since the invention of farming) that we weren’t designed to eat. These include entire “food groups” like grains and dairy. In fact, he goes so far as to say that most people have some kind of in-built allergies to these that can cause us great distress.

So, that all sounds fine in theory, but Robb really brings the science to back this all up.  He starts with an analysis of carbs and their effect on insulin, with which I’m familiar from my Atkins experience, but goes on to cover a lot more than that. One of the things that really peaked my interest is that Robb goes beyond just what you eat. He includes items like your sleep patterns. How you sleep effects a hormone called Cortisol, which seems to be as important to your health and fitness as insulin. This was an entirely new concept to me, but understanding it helped explain some of how my body has felt, and my weight went up, when I’ve been under stress at work.

So, even if some of this sounds good, one of my questions has to be whether Robb has any standing to tell me about a Fighter’s Diet. I mean, what if Robb is just some academic, pencil necked geek in a lab coat? The good news is I found in reading the book that he’s an amateur kick-boxer (with a 6-0 record) and studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!  Also, the first case-study in the book is about a professional MMA fighter and how he’s using the program. Knowing this made me feel like Robb might be a really good person to give me advice on my project.

Lastly, the book is really well written. Robb clearly explains the science, but also has a great sense of humor. He also seems to make a mean margarita!

I’m going to be incorporating a lot of advice from this program into my Fighter’s Diet. I’ll post more on that as I try things out.

Evaluating The Dolce Diet

Mike Dolce has become one of the go-to nutrition gurus in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community. UFC champions like Rampage Jackson and Michael Bisping and many others have publicly endorsed his methods.  You can see a full list of impressive pro endorsements here. So, on my quest to revamp my diet into Fighter’s Diet, I thought I should find out more about what Mike has to offer.

His website sells a book called The Dolce Diet: 3 Weeks to Shredded.  It goes for $39.99 and includes shipping.  So, what do you get for your forty bucks?  You get a 45-page, 8.5” x 11”, spiral bound notebook. The book is part text and part workbook — where you will note goals for each day of the program.

The first thing you’ll want to understand about the book is that, as the title implies, it is really a three-week program with a very specific goal. The first part of the book takes you through Mike’s exact diet from a weight-cut before a fight where he went from 212 pounds to weighing in at 170. While many of the tips included in this book can be applied to a more general life-style diet, the focus of this book is on a weight-cut for a fight where the fighter needs to weigh in at a certain weight to be within a weight class. The program isn’t solely about reducing body fat (although some of that will occur).  The program also includes means of manipulating your body’s water content to temporarily reduce your weight before the weigh-in.  You need to understand that going in.

I’m going to be the first to admit that the goals of this program don’t really meet my own goals.  I’m not trying to “make weight” for a competition.  So, with that being said, I’m not in a position to fully evaluate this program.  It looks rigorous and well-thought-out.  If you’re in a position where you need to cut weight quickly this book may have the advice for you.  However, even though I didn’t fit the profile for the program, I’m taking away several key things that I’ll start to factor into my own Fighter’s Diet.

  • Drink more water!  Mike says it over and over and I know he’s right.  I’m not drinking enough.  I’m now working on drinking more.
  • Eat real food!  Even on my Atkins-inspired diet where I’ve long-since purged sugary junk-food, I have a fair bit of funky-stuff in my diet including various “low sugar” or “no sugar” junk food substitutes that may not cause my insulin to spike, and thus make me fat, but it won’t make me strong either.
  • Shop for success!  Mike has a great section on shopping for the program that includes a complete shopping list.  If I compare his last against what I buy at the market it tells me something about how I can change.
So, bottom line, this book was worth reading even if I didn’t fit the target demographic.  I surely took home some things I’m going to factor into my Fighter’s Diet.  Also, I’m excited to see that Mike is going to be publishing another book later this year called Livin Lean.  This book looks like a more general lifestyle plan that includes both nutrition and exercise elements.  I’m going to be sure to pick it up and I’ll post my thoughts here after I check it out.

In Search of a Fighter’s Diet

I’ve struggled with diet and weight most of my life.  In fact, my terrible diet from my younger days nearly killed me.  At just 27 I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis and had to undergo some pretty major surgery to get it under control.  In suffering through that condition, and my subsequent recovery, where I could barely eat for weeks, I got down to a healthy weight.  However, on my doctor proscribed high-carb, low-fat diet I gained it all back almost instantly.

Eventually, I saw a couple of my friends succeed with an Atkins diet and I decided to give it a try myself.  The results were pretty dramatic.  I lost a ton of weight and got down to a place where I started to feel pretty good.  Largely, I’ve used advice from Dr. Atkins to keep my weight under control — losing about 40-50 pounds from my peak (with some ups and downs). Here’s a quick pair of before and after photos.  First is me in 2002 and the other is me last year in Hawaii with my girls.  I’d show you a “before” with my shirt off, but no record of that has survived. 🙂

Before

    After

Now, all this is great, but I’m not really where I want to be.  I’m trying to move beyond “being at a healthy weight” to “being in great shape.”  This turns out to be a much different thing!  Those that follow my blog regularly know that I’m now training hard for my Taekwondo black belt and I’m now exercising more than at any point in my life.  I’m moving from a place where I just want to lose fat (although I still have more to lose!) to where I want to gain muscle.  I’m starting to feel my stock Atkins diet isn’t doing it for me.

To this end, I’ve been starting to do a lot of research into ways I might modify my diet to take it from a weight-loss regimen into a performance optimized program that helps my training and gives me what I need to compete.  I’m going to start updating this blog with what I find and see if I can craft a real fighter’s diet that works for me.

If you have suggestions for ideas or good resources, please leave them in the comments below.  Thanks!

Goodbye Food Pyramid

In one of my first posts on this blog I voiced my issues with what the American government has been telling kids to eat.  Not only was the Food Pyramid metaphor confusing, but it told kids that most of their daily calories should come from starchy carbohydrates.  That’s a recipe to get fat, and I’m 100% sure that’s been a contributing factor to the American obesity epidemic.

Today, to much fanfare, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it was replacing the Food Pyramid.  Maybe they read my blog?  OK, that probably wasn’t the cause, but it’s still a good thing.

The pyramid has been replaced, but a much simpler “plate” icon.  From a pure readability point of view, it’s clearly an improvement, but beyond that it seems to send some better advice.  CNN posted a story today about the plate that included a good interview with some credible experts on nutrition and I think they sum things up well about the new changes.

Its predecessor, the first food pyramid, released in 1992, recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables. But these were secondary to the recommendation of six to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta. It didn’t differentiate between refined and whole grains.

“It promoted eating so many grain servings, it was promoting obesity,” Nestle said.

Dr. David Kessler, author of “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite,” agreed that the older food pyramid “didn’t reflect best of the dietary guidelines.”

“Refined carbohydrates should’ve never been the major part of the diet,” he said. “It was never about eating refined carbohydrates. It’s why it didn’t work.”

With the new changes, Kessler added, “Maybe now, we have a chance.”

I think this is a real step in the right direction and perhaps some more advice based on good science can start to trickle down to our kids now.  What do you think?

My Free Advice for Brock Lesnar

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I like The Ultimate Fighter TV show.  This season on TUF, one of the coaches is former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar.  Since I’ve been following Brock on the show, I was disappointed to see that he’s had to pull out of his next fight due to health issues.  However, in reading about Brock’s condition, I realized the he and I have something in common and that I actually may have some advice to offer him.

So, Brock is a UFC champion and a world-class athlete.  I’m a computer-guy and a part-time martial artist.  What possible advice could I have for him?  Well, it turns out that Brock is suffering from diverticulitis, and I suffered from this exact same condition when I was younger.

Symptoms of diverticulitis can include:

  • Tenderness, cramps, or pain in the abdomen (usually in the lower left side but may occur on the right) that is sometimes worse when you move.
  • Fever and chills.
  • A bloated feeling, abdominal swelling, or gas.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.

When you see all that, you can understand why Brock wouldn’t be able to fight at 100%.  However, what surprised me more is that Brock has been living with this for quite some time.  He’s had to pull out of a fight before, and according to some of my reading, he’s been trying to control the condition with diet — something I’ve seen commonly suggested.

I came down with diverticulitis when I was in my mid-twenties — very unusual as it is considered an “old person” disease.  In fact, it’s so uncommon that I lived with it undiagnosed for at least a couple of years.  No one knew what was wrong.  I was pretty miserable those years, let me tell you!  However, it eventually developed to be serious enough that I wound up in the hospital and it was finally diagnosed properly with an MRI scan of my lower intestine.  After it was diagnosed I got some antibiotics to take care of the critical infection and then, like Brock, I tried to prevent a reoccurrence through diet.  And, like Brock, it didn’t work over the long haul.

At that point surgery was my only option.  I went ahead had the defective part of my lower intestine removed and then had it stitched back together.  Recovery was pretty rough because the procedure is invasive.  I still have a scar across my abdomen that looks very similar to the scar women get who have delivered a baby via a cesarean section.  However, in a few weeks I was up and around and able to start light work outs.  Within a few months I was in far better shape than before my diagnosis.  It was a tough decision for me to go for the surgery, and I’m sure Brock struggles with even more worries – given his body is his livelihood.  However, I know that a full recovery should be possible for him.  And even more, I can tell him how much better he’ll feel once it’s done.  Living with this condition is terrible, but it is 100% curable.  I know free advice is worth only what you pay for it, but there you have it.

Get well soon Brock!

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