Hi Guys, welcome to the Scott Gooding Project for Body Science. This is my inaugural publication here for Body Science, so I thought long and hard about what I should talk about. Should it be exciting? Should it be engaging? Should it be informative? Then I thought, maybe I should probably take this opportunity to share my story; not that I think it's any different from anyone else's, or that it’s sensational or tantalising, but I feel like there are pockets within my journey- within my story- that you might find inspiring.
To get to grips with my journey, we're going to have to go back to 2005. Throughout this whole premise of sharing my story, I want you to understand why I'm passionate about what I do and how it shapes my philosophy and ethos. I want to share an episode or period in my life, that was the hardest, most gruelling, toughest and most depressing time; but equally the most positive, most inspiring and life-changing. I know I said I was going to go back to 2005, but to understand the bigger picture we have to go back a little bit further to the day I was born. From that day (I'm not going to tell the year!) I had the luxury of being the athletic guy; my body was solid and I was super fit. I could play any sport I wanted to play and I excelled in a number of them. I excelled in several solo disciplines as well. I trained indiscriminately, I had the freedom to train as often as I liked, as many times a week as I liked, as many times a day as I liked. Except for a knee injury when I was about 13, I was injury-free and my body allowed me to train as much as I liked. That became my identity, my profile if you like. My friends, my family and my colleagues would know me as the fit guy.
Then in 2005, I was helping a friend, who was actually my boss at the time, dig his pool in his backyard. It was day 3 of digging, and to cut a long story short I ruptured discs in my back. I remember at the time there was this popping sound. I'd never had a back injury before; I'd never really had any major injury before, so it kind of rocked me a bit. I thought, well you know I’ll be back on my feet, I'll be back in the gym, within a couple of days maybe a week at the outset; I'd soon recover.
That week turned into weeks, months, years, and eventually into 7 years. I struggled with inflammation, pain, and discomfort that then spiralled me down into bouts of depression. No longer was I the “fit guy”. I struggled with that - it wasn't my identity anymore. I couldn't train at all, let alone indiscriminately. I couldn't do a squat; I couldn't do a push up without it impinging my back. I felt like I had left my life as it was prior to the injury. I felt like I side-stepped out of my life, and it was still going on but I wasn't part of it, which led to serious bouts of depression. I disengaged from friends, I disengaged from loved ones; it felt like the fun had been sucked out of my life. I didn't rest on my laurels throughout those 7 years. I saw as many experts as I could. I tried healing hands - and trust me, I'm not a firm believer in a higher power, so maybe that's why it didn't work.
I tried everything from the healing hands to neurosurgeons and everything else in between. Not just once or twice with one particular modality, but a number of times, different physios, lots of different chiros. I wasn't making enough progress to get me out of this hole. I realised I was trying to fix myself in a physically focused way through acupuncture, massage, stretching and swimming which wasn't shifting or gaining any sort of momentum. Towards the end of those 7 years, I started to read about nutrition and about foods that were pro-inflammatory and foods that were anti-inflammatory.
A lot of it was starting to make sense - it wasn't rocket science - and so I started to slowly embrace foods that were anti-inflammatory and minimise, or avoid, the foods that were pro-inflammatory. This process took a lot of patience, but I started to see the effects. It didn't happen overnight, but certainly over weeks, and definitely over months. My back condition improved some, so the periods where I was pain-free started to elongate then started to join up until my pain was completely diminished. That was when the penny dropped for me, that we can really heal ourselves through real food.
There's this adage that has been around for thousands of years that food is medicine. I guess it’s common knowledge, but I believe I’m living proof of the potency of that. I started to make changes to my diet by cutting out foods that were pro-inflammatory. I embraced vegetables, I started to look at the quality of my protein, the quantity of my protein, and I really made this big shift away from anything that was processed, bread, pasta, all the sorts. I now see that protein needs to be the condiment as opposed to the hero of the plate, which should be the vegetables.
Upon manipulating my food landscape, I was able to heal myself. I no longer consider myself a victim of a back injury - sure it plays up every now and again maybe once or twice a year, but I'm not bound by it. I’ve been able to regain my life, I’m able to have fun now which is something that wasn’t achievable or attainable when I was under this cloud of an injury. I guess the take-home message for you guys is really embracing the potency of food being medicinal.
Every mouthful is an opportunity to either amplify or enhance the quality of your health or conversely not. When you look at food think about it as information. I know I've been talking about inflammation, but now I'm talking about information. The foods that are rich in information are micronutrients, minerals, and vitamins. These foods are real food, and you want as much information from them to reach your biochemistry because when we strip it all back, we're just the melting pot of biochemistry.
You need that information from your food to plug into your biochemistry to enable you to perform in the right way, to have great immunity, to have great vitality, and to have a cognitive function. The foods that are lacking in information are those foods that we all know: the processed food, synthetic foods, and fast food. Do the best you can to eat real food, embrace veggies, use protein as a condiment, and you'll be amplifying and enhancing your health in no time at all. Thanks for reading.