We discuss in this podcast:
- How Colin found great support listening to the Rheumatoid Solutions Podcast
- How he has been able to become pain free and drug free using the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- The mix of medications he was on
- The massive change in his diet and the great results it brought
- Sports and exercise for a healthy lifestyle
- The importance of his wife’s support
- Weight loss and how it’s perceived
- Bikram Yoga sessions
- Plant-based foods
Clint – Today I have a special guest who’s going to walk us through his experience with the Paddison program for rheumatoid arthritis. It’s going to be really interesting and inspirational. His name is Colin, he is in Ireland. And he came into my world around, as I said two years ago, but he joined the Paddison program support, as it was called or Rheumatoid Support. And ever since, he’s been the best possible member because all he does is post his updates and say how he has been improving and recently just said, look, he’s made it as far as he had ever dreamt to go with his health turnaround, coming off medications, improving his lifestyle, getting rid of pain. So Colin is going to tell us all today. Welcome, Colin.
Colin – Hello. Thank you for having me. It’s my graduation day today.
Clint – Yeah. And you mentioned to me that you have watched a lot of these podcast episodes in the past. So have you found that these have been a part of your journey along the way?
Colin – Absolutely. It’s the main reason I wanted to do this today, you know, because when I started the program in my lowest moments, I watched these podcasts and these were the inspiration for me that kept me going. One in particular, a Spanish guy called Ruben, and this is Ruben here. And I wanted to do a shout out for Ruben because this guy inspired me. I watched his video on repeat all the time when I was down because it was just such a great podcast. And yeah, because, look, you know, when you take something on like this, it’s such an unknown. And the only thing you’re thinking is I believed it worked I could tell it worked, but is it going to work for me? And that’s the great unknown, I think. So that was it was not a diet that was eating away in my head through it. I think that is it going to work for me. So, yeah, when you’re eating that buckwheat, you know, three times a day, I think it’s it’s yeah. It’s the pressing question really and it has worked.
Clint – Well, and it also plays on your mind a little more when your diagnosis is not rheumatoid because you were diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. And a common question that we get from people who are, thinking about starting this is will it work for psoriatic arthritis or will it work for ankylosing spondylitis or some variation of the body that’s been afflicted by joint inflammation? And so I think it’s good to also acknowledge that it was Psoriatic Arthritis, which was your diagnosis. And for me, just to remind our audience that as far as I’m concerned, as far as the approach is concerned, there are no differences in terms of how we go about this treatment and this condition and our aim to improve. So you were diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Why don’t you, before you give us the long version. Tell us what drugs you’re on, what you’ve been able to come off, and how you feel today compared to when you started.
Colin – So, yeah, I was on methotrexate, a drug called Arcoxia, LANSAT Pozole, and then Sulfasalazine, that was the cocktail I was taking every morning for I took those for about seven or eight months. Once I started the program, I quite quickly started trying to wean off as much as I could. I didn’t dabble with I kept taking the methotrexate, but yeah, I got results. It took some time, but I was off the methotrexate the following year and now I am one hundred percent better pain free, medication free and most importantly for me, back running, because that was the one thing that I was the arthritis that stopped me from doing. I was desperate to get back to sport and back running, and I’m doing that. So I’m one hundred percent better. Yeah.
Clint – Yeah, it’s just fantastic to see I know that Dr. McDougle, whenever he gets sent, you know, success stories via email, you know, he always says they never get old. And each time I hear of someone saying that they’ve improved in your case dramatically and in some cases just it might be just getting rid of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Whatever the small improvement might be, it never gets old. And I’m sitting here just listening to this, not as someone who is on the other side of the sort of transaction of a Paddison program, but as someone as a person to person, just feeling so happy that you are feeling better. Because these diseases, whatever we want to label them from the medical side of things, they’re just atrocious. So walk me through how bad you were when this went down and walk us through the steps that you went through.
Colin – Yeah. So initially for me, like I say, my symptoms were I would say, you know, they weren’t good, but they were still fairly mild compared to some of them, and compared to yourself, for example, when I watched your TED talk and your symptoms were horrendous, but my symptoms got worse was the thing. And that’s when I came to the program because my symptoms got drastically worse quickly, and that’s what really scared me. But initially it was May 2017, It was the end of the month. It was our wedding anniversary, my wife’s wedding anniversary, my birthday. And I remember it vividly. We had three nights in a row and this was kind of a sign of my lifestyle at the time. We had three quite let’s say over the top, monocytes like winetasting really indulgently, three nights row I want for our wedding the one single parents we’re having like a top US tasting night on the third night was my cousin’s wedding, spent three nights in a row on all of the richest foods, wines. And that was the way I was living at the time anyway. My weight was up and down and I remember waking up days after that three night feast, as it were, my toe, my toe, my ring toe so I think it’s called was purple, was just in agony, burning. And that was the first sign. And the thought what has happened? I was thinking was a drunk that I kicked my toe off something. I had no idea what it was, just no idea. And it went on and then the symptoms and I started getting pains in my little finger and I play piano. I was thinking, is it like my playing the piano too hard? So just little signs were creeping in. And then I started getting tests done at the doctor or as we thought it was, maybe gout. Anyway, long story short, it took me five months to get diagnosed and then I was diagnosed in November 2017. Rheumatologist said you’ve got psoriatic arthritis, you will be seeing a rheumatologist for the rest of your life and you’ll be on medication for the rest of your life. And I took it fine, to be honest, because after five months of pain, I just wanted to get better. So absolutely no problem, that my nature. I was like, I’m quite stubborn. I’ll just get that done. I’ll do whatever it takes to get better. So that so that was what happened.
Colin – And then I started then the medication. She gave me Christmas off and then I started the medication, as it were, in January. She said, have Christmas, go eat, drink what you want, but you’ll be going to methotrexate in January and you’ll probably have to stop alcohol. Which again, I kind of tried to find the positives, I said right now is my opportunity to get fit. I’m going to be given up all these things now. I thought, I’m going to get fit and I’m going to start a triathlon, and I’m going to do a triathlon this year. So I started taking the medication, started making some dietary adjustments because you know what it’s like that you start reading about all the things that can help. But there’s so much information out there about, you know, what to eat, what not to eat. But until I find the program, then I really find out what not to eat, you know? But yeah, I remember chuckling to myself initially, it was like the three things that you should not eat if you’ve got arthritis, are red wine, bread and steak. I think it was it was just like, these are my favorite things in the world and beer and beer. I was like, oh my God.
Colin – So anyway, I spent four or five months taking the medication. Side effects, hard to tell, but I think, you know, I was felt like I was getting like sort of brain fog. And I think when I went on the sulfasalazine, I was in especially I started to really notice then just I think even psychologically I was thirty nine. I was getting up in the morning and I was taken four or five pills in the morning and I just thought I was getting into my head a bit. I started making some dietary changes, like I say, but then sort of like five, six months in I had like a bit of a knock in my career. I was going for a job and it didn’t work out something that I was on my holidays and I lived with my parents and I said, screw this. I’m going to eat and drink what I want for a week on holiday. And I ate like fried foods, had some alcohol against this. And I mean, within days I went from someone that was having some pain in my foot and unable to run to not able to get out of bed like agony. My back hit my back. It hit my chest, but my heart was in excruciating pain. And that scared the hell out of me. And it was then it was just, what do I do? And that was my lowest, I really I think it all hit me at that point. Maybe I was in denial about the whole thing up to that point, but I was in a really dark place then.
Clint – It’s cruel how this happens. I mean, I remember a similar experience where you’re in a situation where you’re meant to be happy and you meant to be celebrating. And it’s a good time. And then your body at that precise moment says this is when I’m going to, you know, really fall apart. And for me, it was I proposed to Melissa, we were in a place called Blue Mountains, which is about an hour out of Sydney. And it’s a gorgeous place with spectacular views and valleys and flying white cockatoos. And we got up in the morning and I proposed in the morning agonizingly on my left knee. And that night we just to celebrate, just went to a local restaurant and I had pizza for the first time in a long time because we’d already been sort of exploring improved dietary habits. And then the next day, the day after we’ve gotten engaged and I’m just hurting, I was hurting from that pizza and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten it since. So that’s going back a long time. So I understand, I understand the body, just the body doesn’t like parties doesn’t it?
Colin – No. And I just shut down at that point. And, you know, I was actually when all this was going on, I was on the waiting list to go on Humira, because I read about Humira and it was just I was so excited, like, this is the cure. This is if I can get this, I can go back to my old ways of life and I’ll be healed. So it was sort of a really I had this juncture in my life where I was desperate to get the cure. Well, I’m assuming that was the biologic. And I know the biologic does work for a lot of people. But at the same time, I watched your TED talk, and when I watched the TED talk, it was just my mind was blown because I had actually said to Celine up to this point, my wife had said I have not been ill at all in my life. And it is just like someone to switched the top on. And I was like, there must be a way to switch this off. And I haven’t got a medical bone in my body, so I wasn’t the person that was going to find that out. But then I watched your TED talk and I just knew that was this guy has been through this. This is real and this is how to fix it.
So I watched your TED talk, I think I signed up to the Paddison Program. And then the next day I had the phone call saying come to the clinic and we’ve got your Humira ready. And I said, well, I’m not sure I want to take it now. And they said, we’ll just come in anyway and talk to the Rheumatologist. So I literally was sitting in the clinic with like six other patients opposite me, and I pretty much know my head, I know there’s a way out of this. And I mean, it was there was no dilemma. I just said to the rheumatologist, I’m going another way. With this a dietary way, you’re going to have to be honest. Anyone medical expert can see through this process that it’s always met with pretty much apathy at best. You know, they’re like, OK, diet. Yeah, OK, so that was it. I walked out of there and it was just like the most empowering feeling to walk away from what I knew would be a really good solution for me. The biologic to go and embark on this jumping off a cliff into the abyss, which is really what it was really taking on the program. I knew that I knew what you had done was real. But again, it was will this work for me and I think not for me was just the great unknown.
Clint – Anthony Robbins, you know, I used to attend Anthony Robbins seminars quite a lot, and I did his university, which involves going to Fiji and doing all sorts of mastery courses as says. He has a great phrase, which is burn the boats, which is a reference to a short story that he always tells, which is that if a small group of tribes people are on a canoe or a set of canoes. And then they want to take over an island and occupy the island and force themselves upon the current occupants and become new residents, then they jump off the boats, swim towards the island, someone burns the boats. And so there’s no way out. There’s no way back. And I just thought of that when you were talking about walking away from the Humira, you burnt the boat. There’s no way back. You basically just went for it. And that mentality tends to sow deep roots of determination when you know, it’s it’s this way.
Colin – Yeah, yeah, I mean, yeah, there were boats burned, and thankfully, though, I have to say, my wife was there with the petrochem because she was totally my, you know, Rocksmith. It’s not cliche is so true. You know, I’ve recommended this program to other people and it people probably not as fortunate to have a support system like I had. But the weekend I start started the program, which was this day two years ago, which is why I wanted to do the podcast today. Celine was there with the juices and I was trying to work and she was just bringing on, we had a schedule going and so it was amazing. And she actually said, I’m going to do this with you’re going to do it with you. And to be fair, she lasted a week. She was eating the buckwheat with me, and then even she went right, you’re off on your own now. But her support was incredible. You know, your partner has to sacrifice to because eating out for us was such a big part of our life, you know, and she sacrificed all of that, you know, because she was desperate for me to get better, you know, and it was a long road, you know, those months on the buckwheat. And, you know, one of the hardest ones for me was we were going on holiday quite soon after I started the program. I started in August, and then we went on holiday in October to Miyorka and I brought the rice machine with me and eating out, you know, on holiday. And I was against such a big part of eating. And that was that was hard. And my weight was dropping off at a rate of nuts at that point you know. So I went from walking around healthy when I was unhealthy, I had to be thirteen stone healthy. Twelve. I dropped down to ten, three really quite quickly, you know, then you get families that are worried about you.
Colin – I took a little bit of time off work and I wasn’t even sure if they believed me when I said, I need some time off. And then I came back to work after three months. And after they saw me, I could just see people’s faces going like, what has happened to him? And again, those things start to weigh in your mind. You know, I started to get insecure about my weight and it’s incredible. The guy was always trying to get his weight down, was suddenly I was wearing heavy jumpers to hide the fact I dropped so much weight. So, it was a crazy first three or four months going through that. But again, I think my determination, inspiration from you, the support group from Ruben, my Spanish friend, and I think that just kept me going. And I also just got my hands on and I just started embracing it. And I say just gave me the buckwheat and I was like, buying these giant sacks of buckwheat, and just getting stuck in, like just like a savage. Yeah, slowly but surely and I also make mistakes as looking for a food plan. But the Advanced Foods and I was constantly wanting to get to advanced and there’d be a little spike in pain and you’d have to retreat and go back to basics. But, it was a war zone in the early days.
Clint – And there’s no end to the challenges that get thrown at you when you’re trying to heal one of them, you emphasize is the weight loss. And I personally faced that with family members and friends as well, I became very self-conscious as you did. And in my case, it was really extreme because I did eight months of a raw food diet. And for folks watching or listening, there’s a certain weight loss with it or sort of low-fat elimination baseline kind of Paddison Program diet. And then there’s a whole new level below that, which is a raw vegan diet. And I actually don’t recommend people go raw vegan for that purpose, even though it’s extraordinarily cleansing and health healing. I want to say, I don’t know anything about healthy. I don’t know if it’s too extreme and that’s why I don’t recommend it. I want to sleep at night feeling comfortable that people are doing something that I have done personally and felt safe doing. But the weight loss seems to worry family members more than if a family member were taking 15 different medications and it’s a strange thing. My family members would prefer that you’re doing a cocktail of drugs then looking like you’re underweight. Did you also find that a strange phenomenon exists?
Colin – Oh, absolutely and like when you tell people I found this guy on the Internet and that was the care, and they’re like, you’re crazy. I had this massive phone call with my brother and he has been really supportive as well. But initially, he was just like, this guy is giving you false hope and what are you doing? You’re paying and it really infuriated me because I’m not stupid and I got good instincts. And I knew you weren’t fraud, Clint and I also knew this was legit. But, when you say that to people I find this the other way on the Internet or, you know, it’s just it’s met with just absolute cynicism and for good reason, because there are plenty of comments out there. But the weight loss my parents were worried about me and of course, they were and I wasn’t worried about me. That’s the thing isn’t that, people that love you are worried for you. But I wasn’t because I just wanted to get better and get back. But I think the other thing that contributed to my weight loss was the base plant based plant stage, eating these really basic foods. But I was also probably over-exercising because my other way of getting through it was because you recommended a bit of exercise. I took that to the extreme, and I was like, I’m going to do a triathlon and I’m going to get super fit. And so I was probably overtraining as well. So I was always a calorie deficiency, probably.
Clint – And what we find that you would have thought would have found is that if we look at extremes and if we don’t eat, then everything goes away for almost everyone but you have zero pain. Right, and so subconsciously that’s attractive and then but the opposite being true in that extreme eating, particularly high-fat foods or animal foods. We’re going to feel very, very high levels of inflammation. But maintaining weights trivial, and if you look around with people without any kind of reasons to restrict their eating, most people are overweight. So with that sort of platform in our mind and as hating and loathing the pain, it’s easy to sort of want to take the road of low pain and less calorie intake. Because it feels better on our joints and that’s what only someone with inflammatory arthritis can understand through that experience. And also, when you look around and everyone’s overweight, it just seems absolutely impossible to be underweight unless you’ve got cancer or something really terrible. Right, because food is so abundant and easy to access and so overloaded with unhealthiness that most people are fat.
Clint – Yeah, let’s talk about your exercise, you know that I recommend it, I think that overexercising is a far better era than under. So tell me about your exercising and how that helped drive down inflammation and make you feel.
Colin – Well, I mean even on a sort of an emotional level, the endorphin hit you get from exercise is just incredible. So even on that level, it helped me get through. It gave me a new focus to replace that kind of party animal eating out too much person that I was. It gave me a different focus and it was replacing one thing with another. But I obviously played a lot of football when I was younger. I would probably be quite a talented runner, but because my diet was so up and down, I was never really probably achieve what I could have achieved in terms of taking part in marathons and stuff. So but I wanted to get so desperate to get back to running that this pain began in that little toe wouldn’t shift. That was the one area I could not shift the pain. And so I took up swimming alongside doing the Bikram yoga. I took up swimming and on I grew up swimming breaststroke in the pool, but I started to learn from (inaudible) and I just started swimming just like four times a week and stuff. And obviously swimming is amazing if you’ve got any joint pains, you know, swimming led to then getting a swimming coach and joining a triathlon club. And yeah, I mean, like last year I took part in an event up here. One hundred and fifty swimmers and I came third overall, someone that never swam and doing more races. And I joined the triathlon club here in Galway. And I love swimming and I’m quite talented. And I’m not a club swimmer talented, but as a triathlete, I’m a talented triathlete swimmer. And then yoga obviously, I came to the yoga a little bit later than I had planned, but I found a hot yoga clinic in Belfast during that. And that was just amazing because again, I have this back pain and shoulder pain, and I was only doing the other long classes. And I found great relief from that and again, even just psychologically, just those small moments of meditation in those classes was just a great way to step out from work or step away from the program and just take some time to just think and just kind of clear the head. So the yoga was amazing and I went to that yoga class for a year and a half and loved it. And then I started to realize that all this time doing endurance sports, whether it’s running or cycling, Bikram yoga is the hardest. The hardest 90 minutes of that class is seriously kick ass. If you can come through that and do the exercises properly like, I would see guys coming into this class who had obviously been brought in by friends that really fit rugby guys. They were working on that class within half an hour to an hour because it is hard core and you are getting to the point of passing out. I find with just the heat, the heart rate and I loved it, I really loved it. So I’m going to go back to that but it was on the program, it was intense.
Clint – Look, there’s no part of this that isn’t intense, the dietary side’s extremely challenging, and then you’ve got the highest recommendation that I provide, which is the Bikram yoga, which, as you described is like above all else and it is so challenging. But I say, I just picked this up and say what we’re looking for is results and we’re up against the worst possible sort of inflammatory challenge we could ever, unfortunately, hope to have in our lives. And if I have a massive enemy, we need a massive offense, and this is what it is. It’s about taking the best of the best and putting it together to give ourselves the best possible chance. And you’ve done that. And your results are nothing short of extraordinary. And so your rheumatologist, if you’re still seeing the same one, has very likely never in his career seen someone achieve what you’ve achieved. And that’s because you’ve put all of the pieces of the puzzle together these very challenging parts, and you’ve just gone and done it. So I’m interested to get your feedback that you heard from him or her.
Colin – She was lovely and she was really supportive. I’ve been discharged, so I’m not seeing her anymore because I’ve moved home from Belfast to the Republic of Ireland quite recently. And she knew that was coming up and she said, I’m going to discharge you because you’re better and you’re not taking any medication. So like I said, I came off methotrexate last July and I could have done this podcast with you last year, Clint to be honest. I mean, the reason it’s taken me so long to get round to doing it was purely because I wanted to have some triathlon medals around my neck. But COVID-19 unfortunately, got in the way of that. So all the events I was going to do have been put on hold. And whenever I first told Dr. Bull that I was doing this program, I mean she was supportive again. She was just, she’s not a nutritionist and she said to me, look I mean, I know some people have benefits from making dietary changes. But when I told her what my changes were she was like, wow, well, how are you going to lead a life when you can’t eat anymore and all those things? I guess, yes, there are medication, medication enables you to continue exactly where you left off. This takes you to have to take a different direction with this but I’m very happy with the direction of my life taken. And I am back eating out and I eat an amazing diet of food. And, I wouldn’t change it for the world to be in the situation I’m now off of medication, pain-free, pack running and, eating an expansive plant-based diet. I’m happy!
Clint – Yeah, that’s fantastic. Let’s explore your diet a little bit more. Tell us, if you have some emissions or if it’s easier, just tell us what you can eat? In terms of the diversity.
Colin – I don’t think there are any emissions in terms of plant based foods. I even have some little Cheat’s now and again. I have a little beer every now and again. I don’t have a lot of alcohol, but I buy some alcohol. And yeah, I just take every recipe under the sun from the Internet. Your good wife, Melissa, back in the day was where I started then. Either the kitchen on the program and now a happy pair. The guys over here in Ireland who do have their own YouTube channel, take a lot of their foods if they cook with oil, I omit the oil. But yeah, I stay strict and I stay generally strictly to plant-based foods. I cut all the oils and it works.
Clint – That’s it, that’s the magic formula and that’s where we’re heading. So I think it’s really important because we spent a lot of time talking about, the challenges and being very transparent. You know, we are just being straight up and this is hard work. This requires determination and this is also a big commitment and nothing’s easy. You’ll be faced with challenges but then on the flip side of the coin, we’re now talking about how you have a very diverse plant-based diet without exceptions. You can have the occasional beer and the only thing that you avoid that’s commonly in a plant-based diet is oil. And we know that oil isn’t a natural food anyway, it’s processed food. It’s something that typically is highly inflammatory. We have this concept of, omega 3’s vs. omega 6’s and so forth. But once you heat oil, the free radical damage that’s done to the body is significant. It increases oxidative stress, it coagulates the red blood cells, it just makes you feel sluggish, and so it’s not a natural food. It causes us to have more inflammation. And look, it’s just something that we have to say, ok look, I’m a little bit high maintenance. When I go to the restaurant, I’m going to ask for no oil on my non-bread, no, or whatever. And I’m going to ask for food that, when I have cooked with friends, don’t cook with oil. And as long as that’s done, then you’re not that difficult to please when you eat out. It’s not hard to do at home, that’s for sure.
Colin – Yeah. It’s not that drastic a lifestyle change, actually, when you think of all the benefits that I have now of living this way compared to the alternative. So I have to phone a restaurant in advance or if I’m in a new city, I have to find restaurants that can cater for me. But once I find five or six and I well I give us options to go and eat out, which is great. The food has been revelatory really because again, I mean, I remember speaking to vegans even prior to me ever getting involved in eating this type of food. And the first thing you think is what do you eat or what you can possibly eat. And then when you actually delve into it and you explore all the possibilities, the food is amazing that it really is amazing and colorful, rich and tasty. Takes a bit more time to prepare it, obviously, but it’s great.
Clint – Yeah, it’s time well spent, right? It’s better than time recovering from agonizing your reactions to the bad foods. Can you tell me a couple of things I want to touch upon before we close out? I want to talk about your achievements with your exercise and your competition, triathlons just a little bit more. Because, that’s fascinating to me how your body’s responding and whether or not you feel competitive on this plant-based diet and how you might compare what you would have been like if you would have been eating, you know, conventional foods. And then I also want to talk about your experience and approach with taking off the sulfasalazine and the methotrexate. So there are people who are on those drugs, and I want them to learn how you went about it. So in any order, if you could let us know on those two topics.
Colin – So in terms of exercise where I am now, I’m still quite lean, obviously. Because I’m not eating, hundreds of grams of protein. I’m just trying to take in the amount of protein required to build muscle and it is an astronomical amount of food and I have tried it. But I’m just not sure I need it, to be honest. I mean, I think I was recommended that I need to take for about one hundred and twenty grams a day to be building the muscle, like significant muscle gains. And that is like an awful lot of chickpeas and kidney beans.
Clint – It’s also not true and that’s also not true. And so I’ve gained weight on orange juice and white rice. I put on three kilos in a month, one time just eating that. So, like, it’s not true.
Colin – What I find is when I’m in a really strict routine of training anyway, I’m getting a good physique from swimming in any way, and I’m lean and I’m fast through the water, so and not respect, fine. Slightly more challenging for me has been just recovering from not having been on my feet for four years. Because I was not running for four years or so because there were so many other injuries prior to my arthritis diagnosis. They were possibly arthritis-related, but just my legs just haven’t had that conditioning. So for me and again, because I’m an idiot, when I go out and train, I’m still overtraining a bit on the running. I’m going on as soon as I get the music and I’m like flying out of the blocks, and doing five, six miles at seven-minute pace. And then it’s taking me a week to recover, but I’m just so happy and excited to be back running. And it’s hard to kind of cage that enthusiasm, to be honest. When I’m running it’s just like, the miracle is complete for me. So in that sense, if I calm down a little bit and I start going a little bit slower, and a little bit longer, I would probably get the conditioning back because my Achilles is a bit tight. After going out so hard and so fast that so. I’m trying to, I guess, get the tendons and stuff back fit and strong I guess and it is a challenge for me, but easily fixable. And then in terms of cycling, I think for me, cycling your stamina gets you so far it’s a power sport. And I feel like, to get the cards strong, really and I put power through the pedals. I feel like that may need just more time it’s the one discipline of the three that I’ve spent the last time on. You know, I’ve been swimming a hell of a lot, pack running and also the bike and the final piece of the jigsaw for me.
Colin – So, yeah, it’s a challenge when you’re eating a plant based diet. But it’s like I say, I’m competing against people that eat regular food and I’m getting on the podium. So that’s great and then in terms of the methotrexate and the sulfasalazine and it was high when I came off them. Is that what you were asking?
Clint – Yeah. What strategies did you use? And were you working closely with your rheumatologist and whether or not she was supportive and just the whole or just anything that might be helpful for anyone wanting to do that?
Colin – Yeah. I mean, it was the one drug I think I was taking painkillers when I started the program. And I remember watching one of your videos that said that they are really bad for your gut health. So that was the one drug I just dropped overnight. As soon as I watched that, I thought, I need to get this out of my body because there’s no point in me doing this program, which may have been a bit reckless. So I did see a little spike in pain because I dropped it so quickly, I didn’t wean off it. But it was a spike I was willing to take because I just thought this is just going to inhibit my progress. And what’s the point in making all these dietary sacrifices if I’m still taking something else that’s going to affect my gut health. So that when I drop quickly but in terms of the methotrexate, I stayed very strictly to your schedule and how to go about that and how to wean off that. And I did not really strictly I can’t remember exactly the amounts I was taking, but I weaned off month by month very gradually. And I did speak to my rheumatologist about it and she said, yeah, if you’re feeling better, drop another two-point-five mg or something like that. I think it was like a four-month program process and I slowly came off that. For sulfasalazine, I think I don’t recall, but I don’t think there was any weaning of thought. And that was the one I was glad to get rid off. Because for me, I just felt that one, combined with the other medication, I felt like it was giving me side effects that weren’t pleasant for me. The methotrexate was the weaning process. And then there’s that also that other unknown on the other side of all this, the unknown at the start is, is this going to work for me? Then it’s working and then it’s that weaning process. And then you think, right, I’m getting into this final phase. Now, when I start the methotrexate, is it going to come back? And that’s always your fear isn’t?. And it didn’t and I think by the time I got to that point that, it had been a year and I probably could have weaned off it sooner. I was probably seeing really good results within four or five months of the program. To be honest, I was at Advanced Foods within six months easily. So I really took my time with that final six months really before I came off it. But once I did, it was just like it felt natural. I was ready and I knew it and it was a very strange experience, this whole thing in the sense, that you go from this absolute extreme diet weight loss to then you’re the foods do start to improve. Then you get to advance them in the final stages. I wouldn’t like to say take them for granted, but suddenly I was better. Suddenly I was one hundred percent better and I didn’t even notice it because I’d put in so much work and effort for those first six months. So yeah, and I need to thank you because it was your TED talk. It was all of your work that you put into the program, your videos, your literature, then your help from Melissa and your podcast, and Dr. McDougle as well. I watched a lot of his videos as well. It was just the work you guys have put into this it was epic. If you hadn’t been out there, I would never have been here. I would have been back taking the meds and doing something else and so thank you.
Clint – Well, thank you, Colin, because you know what, I think you may have heard me say this before, but Melissa and I spoke about this and Melissa said that if we only help one person by documenting everything, pulling it all together and putting it up on the Internet, then it will be worth my experience and worth putting the time in to make it all. And put a lot of so much time has been put into cross referencing the scientific studies and making sure that some of our personal experiences. And I say ours because Melissa was there for me the entire time, we’re compatible with the feedback that we get from other people who use the program, because some of it you can’t put science behind it. Science has never been done in some small aspects of the program. And yes, so thank you because yourself is the picture we had in our mind for when we were struggling too. I got excited and thought, God if I can get through this and I’m on to something here and that this can help other people, then that was motivating for me. So, we all have people to thank, and as you mentioned, Dr. McDougle and its endless of other people who I drew from as well. So we’re all just sharing information. And now you’re going to inspire people the same way that Ruben touched upon you. And, we’re all just doing something for each other.
Colin – And that’s why I wanted to do this podcast really, because I just know that in my darkest and lowest moments, watching these helped me so much. And I thought the same thing you’ve just said. If one person watches this and is inspired by it, and it’s the motivation. It’s like, yeah, I’m going to keep eating this buckwheat and I’m going to keep going. I just think it’s worth doing because this program works, it works, and it can work for you. You just have to put the effort in because it’s a huge effort and it’s a massive push. But you can get there and it’s so worth it. Because when you’re in your lowest kind of points with this whole horrible condition like you don’t see a way out of it and there is a way out, there is another way. And I think that’s really important and I think it’s just worth reminding people that there are so many of us who have come through and are happier and healthier for it.
Clint – Yeah, thanks, Colin. So a little cold of action to anyone who’s watching this, who knows someone who’s done this program and has done fabulously well or perhaps it’s yourself and you have a great story to share, something inspirational. Then please reach out to me, because, I love doing these interviews. And the constant feedback I get is, I just listen to the podcast is what I hear from everyone. And I love the stories and they keep me going. So exactly like you’ve described, Colin and I’m very grateful to have had this chat with you today and to meet you personally. After as I said at the beginning of this conversation, you joined the support platform. You I don’t think you asked for help more than about twice. And the rest of the time you would just pop in every couple of months and you’d say, this is where I’m up to, I’m making progress, and we’d all cheer you on and then you disappear for another two months.
Colin – (Inaudible) it was just such an amazing resource to be able to connect with other people going through the same thing as you, to share that kind of information, to ask questions like, are these food safe? Whether the people think of this to share food recipes, it’s invaluable. When the food is such a big thing to be able to share food recipes in that early stages just when you’re able to advance that little bit further to find something with that bit more flavor in it, it just pushes you on. So, yeah, it’s a great resource and I’d highly recommend it to anyone watching if they’re thinking about signing up. Absolutely. Go for it. Embrace it. Embrace the buckwheat and that’s my motto. Eat more buckwheat’s and you will get better.
Clint – Well, I guess, you don’t have a website or anything like that, you’ve got nothing to promote and nothing to sort of share in that department. And so I’m not going to ask you for that. But do you have a social media platform where people could watch and see if you’ve got on the podium again with an upcoming triathlon or something similar?
Colin – You can find me on Twitter Col Dog O’Donnell, that’s my Twitter handle. Yeah look, this whole thing has changed my life in such an incredible way. I may well get done right, I’m a screenwriter by trade. I may sit down and if the triathlon stuff takes off, I might write a book. I don’t know my wife and I are talking about maybe opening a hotel in Spain or New York that caters to the Paddison program, people that sign up for the program. Because that was the big thing for me. When you’re abroad, there’s nowhere to eat. So we’ve been talking about various ideas, but I’ll be back in touch if any of those things comes (inaudible). Certainly find me on Twitter, if anyone has any questions, I’d be more than happy to help.
Clint: Fantastic. Well, good on you, Colin much appreciated, I’ll let you go and enjoy the rest of your day, and I just want to thank you again.
Colin: Thank you and good luck to everybody.