As I sit here, staring at the daunting blank screen in front of me, my emotions are running the gamut and I’m overwhelmed with where to start. A week or so ago, I posted the statement below on my Facebook wall in support of a post by Dr. Norton in which he wondered, as we all do, when will coaches get with the science and stop hurting people. Here is my post:
Hum!!! Someone from whom I purchased diets in the past was interviewed. This interview woke me up to what a total fraud I was dealing with. Read the article at the link here then ask yourself - orgasm - seriously - that's the best you've got. I realized I was dealing with someone who had NO clue about the science of nutrition. I was ashamed to be associated with him. Be careful who you listen to. Do your research!!!
et me also repeat one of the questions and his answer:
Q: What formula do you use to determine how many macro nutrients to give each client?
A: I don’t
I ran like hell!!! This person succeeded in helping me totally wreck my metabolism which Dr. Layne Norton is now helping me repair.
You see, from November of 2011 until December of 2012, IFBB Pro Natalie Calland was my trainer. She works as a trainer for Mike Davies under the Fitness Factory name. During this time, I paid Mike Davies to provide me with my 'diets'. I put the post above on my FaceBook wall on a Friday. The following Sunday evening, I had a phone call from Natalie. I believe this was the first conversation we had had in over 7 months – since I joined Team Norton and entrusted my training, nutrition and health to Dr. Layne Norton. According to my phone, the call lasted about 15 minutes. She indicated that she had gotten quite a few text regarding my post.
She also indicted she had spoken about the post with Mike Davies. She asked me if I realized I could be sued. Her tone was very nice and non-threatening but I took the comment about being sued as a definite threat. The next day, I contacted my attorney. He didn't believe they would actually sue - and neither did I. My attorney's response was 'truth is always a defense to slander or liable'. He also noted that in the article, Mike said 'little or nothing about his programs and methods, except that he varies everything with the needs of each client and did not ever say what 'everything' is.'
In our phone conversation, Natalie also told me I was not being fair in that I was not telling the whole story. To that I agreed. So here I am, telling the whole story as I see it and to explain why I believe, in my opinion, Mike Davies is a fraud. It is certainly not my intent to hurt anyone. Natalie had asked me what I wanted. I responded that I just want the Fitness Factory to stop hurting people. Natalie explained that people come to Mike Davies to get on stage and he gets them there. She also indicated that he has had over 120 people turn pro – more than any other trainer. I’m not sure if I actually responded ‘at what cost’ or just thought it.
So, back to the beginning, to tell my whole story, in my opinion and how I see it. I was introduced to the sport of Bodybuilding by my eldest daughter who was preparing for her first competition in the bikini division. I had been on a fat to - not so fat - cycle over the past 5 or 6 years. I would gain weight, sign up for a half-marathon or triathlon and lose weight. I was yo-yoing between 180 and 150 pounds maxing out at around 200 pounds. I had just turned 50, buried my father on my 50th birthday, and headed in a very unhealthy direction yet again when my daughter suggested I get off my treadmill and start weight training.
After I went to my daughter’s first bodybuilding show, I was totally hooked. Her trainer was a former Fitness Factory competitor. My daughter suggested I go to the Fitness Factory web-site and see if there was a trainer close by that had space. I was thrilled to find Natalie and began working with her right away.
I was a mess from the start. I had gone from around 200 lbs. to around 150 lbs. by the time I met with Natalie. Food wise, I was not in a good place. Body image - well let's just say that's something I still struggle with. I was terrified to gain the weight back I had lost which made me afraid to eat. Oh, and cardio, OMG. I was used to training for half marathons. I was the cardio queen. It was nothing for me to jump on the treadmill and knock out 6 or 8 miles. I would jump on the stair mill for 30 to 40 minutes – no problem. Letting go of crazy amounts of cardio was hard. On the one hand, my body craved it. On the other hand, somewhere in my brain was the thought that if I stopped or cut back, I would gain a pound. I had never worked with weights. It was hard for me to get my head around lifting and away from cardio.
As I continued to lose weight through crazy cardio and weight training, I began getting diets from Mike Davies. He charged $30 for a diet that you would stay on for one month. Each month you would request a new diet that he would e-mail out. I was never asked to send in my weight or measurements. The instructions said to send in a photo but I was told he knew what I looked like and I didn’t have to send in photos. Body image issues still to this day make photos a touch process for me. I followed his diets like a religion. I wouldn’t dream of cheating. I did make one mistake. I would buy packages of frozen fish. I counted the frozen weight. I only made this mistake for a few days before I was corrected and began weighing my fish after it was cooked.
Things were going well, or so I thought. I was losing weight. I was down to 116 pounds and had decided to do a show with my daughter. Just to put things into perspective, here are some photos. One is me at around 200 lbs. and at 116 lbs. a week before my show. These photos represent my extremes. They both represent extremely unhealthy versions of me - just on opposite ends of the spectrum.
A bodybuilding show. How cool it is, as a mom, sharing something like this with your daughter. We were both in prep mode and roughly 8 weeks out when we noticed the diets we were sent were almost exactly the same. At this time, my daughter was 25, I was 51. She was competing bikini. I was competing WP. Our bodies were different. Our goals were different. Our metabolisms were different. Why were our diets almost exactly the same? As I recall, just about the only difference was that I had asparagus and she had broccoli – or maybe it was the other way around.
A month or so prior to the show we were registered to participate in, she competed in a show that Mike Davies held. He also served and the masters of ceremonies. His wife was expecting their second child. He announced at the show that the baby they were expecting was a boy. He pointed out that he has all boys (5 I believe) and offered his services to those wanting to have a boy. The inappropriateness of his comments went on from there to the point where the family sitting in front of us got up and left. I’m sure there could have been other reasons for their quick departure but their body language and comments, in my opinion, seemed to tell all. I was sitting with my husband and future son-in-law whose only comment was – seriously – wow. I was enraged. Mostly because I felt like he had disrespected not only the sport of bodybuilding but all the athletes who had worked so hard to get to his stage. I was a month out from my first show and was feeling very disenchanted. I was sharing my feelings about his show and inappropriate comments with a very close friend. She informed me that Mike had gotten his start in the 80s with a male review show. Her husband (now her ex-husband) was one of his performers/strippers. Once she shared that piece of information, it all made since. He MC’d his bodybuilding show in the same manner as the male review shows of the 80s. I was – well – confused and tried to do some research. How could this unprofessional person with no college degree, no pro-card that I could find, claiming to have 19 years of bodybuilding experience, be such an influence in this sport. This is someone I was trusting with my health? After all, I’m responsible for me. I’m responsible for who I trust. I’m responsible for what I do or don’t eat. I needed to do my research. I had blindly followed a former male review professional? I felt betrayed. Then I got my critical show week prep shown below:
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 6:49 PM
WAKE UP: Drink 16 oz of water and take regular minerals, vitamins and a Spark to sip on thru the workout or take a thermo
TRAIN/CARDIO: Monday and Tuesaday do a 1.0 mile run then walk at 6% incline squeezing your ass with each stride then elliptical 20 minutes. Wednesday do a 40 minute non weight baring cardio. Thursday get up and do a 30 minute elliptical, dress warm and sweat a bit, Friday practice posing for 20 minutes
MEAL ONE: Eat 1/2 and 4 oz of flank
MEAL TWO: Eat 3 oz of tuna with a pinch of pepper and 10 asparagus spears
DRINK: An Advocare Spark or another thermo
MEAL THREE: Eat 4 oz of tilapia with 1 cup of spinach leaf lettuce and 6 asparagus spears
MEAL FOUR: Eat 3/4 cup of oats. Friday ad 3 oz of flank to this meal
SNACK: Eat 2 cups of raw green veggies of your choice dipped in balsamic vinegar. Be sure to put 6 asparagus spear within this
TAKE: An additional Spark Energy drink or thermo or drink a coffee.
TRAIN/CARDIO: Do 60 minutes of non weight baring cardio Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday do 45 minutes of steepest grade elliptical. Thursday bike 30 minute to avoid being sluggish from lack of activity
MEAL FIVE: Eat 3 oz of chicken and 3 oz of flank and take glutamine
MEAL SIX: Eat 4 oz of tilapia and 12 almonds
TAKE DAILY (for now)
Supplements remain the same as the past three weeks
• Drink a minimum of 2 gallons of water dailyThru Wednesday.
• Take 1500 mgs of dandelion root at 2:00 and 6:00 pm
• Cut water back to 1.5 gallons
• Take 1500 mgs of dandelion root at 2:00 and 6:00 pm and Bedtime
• Cut water back to 1.25 gallons
• Add 2/3 to meal three and five and drop the asparagus spears
• Take 1500 mgs of dandelion root at 10:00 am 2:00 and 6:00 pm and take 99 mgs of potassium with 2 o’clock d-root
• Take Super dieters tea at bedtime
• Drink 16 oz of water with morning supplements then 4 oz with each meal.
• 6:00 am: Meal one stays the same
• 7:30 am: Eat 3 oz of tuna rinsed and 10 almonds and 2 plain rice cakes
• 9:30am: Eat 2/3 cup of oats with 2 Tbsp of PB if your at all flat. If your holding any water take 1500 mgs of d-root
° • 11:15 am: Eat 1/2 grapefruit prior to pumping up for your class
Have two extra fish and green meals on hand incase we need to extend our day
• Take in 32 oz of water and take 1500 mgs of d-root after prejudging. Eat your regular meals four, five and six prior to awards
• Take additional rice cakes and flank steak to the night show to pick at
Cheat meal when done
It was cut and pasted so poorly, it didn’t even make since. Eat ˝ of what? How long do I walk at 6% incline? After the run and before the elliptical? I was also made aware that it was identical to someone else’s diet. This is why in my Facebook post and reference to the interview, I called Mike a fraud. There is nothing personal about cut and pasted identical diets. There is no such thing as a diet crystal ball and he is not the wizard of oz of diets. Although when questioned, he’s reported to respond ‘how dare you question the great and powerful ‘guru’ of show diets’. If he truly cared about his athletes, he would park his ego, recognize that he doesn’t know the science behind the nutrition and hire someone to be a part of his team that does know. How great would that be for the sport. Coaches who engage a nutrition expert to work with their clients.
It just so happened that it was time for my yearly physical. When my doctor, who I’ve known for years, saw me she was shocked. When my blood work came back, I was in trouble. My mercury levels were way elevated from the amount of fish I was eating. I was having memory issues. My hair was falling out. My family and my doctor were concerned I was anorexic although I was never officially diagnosed. I had gone from a 14-16 size jeans to having to order double zeros online from Express. An evaluation of my diets ensued. Not good. I was in metabolic distress...